And so Eruç must brace for the unknown.
And according to Groom, Eruç will have to do it with 10 percent of
the skill that à full-fledged rower has. There just isn't enough
time to master everything. "He's going to be the tortoise plugging
along day-in, day-out, and in the long run making progress," Groom
said. For now, Eruç must juggle training with other preparations. In
January, his boat was unfinished. Communication systems needed to be
installed and tested. Supplies had to be gathered. He would need
plenty of food. And of course there was his treasured iPod, which
will play à critical role in breaking the voyage's monotony. He's
packing language tapes, too. "I plan on knowing Spanish by the time
I reach South America," he said.
Eruç may not know everything, but according to Kossev and Groom, he has enough of the fundamentals and mental capacity to survive. "He's going to be able to do it," Groom said confidently. "There's no question."
Rewind à few months to 2004. Cycling somewhere in the Rocky Mountains, Eruç ignores the fatigue and takes in the scene around him. Pine trees tower over him in majestic silence. No one is around, and yet Eruç hardly feels alone. Someone or something is out there. He can feel it.
That's when the bald eagle reappears, launching from à limb and flying high above the trees. Immediately the memory of Kropp resurfaces. Only this time it isn't shrouded in grief or guilt. The monotony of riding alone, the burning thighs, the tightness in his hamstrings and lower back, the throbbing heart pumping hard from the altitude - they all cede to the refreshing reminder that Kropp is with him.
|Eruç during a recent training row at Seattle's Pocock Rowing Center. Though he's not built for speed, if he's to survive at sea he'll have to be built to last|
Ocean Rowing Society
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