Day 26, 27 & 28: fishy update, best day so far, deep blue sea

Day 26:

Today has been a long day and I’ve I pushed myself hard, but… I’m further west than I was this time yesterday! Not much, but it’s still progress in the right direction. The waves have picked up again and I got a good soaking quite a few times this afternoon and evening, but it doesn’t feel quite so unpleasant yet – maybe it is a bit warmer here…

Fishy update: I checked the water intake tank today and have found new guests – a little fish and a tiny crab. I haven’t managed to get them out yet, so they’re heading west with me for the moment, relaxing in their spacious swimming pool. 

I’ve been really excited to see some fantastic new mile dedications since I started rowing – thank you so much to everyone who has dedicated miles, and of course to the amazing women who have inspired miles to be dedicated to them. I’ve thought a lot about the women whose miles I’ve already rowed, and am looking forward to the majority still to come. There are some wonderful stories in these dedications (I have a copy of all of them on board, and am receiving new dedications as they’re made) and I invite all of you to go and check them out.

And now to sleep 🙂

Day 27:

Best day so far.

Today has been long and hard but I’ve made slow and steady progress west, and wore shorts for the first time since leaving Monterey! No idea what tomorrow will bring, but today was excellent. The growing waves from yesterday evening must have blown themselves out overnight, as today the waves were small and the wind light. They were still going in the opposite direction to me, so I was rowing directly into waves, but they weren’t strong enough to stop me. 

I sometimes fantasise about turning around and rowing fast with the waves for a minute or two, just to feel what it is like not to be fighting them the whole time, but haven’t done it as it would take ages to put right on the way back. 

It still looks like there is some funny weather headed my way this week or next, but fingers crossed for another good day tomorrow at least.

Day 28:

Long, hot, sunny, airless day. I took advantage of the light wind to sneak westward some more. The waves are continuing their steady eastward march, so progress is still slow, but it feels good to be going in the right direction. It was amazing to have some calm hot weather – I aired my damp sleeping bag and liner, and am feeling far more comfortable now as I lie in my bunk. 

Fishy updates:

1. I’ve removed the little fish from my watermaker tank, but couldn’t find the crab. Let’s see how long it stays empty.

2. I have a whole shoal of little fish under my boat – I wonder how long they’ll stay with me? The water is amazingly clear below me, and blue in the sun. At lunchtime I looked over the side and could see shafts of sunlight disappearing into the blue water – difficult to capture in the photo.

The deep blue Pacific
The deep blue Pacific

3. I was woken suddenly early this morning while it was still dark by Something bumping loudly into the boat. It swam under and round the boat several times, and bumped into it twice more – I could hear loud breathing (?) when it surfaced. I wish it had been light so I could have seen what it was and how big. It sounded enormous, and made a real noise out there. Not the most relaxing way to wake up…

12 thoughts on “Day 26, 27 & 28: fishy update, best day so far, deep blue sea

  1. Dear Elsa,
    Saw mum briefly this evening. Good to catch up with her and you. Great to see you heading westwards. I hope the calmer warmer weather stays with you so that you soon get into those trade winds.
    Thinking of you daily.
    With much love,


  2. Hallo ! Great to read about this change in your fortunes – can only imagine how heartening it must be for you & hope it continues to swing more in your favour. Watching your progress on the website – steadily clawing your way across the map. Loving your bulletins, and photos. Saw yr mum briefly this morning – she looked ok but a bit damp as she’d been caught in a shower! You two!! Keep up the good work. We are all thinking of you xxxxxx Griselda


  3. Dearest Munch
    Im so happy that the weather is being nicer to you and its great to see you making real progress on the “track Elsa” thingy on the website!
    Im also really intrigued to know what your visitor was and although it must have been terrifying at the time Im sure it was just something coming to check you out and say hello as you drifted through it’s home, maybe even bumping into the boat to try to wake it up for a chat 🙂 Amazing to think how many creatures territories you must be moving through and fun to wonder what they must make of you and the boat. Hopefully all the ones big enough to do any damage will be friendly! I hope you have a decent flashlight just in case though.
    How are you holding up physically and mentally? I know it must be a challenge – even on good days – and I hope you’re OK. I have an evil rash on one of my hands and every time I want to complain I think of what your hands must be going through and feel too silly 🙂
    Big love and support to you, stay amazing xxx


