Day 48. The 3,000 mile mark

08 February 2014

Fedor on the satphone: “Last night the weather surprised me with non-stop rain. It was the first rainstorm since the start. The deck was washed clean by the rainwater. The solar panels were particularly in need of a rain shower for they had accumulated a thin layer of sea salt. By morning the rain had stopped. The low hanging clouds are drifting across the sky. According to my calculations, as of today, Tourgoyak and I have covered 3,000 nautical miles. That’s one third of the distance. After almost 50 days of being on the ocean, I’m increasingly missing the land. Last night I had a dream that I was walking on a green field. It felt so great, even though it was a dream, to walk in full height on firm ground. Despite the rude awakening by my alarm, I lingered in my sleep trying to hold on to this dream. I do miss walking, that’s for sure. Here, on the three meter long deck I can’t walk too far, plus standing up is not particularly safe. I mostly get around on my knees, crawling between the cabin and the deck.

Three thousand miles on the ocean is a respectable accomplishment for any sailboat, but for an ocean row boat it is definitely pushing the limits. The ocean is the perfect place to reflect on one’s life. I find myself thinking a lot about my past expeditions: Everest, South Pole, circumnavigations, and of course, mostly about my friends and family. Since there is nothing but water to observe and contemplate, I turn to my own thoughts, feelings and memories analyzing them inside and out. After 62 years on this planet, there is a lot to remember and think about.

I’m at the 10th degree of the Southern Latitude. It’s about 600 miles south of the equator. The tropics are in their full beauty. The sunsets here are something to behold. I don’t miss a single sunset. It’s my ritual: about ten minutes before the sun sets I stop rowing to take it all in, and even when the sun has completely disappeared into the horizon, I sit in complete silence for another ten minutes. It’s a great way to finish my day, give thanks to our Creator, and prepare emotionally for the night ahead.

An ocean rower depends utterly on the Ocean with all its moods, changes and unpredictability. While on a sail boat you can change the course 180 degrees, proceed even in the headwinds and have general control, on a row boat, however, you either propel your boat by rowing or let the ocean carry you. It’s a complete surrender; a perfect test on humility.

I will maintain a westward course at 10° of the southern latitude as I approach Fatu Hiva, weather permitting.”

The map of the Tourgoyak’s course:

The detailed map of the course:

Translated by Tatiana Koreski

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