|STEIN HOFF: news from the route|
day 97 – ON LAND!!!
Stein described today as the most exciting and terrifying day of the whole trip. In the last 24 hours he has rowed for 20. He described it as the hardest stretch or rowing he has ever had to do. Amazing how one finds strength when one needs to!
When I spoke to him last night he had 20 nm left. An hour after dark, 3 hours or so later, he only had 8 nm between him and the coast. The wind had turned northeast, and together with some current, had pushed him dangerously close to land. So the whole night was spent rowing as hard as he could to make sure that he didn’t get any closer. He succeeded in keeping his distance, and by the time it was light, he was just north of Georgetown in the Essequibo river estuary. However here there were more hazards in the form of fishing poles littering the shallow waters. These he did get pushed towards, and ended up having to row through them being very careful to avoid any collisions. At this point he decided that the most sensible thing he could do was head for land before it got dark again. The coastguards came to meet him and suggested that perhaps he should aim for the village of Parika, a shipping village, just inside the river mouth. So that’s where Stein is now….and he rowed all the way refusing any kind of outside help (there were several offers to tow him the last bit). He has had a fantastic welcome – the locals have been flocking to see him together with many journalists and one Norwegian living there called Magnus (has been extremely helpful). Diana and the rest of the welcome committee arrive this evening, so it will only be a matter of hours before everyone is reunited.
Mission accomplished. 97days, thousands of oar-hours later and Stein is the first man to ever row across the Atlantic from continental Europe to another continent. Congratulations Daddy!! We are very proud of you!! I’m sure Stein himself will fill you all in as soon as he’s had some beers, some rest and gets to a computer :-).
13th. November day 96
12 GMT pos: N 0646 W 5724. 20 n.miles from Georgetown. 31 n. miles rowed last 24 hours. Fresh breeze east/southeast. 27C air, 28C water. 50% cloudy. Depth of only 20 meters.
Today’s diary comes from Elisabeth in London.
I spoke to Stein at 21.00 this evening and he sounds very well. He is extremely excited about being so close to his goal and a little frustrated that he has had to slow down. He could have arrived today, but wants to wait for his welcome committee who never imagined that he would complete the crossing as fast as he has.
He has had the sea anchor out for 10 hours today, which has been very uncomfortable. He did row for an hour this evening to get a break from it and also to get some exercise (his words.... exercise after 95 days of rowing!!) Last night he saw the lights from the town of New Amsterdam and this morning the glow of Georgetown. He is so close! The plan is to find a buoy tomorrow, which he can moor to for the night before heading in on Friday morning.
Today he put up all his flags in preparation for the landing. However he took them down again after taking to a journalist Dennis Shavron(?) from Georgetown who advised him not to draw attention to himself as there are pirates in the area!
So now all he has to do now is keep a low profile and stay safe...for just a little while longer.
12th. November day 95 on the
12 GMT pos: N 0657 W 5653 76 n.miles from Georgetown, 27 n.miles past 24 hours. Light breeze from ESE, moderate sea. Cloudy, 26 degrees.
He pulled in the sea-anchor at 9.20 a.m. after 17 and a half hours. It slowed down the speed nicely, drifted at under a knot with it out. It has been clearer today, he did the last clothes-wash, rowed a little to keep going south, read the rest of Robinson Crusoe and played the recorder. It is starting to get a bit boring having to go slowly, he is missing his daily exercise! He saw two Portuguese men-of-war today, rowed backwards to catch one in a bucket, took some photos and threw him back. It is 30 metres deep, he is 40 n.miles form the coast, looking forward to a shower and a good sleep. He will wait until tomorrow to put out the sea-anchor again, it is a little dangerous at night due to the long line if a boat comes along. He sends a greeting.
Now I will say good-bye, this is my last report. Stein's mother and I are off to London tomorrow and to Guyana on Thursday, and we are really looking forward to that!
Stein will phone our daughter Elisabeth tomorrow and on Thursday, so there will still be a report on the net.
Farewell and best wishes from Diana.
November day 94. Lazy day.
12 GMT pos: N 0654 W 5625 103 n.miles from Georgetown, 44 n.miles past 24 hours. Same conditions with ESE breeze, moderat to rough seas. It was a warm and bumpy night, today there have been high wind clouds and a rougher sea. He only rowed 3-4 hours, then put out the sea.anchor at 15.45 to stop progress. With this out, he is drifting at about 1 knot NW. Lunch of Guyanese rice which he had with him, last box of pepper mackerel, gherkins and ketchup, follwed by tea and my fruit-cake. He has been reading Robinson Crusoe, feeling a bit lazy. It is rather frustating to have to slow down, he could probably have been in on Wednesday, but the plan is Friday morning, so long as the weather plays no tricks.