« Hawaii to Tarawa Voyage, Update #18 | Main | Hawaii to Tarawa Voyage, Update #20 »

May 21, 1999

Hawaii to Tarawa Voyage, Update #19

Day 18. Friday, 21 May 1999 03:20:09 GMT
Wind ENE 4-5. Heading 180M.
Latitude: 15deg 01.746N
Longitude: 164deg 56.664W

Good mileage in the last 24hrs - or at least in the right direction i.e. south. The wind, although conspiring to chuck a load of water over the side every now and then, is however a blessed relief. Not only is there occasional cloud cover to keep things cool, but just the very fact that the ocean as far as the eye can see is a churning mass of 20ft waves barreling towards Moksha, highlighted with jostling white caps, serves to keep life breezy and interesting. Those dull, lethargic days with little or no wind and the sun beating mercilessly down from morning, noon, till night are the worst for keeping keen.

My salt sores have decided to evolve to a second, even more disgusting stage. As if one wave was not enough, a second layer is currently erupting on top of the first, making life extremely trying (one has even sprouted on the top most part of my head!). Not only does the chaffing become rather painful by the evening (even sitting here writing this update is testing), but a foul 'gangrenous' like stench wafting from collective eruptions of putrid pus have prompted me to take action. I am avoiding going in the water at all (fine as long as the cool wind keeps up) and rinsing the affected areas twice a day with a little precious drinking water. When things get really bad in the evenings I dab a little Benzocaine on the ring-leaders; Mauna Loa on the right butt-cheek, Mauna Kea on the left cheek and Mt. Vesuvius right in the middle on top me 'ed!

The sweetest thing that happened today was devouring the last orange. I was rather hoping it would turn out to be one of the dry and therefore less appetizing specimens, to lessen the pain of psychological withdrawal (it will be 50 days before I touch fruit again). It turned out of course to be the most succulent of the lot, the most delicious thing I have ever sunk my teeth into.

CLASSROOM EXPEDITION: Today's salty dilemmas.

1. PRIORITIZING: sometimes life presents you with difficult decisions to make. Often you have to choose between the lesser of a range of evils (as they say), and make your choice according to priority.

One decision that I sometimes have to make is how I spend my remaining power for the day. Imagine you are on Moksha having finished a hard day's pedaling. There is only enough power in the batteries to spend on one of three things until mid way through the following morning when more power is generated from the solar panels:

A. Make drinking water to rehydrate yourself.
B. Run the all-round white light throughout the night for other shipping to see you.
C. Communicate via the inmarsat with base-camp and family so they know that you are OK.

Discuss in class, which one you would choose. Take a vote - I'd be interested to know what you think!

2. Next week we'll be taking a quick look at Kiribati and specifically Tarawa atoll before you break for summer holidays. So this weekend, pull out an atlas and find out the answers to these two questions:

A. What is the latitude and longitude of Tarawa atoll in degrees and minutes?
B. What exactly is an atoll?

If you have Internet access, this site is quite useful: http://www.collectors.co.nz/kiribati

Jason Lewis,
The Moksha motor

Posted on May 21, 1999 1:22 AM