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 November 1-9

OCTOBER 11 - 31

Time zone: GMT + 4 hours

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Oct 31, 2005.
14:10GMT ( 6:10pm onboard "Ukraine")

Gentle breeze has been carrying us the whole day and right way - in proper direction.
I've caught a dorada, and now I'm going to have a festive supper. On the menu - fried fish with salad of baked beans and onion under mayonnaise. Its delicious, no kidding ( though that's all from what I have to be used as a salad). Vodka and tonic will be served for a drink, and cheese cake for desert.

The sky does not differ much from what's been over there in height for the last ten days - not compact thin cumulus
The wavelets are short and the sunset is quiet. It looks like the night can be good, if only the ships could give me a break. When SeaMe is squeaking, I'm out to gaze round, trying to predict from which side to expect the ship to drive into me

02:30GMT ( 6:30am onboard "Ukraine")

The night's gone in bustling around - my SeaMe was chirping till dawn and I was clearing the passing by ships. I had to watch their heading, not knowing if they saw me until we definitely were out of danger - each time it was taking an hour and a half.

I must be somehow in a very strange place now. I've crossed the 8th latitude and may be  some currents are coming here together. There's not much of wind but the waves are quite sharp and frequent.
All is ok, but still no fishing : my bait - flying fish - has not yet arrive, there's none on the deck.
Best regards from dolphins! Wow, what a family is following me - there must be more than a hundred. They are  on parallel course - fishing, emerging, coming back, making circles...

I have switched  the second Argos beacon on.

Oct 30, 2005.
14:00GMT ( 6:00pm onboard "Ukraine")

After sunset in the East and before the dawn in the West I am watching Mars. Next time it's going to be as close to Earth as it's now only in 2018. Rather evil looking planet - gloomy-red, dominating over the sky...

Mostly moderate breeze. Sometimes dark clouds come flying and wind is increasing; but gusts do not last long and everything comes back to normal soon enough.
Wavelets are small and short .

A dorada is circling around the boat, frisking and fishing. And that's all I can see - not a single living creature besides. But never mind, I have islands and new shallows ahead of me - something more interesting to deal with than this desert.

The course due North-West

02:05GMT ( 6:05am onboard "Ukraine")

Yesterday evening we went through a squall. The wind was just terrible. The edges of crests were breaking into spindrift and the foam was blown away in streaks. I was prepared to it - there was nothing on the deck and I was in the cabin. But in forty minutes everything was over. Then there came a shower, followed by windless serenity.
At night I cleared with a ship; cannot not really say what  ship it was, but it was aiming north, most probably to Seychelles as I do.

The sky is overcast, the wind is week. I am rowing North.

Oct 29, 2005.
14:00GMT ( 6 pm onboard "Ukraine")

All in all it was not a bad day. Sometimes the sun peeped out, being in fact quite mild. But mostly it was raining; I didn't mind to row and take a shower at the same time, and at the end of the day the outcome was good.

Late afternoon the wind started to rise and now a visible squall is moving from the East. I'm expecting it's arrival here shortly, so I'd better tidy and sort the things out on the deck and then go and lock myself into the cabin.
The bank is over - I am back at sea. Next - course due Mahe.
The sea is well disturbed; of course the shallow does reduce it for some instance, but sharp 'n' fussy waves are in abundance here.
No luck with fishing on the bank - couldn't catch anything this time, may be because I ran out of bait and for some strange reason there was no flying fish in the area at all. But as soon as I entered the depth, they have restarted their flight to end it on my deck the way they'd done before

A squall.
 Photo - team of
catamaran Centaurus-II
Click on the image to enlarge

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

Well - well, as far as yesterday I had progressed not more than marking time, after the sunset I took on oars and rowed for half a night. The wind was still NE, but not so strong; and it was pleasantly fresh, and I enjoyed recovering after the day heat.
Then suddenly wind picked me up - a proper SE one! - and I was meeting dawn being already on the bank - the northern part of Saya de Mala.

