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31 August

To row the Atlantic

The following text is via computer translation program, so expect some inaccuracies.
For original text in French go to
http://www.emmanuelcoindre.com/ la rubrique Parcours


Contact of August 31st ( 20:00 GMT) Thus after this night agitated by breakers that Emmanuel distinguished in the black night only by their white peaks, the wind fell a little down for noon, with large impressive black clouds. He even made a surfing with 14,3 knots that night. Filmed himself making a surfing in the morning, (from time to time he had been filming some wild surfings, which were a little bit of dismay). Crossed sea - N, S, S/E all at once . Currently wind N/W with 10 knots, very formed sea. Emmanuel had his row-lock broken and at the time he was repairing it with key of 13, just below an aileron, in 30cm, there appeared a moonfish (not a shark, ouf!) He saw 2 more of them . With a score of petrels always present above him, they made a little company, but that does not compensate for him lack to be able to listen to his music any more (total isolation this year on this side). He also filmed waves when they broke, but once there was a wall in front of him, that fortunately broke before and not on him.
He checked everything to be well fixed in his boat in getting ready for Sunday , because he still does not know how will his boat behave herself in case of turn-over, something that never happened in Trade winds during his crossing in 2001. In a surf, she even caught up with 4 waves to be followed. Emmanuel is quite content with his ailerons which he made before his departure, they preserve a good stability of the boat. The forecast of weather for Sunday North wind, 40 to 45 knots…Emmanuel has to beware of this night , this depression is likely to touch him faster than envisaged. He has already taken good waves, the boat holds well, but - prudence, nevertheless.

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 Unexpected contact at 11 am this morning [August 31]. Emmanuel had a difficult night: he was asleep when he was not bad shaken. The southwesterly wind rose to 25-30 knots. Lady Bird faced quite a lot of breakers on a very black night. At 6 am in the morning (for Emmanuel) the sea was agitated with rather strong 25-30 knots of southwest wind but Emmanuel feels difficulties of going up to the North. He again has to have something against him because the boat works hardly with 25-30 knots.

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 Contact of August 30 (18h GMT) -Is this a restart? After two days to be stuck on one spot and to even move back in fact, the Lady Bird set out again. After the contact of yesterday, Emmanuel was on sea anchors and diverted. Then the wind fell at night. At 4 am in the morning, Emmanuel was able to remove anchors, he cleaned everything, arranged then has sleep for 1/2 a hour. Since his alarm clock at 5:30 am and until the contact, he rowed as a madman to recover the retreat. From 1:30 am till 2 am a southwesterly wind blew from 10 to 12 knots, this morning from the alarm clock( at 5:30am) - a weak southwesterly wind from 3 to 7 knots. Lady Bird then underwent 2 rains and a swell; with this southwest wind it made rowing difficult. Emmanuel thus was 9 hours on oars, only for this morning. At present the weather is uncertain, there is a little crossed sea and a southwest wind which strengthened a little in 15 knots. Emmanuel saw 8 airliners between clouds. He also saw petrels, always by two, and flock of these birds which doubtlessly rested on the water. Yesterday evening he perceived a cargo boat in 800 metres, the attempt of contact by VHF failed. Emmanuel gets ready to make a good day on Saturday, because the weather report announces a good southwest wind in 35 knots for his sector. He has to take advantage of it because for Sunday there are changes, the weather report announces of the North wind in 40 knots.To have a bit of luck - may be the weather report has made a mistake!!

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 Contact of August 29th (10:45 am GMT) - This sky, what a wind vane!
To begin, Emmanuel's brotherly message for Stein Hoff, who rows, like him, at the moment on the Atlantic Ocean:

"HAPPY BIRTHDAY Stein, good courage and good wind. We know all together, what we live in that moment. GOOD LUCK. Emmanuel" 

The contact was made at the unusual one o'clock. The conditions changed a lot. After the contact of yesterday, the sea calmed down, everything fell, Lady Bird underwent a heavy rain which was transformed into drizzle and very black night. At night, at 3 am in the morning, Emmanuel was awaked by a hail. It was necessary for him to react quickly. An East wind 17 in 20 knot blew him in full face. Emmanuel quickly put himself under floating anchors. First he installed the one - an average, then he made two ropes with ends of 30 m with a big leaky barrel at the bottom to allow water to pass through. Emmanuel hopes that his 3 anchors (hopefully) will prevent him from going down too much or moving back too much. He is furious to have no more the big floating anchor, bought specially for this crossing, which tore off during the first tropical storm (they are designed to resist in theory to more than 45 knots of wind!!!). Lady Bird passed a cargo liner which Emmanuel was able to film close enough , her name: HUAL. At the moment, it is not any more raining, but the weather is always been overcast. Emmanuel hopes that these conditions are not going to last, nothing corresponds to the forecasts given!!! 

