Mon 15 May 2006 21:44
As the wind and wave action subsided last night we were given increased
flexibility to limit the effects of the north going current by freeing up
the course that we are permitted to steer. Eventually we moved out of its
influence all together into an area of what we have in the past called
pudding sea. The water feels hard and jars on the wrists when the oars go
in. The winds dropped to zero and the current also. We get the almost
surreal situation for us anyway of sitting there gently rising and falling
on the swell in absolute 'ear splitting silence' with the full moonlight
glistening on the water. We'll miss these experiences.
Pressing on at 0.5kn is hard work but the hard work delivers results and
speed gradully increases and we detect a slight southerly drift. We have
reached the edges, we assume of the southerly going current we referred to
in yesterday's blog. The southerly effect increases and we are as I write
tracking in beautiful weather along a course directly toward Antigua at a
speed up to 2kn. Infact we will in about 6/8 hours move past the current way
point referred to by the Coastguard yesterday. Here the current reputed to
run at between 1.2 and 1.5kn. We'll see.
Overnight we reduced our distance to Antigua by 21nm to 169nm. In doing so
we took off 9nm north and went 20 nm west. At present in the improved
conditions northings are reducing rapidly. The last 1.5 hours took off
nearly two alone.
We have now found out further details of our current.We are too far north
and have to make an effort to gain further distance south. If not the
current will sweep us more to the north. We are not out of the woods yet it
appears.At the momenmt we are tracking at 221 true to a way point suggested
by the Antiuguan Coastguard office who monitor these current flows. If we
are successful this should assist our efforts to row into English
Harbourour. Again our support team ashore liz and Pat are proving their
weight in gold in getting theis informatioon. Thanks also must go the the
Antuiguan Coastguard particularly Jonathan Cornelius who has been so helpful
in providing this information.
I know we are at a crucial stage in the finish and its location but last
night I was thinking about a question Louisa (friend from work) asked a
while ago about whether i was enjoying the "ordeal". I think the whole trip
has been about extremes, highs and lows and as some of those have left me
they have left a mark. Most i trust have left a positive effect, whether as
an experience or a revelation of something new about me, others, attitudes,
the environment, the whole thing.. It has made me examine a great deal about
myself and what makes me tick, what i hold as important and what makes "me
feel". To come back to the question about enjoyment , the effect has been
much more profound than just an enjoyment. One huge example of the effect is
a daily occurance.I make time every day to stand and stare. I stare at the
colours, differences, shades, shapes, power, contrasts, of the sunset. It is
the most wonderful time of the day, a time when the rigours of the night
have gone and i have recovered, food has been consumed with the rush of
well being, and its my time off rowing, a special bit of time to myself.. I
stand and stare like the ape man in "2001 Space Odessey", seeing but not
understanding. Never is a night like another and never a minute of that
event like the minute before. I love that time really deeply and will miss
it forever. Not in a bad way but in a way that certain events, situations or
people will remind and i will have those memories and feelings flooding
back. Thats more than enjoyment and it leaves me always in its memory.
Wow thats a bit deep and meaningful for a monday.
Radio Cumbria tomorrow at 7.45.