Day 81

13 March 2014

“Tourgoyak and I covered 42 nautical miles in the last 24 hours. It’s a good result given the weather conditions. There is hardly any wind; no current; the boat has got a lot of sea growth on the bottom. If I am not rowing, than Tourgoyak sits still. One good thing about the lack of wind is that I can row strictly west. I must stay within the 13th degree of the Southern Latitude until the next storm. My attention is focused on a storm that is forming in the west. An extensive area of low-pressure is spread out between the 155th and 175th degrees of the Western Longitude, which is equivalent to a distance of 1200 miles. By Tuesday, I’ll end up in the eastern wing of the storm. Thankfully, a tail wind will be from the north-east. Together with this storm I’m planning to head south.   

This sharp turn south towards New Zealand is my next step in the expedition. After that, I’ll be staying in the corridor of the 26-29 degrees of the Southern Latitude heading for Brisbane. It’s easier said than done. Staying in a precise latitude while traveling on an ocean row boat is possible only with complete weather cooperation.  For me, the wind and everything that has to do with the wind (its speed, direction, turns) is very important. To my dismay, the Raymarine wind display got broken today. The arrow inside the display fell off and lays useless. This could’ve happened because of the direct sun exposure or the constant shaking and rocking of the boat. I can still tell the wind power (thanks to the electronic display), but it won’t tell the direction of the wind.  I regret that back in England we installed only one wind display, and we placed it exposed on the deck. It would have been better to put one in the covered area, protected from the sun. Now, looking at the “dead” wind display I feel a bit sad. It’s like I lost a good friend. No matter what I do on the deck I would always glance at the display. I’m hoping that no other equipment will break. It is a big risk to take a brand new boat across the entire Pacific Ocean non stop. After 80 days on the ocean I can easily name a few things that I would change or improve if I had a chance. It might’ve been smarter to cross the Atlantic Ocean to learn the boat, and only then face the Pacific. But then again, what may work for the Atlantic Ocean might not work on the Pacific,  the Atlantic is a sprint but the Pacific is a marathon. I’m just praying that Tourgoyak and I are built for such a marathon.

Last night was quiet, no rain, with almost a full moon. I slept on the deck, using a sheep skin as a mattress. Before Tourgoyak was shipped from England to Chile, my friend Charlie Pitcher gave me four sheep skins. He told me that the British rowers use this material in the ocean and it serves them much better than any polyester or synthetics. I cut some for the rowing seat but kept one intact to sleep on. Its ability to stay dry for a prolonged time on the water makes it a great material for long trips on the sea.  All other fabrics that I have with me stay dry for only a couple of hours. 

I saw, or rather heard, a whale today. He was alone. The water was clear blue and I could see the whale’s body very well. He passed me from north to south without paying the slightest attention to me and Tourgoyak. I didn’t complain about this lack of interest because his size was twice as large as my boat. 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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