Day 40

31 January 2014

Friday. December 31. 21:00 Moscow Time. Fedor on the satphone:

“Greetings to all. It’s Friday morning, and I have a busy week-end ahead of me. Last night the wind intensified up to 20 knots. Today the squalls reached 25 knots. According to the weather prognosis the strong wind will persist until Monday. The waves will become high and tall. For an ocean row boat a wind beyond 20 knots is a major struggle. Tourgoyak’s mileage over the last 24 hours isn’t too bad at all; 70 more miles have been covered. In my preparations for the windy weather, I pumped enough fresh water for three days. I already had switched oars from the long to the shorter three-meter ones. And, I am getting mentally prepared for a rough few days. The goal is to hang in there until Monday.

I installed a new power gas canister in the galley. The gas canisters that I selected are made by Primus and rather small in size (220 gm). They are very well suited for mountain climbers and explorers. Before the start I estimated that I would need one 220 gm canister per week. Right now though, it’s obvious that I should’ve packed more. Every time I need to prepare water for cooking I let the water get to a boiling point and before turning off the stove. It’s hard to predict how long I’ll be rowing across the ocean, so to be on a safe side, I conserve everything involving food and gas. Once I reach the half-way point, it should be easier to estimate my remaining time on the ocean. I’m hoping to catch more fish. So far, in my 40 days of rowing, I only once had a chance to catch a small tuna fish. During the first week of the expedition I hardly ate at all, and was able to sustain on coffee and hot chocolate. Now though, my body demands food quite persistently. I’m hungry all the time, 24/7. In bad weather I use a Jet Boil mug by Expedition Foods. It’s a clever contraption made up of an insulated mug attached to a cooking vessel. It’s safe to hold in your hands while waiting for the water to boil which only takes a few minutes.

In my last post I mentioned how empty and void of life this area of the Pacific seems to me. Well, as the saying goes: don’t speak too soon. Today radar identified a ship on the horizon. The automatic tracking system (AIS) displayed information that it was the Japanese ship “Onahama Maru.” I’m not sure if they saw me, because they stayed on course and eventually disappeared to the west. 

That’s it for today. My main goal is to make it safe until Monday when the wind is supposed to die down to 10 knots. I’m with you. Fedor.”

The map of the Tourgoyak’s course:

The detailed map of the course:

Translated by Tatiana Koreski

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