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 Contact of August 28th (18 hours GMT) - Dream in open sea. In this 30th day of crossing, after the contact, the south-westerly wind was 10 knots and from 10 to 12 at night. After a calm break, Lady Bird took a good rain at 3 am in the morning. Emmanuel rowed till midnight then slept intermittently for 4 or 5 hours. The heat forces him to sleep with hatches open and the hail, notably, woke him up. Nights are black at the moment, it is much less easy to navigate at night. During this Wednesday Emmanuel rowed 17 hours, it is a very good day but less exceptional than that of Monday to Tuesday; he had to be in a vein of favourable current. Winds remain still well directed, this morning - West wind in 16 knots. Lady Bird meets at present a sea crossed with northwest and southwest winds of 10 - 12 knots. Emmanuel underwent 4 passages of hail this night. Between two, he took advantage of it to wash himself, shave and makesome water. In this 30th day, carried out a revision of all nuts and bolts. He also changed a rail of his seat and a wheel which began to make of the noise. He saw 2 dolphin’s groups in 20 metres from him and, unusual meeting, - saw floated a small neon tube. He explained that it is a real organization to prepare his meals, to make his water, he has to watch everything, check at the same time his road and already the water which boils … His only moments of relaxation are the daily phone contacts, the breaks from 15 to 20 minutes when he agrees henceforth before night, he takes advantage of it to put his legs in high position; and naturally - moments, even interrupted, of sleep. He misses his music, as well as the jogging … He did not see any ship but he hopes to see one, to ask for fresh(cool) products, for fruits for example: to crunch in a good apple would be a true happiness.

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 Contact of August 27th (18h GMT) - A Great Day. For the day of 27, the statement of the Argos beacon announces 109 miles crossed (176 km). A record day since the departure of the Lady Bird. Emmanuel is in a favourable current in addition to his daily and nightly efforts (he rows a lot at night, because of freshness). Monday evening (26), the Lady Bird finally knew good weather forecast: ; south-westerly wind, 15-20 knots At night, a shower arrived from northwest, then the wind fell to 10-12 knots. At dawn, Emmanuel was entitled to new violent thunderstorms; a flash of lighting did not fall well far from Lady Bird. Then there were a thunder clap, only one, very long and terribly impressive. In the morning, the wind came back from south-west. The ceiling is low and it rained approximately 4 hours. Such weather is always heavy. The sea is agitated. A little bit before the contact, there was a good hail which rinsed the whole boat . There is still nothing certain on the meteorological level. The forecasts announce change for Thursday. The morale of Emmanuel is set high…as far as he managed to get some music on his radio with RFI.

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 Contact of August 26th (6 pm GMT) - The wind turns and birds sing. On Sunday Emmanuel rowed 13 hours, especially at night, accompanied with the full moon and a little more coolness. In the contact of Monday, Emmanuel tells us that he has just made one very, very good day; and especially that he went back up well to the North. 17 hours of oar will have been necessary. However, the result was worth the candle: finally the favorable winds returned, southwest, 10 to 12 knots then 15 knots with an agitated sea but Lady bird slides easily. Emmanuel also undergoes long swells, his boat surfs in 8 knots, it navigates quiet. We feel him again happy.  Another significant element, he does not have any more this cursed running (roaming) below. He passed two mammals before the night, then two cargo liners, one very far and one closer. Emmanuel feels near to make another very good day, and this night will be still clear. Around him, in the established contact, about twenty petrels squeal.  All has its importance on the open ocean.

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 Contact of August 25th - Lose to win better. After a very, very difficult weekend, for nerves and morale, Emmanuel eventually agreed to lose miles in the South, miles which it will be inexorably necessary for him to get back as soon as winds will be with him. Blocked in his cabin, on sea-anchors, crushed by the heat, Emmanuel again undergoes again winds (15 in 20 knots) and opposing current. To fill his idleness, he completes his reserve of water with his manual desalinisateur, makes stretchings,  exercices. But he begins to miss his main occupation - rowing. On Saturday Lady bird passed a cargo liner, Emmanuel established a brief contact with them by VHF. He  feels a great, great tiredness, and he sleeps too little. In the contact of midnight the wind  was 15 knot, and the sun had to go to bed for him 1/4 an hour earlier, that means, a little more coolness. After noon a starter of wind, light saw, a wind of western south.. Lady bird seeming to stabilize itself in the West while going down to the South (opposing current) Emmanuel had to remove his sea-anchors  and to come back to his oars.

