The ORS Int. is the official adjudicator of ocean rowing records for Guinness World Records

 


Pavel REZVOY

Row from Cocos (Keeling) Islands across the Indian Ocean

NEWS FROM THE ROUTE

October 1-10 October 11-31 November 1-9

 

September

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Sept 30, 2005.
12:45GMT ( 6:45pm onboard "Ukraine")

Quite a grey day; the sky is overcast - not a single ray of light within the whole day. Though the sea is not so high and the wind is just moderate. I am proceeding west. Ok, ok, may be not due west - adding some south course as well, 'cause when there starts south wind, I  give myself up to the wind and waves and easily drift  northwards. So in general I am trying to keep close to my leading twelfth latitude.
Well, I have to say, that I would give the Indian Ocean two scores up above the Atlantic - it's definitely much more serious place to row in. I almost don't maintain the log here - it is just impossible to write anything, the wave kicks you out, no job to be done at all. So a Satphone and Internet appear to be of really a great help.

I am getting a lot of letters - Thank you, thank you ever so much!!!!!

00:30GMT ( 6:30am onboard "Ukraine")

The sky is acceptable, sea and wind - just moderate. And this is all I can report.
I am visited by sea swallows, my unfailing companions during my Atlantic voyage. And like then, they sometimes spend the night onboard and leave in the morning. And besides that - still the same water desert all around.


Sept 29, 2005.
12:00GMT ( 6:00pm onboard "Ukraine")

All day long I've been rowing west, persistently - west. Steady strong breeze, moderate sea of 3 - 3.5 metres, which is quite bearable.
 Everything is so monotonous and poor around me - zero wild life. Only rare birds are coming sometimes to entertain me, and this is all! Hello, anybody home?!

My older son Peter is celebrating his Birthday today. Congratulations, my boy! I will drink a glass of something strong for you tonight.

00:40GMT ( 6:40am onboard "Ukraine")

Merciless severe waves with squall wind and unceasing torrential rain have been fagging the boat out the whole night through. Well, we weathered it out, and at dawn this nightmare, as if having exhausted itself, started to abate. Now there are only huge rollers left, but almost no white horses on their tops.
Looks like it's getting better and in the East I can even see some gaps in the clouds. Hopefully the day is promising to be not so bad.


Sept 28, 2005.
12:00GMT ( 6:00pm onboard "Ukraine")

What's going on ?!  These waves... They just let themselves go, getting bigger and bigger -  Mere  Barefaced Unseemliness!
Enough is enough - I am going up north.
No idea, what it will be like  tonight - it looks as if the gale is subsiding. So I will row at night, and I will row north - I am changing the course!
In general I am not deprived of sleep, and whenever an opportunity arises, I am taking a nap.
Well, all in all it's not completely what I would like it to be here... But - never mind, we will cope. As far as I have committed myself, "mission" should be accomplished.
And what is most frustrating, it's a full lifelessness around. Let me catch at least a fish for a change!

 
00:15GMT ( 6:15am onboard "Ukraine")

The ocean was gracious to me tonight and I had a very good rest - neither capsizing, nor being put on  the side. The swell is still high, but the clouds are not disquieting.
This morning it's amazingly chilly - when I got out on the deck, I felt I'd better put something on.
The spirits is high, everything onboard is in proper order, so we are doing quite well.


Sept 27, 2005.
13:10GMT ( 7:10pm onboard "Ukraine")

Thus, here I am, watching one more fabulous sunset at ocean. Today it was just a normal day, nothing bad or unusual. And may be it's only sea that looks somehow strange to me - almost no wind, but mountainous silent billows one by one are coming from the South in a long train. But in general everything is all right. 

Will be in touch in the morning ( midnight your time)

Photo by Pavel Rezvoy. Atlantic 2004
01:00GMT ( 7:00am onboard "Ukraine")

At dawn the sea woke up, it seamed to be asleep the whole night through; appreciated! - it presented me one more night of  "full value" sleep. Waves are growing higher, but for now the sky is clear. The boat started to roll. Over!


Sept 26, 2005.
12:00GMT ( 6:00pm onboard "Ukraine")

Dark clouds that tried to threaten me in the morning, were blown away, and I had a splendid day - even motion of tranquil waves with stable moderate wind. Right now I am sitting with a cup of coffee and enjoying the sunset. What a beauty!
At last I had time for total clean-up, of both boat and myself, and I am feeling sooo good...
We are heading due west.