  4. Dear Elsa. I just donated a few oat strokes as I wanted to encourage you and thank you for being an inspiration. My daughter Bessie was just 3 weeks old when you set off. I’ve been having lots of struggles feeding her and it’s taken real persistence to over come a mix of pain and difficulties but following your progress has really helped to encourage me! I’m so addicted to checking my Yellowbrick app daily to see how you’re doing! So pleased to see when the little Elsa boat icon is pointing West! Similarly we are also heading “west” in clearer seas with the feeding, it’s getting a little easier and she’s gradually gained weight! So imagine my delight just now when I sent you some oat strokes and it said I’d sent money to “Elisabeth” Hammond! Our daughter Bessie is also an Elisabeth (yes with an S) almost made me cry! So keep on keeping on and we’ll follow you daily from our arm chair feeding at 4/5am – inspired by you! Lots of love Anne-Marie & little Elisabeth (Bessie) aged 7 weeks!! Xxx


  5. Wonderful to see you swimming westward, fishies, crab, and Thing That Goes Bump In The Night and all! Was it perhaps a very curious sea lion? Or perhaps an elephant seal? They would both be curious about something unusual and quiet in their offshore world, that isn’t a sail or powerboat. Sea lions tend to exhale very sharply, even snorting. I wonder… Hooray for shorts! Today I ventured inland, sick of the Monterey gray and fog, and wound up in I-kid-you-not 110˚ F and hoo-boy was that hot! And also a relief from being cold, which is a big deal to me so I’m especially glad you’re enjoying that. Bravo on pounding into the waves, onward and onward. When you get to Hawaii you can take the lovely red boat surfing. Say hello to the Milky Way for us fogbound Montereyans! — Kate


  6. Hi Elsa
    Amazing. You and your adventure! What sights and sounds, such memories you will have. I loved the photo, that deep blue and seeing the light disappearing into. What are the stars like at night? The sun and shorts a glimpse of what is to come when you get past these pesky eastward waves. Rose and I are off to Siena this morning before it gets too hot, have you been there? May have been a bit of a track from Lerici.
    Ps. I wonder what happened to the crab, did the fish look any bigger? Mark


  7. Dear Elsa,
    I’m very glad to see you have got over your rough patch, there’s nothing like broken equipment to douse the spirits; but there’s nothing like making a successful repair to raise them again! Oh elation! I have a suspicion that it’s those who are able to cope with unexpected downturns of fortune in challenging circumstances who are well equipped to succeed. As Dad said to me once, ‘Face the fear, and Fortune will favour the brave’. He’s quite a poet. Yes, these tough patches will inevitably come, but they will inevitably pass too to be followed by sunnier times! As that grey-beard loon narrates:

    And now the Storm-blast came, and he
    Was tyrannous and strong:
    He struck with his o’ertaking wings,
    And chased us south along.

    With sloping masts and dipping prow,
    As who pursued with yell and blow
    Still treads the shadow of his foe,
    And forward bends his head,
    The ship drove fast, loud roared the blast,
    And southward aye we fled.

    [and then the words which convey the joy of fair weather!]

    The fair breeze blew, the white foam flew,
    The furrow followed free;
    We were the first that ever burst
    Into that silent sea.

    I wish you fair winds and calm seas Elsa! Whatever the storm blast throws at you, I’m sure you’ll manage very well! 🙂 Loving your updates ‘from the field’! xxx


  8. We were in Michigan last week on the shores of Lake Superior. The mosquitos and black flies were relentless for the first 3 days. Then the wind came along and blew them away. Nothing compared to your troubles but I was thinking of you the whole time. We had a GREAT time with family (especially the 8 Grandkids. Wishing you luck with the winds.


  9. Reading your posts makes me want to come and helicopter into the ocean, grab hold of the back of your boat and paddle with my feet like mad, to help you along. But a/ you would be no longer unaided b/ I’d get tired after a very short time c/ I’d eat your supplies and d/ I wouldn’t like to be eaten by whatever it was that woke you up this morning. So I’ll stay put and just have a little fantasy.

    I am LOVING your blogs and thinking of you a lot. Keep at it! You are doing famously.

    Grey and rainy in Bristol today.



  10. The calm and ease in your writing is in itself inspiring, let alone your daily toil. I am heading into a land-locked country (Malawi) for my safe adventure but your posts have been most uplifting. I hope you are much further west & drier when I log on again in 2 week! Thoughts & prayers always with you Xxx


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