Another mixed day – some real lows, but I’m finishing it feeling positive and ready to get out there again before sunrise.
I spent a large part of the day with my broken oar – annoying, as I’d originally thought it wouldn’t take that long. I don’t so much mind the time being spent on it, and actually quite enjoy the repair work, but I just find it stressful to watch the miles ticking away in the wrong direction whilst I do it. My first repair of the day (using the shaft of one of the broken oars to splint it) was nice and strong, but really heavy, so I decided to cut the wooden handled end off the splint, thus making it slightly shorter and lighter. This would have been a good idea if my hacksaw hadn’t turned out to be totally useless. About a quarter of the way through the cut, the bolt that holds the top part of the blade in place suddenly pinged off with no warning, leaving the blade swinging from one end. Unfortunately it jumped straight over the side of the boat and disappeared into the blue before I could grab it, so that was goodbye to a properly functioning hacksaw. I then tried tying the end of the blade in place with bits of wire and thin pieces of string, which worked for short times before wearing through. I managed to break two blades in the process, but got most of the way through the cut before giving up on the hacksaw, donning a pair of gloves, and finishing it off with just a piece of broken blade. The oar is still heavy, but manageable for now, and lovely and strong. Thank goodness for zip ties – I brought a lot, but now I’m wishing I’d brought even more.
All in all it was quite a ridiculous morning, and I felt like everything was going wrong. I really struggled today with the fact that I’ve already rowed hundreds of miles and have still barely made a dent in the miles toward Hawaii. It’s hard to be constantly waking up further away from where I’m trying to go than I was when I went to sleep, and it’s particularly hard as the further east I get dragged the worse the eastward pull gets. The ‘good’ weather window is now over, and apparently bigger winds and waves and coming back to turn the washing machine conditions on again. Things felt very bleak earlier today and I struggled to see how I’m going to manage to make this westward turn.
As I lie I my bunk now I’m feeling better, and am just focusing on continuing south for another couple of degrees (obviously minimising the eastward movement and maximising the westward), where things do look more hopeful.
I got some good rowing in throughout the afternoon and evening, and actually enjoyed it as the wind started whipping up the waves later on in the day. They aren’t big yet, but have become confused and choppy, appearing from all sorts of unexpected angles, which felt strangely exciting. As night fell, the horizon all round me shrank inwards, and it felt like Darien and I were dancing through an ever-mutating seascape of bubbling witches cauldrons.