From Elsa, in the Pacific. Please see her statement about her change of destination if you haven’t read it yet.
Wow – thank you so so so much to everyone who has sent messages of support following this change of direction. It means a huge amount that you are all still being supportive, and will really help with this push towards land. I really agonised over taking this decision, and although there are inevitably still questions and concerns. I feel so much lighter now that the decision is made. I’m strangely excited about the adventure of the unknown as I head towards a previously unplanned harbour, and can’t wait to see what the rest of the journey will bring.
Over the weekend I had been secretly hoping that I’d get some nice rowing with the wind for a change, now that I’m headed in a easterly direction, but the Pacific continues to challenge me. We’ve had some really strange weather today. Following big winds and seas over the weekend, the wind had now lightened, but has also turned around, meaning that the seas are very confused. I’ve got big, rolling waves coming towards me on one side and on the other small choppy waves also coming towards me and meeting each other beneath me. I’m not sure which way to look to keep an eye on approaching waves!
The good news is that I’m now managing to make progress in the right direction, even though it’s quite slow. Initially it felt strange to be celebrating, rather than mourning, eastward progress, but already it feels completely normal.
Fishy tales, and more:
– A couple of nights ago, while I was sitting on para anchor, a bird I haven’t seen before came and landed on my bow cabin. It stayed overnight, hanging on with difficultly as the boat pitched and tossed, and leaving behind a lot of unwanted presents on my solar panels for me to clean up. It was black with a white stomach, and straight pointed beak. Can anyone identify? I’d love to know more about it, as it’s the only one of this species that I’ve seen. It seemed totally unfazed by me – watching me when I came on deck, but not in the least inclined to move.
– Yesterday, as the wind fell and the waves became wide and smooth, I saw two groups of pilot whales, heading in a similar direction to each other. They came really quite close to me, and I was able to watch them all the way into the distance as I prepared myself for rowing. It felt like the sea was coming alive again yesterday, after a weekend of everything hiding out of sight or below the waves; as I was watching the pilot whales, I also saw quite a number of different birds skimming the surface of the waves.
A couple of people have asked about oars – I’m still using my ‘repaired’ oar, and plan to use it all the way to Mexico. It’s heavy and a bit frustrating, but I’ve been getting used to it and its little quirks. I think of it as a friendly baby Frankenstein’s Monster – a bit bodged together but perfectly capable and eager to do its best.