Fedor via the Iridium satellite phone: “It’s Sunday, April 6th. The wind is northerly, 20-25 knots, with the gusts up to 30 knots. If this wind persists for the rest of the day, I will leave the tropical latitudes today. There are 30 miles to row before I can cross the Southern Tropic (its latitude is 23° 26'). It’s getting cooler. The air temperature is about 20-22 degrees, and the rain is colder now too. In tropics, when the rain dropped and the waves hit I wouldn’t get cold, and my polyester shirt and shorts would dry very fast. Now, I’m wearing Musto LPX waterproof suit to shield the body from a wind and waves. I can’t wait for the sun to come out. The boat is covered with mold. The batteries are dangerously low. The ocean has been covered with a wet grey blanket for a few days now. The rain is nonstop, alternating its intensity between a down pour and a light drizzle. The drumming of the rain on the cabin roof and the beating of the waves against the hull are my constant companions. It’s perfectly gloomy out here. This is my first time in these waters, and I don’t think I’d want to come back here again, even on a decent sail boat.
Fedor Konyukhov’s drawing. “Finish”. Colored pencils. 2002.
The Pacific Ocean is testing me. I remember my rowing from Chile to Fatu Hiva Island with a great fondness. Back then it was difficult and felt like I was living on the edge every single day. Now, however, the ocean is simply exhausting. It’s taking toll on my body and soul. The wind is switching direction every couple of hours. The easterly wind becomes northerly, then westerly, and later back to easterly. Basically, it’s turning the boat 180 every couple of hours. The waves can’t switch so quickly and as a result, the ocean is in constant swells. Last night Tourgoyak and I were dragged back north once again. During the day I was able to win back the lost mileage in south-west direction.
Exactly a year ago, on April 6th I was in the Arctic latitudes. My friend Victor Simonov and I set out to cross the Arctic Ocean from North Pole to Greenland on dog sleds. Right now, I long to stand on an ice mound, breeze in the icy air and look into the Arctic horizon. I’m with you. Fedor.”
The map of the Tourgoyak's course: http://yb.tl/konyukhov2
The detailed map of the course: www.oceanrowing.com/Konyukhov/Pacific2013/dist_map.htm
Translated by Tatiana Koreski