FatChanceRow Update July 22

Discount beer and whack-a-mole --- observations from my summer Office

I've been busy at the office, that is, the rowing seat (picture) for the last few days. I'm taking a break and trying to get some serious sleep, but before Zzzzz, a few recent observation from behind the desk.

-- Naked lady in my rear view mirror Before we launched off, many asked about the rear view mirror on top of our wind vane. "What do you need that for? I guess rowers have back towards where you're going". I wasn't sure either. I mean there's ZERO traffic in the middle of the Pacific. Now the mirror has become my secret daily inspiration. Weather has gotten warmer, and warmer, and Meredith has started rowing totally naked (position 2, just behind my seat). Salty water has made the mirror almost useless, but it's enough to get a view of my hot wife rowing naked. Little is needed to cheer me up, although, she is hot. I'm a lucky man.

-- Ocean is boring if you look for the pink unicorn - so is life We start most of our days by asking each other: do you think today we'll see the whale(s) jumping!? It could be today, it's looking a bit (sunny/rainy/windy/clear/gray...). The truth is, 34 days offshore, and we've seen next to nothing special. The same day in, day out, no dolphins, no groups of whales or great whites circling around the boat. Only one flock of cool flying fish speeding by us (and a few on deck each night/morning). I honestly expected more spectacles, big stuff, killer whale eating a great white. I did. Yet....every moment is so special and unique. Ocean changes every second, new waves, new clouds (we've seen most animal figures by now, giraffe included), cooling storms with a rain (this am!), a little ocean turtle, scary mr flusher waves, stunning colors, sunsets, silence, wind and freedom. It's funny how so many of our experiences and observations come back to everyday life at home. It's up to me (and you) to chase the pink unicorn and fly by every day without noticing anything, or find excitement from every moment and experience, all of which are unique and priceless in some way.

-- Discount beer (Finnish: Siwan kassista bissea) I like to think that my home is where my (laptop)bag and Meredith are and that by now (almost 11 years of living in the U.S.) I'm about as American, Finnish or just a person of the world. But as I was fighting fatigue in the oars and listening to my last working iPod (I brought 4 just in case!) and random songs, as well as audio books, I noticed how some of the songs hit so hard and deep. I almost cried. I'm talking about old Finnish rock/pop (for Finns: Popeda, etc) . That's the stuff I was listening when I was 16, 17.... And drinking discount beer from a plastic bag and dreaming about the future with a few friends. The same thing when listening to the audio book "tuntematon sotilas", World war time story abt Finnish soldiers defending the country ... Brought all the memories from my own military service, especially SissiRUK 1995. It surprised me how deep these early formational experiences run in my mind and body. All good ... Yet, I don't miss that beer at all, as golden as those memories are!

-- Nightly game of whack-a-mole I'd say 00am-4am is when we both try to get deep, uninterrupted, solid, deep sleep. I'm a pretty good sleeper (anytime, anywhere, immediately), but Meredith's sleep and sleep routine is more like the story of a princess who could feel a pea through hundred mattresses. She wakes up for any unexpected noise (waves crashing are by now part of the white noise in the background). Last several nights, especially 00am-4am have turned into a game of whack-a-mole. First it was the radar detector beeping, then a random clicking noise that I found to be my fishing kit and a plastic lure clicking against the plastic container. I figured it by 6am. Last night a new one, she first eliminated a dozen sound sources until I found out that it was actually her Suunto Ambit smart watch (btw awesome watch!) at her rowing position, the titanium frame hitting the carbon hull of the boat when a wave hit the side. And as anyone owning a carbon bike frame knows, the sound travels and echos well! That was 2am-5am. I've come to like this game, but can't say that aloud. Meredith's at a breaking point...

Many more observations, but got to rest now. My body is holding well, no more lower back issues either, after I cut my cushions half and came down 2 inches from the double decker sandwich seat.

Lastly, we don't read each other's posts (and can't access internet, as we post via email only), but Meredith told she's embarrassing me by sharing some of my "golden rules of traveling - row boat edition". So here's one, rule #535: always fill your water bottles and gut when you can, not when you have to. (For reference, the non-boat counterpart traveling rule is "always pee when you can, not when you have to")

PS Thx again for all support, letters and comments. They're our every day treat. Many of you we've never met, but feel like we have made distant new friends. I could mention many, but one of my favorites is Fred from Oakland (77yr). Thanks Fred for the thoughtful emails!