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 Contact of August 23rd (18 hours GMT) - Whimsical Weather report. The contact was difficult, the communication was very chopped. Yesterday Emmanuel continued to have of the northeast wind in 30 knots, then the wind turned north then northeast but always in 30 knots. He(it) pleased all night long, what provoked a maximal condensation in the boat (he who had been made an enjoyment of everything dried previously!). At 3 am in the morning, the wind turned southwest, 25 knots. It hardly lasted 5 hours, he thus rowed as a madman while it rained ceaselessly. We can suppose that Emmanuel little slept. There was a confrontation enter the swell of southwest, 5 in 6 metres and the sea in front of him, with vague opposite. It gave place to a surprising spectacle. At present, regrettably with a wind 5 in 8 knots, a low ceiling, waves everywhere, an invasion of clouds and a time always very warm, the conditions are not gathered(reunited) to hold the good cap and keep the morale. Lady Bird diverts the full South with a wind is. Emmanuel gives his maximum but that it is difficult to juggle with this non-stop changeable weather report. He hopes not to have such a bad luck up to middle-route(-course). The weather report received this morning augurs of a gloomy weekend with head winds until Monday. On Monday should be more favourable. It is necessary to hope that winds turn faster than foreseen and that his efforts are finally rewarded.

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 Contact of August 22nd (18h GMT) - A little of respite. As expected, Emmanuel undergoes the depression with a northeast wind, 30 in 35 knots (according to the meteorological bulletin, the strength of the wind did not have to exceed 30 knots). The sea is agitated, certain waves are from 3 to 6 metres. On the other hand it is not any more raining this morning. The ceiling is rather low, the time is heavy. Emmanuel navigates fault to the vagueness, but he has not rowed yet. He composes with the climatic conditions, is allowed divert in 3/4 of the waves. Lady Bird also recovers a health, Emmanuel takes advantage of it to reclaim his cockpit, it is important to feel in the dry. He can more composedly study his chart, make stretching and he tries to get RFI.
Emmanuel bears his troubles patiently for better setting out again as soon as more favourable conditions to row arise.

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 Contact of August 21st (18 hours GMT) - Depressions on the horizon. Another day at 4:30 pm of oar for Emmanuel. He slept little and by fits and starts, obsessed by the road to be held. The conditions are always particular for the sector: it is too much warm and roam them, whimsical collapse or restart to form sometimes long, long swells from 7 to 8 m. It is, according to Emmanuel, much more impressing than dangerous. In the alarm clock of this morning, Lady Bird was still in the rain, it lasted several hours then pétole after these clouds. Then the wind turned the light West on a sea always crossed which cuts arms and produces the difficult progress. Emmanuel underwent a violent thunderstorm but after all it is under the thunderstorms that it is most strong. He crossed the shipping route Canada-Brazil and underwent another crossed sea everywhere. Contact not foreseen this morning with Emmanuel to inform us about big changes in the espac ede some hours. Seafax of its zone in 3 days confirms that it is in a zone where 3 depressions arrive, among which more important one. After the numerous clouds, the wind turned is then northeast, 20 in 25 knots. Fault in waves (2 - 3 m) is and he tries not to go down too much southeast. Provided that there are no big changes the weather report of Friday should be a little more clement for Emmanuel and Lady Bird.

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 Contact of August 20th (18 a hour GMT) - That continues to scold(mutter). The contact was difficult to establish after two fruitless attempts. The turbulent situation is always present, and Lady Bird underwent today still big thunderclaps. Emmanuel even saw day flashes of lighting. Yesterday the wind was useless then got up, turned south and southwest with a little more enthusiasm in 15 and sometimes 20 knots. This morning, the wind always southwest turned on the West, always in 20 knots. Emmanuel hopes that it is going to last a little. Lady Bird takes off to 4 knots but does not advance(move) regrettably with this rhythm all day long. After a calm during which the sky poured " that a " drizzle, Emmanuel has still wiped(suffered) two big grains(beads). He(it) fell ropes, Emmanuel took photos of the sea transformed into white area(extent). Another testing day for Emmanuel who rowed for 4:30 pm, the wind being absent he has no leisure to rest. Emmanuel has to remain watchful because a countercurrent is always present next size down. During the pétole it seems to him even sometimes as he moves back slightly. It is always very warm; certain waves make 5 - 6 m then everything calms down. Emmanuel always hopes for an established wind on the West, because he needs it to accompany him(it) a minimum in his effort.

