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January 2003
January 11
January 12
January 13
January 14
January 15
January 16
January 17
January 18
January 19
January 20

News from the route

The following text is via computer translation program, so expect some minor inaccuracies.
For original text in French go to http://www.antreizh.org/fr_lejournal.asp

January 20 Return to the normal

No food for three days, except for freeze-dried milk that she drank in quantity, Anne has correctly fed today. The swell was calmed and it could take the oars again in the afternoon. This weather window seems to allow her a refreshing sleep after these last days spent in hell. Never Anne will have known such a fear, such an uncertainty. During long moments she thought that her life was going to stop there. And today she finally resuscitate... 

At 18:00 GMT Le Connetable was at 18.36N 34.49W 


January 19 Still no rowing

Still blocked in her cabin, Anne philosophically waits for better weather conditions. An improvement of which should arrive tomorrow. 

This afternoon the Connetable when sliding from the wave top reached speed of 10 knots. A vertiginous speed for such a small boat "It was a strange feeling, like on a russian mountains on the fair of the Throne". This infernal train made daily average distance of sardine to come close to 70 nautical miles. And the half-way point arrives by huge steps, we expect it to be passed this Thursday. In spite of that, inactivity is always oppressing for Anne. There is even something enraging in this stateof affairs: to advance so quickly with no rowing at all! 

Jenny and Ray Jardine, the аmerican couple which made similar crossing in 53 days, sent a new encouraging mail to Anne. They say to have experienced the same conditions and they also remained in their cabin one moment. Keep rowing Anne, keep rowing! 

The evening position: 18.45N and 33.57W.


January 18 The hell 

Still immobilized in her cabin, sheltered from the huge waves, Anne, whose moral was quite low, goes up the slope gradually. There is real inferno outside and she forbade herself to left the cabin - it seems to be too dangerous to go out. She thinks of all those who have supported her for two years in her project, with all the encounters it caused, with all the hopes that everyone puts in the success of such an adventure. She will have patience during necessary time, leaving her arm enough time to recover. 

Anne whishes the best of luck to Martin Wood who left Gomera on 16 of January and who rows in her wake heading for Barbados. She also thinks of Andrew Halsey who is at sea for 54 days now to cross Pacific ocean from Peru to Australia. A travel of 7046 nautical miles, which seems to unfold with some difficulties. 

At 18:30 GMT the position of Anne and her Connetable was 18.51N and 32.51W. In spite of an imposed inactivity, Anne advances by average of 58 miles per day. 


January 17 Hard day 

The swell is so strong, that Anne will have to spend the day in the cabin of Connetable. A wind of force 6 is pushing her in the same direction. But the waves are monstrousely high. While opening her hatch, 20 liters of water invaded her cabin, soaking everything in its way. This situation is likely to last till Sunday. 

Now it's just the right moment to encourage the Sardine which starts to find unbearable this situation of recluse in what she calls the washing machine drum. At 15:00 GMT Anne was thrown against the walls of the boat by a powerfull wave, she broke one of the boat's panels with her arm. A significant hematome appeared, but the arm isn't broken. 


January 16 Strong swell (Interview by Michel Horeau)

"The morning started with little one of 10 - 12 knots quite pleasant, then the wind easily reached 20 knots in in the afternoon, and then 30 knots by the midnight. 

But these nocturnal whiffs raised an impressive waves and each time the boat engages in a powerful roll, I was to toss from one to another edge of my berth, turned out to be too broad for my only shoulders. So I climbed on the deck to control the course, sea state or eventual cargo liner. Artful wave benefited from the dark to slip into my collar, making difficult to get back to sleep till next skid. 

Then, in the morning, when I got back to the oars, the wind has dropped almost completelyl but the swell remained strong and I had to double my attention not to let myself trap when an oar got stuck and causes a powerfull blow on the side of the handle. That's what happened other day while I observed the first gleams of dawn and the shock was so violent that I believed to have my kneecap or even my leg broken." 


January 15 Trade winds 

Anne spent a marvellous day. Under a wind of force 2, with a soft and regular swell, she rowed for ten hours and thinks of having done very good mileage. All that definitively rised her moral, to find here the ideal conditions for the crossing - she could only dream about it. 

