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May 31, 1999

Hawaii to Tarawa Voyage, Update #29

Day 28. Monday, 31 May 1999 0309 GMT
Wind ENE 2-3. Heading 180M.
Latitude: 12deg 10.524N
Longitude: 169deg 47.574W

The wind has dropped slightly making for hot and sweaty pedaling conditions. I dare not dip in the ocean though for fear of re-infecting myself with the pathogen that seems the most likely culprit of the boils I've been host to for 10 days now. I have to content myself with frequent spells just standing in the cockpit letting the wind cool the sweat on my skin. It helps a great deal being fitter and more acclimated to the conditions now I've been out here for nearly a month.

I'm fairly confident that the worst of the infection is over: no fresh boils have appeared for 48hrs now and many of the existing ones are starting to scab - even get itchy in some cases - a good sign I believe. Also there is a noticeable absence of putridity in the air - again suggesting the poison is finally departing.

The latest hazard to health seems to be flying fish. While sitting in the passenger seat last night making dinner, one must have flown through the open hatch above the pedal seat - vacant at the time - and landed in the folds of the towel I sit on whilst pedaling. When I came to resume my position in the pedal seat a short while later, the thing galvanized into action on contact with my bare rump, causing me the better part of a cardiac arrest (especially as I'm supposed to be the only living animal on the boat). I shot 6 inches straight vertical, cracked my head on the roof and came down equally as hard onto the poor fish.

"Unlucky Jasper" did not live to tell the tail I'm afraid. But here's a picture of him I took this morning for posterity...

CLASSROOM EXPEDITION - Today's Salty Mind Tweekers:


What happens when you sweat? What is the process when sweat cools your body? How does this process work?

Think of other animals that have similar cooling systems for their bodies - and ones that have different systems too. Compare and contrast some of the different cooling systems you come up with.


Tarawa is just one of 33 islands in the Kiribati chain, comprising a total land area of 800 sq. km (all the islands) scattered over 5 million sq. km of ocean.

1.What percentage of the ocean area mentioned is land?
2.What is the ratio of land to ocean?

(Answers posted Wednesday)

Consider where you live in the world. Discuss any similarities or differences you can think of as a class between the land to water ratio in Kiribati and the land to water area ratio where you live. What differences do you think the land to water ratio in Kiribati would make to your life-style if you lived there?

Jason Lewis,
The Moksha motor

Posted on May 31, 1999 3:02 AM