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May 9, 1999

Hawaii to Tarawa Voyage, Update #7

Day 6. Sunday, May 9, 1999, 0316 GMT
Latitude: 18deg 21.734N
Longitude: 159deg 24.385W
Wind ESE, force 3-4 gusting 5, Heading 215M

Moksha and I slowly clawing our way south, inch by inch. Since 8.30am we've made 6 nautical miles south and 14 west. That's nearly 2 to 1, which is the optimum ratio I'm aiming for to reach Tarawa. Once I get to 9 degrees north of the equator we'll have some temporary assistance for 5 or so degrees latitude from the equatorial counter current running back east. This will give me a chance to make up some additional miles south before lining up for the final approach for Tarawa.

Now that I'm on my own I seem to have even less time than ever before to do anything besides pedaling, sleeping and eating. Admittedly the PUR electric water-maker helps enormously to free up an hour a day that can be invested into pedaling or sleeping (or a bit of both). But during the waking hours my attention rarely strays from the cranks. The bottom line is if the cranks don't turn, the boat don't move - unlike sailing or motoring. Worse still, in this ocean region with the currents as they are, if the cranks don't move, the boat actually goes in the wrong direction! Human power-sometimes I think it's madness.

We're currently following in the wake of Mick Bird (you know, the other guy going around the world - who thought of a name for his boat while brushing his teeth one morning) who passed through this part of the world last year en route for the island of Majuro (you can tell when Mick's been around because of all the empty diesel cans and whisky bottles bobbing about). How are you doing brother? When are you out on the briney again? Good luck for the next bit-drop us a line here on the good ship Moksha when you're out thrashing about again. You'd better start praying for a northwesterly for me brother else I'm gonna have to come and kick your b**t off that island! Can't imagine there'd be room enough for two world-class egos on the same lump of rock.

CD: Help me make the best decision for Moksha's heading:

#1. Study the winds and currents for the ocean region Moksha is in and decide which heading I should pedal at to avoid taken too far north by the current:

A: 180 degrees?
B: 225 degrees?
C: 270 degrees?

#2. Would it be better to put out the sea anchor tonight while I am asleep or just drift with the easterly wind to avoid getting taken north by the current?

Please give reasons to both answers.
Answers can be sent via THE REGISTRY

Jason Lewis,
The Moksha motor

Posted on May 9, 1999 9:32 PM