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




Row from Cocos/Keeling Islands (Australia) across the Indian Ocean


<<< September 13 - 30 <<< October 1-10  <<< October  11 - 31


▼ down to the beginning of the page ▼

Nov 9, 2005.

 In the morning I contacted London and my son Dmitry took the call. He gave me the phone number of the hotel in Mahe where Jan and Tatiana were staying; and the mobile number of Jan.

The sea is almost calm, wind is WSW; the current ( I was throwing pieces of wood into the water to check it) is flowing NE at 1.5 knots, so the chances for me to move NW equal to zero.

From the cabin of the boat I can see a silhouette of Mahe Island.

The bottom anchor has been stuck deadly in the reefs at 45-50 meters' depth. In order to cast it off I would have to cut the line, so that after all I am left with at best some 6 meters of it. And it would be pretty bad to find myself in the midst of surrounding me islands and reefs without a bottom anchor.

Made a call to the hotel. It took the hostess ages to go and put me in touch with Tatiana. My dear girls were ready to go out and find the way to get me on shore.

I called again, this time on Jan's mobile, - at one o'clock afternoon local time, and through interference and noise I heard: "We are on our way, will be with you in a couple of hours, we are on a coastguard cutter". And suddenly I realised that my voyage was over, and somehow it made me feel sad...

In an hour my SeaMe started to peep, the chirp getting more and more persistent, and at last I saw a serious and truly likable (though ragged a bit) cutter, approaching me from NW. At its beak, amongst swarthy crew there stood two white ladies; everybody was smiling and waving their hands. I tried to look as dashing as I could.
Thus, the cutter being next to me, - shaking hands, hugs and kisses, preparations for the tow.

I wanted to save the line and bottom anchor, so I pulled out those 6 meters - the most that I could, - and wound them on the bitts of the cutter. The cutter made a move SW, the line broke, leaving me not more than exactly those 6 metres.

Thank you and farewell, my old-mate anchor! From now on I can manage without you...

The cutter was towing us by its thicky line at 12 - 14 knots. The boat was flying like a speed-boat - at least I felt it like that, - steadily, without griping from side to side. I was seating on the deck - relaxed and appeased, doing nothing. The island was nearing - closer and closer, - bringing me really strange and unusual feelings, and they were good...

And then - unimaginably fast and effective go through the customs/immigration/quarantine procedures with the authorities, that went out to meet us; and swinging beton pier, and swinging island, and hotel, and everything around...

What a delicious, delicious meals, and what a beer!!! But the Land is just a different story...

Nov 9, 2005.
14:00GMT ( 6 pm onboard "Ukraine")

At 14.00GMT In Mahe Seychelles Pavel was going through Custom formalities.
Tatiana and Jan Meek are in Seychelles and will file a report asap.

Nov 7, 2005.
14:00GMT ( 6 pm onboard "Ukraine")

…Have spent the whole night at anchor and now watching the break of rather grim morning. Clouds are covering the horizon. The wind persists in being a south-westerly one. It is time to do some fishing - there is a lot of fish here - then treat myself with a breakfast.

02:00GMT ( 6:00am onboard "Ukraine")

The wind has not changed, so I'm staying put. Could not break the anchor out - will stay like that for a while. Current is 1.5 knots.
A marlin bit today - big enough to turn the boat around. For a while it has been pulling the line and jumping out of the water, then got off the hook and disappeared. It is, perhaps, for the best - I never would have been able to drag it out of the water.
I am, currently, 38 - 39 miles away from my goal.

Nov 7, 2005.
14:27GMT ( 6:27pm onboard "Ukraine")

I am still treading water in one spot. The west wind is blowing now. I cast
all the sea anchors, and we are not progressing anywhere. It's useless to
row against the wind. Bottom anchor still cannot reach the sea floor.

02:00GMT ( 6:00am onboard "Ukraine")

No success to reach the bottom with the anchor - still too deep for it,
more than 50 meters. The weather is fine, and wind is light.
My working day commences.

Nov 6, 2005.
14:00GMT ( 6pm onboard "Ukraine")

West and South-West wind did not change until the sunset and has considerably driven me north,  against my plans. It never happened before  that this sort of wind would last for so long and I find it quite strange - in theory, according to charts, it shouldn't be present here and now at all...
The wind has dropped  and silence moved in. But to be fair, the sea stayed amazingly calm no matter a fresh breeze that was blowing today.
It was hot as ever, but after the sunset there appeared some clouds, and the wind is just light - it's relaxing and pleasing...
I'll be rowing over the night . The target is same old - to reach the 11-metres' point where I'd like to to linger on. Tried to use bottom anchor once more with - again - no result. It must still be too deep for it.
It became the biggest wish of mine to get precisely to Mahe - "all's well that ends well"... I'll be doing my best not to miss it, let  there only be no  scandalous winds...

04:00GMT ( 8:00am onboard "Ukraine")

I've overslept.
The night  around the clock we have been dragged in different directions, eastward included. It was only before the dawn that wind calmed down and back to normal - north-west course. And then I could afford myself to calm down either and leave my post for a nap.
Now I am going to row towards the shallow bank I spoke before, where I mean to stop and hang about for a while.
The day is marvellous; there are scattered small cumulus in the sky, and sea is reasonably quiet.
Proximity of the sea floor changes colour of the water, that out of sapphire-blue in open ocean turns into brownish-grey on the bank.
Having breakfast with tuna and mayonnaise - and back to oars.

