FatChanceRow Update July 13

Good day friends and followers! Today, just 2.1 days before my birthday, we are full of good spirits and good news. You may have noticed that our speed has picked up nicely in the last 24 hours and be thinking we finally made it to the trade winds. If you thought that, you would be wrong. While it's true that we are in position to take advantage of the trades, a weather systems has dropped the winds to low single digits. It's nice to row in, but it's not helping us any. What has changed is this: as promised, mr fixit went to work on our broken electronics yesterday. It seems that it wasn't faulty wiring causing the problems as we expected, but the GPS. We came close to never knowing this, as Sami nearly gave up after spending two hours in the cabin. After thinking we had tried every possible combination, he went back to try removing the GPS and switching sockets, and by god, it worked! Now we don't have GPS (not that we have for the last two weeks) but more importantly, Arnold, the auto-pilot, is back in action! Now, This May seem like a small luxury to you, but let me tell you, trying to get this boat steadily in the right direction without an auto helm or foot steering is nearly impossible, and we have spent a lot of time rowing in the wrong direction (or not exactly the right one) because of it. Our manual system is comprised of strings tied to the rudder arm which we pull one way or another to turn the boat. To make an adjustment you need to secure your oars and several adjustment are necessary every hour. Needless to say, it gets annoying and occupies a lot of your thoughts. I was so happy when Sami yelled for me to try it, and he started steering us right away, that I literally cried. I'm not kidding, I have never before been that happy. So, Arnold is part of the team again and doing a fine job. The other thing that happened is that Sami and I came up with our finishing goal. We always planned on making our final goal a month or so into the trip, once our bodies had adjusted and we had a good idea of what might be possible. Our bodies are seemingly getting used to the punishment, I am on my second day without pain killers and Sami hasn't yet started on them. It a little early to share the details with you, but let's just say we are putting the hammer down now :). Fun! Last but not least, Sami managed to get me to put a shirt on and take off my Michael Jackson sun-protection costume for long enough to snap this shot. As you can see, I'm basking in the knowledge that Arnold is back on the job and that we can rely on him to take us to the promised land, that is, Hawaii.