|Ray and Jenny Jardine: news from the route|
Day 14. November
20 07:00 GMT
Ray and Jenny have reached another milestone in their journey with the conclusion of the second week of rowing. They say they are starting to adjust to their "little spaceship on the big galaxy of ocean." "It's quite a nice feeling," said Ray.
Answering my question from yesterday, regarding their sleep patterns while at sea, Ray confirmed that they are each adhering to one hour rowing shifts, with the following hour off for resting, sleeping, etc. So one of them is always rowing while the other is on break. And they make a point to begin rowing on the hour, every hour.
Occasionally, the break is extended beyond one hour, either by accident or because the person sleeping has not had the stamina to begin rowing again. Typically this would occur at night, and might result in a couple of extra, uninterrupted hours of sleep.
In general though, they cannot sleep for more than an hour, because the pattern has taken hold, and they wake up automatically at hour's end, ready to row again.
Ray admits that it is probably not a good idea to break up one's sleep as such on a regular basis, at least psychologically. During one of this morning's rowing shifts, he noted that the horizon appeared to be canted 5 degrees, sloping upward toward the right. It remained that way for the full hour. He recognized this sort of distortion syndrome from previous trips, and so it wasn't alarming.
They sleep both day and night, usually for 30 minutes or so during daylight hours, with the balance occuring at night. In total, they are going to sleep about 12 times a day, which Ray admits is a bit strange, but works well, because they are relatively inexperienced and do not have the stamina to row for longer than an hour at a time.
19 November. 07:00 GMT
I received a detailed message from Ray this afternoon. They are well and making good progress. The recording was difficult to hear this time, for some reason. Give me a little while to crack its code and I'll post the results.
- Brett Tucker
Ray and Jenny tell me they are progressing really well lately, but that on whole the sea state has proven very challenging, testing both the boat and their own abilities. They have experienced a wide variety of sea and wind conditions since Day 1, with sometimes huge waves, and winds up to 35 knots. On average, waves have been between 8 and 10 feet, and winds around 20
For the past several days, winds have been out of the NE, which is a tailwind allowing for a much-appreciated extra shove. The boat is heavy and very slow to row in the absence of a beneficial wind. Without the wind advantage, the boat's top speed is about that of a normal hiking pace. And the Atlantic is a BIG ocean! Ray says there is a real analogy between what they are doing and a Pacific Crest Trail thru-hike, for example.
They are indeed rowing around the clock, 24 hours a day, and they accomplish this by rowing individually in one hour shifts. At the end of a shift, both of them get into the water as they maneuver to reposition themselves, which takes about a minute to accomplish.
Ray pointed out that this adventure is not a race; they are pushing themselves simply because they find it, in Ray's own words, "very rewarding."
I relayed a message back to Ray and Jenny, which perhaps they will attend to tomorrow. I asked them whether they are strictly adhering to the 1 hour shift rule, or if on occasion, one or the other sleeps for a longer duration. And either way, has this had any effect on their stamina and clarity of thought? Does it feel akin to sleep deprivation, or does the body adapt to a series of "catnaps" over time?
That's all for now.
- Brett Tucker
Thought you might like to know the the Clipper fleet passed the American rowers in the last 24 hours. They are racing to Cuba and one of them is Jersey Clipper.
Hi Folks, here is Jenny's report:
Good NE winds 15-20 knots making for good progress. The night was much the same, but with several rain squalls. Have seen no other boats or airplanes for one week, although we did see a yellow oil drum and glass fishing float. We have a five foot pilot fish escorting us. We would like to congratulation Stein Hoff on the completion of his voyage. And we would also like to convey our best wishes to Fedor. That's all for now."
I assume that they are now calling my phone in order to facilitate the web updates, of which I'm in charge. But probably they would continue to call others of you for the sake of checking in. That is just an assumption. In any case, I will be sure to let everyone know of their progress soon after hearing from them.
17 November. 07:00 GMT
I received a call from Ray and Jenny this afternoon, on my answering machine. Quite a pleasant surprise! Jenny's voice sounded happy, as others have noted before, and the quality of the satellite phone connection was superb.
No mention of weather conditions or goings-on in the last 24hrs.
Later afternoon Jenny called to the ORS.
She said that everything`s going well and they are enjoing themselves. It looks like they are getting favourable weather conditions.
Congratulations to Stein on his acheivement!
Jenny asked how Fedor [Konyukhov] is doing and said that they are waiting to send their congratulations to him as well.
15 November. 07:00GMT
They are in a storm and unable to use their oars. They're drifting S.E. at a little less than a knot.
Will call again today
Ray and Jenny are experiencing 30 waves. All they can do is ride it out. They're being blown to the East. It's too hot to be in the cab. They had enough fresh water today to take showers and do the laundry. Don't you enjoy your bed and easy chair after reading about their situation?
Phone call from Ray & Jenny. They are experiencing 25knot NE winds.
I gave them latest weather update in which the winds will swing back to the North in the next 24 hours and then back to the NorthEast in 48 hours.
I told them if I see any bad weather heading their way I'll phone them.
14 November. 07:00GMT
Jenny called this morning (she's always in great spirits), said they've gotten some rain and clouds, however the water maker is working fine even in cloudy weather. The wind blew a gale, in fact for about an hour they experienced a real squall. Raymond asked about Salt Water Boils, she said they were experiencing some. Their foam seats are always wet. However they have plenty of baby powder and lotions etc. So no problem. Ray has a solution to solve the problem of falling off the rowing seat
when the ocean is wild, but hasn't had time to make adjustments.
Jenny was about to cook some baby food for their breakfast. Wanted Oatmeal but stores didn't have it. She said she's learning not to fight the ocean but to work with it.
13 November, 07:00 GMT
Too busy to talk. Sail boat in area and fixing rowing seat
12 November 7 am. Temperature at
noon - 80 degrees
Solar water maker working great. Have more water than needed. Could fill a bath tub. Seemed to have more energy since eating corn pasta for supper. Have one melon and a bucket of fruit left. Will go into water today and check the hull, even though they refinished it before they left.
Beautiful night Beautiful day. Looking forward to favorable currents
11 November Ray called
Health report: A bit sea sick the first two days so didn't eat much Jenny made vegetable stew yesterday. Mm good. Learing to drink a hot cup of liquid in high seas with the wind swirling around, boat going every which way is a challenge.
Last night the wind and waves prevented them rowing because they couldn't manage to keep both oars in the water, so threw out the series or drogue. The bad news is the rope cought on the rudder, so had to retrieve the drogue and free the rope in the dark, and then carefully let out the drogue again for 5 hours.Both are exhausted today, but rowing again an hour on and an hour off. I could hear Jenny rowing while Ray talked.
They saw lots of Dolphins the first two days but no fish so far. Lots of Petrels and others - not interested in the boat.
Doug Carrol kept suggesting Ray and Jenny take a VHF Radio, but they didn't have one. Then Bret ( don't know his last name) came along the day they left and gave them his radio. What a blessing. The second day out a container boat came steaming toward them. Ray called the boat on the VHF they answered and changed course, waving as they passed by.
Days have been cloudy. One low pressure after another, so wind and waves coming from every direction.
Ray closed with, "Well, only 15 minutes left on my sleep hour, so signing off. We love you and don't worry about us. We're going great."