It's raining since the morning and greyish mist is hanging in  the air, but I do not object at all - I  feel just good...

Phil, you are asking me what else I would like you to wish me, something that I need most of all... Here is the answer: "No more North wind, please!"

The South Wind,
Frederick Cayley Robinson

Oct 28, 2005.
13:00GMT ( 5 pm onboard "Ukraine")

Have not cleared the strait yet. There is almost no progress and I've lost all the miles I had managed to gain before - wind keeps driving us backwards. I tried to rest on a sea anchor, but it appeared to be useless.
Day time is so unimaginably hot that I just could not stay out for more than 15 minutes - a mere sauna! - no way to row at all. And it was just recently, closer to sunset, that I resumed rowing  and will row on over the night


14:00GMT ( 6 am onboard "Ukraine")

I am still in deep waters of the strait. It was calm yesterday and the evening was fine, but shortly after sunset the wind changed for NE and started persistently push me south-west. First I was resisting and rowed half a night, but then I gave up, set the sea anchor and went to bed. Now I am waiting for this nuisance to abate...
I have lost 6 miles.

Oct 27, 2005.
14:00GMT ( 6 pm onboard "Ukraine")

Today I was rowing across a deep straight that separates two banks, and the colour of water changed into sapphire-blue.

The heat was unbearable; it was raining all around above the horizon, but the exhausting sun above my head was scorching me unmercifully.

Finally I worked out a schedule, according to which I was rowing for half an hour and then - for 5 minutes, - just dangling on the rope around the boat. But I could not wait until the sunset so that to row in comfort and evening freshness - the current was too strong and would drag me straight west. And as far as for now I'd go with nothing but north-west, I had to compensate the current straight off. Well, the next bank is not far away, the strait will be over and current as well.

My remoras deserted the moment I started to enter the deep...

Set a fishing tackle, using a finger-size flying fish as a bait and caught a flying fish of 40 cm and pound of weight - excellent! I will salt it's fillet part for a delicious appetizer, and the tail will be used as a bait for next fish.
Most probably the rain will catch with me up at the sunset. I think the night will be good


02:05GMT ( 6:05am onboard "Ukraine")

Good morning after a good night. The sea is relatively calm.
Once again up till the dawn "somebody" kept knocking into the bottom of the boat and - the way I had done it the night before,- I tried to light IT with my torch, but could detect nothing.
No more fish left onboard - I was feeding my tenant-remoras with such fondness that have spent all my stock, so now I have to restore it by fishing again. Though in fact my line (a steel line!) has been ever torn by an undoubtedly very big species.
Further north-west there is a small bank, with depth of not more than 7 metres. Thinking about clearing it as quick as I can.

There are rains at the horizon, but they are likely to pass by in the distance...

Oct 26, 2005.
14:00GMT ( 6pm onboard "Ukraine")

One more in a row of enjoyable days has almost gone - it was quiet; the wind was light, nearly calm. Here and there under the water I could see sea floor - brownish-green reefs with bright sandy patches between them. The depth must be around 18 - 20 meters.
In the afternoon there raised plankton and water grew turbid, but plankton did not attract whales, that feed on it.

I've got busy with a household here - three shark suckers of 70cm long are staying with me and I am feeding them by hand, though doing it with some precautions: the moment you are loosing control they catch you by finger; and their teeth are petty and sharp as a grater.
Later in the afternoon, before the sunset the wind rose and mild breeze was gently propelling the boat forward  making me almost forget that I was rowing.

The sun is leaving me for the other side of The Earth, but for now, for the next couple of minutes, I still have its semicircle resting on the line of the horizon...


03:45GMT ( 7:45am onboard "Ukraine")

The night was splendid, and the morning is quiet and  mild.
The sea is so low and so smooth - I hardly can notice it. The same cumulus in the sky - just usual, nothing worrying.