Nov 5, 2005.
14:10GMT ( 6:10pm onboard "Ukraine")

I keep trying to slow down though not with a great success. Today I tried to drop a bottom anchor, but the bank was in fact a bit too deep, so I tied the ends of all ropes one by one and finally caught the bottom. But it was not an easy thing to get the the line  back and I had to apply a lot of tricky efforts to release it. So to use an anchor on a bank can be too risky - I could have lost all my ropes because of that.
I have been driven slightly west and now I am at the western edge of the southern part of the bank. By moving North I will enter more shallow part of the bank and then will try to drop the anchor again.

The weather is excellent - touch wood!

The fish started to bait here immediately. First it was a shark sucker, but being as I do not fancy it too much, I cooked just a part of it and the rest has been used as a next bait. And it caught me a good tuna! So for now I have  fish in abundance indeed.

A lot of birds are landing on the deck. This morning an albatross arrived, sat down on the cabin and started to shit straight on the vent. And the next moment the cabin was full of  poultry farm's odour.
I didn't feel like scaring the bird, so I set the vent on "out", and lit a cigarette... A proud bird
burst into coughing and left me for good.

02:00GMT ( 6am onboard "Ukraine")

Due to strong current even with a sea anchor the boat is drifting north-west . Ahead of me  there must be a shallow bank with depth of 9 metres; I'll try to get there and drop a bottom anchor. To slow the boat down appeared to be not  such an easy task. But weather is fine - light wind and short waves.
It's a strange and good feeling - not to be in a rush, not to speed up the approach of the finish, which is already so close; to have excuse to prolong this farewell with no doubt A GREAT ocean, that I had privilege to spend more than 50 days and nights tête-à-tête...

Nov 4, 2005.
15:00GMT ( 7:00pm onboard "Ukraine")

Almost the whole day I was rowing through unexpected floating "islands" - hundreds of various footwear, mostly beach and open-toe sandals, are migrating all around the ocean, gathering into  flocks. Many of them are inhabited, and here and there I could see either crabs or goose-necks, travelling with their drifting premises.
There is 90 miles left to Mahe, but I am slowing down - my "support-team" is coming to the island  only on the 8th, and I would like to see at least a few familiar faces meeting me at my arrival.... So I am thinking about spending the night on a sea anchor.
The weather is wonderful.

02:00GMT (6:00am onboard "Ukraine")

Gloomy sky and the sun rose in the clouds. The wind is light and waves not big - just a weather for rowing. And besides both the night and the morning are amazingly fresh.
It's a shame the approach to the islets on my way is so difficult or even impossible due to circles of barrier reefs, otherwise it would be great to make a stopover

Local fisherman off one of Les Comoros islands.

Nov 3, 2005.
15:00GMT (7:00pm onboard "Ukraine")

Just a regular day - nothing special, nothing exiting.
There are clouds at the horizon and I am not expecting any good from them...
The only fish that I had has gone for a bait. And almost immediately it was torn away together with half a line. So willy-nilly I have to reconcile myself with "Mountain House".
The sea is crossed.
But for now  not so much is left too go

02:00GMT (6:00am onboard "Ukraine")

Not an easy night, quiet busy - the wind kept changing direction several times and almost half a night I  had to rest on sea anchor. But I did not loose any miles, though did not gain any as well.
The sea is disturbed and choppy. I guess that two different systems are meeting here - a new one and the old from South-East.
A flying fish has landed on the deck and after the breakfast I'm going to use it as a bait.
I am expecting some difficulties in front of me soon - numerous banks and shallows ahead, and I have to approach Mahe from the South. I have to presume that at that point there exists a possibility to be blown pass the island, but I have to deal with it in due course, I think...

Nov 2, 2005.
13:35GMT (5:35pm onboard "Ukraine")

Hottest sailor's salute from the Indian Ocean!

Same hot, same hot... And like yesterday I've spent almost entire afternoon either relaxing in the cabin or swimming and diving around the boat - "on a long lead". The wind is light, but sometimes sporadic huge waves keep coming from south-east, not corresponding by force the gentle wind at all.
There are just cumulus and no strata in the sky. I am getting ready for the night and hope for wind  not to change and to propell boat further north-westwards over the night - while I am asleep.

02:00GMT ( 6:00am onboard "Ukraine")

Tonight wind was changing its direction for several times, but by now it set stable and the weather's  got better.
On the bow there sits a young sea swallow that has spent the night on the deck - still a fledgling, in nestling's feathering. The sun has risen and the birdie is cleaning its feather... So will  I - I'm going to clean my "feather" and to have my breakfast: a slice of salted fish, followed by something from Mountain House - I think it'll be "Stewed Beef" this time, - and "cafe latte". Well, of course an earthly food would be better, such as a beefsteak or fried eggs...
At yesterday's supper I finished with last vodka.
So the beer has burst out of its cans, the vodka has gone - it's high time I landed

Nov 1, 2005.
13:45GMT ( 5:45pm onboard "Ukraine")

The day passed away smoothly and quietly; though in the midday it was very hot again and I was escaping the heat by swimming and hiding in the cabin. But now the sun's behind thin clouds, the heat went down and it's nice to be  outdoors again.
Two huge dorada are following the boat, but they are out of my interest for now - I've got plenty of fish still left, so I'm full and content.
I am nearing the Seychelles Banks from the south. The banks are quite deep and there are no visible changes in the character of the sea that I would have noticed so far.
Well, now I am going to see the sun off, have my supper, take a small break and then take on oars and row with evening freshness - "under the stars".

02:00GMT ( 6:00am onboard "Ukraine")

A quiet night - SeaMe kept silent and did not disturb me.

A pleasant morning - same rare cumulus; short waves - not bigger than 1 - 1.5 metres; an even wind.
Yesterday I was enjoying a wonderful supper, I had all... but a good company.


 © 1983-2004 Ocean Rowing Society

Design by REDTED