• Heather Taylor

Five Days In

I'm sitting with the hatch open as my chilli cooks. Fairly calm night and the sun is back. Thus far it’s been good though today I had an inkling the fight west is about to begin. I left Monterey around 4pm on the Monday and rowed into a headwind which was a bit annoying as it was the one time I could actually choose the wind direction. Thankfully it died down after 2 hours and was quite peaceful. I took advantage of the mobile signal and made a few last calls. I actually talked to my parents and sister for a few hours, 11pm-2am, until I decided to stop for the night. I had been trying to get away from land as I wasn’t sure how quickly I might drift back, even on the anchor. Thankfully I was fine with regards to the shore. Despite having taken seasickness meds, two kinds, quite early on, it came around 8pm and I wasn’t able to keep much down over the next 48 hours. Trying to row 10 hrs on a piece of bread and a bottle of ginger beer is quite hard. I was able to eat dinner on the Tuesday night, but Wednesday breakfast didn’t last. By Wednesday night though, I was able to have small bits and pieces. I’ve been quite blessed with good weather up until now. The one windy night pushed me down south to avoid strong southerlies and otherwise I have had low winds which allows me to choose my direction. It feels quite weird to think that this is it. Finally started and yet it feels quite normal being on the boat. The expanse of time before me is probably the mystery. I popped into the cabin around 4pm on Wednesday for a rest and when I re-emerged clouds had come in and that was it for seeing land. All water from here. I’ve had a few visitors along the way. A couple ships at night on the Wednesday which were quite close. It was a foggy night so I could just make out lights once I popped my head out after the proximity alarm went off. I scrambled out for the first one and turned the boat as I was heading straight for it. It likely would have passed before I got there though. I had to change afterwards as my bed clothes got all wet on deck. The second ship passed behind me and sounded its fog horn several times but again just small lights in the fog. I saw a few more on Thursday afternoon as I definitely crossed a shipping lane. I also had birds as company up until today. Thursday night there were small chirping birds outside of the boat like I was in a little meadow. One decided to spend the night in the footwell of the rowing seat. I woke up to find him and another one tucked away in there. Given that’s where I spend most of my time, they had to move on. Got video of their aided escape using an oar. I did have to pick up one by hand/mitt- not a fan of birds up close. Tonight’s guest was a killer whale, I think. Definitely a whale and the dorsal fin had the look of an orca. While cool, I’ll admit as it was heading straight for the boat I didn’t know whether to be scared or not - would it hit the boat? It didn’t and surfaced on the other side continuing on its way. On the whole apart from the seasickness, fairly good start I think. Winds are changing tomorrow so we will see if it starts to get hard now.