Some impudent creatures kept knocking on the bottom of the boat the whole night long - not too loud, but rather persistently. It was several times that I got up and out with a torch. Each time the knocking stopped for a while, and I could see nothing beneath in the water. So that'll remain as a puzzle with me to ponder what/who those night visitors could really be

I am full, fine and cheerful. The bank is fantastic, and there's no  reason for me to fish any further - I've got fish in abundance.
Somehow I don't feel like going overboard for now - the water is saturated with all sort of wildlife. The other night my steel line was cut in a second, I felt just a short and good push - and the line has been gone. Who knows what it was, but must have been equal to a horse.

Well, may be a little bit later  I still will grow bolder and dare to swim...

Oct 25, 2005.
14:00GMT ( 6 pm onboard "Ukraine")

An absolutely remarkable day!
The wind is just good - SE, stable and moderate; the sea is still low, and boat's running easy.

The wild life on the bank is boiling! The first thing one sees is countless flocks of thousands sea swallows. They are following fish (resembling salmon), which are  hunting in great schools. And all their bustling looks much like a picturesque feast - with sparkles of jumping fish and hubbub of birds...
The bite... - I could only dream about! But in most cases I am getting barracuda, tuna and cleaning fishes (called remoras, or shark suckers). The last ones are in overwhelming priority. But every fishing session ends up the same way - some big catch tears the steel line and that's all I could see, can't define what it is.

I let all of them go, just took the shots and send them back home. I have still got the night barracuda and a tuna, added later today. I guess I won't be able to eat more than this. But the queue of those eager to be photographed became so long, that I finally pulled the line out...

I am eating fish and drinking tea; the spirits is high, I feel sound, the sky is quite acceptable and the night is promising to be a good night


1:30GMT ( 5:30am onboard "Ukraine")

It's dawn. Clouds are all around the sky, that looks not so cheerful at all, but there is a patch of blue straight above my head. The wave is sharp and petty, and boat is stepping, but I don't really care much - I have been used to it since serving [in the Navy Air forces] on The Baltic.

Yesterday, after the scheduled contact with ORS, I was reading the messages, one of which was from Phil Scantleburry [ Phil was a crew of Kilcullen - the yacht of support in ORSARR 2004, that Pavel entered and rowed the Atlantic in]. Besides all nice words of support he wished me to catch a good fish. You won't believe it - the very moment I was done with the letter, IT bit! "It" appeared to be a barracuda, approx. 80 cm long (31 - 32 inches) and 4 kg (8 - 9 pounds) of weight. Just the proper size, quite manageable to be eaten at full.
I pulled it in, disembowelled, cut, and right now I am about to treat myself with the most luxurious breakfast - going to fry fillet of barracuda!

According to charts there's 18 metres (59 - 60 feet) to the sea bottom here, but further on it's gonna be deeper. I am moving west, rowing around couple of shallows, and then will turn north. I estimate it will take me two more days to clear the bank.

Oct 24, 2005.
14:10GMT (6:10pm onboard "Ukraine")

I've just entered the Saya de Malha Bank. The character of the wave has changed at once, though I did not note the exact moment when - when and which way it has happened. But suddenly swells have disappeared and there's no more rollers; and the waves are much lesser, more sharp and more frequent - like in the Baltic Sea.
It's getting dark; I will row for a while, looking forward for to-morrow - I will try my best to enjoy these (relatively) shallow waters.


01:50GMT (5:45am onboard "Ukraine")

A carefree night, and only I from time to time was getting up to check the rudder.
The coming day - touch the wood! - seems to be not so bad either. There's no threatening clouds, no raising waves or irregular winds. And here I am, approaching a bank - it's Saya de Malha. One day more and I should be there. We'll see - if there are no breakers, I will try to row across it. Just wouldn't like to go too much East, and this way, after exiting the bank, I will be on the straight course to Seychelles!

Just recently in Lvov there was a gathering of colleges-geologists - my year's graduates from the Lvov University - almost 40 years ago!
Thank you, mates, for recollecting me, thank you for sending me the message. And though I am now in the middle of nowhere, doing nobody knows what in the Indian ocean, I am with you - with my heart and my thoughts, remembering all of you and always.              

