Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Day 27

More confirmed flying fish sightings today, this time two different schools of them in flight. Bright, silvery, hot-dog shaped bodies with blue highlights up close to the wings. They make a little pop when they fly out of a wave and you can hear their whirring fins/wings beating like mad as they go by. One school of 6-8 of them must have flown 200 feet as I watched, and I'm pretty sure that at one point they went up, which I didn't think they could do. Maybe it was an illusion caused by a wave dropping out from underneath them?

Winds are again light today (10 knots), and I missed my goal of crossing 28W before nightfall by a few miles, though I should cross it overnight. I'm also very close to crossing 20N, which will be a nice milestone too. With that said, my sights are set on 30W, which marks the end of this quarter of the row (in my mind), and the beginning of the second quarter, which I think will be the toughest for me mentally -- more on this in the next couple of days.

Am feeling some fatigue, maybe due to the more strenuous rowing required when the wind is light. Has also occurred to me that I'm not getting enough rest, or that the calorie deficit I'm running every day is starting to take a toll, though I doubt it because I've got plenty left to burn. I am losing some weight, but not enough that it I should feel it, I think. Will try to get pictures of my hands tomorrow (they're really not bad, though), as long as I can figure out how to operate the camera with my teeth. Nothing to it!

Fred -- you and I are on the same page I think. The only thing I run from the bow is the actual sea anchor (nine feet in diameter), which I've had out twice in heavy weather. At night I regularly trail the knotted line from the stern so as to keep boat speed up, which seems to average about 1 knot or so while I'm asleep. Regarding my availability as crew for a crossing in a bigger boat, sign me up on one condition -- there must be more wind than I usually see on the Long Island sound on Friday nights in the summer!



Anonymous said...


Wow you really have grown up from the last time i heard from you. I wanted to give you a special shout out and let you know that Alan Zinter, Brook Fordyce and myself are not assistant coaches in the bmets system. Should be in binghamton this summer!...

Chris B

Anonymous said...

Hi Paul, it's Alexander. Do you plan to catch and eat fish? How is the water pump?

We just looked up dorado and they are huge! The world record is 88lbs and was caught in the Bahamas. My mom thinks they look mean.

Who do you want to win the superbowl?

Anonymous said...

Hey Paul,

As you can see from Alexander's posts you rank as a hero in our house (and among the nine year olds in Fairfield!). We diligently track your progress every evening and love learning about the fish.

Be safe,


Anonymous said...

Hey Paul,

Have you tried reducing the load on the oars by moving the buttons towards the blades? Do this on calm days, and increase the load when you have a tailwind.

It'll help your back and the fatigue.

Keep the faith! We're.....er....pulling for you.....figuratively :-)


Anonymous said...

Hi Paul,

Phil & Margo from CTK, so great to hear the details it continues to make us feel like we are so close. I'm working on a project to help bring in some additional funds and will keep you posted when it comes together. It's really fun to see and read the comments from so many people involved and praying for you.

ps Sorry Joy for calling you Joyce in my last comment it was late at night!!

We are wondering how the stars are at night they must be really bright and have you had some pretty sunsets??

Keep up the Great Effort & we'll keep Praying

Fred Bostrom said...


I saw a Blog comment from your Grandpa a few days ago that brought back some nice memories from the late 1990's when you played Home Run Derby with my batting practice pitches at Rec Park in Binghamton. You would always take dead aim at the tennis court fence and your Mom and Grandpa would chase down the baseballs you hit. With all of the rowing you are doing and as big as you have grown you could probably hit baseballs over the tennis court and into the street now. I still have my bag of baseballs if you have the desire to play Home Run Derby when you get back.

Speaking of baseball I do have a question. Back when you were growing up you often wore a shirt with "Salmon" on he back. As you were quick to point out, Tim Salmon is one of the best players
in California Angels history. I know that your Dad and Grandpa are big Yankee fans. But you always rooted for the Angels. From the comments that I have been reading in your Blog it appears that you are a Yankee fan now. There is nothing wrong with being a Yankee fan and they are loaded with good players this year. But the Angels have a very good team and even though they got knocked out of the Playoffs early had the best regular season record in
baseball last year. So while you are rowing tomorrow please think about all of the reasons you switched.

Fred B

Anonymous said...

I like so many others come to the site and check Paul's progress and get a sense of what he is going through out on the big blue. I know that a lot of you have donated to the cause but I also know that there is a long way to go to meet the goals that Row for Hope has set for Paul's adventure. Times are tough for everyone in this economy but if we can all sacrifice one night out on the town or having one less meal out during the week we can put a dent in the remaining goal. Paul is digging deep and giving up so much lets try and do the same if only for one weekend. I'm off the soap box.

Anonymous said...

what kind of sattellite comms gear are you using ? all the best
gary moore

Anonymous said...

