(Sami) It's our fifth day on the ocean. Initial shock (this is impossible!) is over and we are getting used to the life here. It's uncomfortable, different and slow (any little task takes 10x the time it'd take on land eg changing clothes) but it is where we are now. And each of us rowing 10-14h/day. "Getting used to" also means that I washed myself the first time today. Disgusting but we were too scared to even try it"on deck" earlier.
Roosevelt is treating us we'll and handling the rough conditions like an armored army vehicle. Pic here through the cabin window as I'm writing this: 20knot+ winds and ocean waves breaking due wind. Who knew rowing could be an extreme sport!
Five days into our expedition, and so far we've had zero reasons or time to worry about the things we thought would be toughest: 1. Sun burn - we are basically bundled up in storm weather gear while rowing. And still wet and occasionally cold. California summer!? 2. Sore butt - maybe a little, but our setup is working well even for 12h continuous rowing shifts. We do worry abt being wet nonstop... 3. Sleep rhythm - while we haven't slept very deep (we are paranoid about container ships and check radio etc all the time at night), we decided to cover the stormy weather by rowing together, 12-17h per day and avoid solo rowing at night. We thought it's too dangerous not to see the waves coming in. It also takes too much time to change clothes several times a day in the stormy weather. 5. Severe seasickness - neither has thrown up yet and I consider that as a major success! Our appetite is a bit messed up, but I think thanks to our diet (no sugar or processed carbs) we've felt strong and energized with very little food so far.
Instead, here's what has occupied my mind and focus: A. I re-learned that I married the most bad ass and kindest person. Meredith's been strong both physically and mentally and has operated our tools like an expert seaman. B. Stare waves and estimate their attack angle while rowing and trying to dodge the worst ones. When it gets dark this whole thing feels likes videogame with our little row boat jumping all over in the massive ocean. As we are now taking the wind in a downwind angle, we managed to catch a few waves and Get our rowing speed from 3knots to 6knots for a short ride. C. Rope tricks, deck work and operating our friend Big Bertha (para anchor), Arnold (our autohelm system) "strong arm", Sally the Salmon (our drogue) etc. D. How the heck do we get to Hawaii in 20knot headwinds. We've got the best weather forecasting support, but even they couldn't change the high pressure pattern so we are now pushing to our only possible direction: south and tiny bit west where possible. If this strategy fails, our arrival party might be in Peru...
And our divorce-o-meter is still at zero!