9 March 2013
ALL GOOD NEWS!.....I only needed to deploy the Para anchor twice last night as the wind clocked around and I was then able to drift in the right direction later on when I took breaks.
I saw a ship who came up behind me and passed by no more than half a mile from my port side. It as the Capetown Lonestar Cargo ship and wasn't very chatty on the VHF, but we did make contact long before the scene, so no worries. It was the first time I also smelt diesel and general smells that come from a ship, long after he disappeared into the night. Then whilst lying down in the early hours this morning, looking out of my hatch, the brown bird landed on my spare oars not 3 feet from my face and just looked at me with a "I am not good to eat, so just let rest a bit eh?". This was just what I neede and it calmed me through and through and made me remember there are good things happening here and he is trusting me. So I took a few photos of him and let him rest whilst I did. He flew off an hour later.
This morning, I saw a bunch of whales not far from the boat, maybe half a kilometre away. I watched them spouting for a while before they moved on, then this afternoon, a cruise ship, The Aidaluna, Went by the opposite direction about 3 miles from me. I had a really good conversation with the Captain and he told all the passengers about me and passed on the website details to them before we said our good byes.
The wind has been a little better today, although very light. I have rowed many hours over the last week and this afternoon, my body said "enough" again, so I have been lying down to relax my muscles for three hours. My back is really sore now, but we are moving in the right direction and I know there is only one more bad day of this light stuff before a new strong NE sets in early next week. In time for me to finish!
I have had a host of help from locals about approaches to Barbados and it looks as though I have to be careful coming in as there are reefs there. A special thanks to Jonathan Cornelius at ABSAR for his advice and also to some locals who I believe are expecting me. Brian Wells is coming out to North Point to guide me in for the last 6 miles to Arawak Jetty where I will officially finish. The wind is meant to be about 20 knots NE when this all happens, so it could be a frantic finish. ETA???? I can reasonably say I will finish sometime between late Wednesday and early Friday which is enough to get the World Record.
I have 272 miles to go and better get back onto the oars again.
Thank you to all of you who have offered advice on this last stretch and and please keep those messages coming in.....I need them. One very lonely, tired man here who can't wait to read them once a day.