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 Contact of August 19th (19 a hour 35 GMT) - That scolds(mutters), that scolds(mutters). In 17 a hour 45 GMT, Emmanuel calls up to put back the daily contact of 18 a hour. Lady Bird undergoes at the present time big thunderstorms and by measure of security, he prefers to disconnect everything. That's it, the thunderstorm is crossed(spent). Emmanuel can return over his last 24 hours. He took advantage of the night light from Sunday till Monday for rowing well. During this night of rowing, he pasa cargo boat. When he(it) started again this morning, the wind was from southwest, 2 in 5 knots. In other words nothing. It is always very warm, heavy and clammy. The water is 29,7 °. These conditions are very tiring as soon as he(it) begins to stake(row). Then, the wind is crossed(spent) on the West, always weak ( 5-8 knots), then crossed sea. In the morning, Lady Bird has already suffered two thunderstorms, of which one in height over him with enormous thunderclaps. Then, there was this other big thunderstorm, at the usual hour of the contact. Emmanuel filmed his arrival, over him with seven impressive thunderclaps. Then during half an hour, cloudbursts. It washed everything, the boat as the rower. Indeed, during all the time of the thunderstorm, Emmanuel was for his post of oar. Because with the water, a western full wind got up, in 35 knots; Emmanuel took advantage of it to row a maximum. The boat spun in 4,5 - 5 knots and even made a surfing for 7,5 knots. It is a pity that did not last much longer. Since, nothing is stabilized well. The wind is in the southwest, 10-12 knots. Emmanuel does not have music anymore since a moment (breakdown of Walkman) and he misses it. He also begins to feel the fatigue of three testing weeks. The heat arranges(settles) nothing. But he keeps good hope that the wind is with him for the rest of the route(course).

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 Contact of August 18th (18 hours GMT) - Too weak Wind, to the taste of Emmanuel. The end of the day of Saturday will have been the counterpart of the morning: too weak wind to the taste of Emmanuel and very changeable. 5-10 knots in 10-12 knots at night are crossed(spent), then it fell. With waves from 0,5 to 1 metre, not dynamics, there is more sea than wind. Emmanuel saw several times the lightning. Nevertheless, on Saturday will again have been a 4:30-hour day of oar. On Sunday, Lady bird took himself a big thunderstorm. The water is always has 30 ° and he(it) makes days very warmly. At present, the wind is from southwest, from 2 to 10 knots. Emmanuel would want that it blows a little more to advance him(it) faster still. At the moment, he(it) meets of the crossed sea and it is difficult to row because at the end of its oars, it seems that it hardens. As it is on Sunday, Emmanuel opened one liter of milk.

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 Contact of August 17th (18 hours GMT) - Changeable Wind. On Friday afternoon took place without wind. Then two hours before midnight, it turned the West, 4-5 knots with small wavelets. For Emmanuel, it is too weak. But he has still made a rather good day, with 4:30 pm of oar. In the alarm clock, on Saturday, Emmanuel found a small squid failed in his cockpit; he(it) put back(handed) him(it) in the sea before recovering to stake(row). During all morning, the wind was very changeable. In the early hours, Lady bird wiped(suffered) a big grain(bead) under southwesterly wind, 5 in 7 knots. Then the boat took three other grains(beads) and a wind of northwest, in 10 knots, with agitated sea. At the moment, there is crossed sea, with waves of 0,5 metres and wind of the full West, 10 in 12 knots. Conditions a little more difficult to stake(row). Emmanuel still meets some concerns with his electric desalinator (problems of filter) :water is still too much salted. He makes very always very warmly and he drinks a lot. It is thus obliged to make some water manually. A sweeter water to the taste.

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 Contact of August 16th (18 hours GMT) - In pursuit of the lost miles. Another beautiful day on Thursday, with 4:30 pm of oar and a good many of gathered in miles. If the wind was stronger, it would still be better. The wind is effectively very light, in the northwest. The time is a little veiled and it is warm always excessively; the water is 31 °. Everything is clammy, so inside as outside of the boat. In the slightest effort, that drips. Emmanuel has to drink a lot. But as the water around him is very warm, its electric dessal. still goes out of some a little salted water. Fortunately, with the textbook(manual worker), the result is much better. Besides, Emmanuel is always 40 liters of water in reserve, more than milk and some grape juice. Yesterday (on Thursday), several maritime mammals came to see him closely (10-15 m) and swam at the same time as he rowed. A high-octane gasoline to remember for Emmanuel and especially a little company in this silent world, as far as his walkman does not work any more for some days. Now, Emmanuel looks forward an a little stronger West wind, as a rule foreseen for Saturday and Sunday. He has the fury to catch up the lost miles.