Hi Paul,
Your adventure is captivating! Some days I am able to have a laptop and projector in my classroom, so I put your website up and my 8th graders enjoy going through your blog. The 8th grade English teacher is using your adventure to motivate some of her students in their writing. Your trip certainly has had a huge "ripple" affect.
Yesterday, we went on a field trip to Corning Museum of Glass and at the Hot Glass Show, the artist produced a white bottle with the Yankees "NY" symbol on it.(It was designed by Dakota Bennett - one of our 8th grade students). Pretty cool!
Stay safe and know you are in my prayers.
Denise Scalzo

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

Hi Buddy - Progress, progress - every day is a milestone. We're happy to hear about the wild-life and the cool things you are seeing. Although I think there might be some writing critics out there who take issue with 'hot-dog shaped bodies' on fish. That mixes metaphors - or something. Anyhow, it's so important that you take time out from the physical stress of rowing to look around and really see all there is to see out there in the middle of no where. We don't want you to come back and not remember anything but being tired! Try to head for sleep before you are completely exhausted. Sleep is for relaxation - if you get too tired it won't happen and won't be as restful as you need. You're doing a fabulous job - keep it up!xxoo-

Anonymous said...

Hi Paul,
I sent a copy of the article about your row that appeared in the Spanish newspaper to your cousin Caroline (Barb and Mike's daughter) who is a Spanish teacher in Florida. Here's part of her reply (by the way, she's a bit miffed that we didn't take her to the Canaries with us to translate. Oh well, next time we're in a Spanish speaking country, we'll bring her along. She has quite a sense of humor -- a bit quirky, but that's on her mother's side.)

Here are her comments:..."Anyways, thanks for the article! It was so cool to read about Paul in Spanish. Your trip sounded like a nice, Spanish-filled, pre-Christmas getaway. It did make me wonder, however, why you didn't bring your favorite Spanish-speaking niece with you to Spain? I could have been a very good translator. hahahahhaha. I wanted to tell you though that the word has definitely gotten out about Paul at my school so he has a whole army of people not only truly interested in his journey, but a whole lot of crazy Catholics praying for him.
Seriously, it's all the staff at my school ever wants to talk to me about. I was on a retreat for my program this weekend as well, and I was discussing it with other people there, so Paul now has people all over FL supporting him and praying for him. His web site is actually a favorite for lots of my co-workers who like to procrastinate at work....believe me....Paul's web site is way more interesting than grading papers. It's my goal to get the whole state of FL supporting Paul before he comes home. hahahaha. just kidding.
Any who, I just wanted to let you know that Paul is well supported and prayed for in FL."

Come home soon -- we love you tons!

Anonymous said...

Greetings from sunny Scotland (actually it's a bit dull but you'd never know from where you are). The friend-of-a-friend network is still going strong.
I check up every few days to see how your quest is going and hope the fundraising is doing as well as you are. To that end, I put a little note and link in my company newsletter about your efforts. If everybody reads it, it's an audience of 6000+ and reaches over 40 countries in 5 continents (though no offices in the States yet).....if you get even one donation from that then its been worth it.

All the best for the rest of your journey.

Doug W

P.S. With the upcoming SuperBowl in mind....American 'Football'- what's that all about?...
1. There's only proper kind of football (you call it soccer)
2. If that's not violent enough (and you'd be surprised) then play rugby instead.....none of this full body armour stuff and stopping for a rest every few seconds.

LovelyLL said...

Have you listened to all the songs on your ipod yet?

Margaret Bowling said...

If feeling fatigued don't be afraid to schedule a half day rest for yourself. It will dramatically improve performance.
We saw a 6ft dorado out there - it was biggest they get and took days of friends researching what it could be to figure it out!

Dan said...

Nothing much to say. Just wanted to say hello and keep banging out longitude lines.

Marlene said...

Hi Paul,
I am enjoying a snow day in wintery Binghamton.
I have decided that I will have to have a roll of duct tape to pass on to you when you arrive in Binghamton. I have not had luck with gorilla glue so I hope the gorilla tape is better. I hope the water maker is working smoother now.
When I heard you talk about the fish living under your boat all I could think of was the book Moby Dick and how boring that book was. I had to read it in 12th grade English and hated every minute of that story. The moral of that comment is - if you write a book about your trip, make it more exciting than Moby Dick!
Just wondering if that black bird is still hanging out with you. Couldn't help but think of Robert when you were talking about it. I can't keep you up to date on the Yankees like Robert could but I can tell you that I read a heart warming story about Kurt Warner and am now want the Cardinals to win the Super Bowl.
Take care and the sunshine that seems to be missing here in Binghamton. Love, Marlene

Gabby said...

WOW Day 27 and almost 25% completed....it's such an amazing accomplishment.
You certainly picked a good winter to leave the N.E....more snow today!
Love reading your blog, my entire house continues to root for you!