Photo by Pavel Rezvoy. Atlantic 2004

00:20GMT ( 6:20am onboard "Ukraine")

The night was quite calm and I was able to sleep. Though right now I can see, that a dark mass has started to move towards us from the horizon. Doesn't look so good to me.
My hand GPS has "died at its post", so I am left with only a mounted one. Well, no wonder - humidity is overwhelming.
Waves are constantly splashing on the deck, and whenever I open the hatch to go in or out, some portion is sure to get into the cabin.
Even my famous Leatherman knife has gone to pieces. After the Atlantic, when the same brand knife that had truly served me for several years, crumbled to springs and bolts, the company substituted it with a new one (thanks to brother Ivan, who lives in the States and took time to correspond with them). Then I came to the conclusion that it  had just come from a not of good quality batch. But as I can see it now,  these "the most long-lasting knives in the world" are not designed to withstand the conditions of ocean, even though - of course! - I was not keeping it open on the deck; what a shame - I feel helpless without it.


Sept 25, 2005.
12:00GMT ( 6:00pm onboard "Ukraine")

It was a tough day, even to say very tough. Three times during the day steep waves  put boat on her side, and we were in an inch from capsizing. It's wet and very windy. We are moving north - with such wind there is no other choice.
Hope for good night tonight

 
00:45GMT ( 6:45am onboard "Ukraine")

At night the boat twice was put on her side, but did not capsize; though it took on deckful of water. But as far as hatches were closed, no harm done.
Greyish morning, but I keep hoping for better. The sky is covered with calm cumulus, without strata.
In the morning I checked the fishing line - a big fish had bitten and escaped, and left me only its huge eye, size of a plum, that was looking at me reproachfully...
As ever there is a lot of flying fish on the deck, heaps and heaps; can't catch up with cleaning them away, and boat starts to smell as untidy fish shop.

Yesterday the whole day long I was trying to gain some north-west, and it looks like I managed quite well in having done so, though with some loss in my daily mileage


Sept 24, 2005.
12:00GMT ( 6:00pm onboard "Ukraine")

All in all the weather today was nothing to say about - the wind was week, and the sea was untidy, waves were coming from different directions. But, nevertheless, I was able to row the whole day long. So, to be fair, if the conditions allow you to row, it's not so bad, after all.

 
06:00GMT ( midday onboard "Ukraine")

It is a Good day. Feeling myself perfectly well and my spirits are high. Rowing!
The only entertainment I am having is feeding small albatrosses. They are used to it and would not leave until I feed all the flying fish to them, which I am still getting on deck in abundance.
Today I will try to head more west, I have gained  South more that enough already.


Sept 23, 2005.
12:35GMT ( 6:35pm onboard "Ukraine")

Within a day the weather keeps changing from storm to calm and back to storm, but I've got used to jump into the cabin in no time, whenever I see that we are going to have a problem; and to be promptly on the deck, when its over. Though this "calm" cannot  even approximately be classified as  a real calm,  at least it lets me out from under the lock. Looks like we are making a good progress, and no wonder - having such wind! Both wind and waves are persistently pushing us forward; we are moving West.

 
00:40GMT ( 6:40am onboard "Ukraine")

Against all my expectations this night was peaceful enough, nothing bad or extraordinary. A  limpid dawn was followed by lovely sunny morning, but then within an hour I found myself in a grey haze and the sky grew covered with low clouds. Having moderate breeze at my (boat's) back,  I can now afford myself a break for a cup of coffee and a cup of soup.
We are crossing the Ninety-East Ridge, but its too deep under the surface to affect us in any way.


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Sept 22, 2005.
12:45GMT ( 6:45pm onboard "Ukraine")

It was not "a day", it was a nightmare, something inconceivable - violent wind, vigorous waves; it's inexplicable where from all this has arrived :). Several times I was retreating myself into the cabin, locking it up, just waiting till it abates. And that was all my activity for today.
At daytime it's really hot in the cabin, but nights at sea are quite fresh, so indoors it's almost perfect - a normal average temperature, so I can sleep either in the sleeping bag, or on it. I don't bother to put anything on, 'cause on deck, even if I'm darting out for a second, there is always a chance to get a salty shower, and then you have a problem with soaking wet cloths. So why to bother...

 
01:00GMT ( 7:00am onboard "Ukraine")

The night was sleepless and arduous - wind was changing direction all the time and boat was driven hither and thither, so I had to correct the rudder constantly. But - here we are, morning, managed to get trough the night without capsizes. And once again about the keel - I did not take it away, it really stabilizes the boat.
The weather - it is disgusting even to look at it; I am looking out and what I see all around is downcast low sky and big, grey, cheerless  waves...

