I’m so sorry to hear the news about Team Pacific Rowers. They’ve had a tough time from the start, and looked like they were doing amazingly well. Was looking forward to catching up with them in Hawaii. I could hear the coast guard on my VHF throughout the night, as I was hiding from the scary waves in my cabin. It is only today that I’ve found out exactly what happened though, and am thankful that the whole team is ok. Thinking of you guys.
I’m still struggling with the cold, wet, windy conditions. I haven’t been out of my foulies when rowing yet. I do manage to change into slightly damp but perfectly acceptable clothes at the end of each shift (I’m trying to keep ‘indoors’ and ‘outdoors’ as separate as possible), but getting into my freezing cold wet rowing clothes at the beginning of each shift still makes me shiver and complain. Roll on the warmer weather!
I’m getting quite adept at ‘speed cooking’ – trying to time my food preparation between waves. I take a good look out towards the waves and wait for a quieter patch, then quickly open up my ‘cooking’ hatch, and snatch out my stove, gimbal, gas canister, and bag with lighter. I balance them between my knees and quickly close the hatch up again before a wave can break over it. Then I put everything together, carefully holding onto loose bags and bits and pieces – at the moment I’m tucking them under one of the broken oars while I cook. I choose an expedition meal out of another hatch (using the same wave avoidance method), and check the amount of water I need. Tucking that under my foot, I fill the stove with the right amount of water from my water bladder – again trying to time the pouring between waves so I don’t spill everything. While the water heats I open up the meal and remove the desiccant sachet, and usually refill my drinking bottle at the same time. Once the water has boiled, I pour it into the meal and stir, and then close the pouch up and tuck it behind the broken oar while I put all the stove pieces away (again, trying to avoid waves). This has been mostly successful so far. I’ve had some water slosh into the hatch, and one wave attempted a big attack, but I managed to block it with my body, so the stove pieces are mostly still ok. Eating food should be a simple matter, but I’m still struggling to work out how to get a whole spoonful into my mouth while still keeping a wary eye on the approaching waves. Bits of pasta have ended up all over the deck, on my clothes, down my neck, in my ears… For some reason, the wind doesn’t like the idea of food going into my mouth.
It seems the wind and I disagree on a number of things then, including which direction is a good direction. I’m still inching south west, but it is slow and painful. Come on trade winds!!
Elsa still has a way to go to reach her fundraising goals – please share as far and wide as you can.