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July 22, 2005

A Typical Day

DAY: 40
LOCATION: Flores Island - N Coast
LATITUDE : 08 degs,32.05'S
LONGITUDE: 121 degs,34.14'E

The update from now on will be just once every two days owing to a some of the recharging equipment getting irreparably damaged when the front of my kayak was swamped a week ago. We're having to recharge the laptop batteries directly from the solar panels now which, being an unregulated power source, doesn't seem to work as efficiently as before. Taking sensitive electronics into the field is always a joyful experience.

A typical day for us begins around 4.30am when we get up and make a beeline for the kettle to start water for tea and coffee. As with the bike ride across austral, we're finding that an early-ish start before the heat of the day makes more sense. After an hour and a half of breaking camp and loading kayaks we'll set off around 6/6/30 and paddle for around 3 hours until 10 am when we stop for brekky - either noodles whipped up over a fire or tinned sardines on crackers. By this time we should have nailed around half of our daily quota of 15 miles. After an hour or two we'll continue on until 2 or 3pm when we start to look for a good campsite. At the moment, with the low tide around midday, it's really important to allow enough time to find a good sandy beach without rocks and without breaking waves that would make a dangerous last approach. Sometimes it'll take a hour or more to find one.

We're finding kayaking to be pretty arduous, especially with the amount of weight in each boat (extra food, water and electronic equipment). So by the time we hit the beach we're all pretty exhausted. A cup of tea is usually high on the list of priorities followed by collecting firewood, setting up tents, pulling the kayaks far enough up the beach above the high water mark (this can sometimes take a best part of the rest of the day if the tide is low in the afternoons like it is at the moment - each boat has to be emptied of all it's heavy gear before we can carry or push it far enough) - all the usual chores of setting up camp, made different however in this part of the world by the almost guaranteed audience of locals who turn up in droves to goggle at us (there is no word in the Bahasa Indonesian dictionary for 'privacy' by the way).

Then it's an evening meal (veggies and rice), writing the blog and time for bed by 8.30pm if we're lucky. I'm usually the one last to turn in, sending off the update via the satphone and making sure our 'third eye' - the infrared security sensors are in place correctly. Tonight looks like a record - 7.45pm. I haven't been to bed this early since I was 8.

Posted on July 22, 2005 1:14 PM


Howdy from Colorado
~Just wanted to send my regards and ride'm cowboys.
You are in my thoughts each morning as I greet a new day. Great images and updates. Your in my heart and thoughts. Always, Party on Cynthia

Posted by: Cynthia Ramu at July 26, 2005 5:06 AM

Howdy April, Jason, and crew,
Just checking on updates. Your in my heart and thoughts every morning meditation and welcoming in another awesome day in my life. Rock on and please think of me when you take in the visual beauty each day. Always, Cynthia

Posted by: Cynthia at July 26, 2005 4:48 AM

Hi April,
we have just finished our move from Tennessee to San Francisco. I get queasy riding the bus here in SF and can not imagine what kayaking across the ocean would be like! Kudos to you all! I have told my teacher friend in TN about the site so she is spreading the word. Best of luck to you all. I will be following your journey!

Posted by: Christy at July 24, 2005 4:40 AM