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May 19, 1999

Hawaii to Tarawa Voyage, Update #16

Day 15. Tuesday, May 18, 1999, 0253 GMT
Wind ENE Force 0-1. Heading 195M.
Latitude: 15deg 46.070N
Longitude: 163deg 31.672W

Today it seems the ocean is barely alive. The waves have flattened to gentle undulations and the breath of the ocean has died to a shallow whisper. Very nice for sailing I'm sure but not so for pedal boating. Everything, including me, is sizzling. I even have to careful when getting up for a break not to touch anything metallic or dark in colour that has been in direct sunlight. I long for cloud cover and the return of the wind.

I've taken some additional steps to combat the heat; shaving my head to the scalp to maximize brain cooling, wrapping parts of my body vulnerable to the sun to afford some protection from skin-cancer; for example, the compound fracture scars on my legs where there is a lack of skin coverage. The glare thrown up from the water only adds to the intensity of the heat. It's as if the whole ocean as far as the eye can see is re-directing the sun's rays in Moksha's direction.

The stern section of the main cockpit, i.e. where the pedal seat is situated, is beginning to smell like a dog kennel owing to the sweat drenched towels and seat starting to fester and ferment. I remember the last 500 miles of the Atlantic crossing coming up through the Old Bahama Bank was a bit like this; maggots started inhabiting the pedal seat living off the sweat from our bodies. I don't think I've picked up any flies this time, although there are some interesting shaped Hawaiian beasties stowed away in the rear compartment. But with it being only 2 weeks into the voyage I'm wondering what this place is going to smell like by week 10!

Thanks to Kirsty in the UK by the way who suggested covering the salt sores with Vaseline while swimming to keep the salt off them. Great idea. However the one thing I decided to axe from the med-kit this time was - you guessed it - the Vaseline. I guess lithium grease would do the same thing right?

Today's CLASSROOM EXPEDITION Topic: Simple Machines

I'd like you to imagine are going on an expedition covering at least 1,000 miles either on land, across the ocean or through the air. Design and draw a machine that is human-powered and can carry enough supplies for the duration of your journey. Alongside the drawing of the machine, make a separate close-up drawing of its MECHANICS.

Show clearly these three things:

1.Where the power comes from. (For example on a bicycle, power comes from the feet of the person pedaling).
2.How that power is converted into the FORCE that drives the machine. (E.g. on a bike the power is converted into force by pedals, crank arms, sprockets and a chain).
3.How the FORCE makes the thing go. (E.g. on a bike the force is transferred from the chain to the back wheel that is in contact with the ground and so makes the bike move).

Jason Lewis,
The Moksha motor

Posted on May 19, 1999 1:14 AM