Building of the Departments of Biology and Geology of the  Lvov State University

Oct 23, 2005.
14:15GMT (6:15pm onboard "Ukraine")

A pretty difficult day.
Several times we were caught by south-east squalls, with awful winds and heavy rains. I had to leave and lock myself in the cabin - it would be not the best idea to stay on deck in case of capsizing.
Though still there was a constant need to get on deck and adjust the rudder - the boat can't strictly follow the wind, now and then she tries to expose either starboard or port side to it, in a word - she's tacking on her own.

But for now, hopefully, the squall zone is over and we've got a good stable wind and not such high sea. The most important thing is that we have not been driven to any unwanted "somewhere"; course due west.
I am approaching shoals and intend to cross them, not to be blown pass Mahe.

It's sunset; I'm looking for a good night...

Click on the image to enlarge

01:45GMT (5:45am onboard "Ukraine")

Nothing disturbing during the night.
I've got rarely perfect conditions - strong fresh breeze and relatively even sea. The boat is being driven at a wonderful speed,  me simply correcting the course - and here we go!
The appetite has suddenly came back, as if there were no problems at all.

Photo by Pavel Rezvoy. The Atlantic Ocean, 2004.

Oct 22, 2005.
14:30GMT (6:30pm onboard "Ukraine")

Pleasant day with mostly favourable wind, not too hot, so I spent it enjoying good rowing.
Went swimming numerous times. A big assembly of dorado came together under the boat, but - what a shame! - I've got nothing to offer them...
Evening. The Sun is setting into the sea; the clouds are just usual, nothing to worry.
We are proceeding westwards.

02:30GMT (6:30am onboard "Ukraine")

I was rowing at night - daytime's too hot for this sort of activity; and today is most likely to be not much better.
Tonight was deadly windless as well, and into the bargain I was feeling much sleepy. So I guess the daily progress will not exceed 30 miles - just can't do any better.

The night sky is rewardingly splendid, though it's still difficult for me to accept there's no Ursa Major (Big Dipper) to rule the sky, and this fact makes it look quite alien. The bottomless abyss beneath is less sensed than the space one above me...

I feel good, though the rear, so to say "the less beautiful" part of my back, - is suffering problems and is covered with plasters. Well, as far as I know - a common problem of all [ocean] rowers, finally - not such a big deal.
And in the rest - I am fine and everything onboard is fine as well.


Oct 21, 2005.
02:20GMT (6:20am onboard "Ukraine")

Spent a good portion of the night getting out of the way of a container carrier.
Morning. There are practically no clouds in the sky, the wind is calming down. It looks like we are facing another dead-calm day with sporadic bursts of wind blowing from every direction imaginable - so, I'm going to have a quick breakfast and row as much as I can while the wind is right.
Then, probably, when the wind will start dragging me around, I will lay-to a Sea Anchor and wait for better conditions.
My spirits are high; my appetite for food is still rather poor, but I'm getting used to it.

Thanks to sister Irina for wishing me to catch a sailfish. That would have been just beautiful...The fish should not be too big though...

Oct 20, 2005.
13:00GMT (5pm onboard "Ukraine")

During the day there mostly reigned  a nearly dead calm, though often disturbed by a sudden wind, that kept coming from the less expected directions - from the north, and south, and west... And the boat's bow was jerking and pointing at all parts of the world - like in the Brownian movement,  in "constant irregular motion".
It's only three hours ago that wind - a proper south-east wind - did set at last, and enabled me to row and progress NW. But the actual mileage is going to be too low today - must be something around 10 odd miles. Well, not in minus -
at least...

Late afternoon I was approached by a big family of dolphins, that dedicated me a special performance "to smooth my wounds" - absolutely, remarkably good one! All of them were not bigger than 2 metres, resembling our Aphalina [ dolphin of the Black Sea] and very attractive. Lots of thanks for such an entertainment!

The Nazareth bank and the rest in the chain are known as a feeding field for Humpback and Blue Whales; weather permitting I can sometimes slightly deviate from the course and enter the banks...