But I am safe and sound, and I am going to drink coffee - I noticed that here I prefer coffee for tea.
By the way - about the drinks. Yesterday I threw a bottle with a message into the water.
It was Denis Soloshenko and his friend Vitaliy in Perth, who gave me that bottle and that message (separately, because then the bottle was yet full) addressed to the whole Mankind, written in Russian, English and Hebrew; good words about Love and Kindness... And there was Dennis' address as well.
So, Denis, the request is fulfilled!


Sept 21, 2005.
12:00GMT ( 6:00pm onboard "Ukraine")

All's ok, with the exception of weather, that seems to be out of humour again, though until now the whole day long it was just a dear. But - not to worry. Nice day, nothing was happening, I was just rowing - and that 's all.
And still it's a pity that until now I did not manage to catch a single fish. I am dragging a line behind the boat since the very start, I have enough bait, enough lines, and - nothing - at all !!! The other day some big species has torn my line, but as far as it managed to tear a line, it had to be really, really big, so big, that I would not be able cope with it. So - never mind.
Every day I am consuming a tin of baked beans, then - a can of meat per two days; I cook Mountain House (freeze dried), and in general - food is in abundance. And its only sweet meals that I don't fancy - Teddy loaded them, he has a sweet tooth, - I tried something once, but then I felt just sick, no good for me.
Well, time to cook supper and getting ready for night.

 
00:00GMT ( 6:00am onboard "Ukraine")

Last night was amazingly calm and the morning is just wonderful! The weather is something one can only dream about: good even wind with no big waves. The boat is flying, I am very happy and there is only one thing I am missing - it's my sister-Irina, who would cook English breakfast for me! All right, all right, after all I would do it on my own, if it were possible to send me by phone only two slices of bacon, one tomato and couple of eggs! Well, I think I have to forget about them for the nearest future... But it's ok, right now I will figure out something nice to cook for breakfast from the stock I have onboard, and I have a lot. Life is good!


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Sept 20, 2005.
12:00GMT ( 6:00pm onboard "Ukraine")

Well,  I have fixed - more or less - the consequences of the night's incident, set and put in place every little bit, adjusted my keel and once again we are on course and moving forward in good spirits and quite briskly. No doubts it's still easier to control the boat with the keel. But I am awaiting a new turn of bad weather - something sinister-looking is swirling on the horizon.
Waves are already just horrible, running like two-storied buildings. But its not waves themselves that one should be afraid of, it's when you happen to be on the crest, where the wave is breaking - then it capsizes the boat. It's a mere bad chance, and hopefully - not a frequent one. And in general, I am ready for it, this time not so many  things will be flying all around the cabin - I have fixed whatever I could.

Today there bit a big ( I guess) fish, but tore away the line; its a shame I was given no chance to make out what it was.

 
00:05GMT ( 6:05am onboard "Ukraine")

Last night we capsized two times. I had a feeling that something was going to happen,  and in the evening I unfastened and took away my keel. Huge waves came from somewhere, I can't tell you exactly what was the time, but both capsizing happened within one hour. After all we came out of it, the boat self-righted; I was fixing myself, setting all my extremities against the walls, so I was not injured, neither was the boat damaged. The cabin is a real mess, so I slept the rest of the night in it and only now started to lick the wounds - to sort things out, to mend crushed saucepan, to repair and glue my reading glasses ( thanks God I've got spare ones)

Going to sea in a ocean rowboat you cannot avoid or escape such things, if the weather is against you - nowhere to run, its not a yacht and  there are limited possibilities of manoeuvring; when you know what you are going to face, you should just be prepared for it.


Sept 19, 2005.
11:45GMT ( 5:45pm onboard "Ukraine")   Time zone is GMT + 6hours

It was a nice day but now the weather is rapidly  worsening and I can see an impressive gloom in front of me.
Today I was hosting birds, that looked much like sea swallows of the Atlantic As far as there was still a lot of flying fish left on the deck since the morning and then a good amount was added during the day, I was grabbing them and treating birds by throwing handfuls of fish into the water. Up to the last one. What a party!
Nothing more exiting - I was just rowing.
Sorry, have to interrupt myself - boat started to roll.

Photo by Theodore Rezvoy. 2001

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00:10GMT ( 6:10am onboard "Ukraine")
Weather "rouses no censure" - it's just fine, and the night was quiet. Now I am having a stable even wind, not big waves. So everything goes perfectly well.
Once again there must have been an airborne landing of flying fish - the deck is covered with them as if a sackful of anchovies burst open. So I have to give that mess a clean.
Trying to move southwards as much as I can and as long as the wind permits. I know that pretty soon it'll change and will start to push me north, so miles towards south are precious.
Well, I am in good spirits, and would like to thank everybody for the letters!


