Monday, January 19, 2009

Day 19: From Paul's Dad

Hi! It's Paul's dad, filling in once again for the "hometown hero." Paul has been tinkering with the water-maker in his spare time today (apparently the warranty doesn't include on-site service calls!), so he asked me to handle this post for him.

Paul's discovered one of the paradoxes of ocean rowing. The big waves and big winds can make rowing out there quite a bit hairier, but they can also push you along pretty well, assuming they're going in the right direction (as they have been). Conversely, when the seas calm down, you've got to row that much harder to make mileage. Today was one of those calmer days, and between that and his time spent on repairs, it won't be a stellar day, mileage-wise.

Still, the water-maker is working at the moment. Paul managed to get about a day's worth of water out of it and then turned it off, rather than have it blow its hose again. Like a banged-up baseball player, its status is what they call "day-to-day." But then, as Yankee broadcaster John Sterling is fond of saying, "We're all day-to-day!"

Among my Support Team duties, I'm the expedition's statistician and map-keeper. I'm happy to report that, within the last hour, Paul has now reached the 20% mark on his row - he's exactly 627 miles from La Gomera, and 2,493 miles from English Harbour, Antigua. While he's still got a long way to go, that's real progress!

Map fans might appreciate this Day 18 snapshot from Google Earth (click on it to enlarge). As you can see, Paul's near 21 degrees N latitude and 24 degrees W longitude. His destination is off the map, at about 17 N and 62 W.

It seems like an impossible distance, but there's real mileage between each of those little blue daily squares. Put enough of them together, and he's in Antigua!

I know how much Paul depends on your encouragement; I can hear it in his voice, over the sat phone. Keep it up!


Marlene McElligott said...

Hi Paul,
I don't know what to think about the beard. Maybe I shouldn't have asked for the update :) It seems to look like some parts of it are a little sparce. Maybe that is because of the red whiskers. Be careful you might really start to look like your dad before you know it.
I can't believe you are 1/5 of the way through this trip. Good luck on getting that water maker fixed. Did you bring along some tools and duct tape? I have duct tape will fix anything :)
As always, be careful! Love, Marlene

Anonymous said...

Awesome !
Fantastic experience !
Mental support from Anne L. in France

Anonymous said...

We heard your talk at CTK and are so amazed by your courage and conviction.
Every day we go on line with breathless anticipation to watch your progress and read your blog.
My small group at CTK voted to collect money each week through out your trip for you worthy cause, cancer.
We send to you our good thoughts and prayers everyday!
Evelyn and Bill

Michael said...

Random question of the day - when you were rowing at Colgate, was there a dog that liked to hang out at the boathouse and drop a rock at people's feet to play "fetch"? We called him "rock dog" (of course) and he was the unofficial mascot of Colgate Rowing (back in the days when we were still a club sport - I graduated in '88).

So whether you knew rock dog or not, hopefully I've offered a bit of a mental distraction to think about as you row!

PS - Do you ever do any "power 10s???" ;-)

Keep up the great work!

Michael said...

Paul & Family,

20%! That's amazing! Keep pushing and I'll keep reading and praying...


K-Rock and #1 Wild Bill said...

Hi Buddy - Inauguration Day today. Take some time to think about American ingenuity(aka a pasted together water maker), the American 'anything is possible' dream (aka beating the cancer demon),American courage and determination (aka You), American pride (aka The Rest of Us). Belt out a chorus or two of the Star Spangled Banner to entertain your turtle friends. You're doing us all proud - amazing progress - we're with you - God Bless America - xxoo-

Stephanie said...

Today was a great day for history! A new president AND you hit 20%. Have you watched any sunrises yet? I spent 6 weeks sailing the Atlantic a few years back and my absolute favorite thing to do was to watch the sunrise over all of that nothing. Of course I was on a sailboat with 35 other people and I had little to no physical activity, so it was quite different, but I just remember it being one of the most beautiful things in the world. Keep your head in the game and enjoy what you're doing; it's only a few months but you'll be able to brag forever!

Anonymous said...

Do you brush your teeth out there? And how are the snickers treating you?

Joan M. said...

Hi Paul,

Thought I'd finally check in. I've been reading the blog every day and you are giving me some chuckles - especially the latest pic. Don't think that in the last 3 years I've known you I've ever even seen a hair out of place (ha ha) let alone any facial hair!

Glad to see you're making real progress. My thoughts are with you - and remember - not much longer until Pitchers & Catchers!

Joan M.

Anonymous said...

Hi Paul,
The 8th graders were quite pleased at how quickly you answered their math question.
I used your progress listed on your blog today as our percent question of the day. Thank you for that.
We have another question for you:
This is a well known math problem called four-4's.

You must use all 4-4's.
You may use all/some operations with the 4-4's.
You may use exponents or square root.
You may use factorial (4!=4x3x2x1).
Using 4-4's you can get 0 - 100.

(4+4)/(4+4) = 1
4/4 + 4/4 = 2

The 8th graders are challenging you to figure out how to get 63.

If you have any energy left try 100

Good Luck.
NVCS 8th graders are cheering you on. Keep rowing hard and know you are in our thoughts (and prayers).

Mrs. Scalzo

Anonymous said...

Go Paul!

I posted your lovely mug on the website for all to see :-)

Your smile said it all.....

RE: Water maker. Any descriptions so we can help? Remember the scene in Apollo where the team at home helps get it done?

We've got a frozen river here at the club. Enjoy what you have, it can always be worse :-)


Anonymous said...

Hey Paul,
Survivor Atlantic! Day 19!
Row, row Row your boat!
You are amazing! My class loved the
thought of Pizza being delivered to
21N, 25W and we used Google Earth
to find you. Maybe we could send you some school cafeteria food?
All our best, Teddi and her class!