"In the chapter of the positive points, I do not suffer at all from heat while rowing. Furthermore, interior of my small cabin is always well ventilated and, benefitting from these peaceful weather conditions, I sleep now with the large panel opened and my head under the stars. And in these moments of peace, I think already with nostalgia of the difficult moments or the end of the voyage. The timeime will come to leave my dear CONNETABLE, my friend and confidant with whom I more and more often speak as with an living being " 


January 14 Coincidences?

While recollecting the story about Geronimo giant squid, Anne, filled with joy of finally touching the trade winds by crossing the 20.00N, was, in her turn, attacked by a ... shark

She filmed all the scene of the shark trying to crunch the rudder. Fortunately more fear than damage: - beast didn't like Sardine's taste and headed out. We got here something of great interest for children of the Forêt Fouesnant and those of Saint-Joseph in Quimper, who had bombarded Anne by questions on this subject? 

And as there wasn't enough emotions today, at time of radio vacation, a new shoal of dolphins played a long moment around her, emitting whistles and making jumps. 

It was 20h00 GMT and the Connétable was at 19.54N 28.46W. 


January 13 Day without wind 

The weather changes again - no wind and choking heat today. Anne had rowed last night and all the day today. In the evening the North-Eastern wind returned quietly. Force of 2. This day was marked by several meetings. Firstly the flying fish, then a kind of "jumping" mule, and finally a strange electric blue fish. Nevertheless it's still far from giant (9 m) squid, which attacked Geronimo, the ship of Olivier de Kersauzon.!!! 

The position of the Connetable at 19:00 GMT was 20.13N 28.03W. 

Interview with Anne taken today by Michel Horeau:
"To keep the moral high and to give a direction to my working days, I lay down to myself concrete aims to reach, if possible in a time previously fixed. The next objective is of course trade winds, theoretically to be reached in the middle of this week. Then it will be the half way point but, I haven't calculated yet the exact date to which I could celebrate this so significant stage of my crossing. This system of points to be reached gives the concreteness to my work and makes me to go ahead each time I put myself at the oars. I know for example that I've rowed a little less than 750 miles since the departure... and it remains approximately 600 to reach this symbolic half way point. Yesterday,I was entitled to incredible sunset with colors that you can't probably see somewhere but here. For the first time, I've felt that Ocean became so much friendly - it was resting, calm and completely soothing." 


January 12 Regarding winks... 

The day was to Anne's taste. No waves, not too much wind, and ten hours at the oars. The strangest thing today was an original meeting in the middle of the ocean. A volleyball came to flirt with oars for a few minutes and then carryied on his way with the trade winds. Is this a wink of Zemeckis, director of "Cast Away" movie, who, after having lent the ball to fill the loneliness of Tom Hanks, sent it to the Connetable, to show Anne a sign of life in this ocean of solitude? 

Another wink thanks to the news of La Gomera island brought by Maria and Manolo. Over there since Anne's departure the formula of greeting have changed. Nobody says "Hi! How are you?" Now it's "Hi! Got any news from oarswoman? "

Andl finally a wink from Jenny and Ray Jardine, the american couple which has just made the crossing in 53 days, - they sent a very touching e-mail to Anne. Thank you. 

At 19:00 GMT the position of the Connetable was 20.35N 27.31W


January 11 Grosse fatigue

Difficult night for Anne who is at the edge of exhaustion. She didn't manage to sleep for several days in this boiling sea, which already stuck her to the ceiling of the Connetable twice. Each morning when Anne opens the hatch disappointment is there. The weather did not change. Today even worse, the wind turned East and the southern route seems compromised. By the quarter of the crossing Anne have to have quite an amount of courage to continue to fight. 

In spite of that, the observations of Marc are optimistic. Currently Anne is confronted with a swell of the North-East which announces already the trade winds. The swell of north which disturbs the Connetable comes of the remainder of the depression which prevails in the middle of Atlantic and which, Monday, will bring the rise in temperature in Europe. In three days Anne undoubtedly will reach 20th where an eastern wind of 15-20 knots will be established at least during a week. The swell will hit then the stern of the boat. Its route is perfect. Enough to the south, more south even than Tori Murden (female record in 81 days) over which Anne has a large lead. 

It is time now to start to learn a little Creole. Boris, the logistician, proposes some expressions: Sa ka marche? (That rolls?), Pas ni problem? (No particular problems?) Moi ti fe ti bo (I give you a hug)... 


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