Rough seas delay ocean crossing
|June 3, 2004||
CHATHAM, Mass. — French adventurer Anne
Quemere is planning to cross the sand flats off Monomoy Island this
morning as she begins her attempt to row across the Atlantic and become
the first woman to row across the ocean in both directions, alone and
unassisted. Quemere. 37, completed the east-to-west crossing last year.
Marc Ginisty, Ouemere's weather adviser and the designer of her boat, said she may attempt to break the 72-day record for a west-to-east crossing.
Quemere had planned to start the voyage yesterday, when scores of tourists gathered in the parking area in front of the Coast Guard station to watch wind-whipped waves slam the treacherous bar outside Stage Harbor.
"I just got off the phone with one of the charter boat captains who was out there, and he said it's wild." Andrew Meincke of Stage Harbor Marine told Quemere, who was provisioning her 24-foot boat. "I don't think you should leave", he advised her.
Quemere said she needs three days of westerly wind to help clear the coast .Meincke, who has helped other transatlantic rowers and sailors get started, couldn't guarantee that she will have three days of favourable weather, but he said, "The tide will he rising and the seas ought to knock down a bit" for today's start.
"I have to trust the fishermen," Quemere said. "If they say it’s wild, it’s wild. I am not in that much hurry.”
Yesterday morning, Quemere, her father, Ronan, and Ginisty found an open computer terminal in the town library to pore over weather forecasts on the Internet. Quemere is counting on the wind to be nortthwesterly today and southwesterly tomorrow. "By Saturday, it should turn easterly for a few hours,” she said.
"It's better to start with bad weather than to end with bad weather," she said, "because that's when accidents happen: at the end. When you've spent two or three months at sea alone, you're tired, and when you're tired, you don't pay attention to what’s happening around you. You think you know the sea and you allow yourself to do things that you wouldn't during the first days of the adventure."
Quemere should finish the 2,800-mile voyage to France before Sept. 15, said Ginisty. "After the 15th, we start to see the first winter gales," the boat designer said. "It would be better if she finishes before the end of August.
Last year, she rowed an east-to-west passage from the Canary Islands to Guadeloupe in 56 days.
This time, Quemere is rowing for the port of Douarnenez in Brittany.
Quemere plans to stay awake for the first 30 to 38 hours at a time, until she clears the coast.
Ocean Rowing Society
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