Sept 18, 2005.

00:45GMT ( 07:15am onboard "Ukraine")

 Today it took me longer to establish the connection - the weather's getting worse, a small cyclone is approaching from the south-east, so I am awaiting a "weather trouble". 
But I am not going to remove the keel - it has passed the test and proves to stabilize the boat.

The deck is strewn with small flying fish


Sept 17, 2005.
12:30GMT ( 07:00pm onboard "Ukraine")
Still not a single living creature around me, even birds have disappeared. No sun today, and most probably moon will be hidden behind the clouds. Morning, daytime and evening look much the same - greyish monotony.  But the bright side of it is, that the wind is not too strong and pleasantly even, and sea - not higher than two meters, so after all this is a  really  perfect rowing weather.
Now the night has already fallen - its getting dark absolutely rapidly after the sunset. I am listening to radio, about the events in Ukraine, and they make me sad. Then I examine charts and all my thoughts are carried away to the other shore of the ocean.
 
00:10GMT ( 6:40am onboard "Ukraine")
It's a rainy morning and the sky is overcast - dark low clouds from horizon to horizon. Amazingly for me, but the marine life appears to be pretty dull here - until now I saw neither big fish, nor whales. Only flying fish  are landing on the deck from time to time. It disappoints me a lot.
As for the rest - all is fine, I am "up and running", and happy enough

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Sept 16, 2005.
00:00GMT ( 6:30am onboard "Ukraine")

From the early morning I am having visitors - the sight of the boat has attracted a flock of birds, and one by one curious creatures keep landing on the deck. It entertains me a lot - they are not afraid of me, I am examining them, taking pictures and then I let them go. Frankly, I have no idea what they are - something  between petrels and pomornik (Russian name, that means "belonging to sea"). They have short tails and beaks, and silly looking faces.

Several times I tried to fish, but  - nothing!

There must be a shipping line not far away - I've already seen several cargo ships in the distance, but didn't contact them on VHF - not to disturb them and not to bother.
All in all I feel quite happy, weather is fine and my new keel proves to work well - it considerably helps to keep course and saves my efforts. [Pavel had only couple of days in London to get himself ready for flight to Cocos Islands, but he managed to construct a removable outer keel -  using 3 mill stainless steel,  his own invention, - and fixed  it to the boat before the departure]

Storm-Petrel. Photo by Hadoram Shirihai


Sept 15, 2005.
00:00GMT ( 6:30am onboard "Ukraine")

The night was quite stormy and the boat was flying up and down like a bucking horse. But before dawn the sea calmed down and I even managed to get some sleep. At the sun rise it was already possible to row, so now we are again on due course.
My appetite is perfect and I am eating whatever I have onboard - tins and cans ( baked beans are still my favourite), and "Mountain House". Have not had my breakfast yet, so now I'm going to brew some tea.


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Sept 14, 2005.
13:30GMT ( 8pm onboard "Ukraine")

It was a nice day, but later in the afternoon the waves became higher and now sea is quite agitated; so I'm going to let the boat drift and go to bed. I am in good mood, but will feel much better, when weather improves.

 
 00:30GMT ( 7am onboard "Ukraine")

Waves are quite moderate and wind is good, so we are making not bad progress.  Right now I am enjoying my morning coffee and reading  the messages - thanks to all of you, who sent them!!!


Sept 13, 2005.
 09:12GMT From Steve Szabo, C/O Australian Federal Police, Cocos (Keeling) Islands

Pavel left today at 1300hrs local. He was very happy with everything and keen to get going whilst the weather is favourable. We towed him from the anchorage north to the boat passage (opening in the reef just south of Horsburgh Island) into deep water on the western side of the atoll. We then shadowed him for about 1/2 hour to make sure everything was OK before leaving him. I spoke to him on VHF 16 about 1430hrs and he was happy with how the boat was going.
Best wishes and regards
Steve Szabo


 5:20GMT (11:50 local time) Pavel by Satphone
I moved up North to the middle of the lagoon and now waiting for Steve to arrive. He will be here in 15 minutes to show me the way  between the reefs, so I will row out through the North-West passage. I've got everything I need, I am fine and everything is fine. Speak to you later.

Sept 12, 2005 
From Steve Szabo, C/O Australian Federal Police, Cocos (Keeling) Islands
Pavel is having some trouble getting some supplies, but is keen to try and leave tomorrow.  The weather is good with little swell and 10 - 15 kts S/E wind.  Will see how he goes tomorrow and we will escort him through the Western Passage and get some photos for you.

Regards
Steve

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