Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Day 34

After the big entertainment yesterday, a shorter update today. Everyone's curious about "the swim." Haven't gone for a dip yet, but I'm planning on it next time the wind and waves die down. I actually don't really like swimming where I can't touch the bottom. A little ironic, isn't it? Not to mention the fact that I'm not a particularly good long distance swimmer. Maybe because my leg muscles are bigger than they should be from rowing and my arms are tiny in proportion? If you're curious, my map says that the ocean where I am is 2704 meters (I think) deep!

Biggest excitement of the day was when during my lunch break I was putting some food away (transferring from a week's worth that was in a garbage bag in the forward compartment to the cabin, where I keep food inside my balled-up survival suit, borrowed from Norwalk River Rowing Assn -- thanks Charles!), when I took the biggest splash yet in the rear hatch and directly into the cabin, soaking everything in sight. The biggest concern was the satellite phone, which took a glancing blow, but seems to be OK. If the sat phone where to go down it would be a big, big, problem -- no blogs, no calls to home/media/friends. Note to self: stop being stupid and leaving the hatch cracked open!

I'm headed out shortly to try a short night shift. Hopefully I can work an extra hour or two into the routine after dinner, to help get my mileage up. Seems like the wind's been weak for a while now. What happened to my days of clocking 40 plus good miles? Arggg...

Thanks to all who have supported this expedition and important research at Yale Cancer Center with a donation to Row for Hope. If you haven't donated, or if you would consider donating again, it would be much appreciated. To donate online use the link in the upper right-hand corner of this page or visit www.rowforhope.com.



Anonymous said...

Yes, but more importantly, are you a leprechaun?

Anonymous said...

Question from my friend: How does your ocean anchor work and do you use it at night?

Keep up the good work!

Seshat said...

Paul -
Okay - the water is fine - maybe a little cold..... can't be colder than Skaneateles Lake today - and the ice fishermen are crazy!!!

The image that comes to mind is one of an astronaut leaving the capsule for space.... tethered on...
You are tethered on, yes????

A dip is for the boring, no-wind day -
Paddle when there is wind!
We think of you every day -
Nancy and Marty

Anonymous said...

Hi Paul, it's Alexander. Where are you? I can't tell from the GPS and need to update the map.

That ship was REALLY big. How much bigger was the ship than the ones we see in the long island sound?

Are you sleeping OK? My mom wants to know about the stars and how many you can see.

I'm trying to figure out a way to raise money and will let you know. My brother and I raised money last year for the CT Challenge and will think of something for Row for Hope.

Keep up the good work.

Susan said...

Hey Paul!

Long time, no post, but I think about you all the time and read your blog every day.

So how's the water situation and that steering device? Is there a "lemon law" for rowboats, or if there is does it only include "normal driving conditions," excluding rows across the entire ocean....

So I was looking at your latest photos and had a great idea. You remember my friends who have the theater (how can you forget - esp. if I keep reminding you?). Well, their next show is a St. Patrick's Day show, and with your permission I'd like to submit your photo to casting - because I think "Anonymous" here has it right. You'd be perfect for the role of the leprechaun!!! (Will you be back my mid-March??) I'll have them start working on a costume...

Gotcha on the prayer list at church - hopefully that'll help those large sea vessels turn a hard left (or right) whenever necessary!

PS - I was surprised to learn that rowing builds muscles in your legs more than your upper body?! I was just saying to someone the other day I wondered if your legs would atrophy from lack of use - so much for that theory!!

Susan @ GA

Anonymous said...

Mr. Ridley,

I think it's absolutely amazing that you are doing this. My grandmother was diagnosed with leukemia last year and it really heightened my awareness of cancer. I'm so glad you are doing this and think you are a truly amazing person for doing such a thing. Keep up the good work!


Sean said...

I was curious about the anchor as well so I did a little research and found this.


Robina said...

I think you should just look at the swim like an early morning swim over to Green Island without the spotters...
This may be a dumb question but is Liv low enough in the water that you can easily get back on board from the water?
Still reading every morning!

Anonymous said...

Keep that hatch closed! -- ETS

Anonymous said...

Amazing how you can't get experience without making mistakes...

More snow yesterday :-(

We miss you around here....

Keep pulling!


Anonymous said...

Hey Paul!!!

The Binghamton General Hospital Pharmacy checks in on your expedition everyday and loves your updates.

We'll be sure to throw an ibuprofen on the floor for you at some point. =)

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

Hi Buddy - Much better update today - my grey hairs are multiplying at the same rate as your beard...Wild Bill has less of a problem with that, but I have noticed that a shot glass is never too far away.This trip would be a great time to practice your Polish counting for Euchre games - did you take your dictionary?I'm not sure how I feel about 'the swim'. I don't recall seeing swimmies packed anywhere in the boat and if you try to get your feet to touch the bottom we could have a big problem!I'm not all that concerned about house-keeping, so I vote for leaving the boat dirty. We've wondered too about the stars - can you id any constellations?You are in our thoughts and prayers every day and then some - xxoo-

LovelyLL said...

Can you see the Big Dipper??? I still can not..........

Anonymous said...

Should have packed the corona raft for your big swim.
Anyhow take care and be safe


Anonymous said...

So, on the list of "lessons learned, do you add "reserve one of those garbage bags to cover important equipment when the hatches are open"?

Be careful with that swim. I agree, it does sound a bit like an astronaut leaving the capsule!

Be Safe and be well.

Anonymous said...

Brother Paul,

This is Alouiticious Jackson! Who do you think would win in a fight on neutral ground, a llama or a kangaroo? Please advise immediately.

Having J.C. keep an eye on you!


Anonymous said...

I don't mean to put any pressure on you, but I feel that you are going to be cutting it close for this year's fantasy baseball draft...You know how teams make out when they aren't present for the draft...i suggest you start doing some 70 mile days...

on a more serious note, have you had to deal with any hard rain/storms?

50 cent is coming out with a new cd soon, I will be sure to burn that for ya

keep it up bud

Mark said...

Hey Paul, my name is Mark Kelso. I'm a Theta Chi brother here at Colgate and I just wanted to let you know we're all really pumped about what you're doing. Keep on keepin' on, brother.

Anonymous said...


Colgate '07 grad here. Just read your entire blog (a very productive nearly 2 hour use of my time in my office job, whoops). Absolutely amazing stuff, keep on truckin', man, you're a real inspiration.

A couple things you can ponder during your row that may keep your mind occupied for a little.

1. Who would win in a fight - a tyrannosaurus rex or a billion (yes, a billion) chickens? Assume that the fight would take place in an enormous (as in, many square miles) arena, the T Rex would be in the middle and the chickens would be released at it from all angles.

2. If all the animals in the world turned against all the humans and waged war, who would win? And not only who would win (because I think after a little bit of thought, that answer is pretty obvious), but how would this war go down and what would be our best tactics of defense? (assume that animals would be capable of mobilization, and all of them would be hostile.)


p.s. sorry if this posted multiple times, for some reason it wasn't appearing so I hit publish a few times