Day Three of Indian Ocean Row
Firstly, apologies for the lack of information from us over the last couple of days. We’ve had a number of technical issues in that we are hearing that our YellowBrick tracker isn’t working and we’re trying to fix that right now, also our EFOY system isn’t charging at the strength we’d hoped for so we’re short on power too. More so though, it’s pretty tricky for your body to adjust to life on a rowing boat at sea and that’s hampered our communications too, simply from an energy point of view. A couple of us have gotten sea sick, which although expected is a very unpleasant experience, and for the other two members of the crew that have so far avoided sea sickness, sleep deprivation and lack of energy has prevented us from doing too much in the way of staring at a computer screen. Oh yes….and then there’s all the rowing. Really gets in the way of typing!
So to briefly bring you up to date – we left Geraldton, Australia at 08:06am local time on Friday morning. We waved good bye to the people that came out to see us and to Lyndsey Matthews our amazing host whilst we were there. The Geraldton Marine Rescue boat escorted us out beyond the breakers making sure we stuck to the deep water passage to not to be caught up in the breakers coming over the reef. They also had onboard ABC News who had been keeping a close eye on what we were doing. Eventually though they peeled off and we were finally alone.
Sea state was pretty lumpy but manageable and we pulled hard on the oars to try and make some distance from land. Shortly after we started seeing the water spouts of the Humpback Whales and Southern Right Whales that are migrating North at this time of year. Later on a brief glimpse of a dolphin, and then into the night we saw flying fish leaping past our boat, no doubt being chased by some predatory fish or other. We rowed well and despite the digestive pyrotechnics going on onboard the boat we made excellent time and were out and through the Abrollous (sp?) Islands inside 24 hours, which we weren’t expecting. No Great Shakes is a good boat!
Day 2 brought with it some pretty heavy swells and confused sea state, regularly we were taking large waves beam on washing over the boat, tilting us over to an uncomfortable level. It was a little unnerving, but at the same time gave us some idea of what No Great Shakes is capable of. We rowed on get chucked around the ocean, and I don’t mind admitting that I started asking myself why I was doing this again, plus feelings of homesickness (although only having been at sea for a couple of days, I’ve been away from my family for 5 weeks, which on it’s own can be difficult but under pressure made it more difficult). I knew that was just psychological and that that would pass soon enough, but it didn’t make it any less pleasant at the time. We carried on making our way through the confused well into the night, but eventually it started to calm down, the clouds cleared, and we were treated to the most amazing night skies. The milky way clear as day, trillions of stars, the occasional shootting star. Without all the vomiting and waves it would a really pleasant experience!
As the sun rose on Day 3, the ocean was a very different place. A beautiful place. Hot sunshine, relatively calm seas, allowing us goofd progress. I am pleased to say that the sea sickness appears to also have ended and everyones morale is much higher now. As I type this I have the cabin door open, Billy and Robin are rowing in the sunshine, and music is blaring out from our deck speakers. It’s turning out to be quite nice!
If we can get our Yellow brick tracker working you’ll be able to see our progress is more southerly than you might expect. This is because we have a big storm coming at around the end of day 4 and we are trying to avoid/make the most of it as best we can. The storm will last around 6 days at current estimates and you may see us going backwards for those days, but hopefully once it’s blown over we can get on with the job of rowing to Mauritius!