The row boat Tourgoyak has left the Pacific

03 June 2014

On December 1st, 2013 the Tourgoyak boat was released into the waters of the Pacific Ocean at the Chilean yacht-club Higuerillas (Concon, Valparaiso region). Today, May 3rd, 2014 it was lifted from the water and put on keel blocks at the Australian yacht-club of Mooloolaba.

Fedor Konyukhov: “Today is both a happy and sad day for me. I am enormously happy that the boat is safe on land and was able to cross the entire Pacific Ocean from Chile to Australia. For almost half a year my row boat was my home and has become an extension of myself. At the same time, I am a bit sad to think that this is it: there will be no more rowing across the Pacific or any other ocean with this boat. It’s only been three days since I finished the crossing, but I am already missing the sunrises and the sunsets in the ocean and the 160 days of solitude on the South Pacific.

I wanted this project to be a testimony that with God everything is possible. It doesn’t mean I wasn’t scared of the Ocean with its vastness, force and unpredictability. I was scared and many times, but I always had faith that through my prayers to Our Lord and St. Nicolas, God would spare me and allow me to complete this journey. I also knew and felt that many people in Russia, Ukraine, Chile and Australia and other countries were praying for my safety. During the 160 days at sea I didn’t encounter a seriously dangerous storm; although,  there were plenty of storms, big and small, but I survived. The weather was bad more often than it was good, with the high seas of 4-5 meters and the wind of 35 knots. On the bright side, the boat and I were spared from a full on tropical storm or worse, a tropical cyclone. Despite the risk of running into a cargo ship or fishing trawler I was able to elude any close calls. While rowing through the French Polynesia there was a threat of being thrown on an island or reefs but thankfully I was able to avoid that misfortune. The Tourgoyak’s hull didn’t get damaged at all and finished the crossing in great condition. I myself was spared of any injuries and arrived safe and sound.  There were some minor failures of the electronic equipment but the boat as a whole performed beautifully.    

Even though I had an unsuccessful first start from Concon on December 14th, 2013, it didn’t diminish my desire to row across the Pacific. After only three days on the ocean I had discovered that the accumulators on the boat were quickly failing and wouldn’t last the entire crossing. Turning back was one of the hardest things I did on this crossing, but it was the right thing to do. My second start was on December 22nd, 2013 and it went much better than the first one. My arrival into the coastal waters of Australia happened under ideal weather conditions. That was a gift from above and I am sure it was a result of all your prayers. My safe landing on the beach of Mooloolaba into the open arms of friends and family was something I can never put to words. My sense of gratitude and happiness from seeing the cheering crowd at the beach was overwhelming and will remain in my heart forever.  

This Friday, Tourgoyak will once again head into the ocean, but this time safely inside of a 40’ long container on a cargo ship. Its travel will be long: across the Pacific Ocean, through the Panama Canal, then onto the Atlantic Ocean to arrive in Russia via the Baltic Sea. The final destination is the Russian city of Chelyabinsk, where it will be on display at the Seyho Motors pavilion, the main sponsor of the transpacific crossing. I have another ocean row boat residing in the Chelyabinsk’s region. The URALAZ boat that I rowed across the Atlantic Ocean in 2002 is located in the city of Miass at the Golden Beach yacht-club on Lake Tourgoyak. Coincidently, both of the Russian transoceanic row boats will be based in the Ural.  

Later this week my team and I will be leaving the hospitality of the Sunshine Coast and heading home to Moscow, Russia. Our expected arrival is Sunday, June 8th at the Moscow airport Domodedovo.

I’m with you. Fedor Konyukhov”.

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