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 Contact of August 15th (18 hours GMT) - It restarted in the common sense! At the time of the contact, Lady Bird was in the pétole, but the drift being good at the moment, he went back up well(raised well). With 4:30 pm of oar, he made a great day to the East. Emmanuel makes everything to reach 40 ° North. It is always very warm during the day, but the heat falls down at night. Now, as it is the half-moon and that the night is clear, it is excellent to row. Emmanuel takes advantage of it to observe numerous falling stars. He also had the leisure to film three globicéphales and saw big tunas jumping around his boat; they certainly made a feast of its fishes companions. In brief, everything seems to go better aboard Lady Bird.

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 Contacts of August 14th (10 hours, 18 hours and 22 hours GMT) - The beginning of the end of the Calvary Seen the situation, three new contacts took place with Lady bird, on Wednesday. During the night from Tuesday till Wednesday, the wind blew of northwest, 5 in 10 knots. Every hour, Emmanuel woke up to verify his road. Finally, it seems to improve: he still derives southward but less on the West. In the sunrise, it was already warm, very warmly. Furthermore, there was no single cloud on the horizon and the wind was very light of northeast. In the day, it is excessively warm; temperatures identical to those met by Emmanuel during his previous crossings on the Trade wind. The countercurrent does not seem to hamper(bother) him any more to row. In the stop(ruling), the boat derives even in the right direction, towards the southeast. Emmanuel took advantage of his favorable conditions and a sea become again quiet to solve a problem of dessalinisateur electric: water was more and more salted. After a phone call to the retailer in France and a repair assisted distance, Emmanuel found some fresh water at the end of one hour and a half. He(it) is also going to take advantage of it to make a stalk of dress(toilet). A true happiness makes of little gifts but so important for the morale. On the ocean everything takes proportions others than on Earth. The moon being for the quarter, Emmanuel took advantage of it to row at night. In the contact of 22 hours(10 pm) GMT, he(it) was in the pétole but had rowed well during the previous four hours. The current is finally favorable. Besides, the special bulletin for its zone announces him a favorable weather report in rather favorable for some days. The morale returned and, finally taken out of his spiral, Emmanuel feels ready to catch up the lost and made time route again towards France.

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 Contacts of August 13th - How to go out of this Calvary? Three contacts established with Emmanuel, yesterday (on Tuesday) to see the evolution of this completely abnormal situation. Nothing of it lives Emmanuel does not correspond to the forecasts successful weather reports, nevertheless studied for his zone. Emmanuel slept only 4 hours and rowed 16 hours on August 12th. 16 hours for nothing, otherwise to put off(move back). It is impossible for him to go to the southeast. The countercurrent keeps pulling him southwest. It is incredible the force that this current can have: the speedo of Lady Bird indicated 4,1 knots during one of the contacts. Furthermore, he(it) makes hyper warmly; the water, very clear, is 31,9 °. The wind is northeast, from 5 to 7 knots with long swell. How to go out of this spiral? Emmanuel begins to ask questions. As far as it is also necessary to remain watchful: Lady bird crossed two wooden beams and one container-carrier has crossed only in 200 m from him. For Wednesday, the weather report announces a change little in favour of Emmanuel. As for the rower and for his family, we do not dare to believe in it. We cross fingers so that it is true and so that Emmanuel's Calvary ends. In spite of the situation, Emmanuel found the time to tell the anecdote of this tortoise loggerhead who came towards him twice and banged against the boat, by wanting at all costs to pass between both saffrons.

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 Contact of August 12th (20 hours GMT) - As on a conveyer belt. Emmanuel crosses a hard test. After the head winds of the first week of crossing and only two days of beautiful headway (overhang), it is thus the unchained (given rise to) sea (because of the tropical storm Cristobal) that Lady bird undergoes. On Monday, Emmanuel collides with a countercurrent from 2,2 to 2,3 knots. Between a wind of the South of a dozen knot and this current, Emmanuel is as on a conveyer belt; his boat moving on average to 3,5 knots. So that for this morning 5 am for him (9 am GMT), it makes 11 hours of oar at the time of the contact to gain only 4 small miles. It is demoralizing as possible. The day thus risks to be long aboard Lady bird but as it is not finished, Emmanuel always hopes an improvement either to escape this countercurrent.

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 Contact of August 11th (18 hours GMT) – Endless galley! The wind continues to blow in 20-25 knots and it is always crossed sea, with waves from 3 to 4 metres Emmanuel can row only from time to time, when there is too much danger to be on the open deck. The only solution for him, is going to be to row as a galley slave. Row and like, and when elements are against him, it is not easy …

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