June 5, 1999
Hawaii to Tarawa Voyage, Update #34
Day 33. Saturday 5 June 1999 0253 GMT
Wind ENE 4-5. Heading 195M.
Latitude: 10deg 38.422N
Longitude: 172deg 12.346W
Good pedaling conditions continue. The wind is more from the NE than ENE making it possible to make some use of it at a 195-200M heading. There is a significant difference between how the boat moves at 180 and 195, so for now - until conditions change - I am enjoying the sensation of scudding easily across the water like a sailing boat would, rather than wallowing in and out of troughs as is normally the case.
At some point today we passed the half way mark. Should be all down hill from here right? Next big line across the chart is the international date line only 8 degrees away - 180 degrees from the Greenwich Meridian - signifying the expedition having made it half way around the world. Its taken nearly 5 years to get this far, so get ready and armed with a couple of glasses and a bottle of something suitable. The Glenlivet on board Moksha will have to take a beating that night.
Yesterday I thought I saw a rather largish, dark shape torpedoing under a wave in the direction of the boat. However, as I barely caught it out of the corner of my eye, I wrote it off as another one of the many figments my imagination starts generating after a month out here. But just as I broke for lunch today, the same shape came swirling out of nowhere only a few feet from the boat. A shark was my first thought, and the idea that it had been tailing me for a couple of days gave me the shudders, especially when I thought of the length of time I spent over the side a couple of days back clearing barnacles. But the second time it passed, I recognised the long snout of a billfish of some sort, and I realized it was checking out the fish using the underside of Moksha as a protective refuge. Relief. I really don't think deep ocean is the kind of environment that sharks would be in - but I certainly don't know for sure. In any event I'll have to think seriously before I go back in the water again for whatever reason.
The Moksha motor
Posted on June 5, 1999 4:17 AM