It's visible that I've moved to another time zone now - the sun is still shining and will dive behind the horizon in not earlier than an hour...

click on the image


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

I was rowing over the night up till the dawn, then had a nap and missed the sunrise. South wind pushes us northwards, so during the night I was trying my best to add some west degrees to the course.
The ocean is dead calm, never before have I seen such a perfectly ironed sea-surface, spread from horizon to horizon like a table-cloth without a wrinkle.
Nothing special about the sky - there are some rare cumulus, but yet in the north I can see something looking like a squall to me.
Well, shortly I am having my breakfast and taking on oars again. By now I've been already blown so far northwards, that don't have a chance to get between the banks. Finally and irrevocably I am destined to go to the Seychelles...

Perfect Calm
by Brett Sparrow & Scott Wonenberg.
Atlantic 2004.
Click on the image to enlarge

Time zone: GMT + 5 hours

Oct 19, 2005.
13:45GMT (6:45pm onboard "Ukraine")

Quite a decent day.
As it had been promised to me by the forecast, there really came high waves from the South, but they appeared to be even and rather harmless.
South/southeast wind is forcing me north, and there is nothing I can do about it; so the plan, advised to me by the Society [ORS] to target Seychelles as a finish point instead of Madagascar, - willy-nilly is coming to reality on its own. Of course, it's a pity not to get to Madagascar, that's what I'd really like to do, - but no way for me to row against the wind.
Thus, course due to Mahe, Seychelles - west-northwest, 299.6 degrees

I should have cooked my supper by now, but have no desire  to eat  at all - to tell the truth, I am eating with mere disgust. I turned out to behave like a capricious "Princess on a Pea" - I've tried and tasted everything, turned all the packs up :"No, not this; no, not this...". The most amazing thing is, that after I caught and ate that Devil Fish, I've got no wish to eat even a chunk of fish as well!
Last time in the Atlantic I went through the same feeling, and then it left me abruptly, in no time. So this time - some time - it will go as well...

Right now, north-west from here on the  sunset sky, I can see a finger of tornado stretched out from the clouds to the horizon. It's far enough, 5 or 10 km from me. Evil and beautiful... Will try to take a picture.


01:30GMT (6:30am onboard "Ukraine")

A very good night and in general everything is good but one thing - we are driven north and I am afraid not to get into the passage between the Nazareth and Somerville banks (13S). So today I have to row my best and to correct the course. And above this I do rely on the wind to give me some help.
Feeling good, "all the systems are functioning well", so I am bright and cheerful.

Oct 18, 2005.
14:00GMT (7pm onboard "Ukraine")

Reasonable weather with favourable wind in the morning, then the wind has suddenly changed to SE. For quite a while I had to row really hard just to stay on course. Now the wind is back to normal - westerly, that is.
My appetite seems to be gone now - the same thing had happened half way across the Atlantic Ocean. It will be back eventually meanwhile, I'm using gin and onion as appetizers. Good thing I've got a sufficient supply of this noble product (meaning onion) in Australia.
Photo by Pavel Rezvoy. Atlantic 2004.
Click on the image to enlarge

01:00GMT (6 am onboard "Ukraine")

Good morning! It's good indeed - we are in proper order, spirits are high,... though sometimes I feel it so boring  not to see a single living sea creature around: no wild life in the heart of the wilderness! Let at least that shark come and see us again - after all its visit has somehow broken the monotony of my daily routine.
I am constantly dragging a fishing line behind the boat in a hope to still catch something decent, but - nothing, just nothing! Well, let's wait until the shallow banks...

Oct 17, 2005.
13:30GMT (6:30pm onboard "Ukraine")

Good day, good wind - progressing westward. I feel good - at last had a brief swim today.
It is sunset; water is changing color from deep turquoise to grey.
Flying fish are jumping out of the water in front of me and gliding through the air in fan-like formations - beautiful sight...


