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May 29, 1999

Hawaii to Tarawa Voyage, Update #27

Day 26. Saturday, 29 May 1999 0321 GMT
Wind ENE 3-4. Heading 180M.
Latitude: 12deg 32.717N
Longitude: 168deg 59.254W

Sea state same as yesterday. In the mornings an occasional black cloud with accompanying squall will liven things up a bit for a while; sudden spurts of 30mph wind with ferocious sheets of driving rain that seem to come from and disappear to nowhere, departing almost as soon as arrived. Fat, lumbering cumulostratos clouds that amble heavily from east to west across a blue sky, forming suitable backdrops for a spectacular sunset most evenings characterize the afternoons. Precursor, I assume, to the thunderclouds to be expected in the ITCZ.

Should my presumed blood infection get to a dangerous level, it seems the protocol would be for me to contact the US Coast Guard in Honolulu, explain for their own assessment my health predicament and assuming it is accepted that the situation warrants an attempted rescue, wait for a ship passing within spitting distance to come and pick me up*. Being 1,000nms out from land is out of the local reach of coastal-based helicopters or CG cutters. It might take some days or even weeks before receiving medical attention, a time factor I have to include into my calculations as to what point I make the call to pull the plug. The other down side to all this is there is no guarantee of rescuing Moksha. All skippers assisting in the rescue of a stricken vessel are bound to save human life - nothing more. It would up to the individual good will of a skipper whether or not the Old Good Ship gets hauled in also. Makes for a very hard decision to abort should the time come.

The sores are no worse and I seem to be holding my own as far as fever and general energy levels. It will be another day or two before I can tell if the antibiotics are helping. At this point it is hard to make even a vague prediction as to the outcome; blood poisoning - from personal experience I had with it in Kenya 13yrs ago - is difficult to see coming and extremely fast to take a hold once it has arrived. Best for now just to plan for the worst. Reality has fewer surprises in store this way.

*Ships passing in the vicinity of a rescue situation have to by international law respond if called upon to by rescue authorities.

Jason Lewis,
The Moksha motor

Posted on May 29, 1999 2:58 AM