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May 28, 1999

Hawaii to Tarawa Voyage, Update #26

Day 25. Friday, 28 May 1999 0310 GMT
Wind ENE 3-4. Heading 180M.
Latitude: 12deg 44.533N
Longitude: 168deg 31.864W

Sea state same as yesterday. The current seems to have shifted slightly so every mile earned south requiring much puffing and panting. 180 is the best I can do, the rest is up to Mother Nature to decide where we end up for the day.

I'm starting a course of antibiotics against possible septicemia (blood infection). The fact that the abscesses have been springing up randomly all over my body without a recognizable pattern combined with their foul smell gives weight to the theory that the problem involves internal goings-on as well as external. Added to which two of my middle fingers on my right hand have been becoming increasingly numb over the past week, and one effect of blood poisoning can be nerve damage according to the two doctors who have given me indirect advice via the Iridium Sat-phone since yesterday.

It may all for nothing, and indeed the sores don't seem to be getting any worse. But there's too much to lose without a definitive diagnosis at my disposal with which to make a rational decision otherwise. The sores around the compound fracture sites on both my legs for example have been some of the worst, and even the slightest chance of an infection spreading to the bone (osteomyelitis) would be disastrous. I would run the likely risk of losing one or both legs without immediate medical attention, something hard to come by 1,000 miles out from land.

I also seem to be spending a lot of time talking to myself and every night for the last week I've had the same nightmare of a giant squid attacking the boat. Perhaps this is due to delirium?

The decision to abort the voyage would be a pretty big one. I don't think we're at that stage yet. We'll see how these antibiotics do first.

CLASSROOM EXPEDITION - last of the week's fun 'n games:

TO ALL CLASSES participating in activities: please let me know when you break for the summer vacation and till what date you'd still like to participate in activities? Please email April, april@fone.net Thanks - Jason


Q: Can you see the Big Dipper at night? Describe the night sky above Moksha.
A: Yes, the B.D. is very visible to the north, astern of the boat, with the outer edge opposite from the handle of the pan leading down to Polaris the North Star (I always know where the boat is heading just by glancing that this star). In fact the moon was so bright last night it was hard to make out any other stars. Another very bright object in the sky directly to the west is a satellite that is in the same position every evening, hovering about 30 degrees from the horizon. Could be a case for light pollution as on some nights it is so bright it is hard to make out any other stars in the same sky region.

Q: What sensory stimuli surround you?
A: See below.



On Moksha there is very little sense stimuli, certainly very little that changes from one day to the next. The colours I see every day are very much in the blue/grey area of the colour spectrum; very few reds or yellows (to the point that the first few days on land are almost blinding for all the colour). The sounds are mainly of the waves and the wind, and I use music during the night pedal stints to keep my spirits up. Tastes are samey too - I have to work hard on varying the spices I use in my cooking to keep food interesting! And everything I touch is hard and brittle - very few different textures. I miss for example the touch of an animal; the feel of a patting a dog's soft stomach or stroking the firm fur along a cat's back. There is nothing else living out here after all apart from wet fish and giant squids!

List the stimuli in your environment and compare them with the limited stimuli I have on Moksha.

Jason Lewis,
The Moksha motor

Posted on May 28, 1999 2:04 AM