01:40GMT (6:40am onboard "Ukraine")

I've been sleeping soundly - the night has not come with any surprises and went smoothly through and away.
Now there is an East/Southeast wind, so I will row, correcting the course for more westerly.
The sea is gently sloping,  the sky is cheerless - it's overcast with none of bright gaps.
It's time for breakfast. Alas, I've ran out of beans, so from now on I have only freeze-dried "Mountain House" to chose from. This morning I'm going to cook chicken breast with mashed potato - this dish tastes really good and I am having it only from time to time and as a special treat, and each time it makes me feel as having a feast... To tell the truth I am pretty fed up with all these packs, cans and tins, I am longing for some basic, simple earthly food.
I have music onboard, but can't listen to it any more - not by circle anyway. And it's only radio that is reliably bringing me news and entertainment. So, in general everything  is going due course here, and everything is all right.

Oct 16, 2005.
12:10GMT (5:10pm onboard "Ukraine")

The day could have been much better if not for an unbearable heat.
And into the bargain the moment when I decided to take a cooling swim around the boat, I saw a fat shark, approx 4-meter long. Of course, the idea to swim has gone...

We are proceeding west

01:35GMT (6:35am onboard "Ukraine")

It's been a good night for a good rest, but now the dawn sky is densely overcast and  visibility is  equal to zero. But nothing is a problem as far as the wind is driving us in proper direction

Oct 15, 2005.
12:30GMT (5:30pm onboard "Ukraine")

Lovely weather till the end of the day!
And right now I am lounging, enjoying magnificent sunset straight in front of the bow - course due west! Today I am very pleased with the progress - not bad, not bad at all...
So, things are looking good and for now I've got nothing more to report


01:30GMT (6:30am onboard "Ukraine")

The fish is no more - I have eaten all of it. Turned out to taste rather good this time looks like I've figured out the right way to cook it - still, too many bones for my liking.
The weather is quite acceptable. Well see what will happen to it through the day ahead.

Oct 14, 2005.
13:00GMT (6pm onboard "Ukraine")

After a day of good weather - a sudden gale - had to hide inside and stay there for about an hour and a half until the bad weather had been blown towards North. I can see some dark, torn clouds flying low in that direction...
Two cans of coke had popped up all by themselves. Was it because of a rapid atmospheric pressure change or they've just got fundamentally fed up with the climate - who knows...

02:20GMT (7:20am onboard "Ukraine")

I'm OK, at night another container carrier was passing by and I've rowed away from her - just in case. Caught a devil-fish about 4" long. I'm going to dress it and, despite it's all bones, eat it.
It's cloudy, but the weather is good...

Oct 13, 2005.
13:00GMT (6pm onboard "Ukraine")

The petrel flew away early in the morning, but the cockpit still smells like I'm running a floating chicken farm here...
I keep wearing my safety harness on (it resembles that thing they put on Siberian Huskies to pull a freight sled) - the waves are unpredictable - hitting at irregular intervals, rocking the boat...
But the weather is not bad - steady southerly wind, waves up to 2 meters high.
At noon there was a container-carrier passing by - too far to see any details about it...


02:25GMT (7:25am onboard "Ukraine")
Good weather, favorable wind.
The glorious dawn is breaking. There is a rather insolently-looking petrel sitting atop of the cabin, soiling my cockpit and taking off any time I'm trying to get closer for a shot.

My spirits are high - hopefully, it will be a good day...

Oct 12, 2005.
13:30GMT (6:30pm onboard "Ukraine")
It was a pleasant day - calm and not hot at all.
With halfway point behind me I've just realised that I have not seen a single whale or a dolphin on my way.
What I have seen a lot, though, were all kinds of plastic outsoles floating around, seemingly unaffected by the elements..

Oct 11, 2005.
13:00GMT (6pm onboard "Ukraine")
Today did not differ from the previous two: a period of calm, then some wind and calm again. Rowing was a torment - it was hellishly hot! I kept jumping into the water with shirt on and climbing back; it does refresh for a while, but the first light wind dries the shirt in a minute and it's becoming unbearably hot again.
And still I did not loose the positions and all in all we are moving west. So far...


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