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January 2003
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January 29

30 January

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 30 Revision at1500...
Within 1080 miles to the arrival, Anne changed a wheel of her sliding seat. The ball bearings were rusted and did not slide normally any more. By dismounting the unit, Anne realized that the wooden slide was worked out for a half. A very significant wear due to the many hours spent rowing. The temperature is always high in the neighbourhoods - not less than 35°, but the sun is often buckled; at such point that Anne will be able to distribute in Guadeloupe the many tubes of cream of solar protection which remains with her.
The control of the solar panels, the desalinisator and the electric installation, carried out by Electronic Concarneau Services, shows a good behaviour of the unit.
As for Anne's tendonitis - she forgot to speak about it...

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January 29 Break - 2.
Always calms flat in the medium of the Atlantic. In spite of a fugacious violent grain this night, in the early morning the Constable was covered with sand, probably from Africa. Furious Anne - because of absence of any progress at all, - remained rowing for ten hours, pulling on her oars, without measuring the risks which it took to worsen her tendonitis.

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January 28 A Break
Doctor Jolivet reassured Anne as for her tendonitis. It seems that the first-aid kit contains what it is necessary to hold until the end.
This day was calm, without wind, with swell from south-east. Still the weather is different from what had been announced by the charts! With preoccupations with a saving in batteries, Anne started to use her spring water stocked in Gomera. She did not find a difference in taste with that of the desalinisator that she drank up till now. It is in connection with taste precisely that she regrets not to have taken along with her different food savours. As for her sense of smell, she has the impression that it has disappeared - so much the universe in which she lives now does not have a particular odour.

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January 26 More wind!
Anne rowed 12hours without any help of the wind. Being stuck to her oars she bravely made 47 nautical miles only by efforts of her hands. Under these weather conditions her left wrist makes her suffer, because she has permanently to correct her course to fight a swell from the north which leads her to the south. The first-aid kit worked out by Doctor Jolivet of Quimper is useful to her effectively, but she soon will miss anti- inflammatory.
Anne would like to also answer Jenny and Ray, the American couple which has just finished magnificently their crossing. Thank you to have given me another day of good weather forecast. As for the petrels, they really make this, to say exactly, " go and dance on the water" , with their small legs which crush like cyclists. The same with these tropical birds, so talkative that when they come and shout above the Connetable they completely drown my music.
Since the departure and in spite of changing time zones ( today Anne's local time is three hours behind GMT), Anne keeps the same schedule of breakfast, lunch and dinner as we do. This evening for the menu there will be soup and pātes de la veille.

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January 25 Update
Swell from the north crossed with a swell from the east, without wind, making conditions of navigation far from ideal to maintain an average of day progress. Anne has an impression that she is trailing or almost staying still. She however rows ten hours, in spite of a tendinitis with the left wrist which disturbs her more and more.
Few things to tell today, if not for this routine at ocean, rowing and of dubious weather varying from the sun to the downpours...

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January 24 Half-Way Point - at last!
Anne reached it at 15h30 GMT . She exploded with joy while pouring tears of happiness. Thus from today the countdown started. Every day to come will be of as much hours as to approach her day of arrival. And even if the left constrained wrist still demands from Anne to pay attention, she has decided to row more now .

Each morning and each evening Connetable is accompanied by flying fish benches. For the children of the Forest-Fouesnant and those of Saint-Joseph in Quimper, we can specify that these flying fish name themselves Exocets. They plane by means of their large pectoral fins. A push for take-off is provided by the caudal musculation. The lower lobe of the caudal fin is very developed so that the fish can still propell actively, the body being already largely out of water. Anne says that the gliding flight of these fish is sometimes prolonged by a series of rebounds on the surface of the waves. For an initial speed of sixteen meters a second at the time of take-off, Exocets can traverse seventy meters of distance and reach three to four meters altitude. Often they jump over the Connetable and pass in front of the eyes of our oarswoman who never has enough time to film them.

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January 23 Half-way Point - as seen from today
"It has been almost one month for now that I am at sea, and the more time passes, the more exсited I am getting with the idea of reaching this symbolic half-way point of the route - I am thinking about it so much that it becomes an obsession for me. While rowing, I spend all my time calculating the distance which separates me from this objective, the number of rowing hours that that represents, the no-claims bonus of the bearing wind when it blows more vigorously, the number of oar-strokes which corresponds to time considered... In short, there is nothing more than this history of semi-course which seems significant to me and that contrasts singularly with the concerns of my entourage which, on the telephone, speaks to me only about record, speed, time to beat or to assure that I carry out an enormous performance. For saying true, I am too conscious of the importance of the weather on an unspecified performance to be anxious really with the concept of record. I havea good boat and I am doing my best to advance her but I know somewhere in the bottom of myself, that I would prefer to live through a beautiful human adventure and to sail in perfect harmony with the elements rather than to force my nature to raise of the challenges or to establish an exploit."

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January 22 A Beautiful Day.
The conditions finally became favorable and Anne was offered 10 hours of row under a pleasant sky, which though starts to cover this evening. The day was decorated by these meetings that one comes across only at a large space : an "orange" tortoise with a yellow, long nozzle approximately two meters. To make a small break, Anne left the oars for a few minutes to film that amazing animal. Second meeting happened a little later in the day with a couple of birds - some sort between a polar sea-gull and a crazy gannet, - which were quarrelling violently whereas there was more than enough place for two in the middle of the ocean.
After 10 hours of rowing Anne's wrist awoke a little which was a good excuse to call it a day and to benefit from a beautiful end of the evening.

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January 21 Strange place for a meeting! 

A cargo liner moving from Africa to Suriname, travelling with the same course that Le Connetable arrived suddenly on zone.In the same time, a sailing ship, with no body on board, near Connetable, carries its road on to the Antilles. After days of sea in solitude, this coincidence is strange in the middle of Atlantic! 

The cargo liner arrived at less then 1 mile distance from Anne. She can see the faces of the crew members. But they do not see anything. With the VHF Anne succeeds in entering in communication with the bridge of the cargo ship. A dialogue of the deaf follows. Aboard cargo liner a watch is persuaded that the call is emitted by the sailing ship. And "Rowing Boat" is the name of the sailing ship! He ends up understanding that Connetable is between the sailing ship and him and they're speaking about a rowing boat. 

Time to change its course to save sardine, and he starts the conversation again. Becoming aware that this small boat is on her way for the Guadeloupe and only a woman alone is on her board, a watch keeps repeating: "Oh, my god! Oh, my god! I will say a prayer for you.

At 20:00 GMT Le Connetable was at 18.27N 35.47W 

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