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May 27, 1999

Hawaii to Tarawa Voyage, Update #25

Day 24. Thursday, 27 May 1999 0333 GMT
Wind ENE 3-4. Heading 180M.
Latitude: 12deg 56.267N
Longitude: 167deg 59.854W

After a good mileage result yesterday - although predominantly westwards due to the high wind - I stoically reverted this morning to a 180M heading to make up the proportionate ground south. (Reaching Tarawa is still no given.) With the drop in wind strength, its back to hot and sweaty pedaling stints of one and half-hours (on average) buffered by 15-minute tea breaks.

I hope to God I have enough tea for the entire voyage. Miles made good depends upon it.

The affliction 'Creeping Grey Funk' identified in the last voyage is starting to rear its ugly head. This is a condition that only really sets in after about 3 weeks of sensory deprivation. Its like a mental fungus that creeps into ones goal orientated way of thinking, thriving on the incredibly dull existence that life in a 4x18 Ft space can become (and how much longer you have to live in it), gradually pulling you down with ruthless ease into a state of semi-hopeless despair. Steve wrote about it in one of his last entries last time. He spoke of running out of reflections on the past, conversation for the present and thoughts for the future to the point where you are left teetering on the edge of a mental void. There's just nothing left to think about.

It is true that time takes on a different value out here; three weeks seems like three months. On one level, another six weeks of this boggles my mind completely. There is a serious danger of sitting like a dummy for hours at a time staring at your pathetic progress indicated by pencil marks on a chart, trying to get your head around "just being" out here! But there's an antidote. I call it surrendering to the ocean - letting go of that 'goal orientated way of thinking' that is needed for land-lubing and re-ordering ones value system around the immediate universe on the boat. Mental energies become re-directed to what is happening right here right now - the small details that are usually overlooked as unimportant. Forgetting about the ultimate destination - in this case Tarawa - is a prerequisite also. Its all very hard to do - as any detachment process is - taking self-discipline and a concerted effort of will power to kick start into action. But it is the only way I know of dealing with this kind of isolation.

On the Atlantic crossing I adapted so fully that I found it hard to re-adapt once back on land again! But there is a balance, and right now I'm struggling to find that balance.


First off - well done to AJ on why longitude minutes can't be used to measure nautical miles - because they vary in value according to how far they are from the equator.

Also - Colin - good one on 1979 for when Tarawa became independent from Great Britain. They were formerly part of the Gilbert and Ellice Islands. I know that I-Tungaru was the name the people called themselves before I-Kiribati as they are called now. Not sure if it was the name of any of the islands though.


Q: What do you have in the way of materials for a cool-off apparatus?
A: Actually I'm all set for ventilation now. I used a piece of PVC plating (a collision mat) to funnel wind down the hatch above the pedal seat.

Q: Do you have any uses for rotting food or does it just go overboard?
A: If I was growing food on the boat I could create some great compost. As it is I just throw it overboard for the fishes under the boat to eat.

Q: What can you recycle/reuse?
A: Right now I'm using the tea bags for 2 dunkings. The M+M wrappers when turned inside out are good for making scribble pads to write on. This morning I rinsed out a washing up liquid bottle to employ as a honey dispenser (same consistency as W. U liquid - also has a great nozzle). The zip-lock baggies will be reused for the next voyage.

Q: Describe your play area on Moksha.
A: see below.


My whole living area is only 4x4x18feet (including sleeping). There is a small area of decking on the back and the front of the boat to sit out on sometimes and eat a meal/play guitar etc. Also there is the ocean to swim in (not able to at the moment because of salt sores). It is very important for my state of mind to be able to create VARIETY in my space. I try and separate my working space (the pedal seat) from my cooking/chore space (passenger seat) from my sleeping space (front compartment) to recreational space (decks and ocean). It makes a big difference if I can rotate as often as possible between these spaces.

1.Think of the different living spaces you use on a 24hr basis. Compare and contrast them with the spaces I have identified on Moksha.


1.Research how desalinization works.
2.What % of the earth's surface is covered by water? What percentage of this is drinkable? What percentage of this is obtainable for human usage?

Email your answers to us - answers will be posted Monday.

Jason Lewis,
The Moksha motor

Posted on May 27, 1999 1:59 AM