Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Day 70

Brutally hot day out here today and little progress to show for it. Not even a whisper of wind in the morning and afternoon, which left the boat feeling heavier than it's ever been and me dripping with sweat after only a few minutes of rowing. The wind picked up some from the North and NW by evening, neither of which helped me, but it still allowed for some slow and sloppy rowing. In all I clocked 17.5 nautical miles to the West, and gave up about 9 (I think) to the South. I gave myself a reprieve on night rowing tonight, as I'm exhausted physically and after all this weather nonsense nearing the end of my rope mentally.

I'm back again to the latitude of English Harbor, so I'll need to be careful again about going too far south. I've gotten all sorts of advice on what latitude I want to be on for the approach to Antigua (if it ever comes). For now I think I'll try to be in the range of 5-10 miles South and slowly work my way up with the help of a weak current that kicks in from the SE at the very end. With that said, winds are still forecast to be more from the North than the East through Saturday afternoon or so.

The forecast is for a couple more days of challenging weather that will include combinations of no wind and wind from the wrong direction, though hopefully not strong or long enough to push me too far backwards from here. With that said, good progress will likely be hard to come by until Saturday or Sunday, when things will finally start to straighten out. Not sure what effect all of this is having on my arrival times, but I would hope that by early next week we'll be able to give a revised estimate.

Now as promised a little on the wild life I've seen recently. First, below is an up-close picture of a flying fish that crash-landed on deck a few nights ago. This one's "wings" look a little bit worse for wear, but you get the idea.

Secondly, below is a picture of this animal (?) that I've seen frequently throughout the trip. I don't know how to describe it really, other than that it seems to float on the surface and get pushed around by the wind that catches its pink and purple "sail." I've seen these in all sorts of sizes, but the one pictured is on the larger side. A closer look shows that it has dark-colored tentacles that trail below it, but other than that I have no idea what to make of it. Can someone tell me anything about this thing?

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



Anonymous said...

ok, so I'm not completely computer stupid, but I didn't see the pictures. Was there a problem adding them to the blog?

Anonymous said...

Here are some comments left by folks waiting for Paul to post today:

K-Rock and #1 Wild Bill said...
Hi all - I'm really starting to think that Paul's trip has even more influence than posible. On his Day 69 - a huge rowing day, the Dow bounced by almost 400 points - yesterday, a slow day for Liv, and the Dow only managed 30 points...hmmm.....We better get this row finished up so the world economy can stabilize. Hope for Rowing during the last few weeks - do your Wind Dances, Prayers, Chants - whatever...
Keep up the support for Row for Hope - Thanks -

March 12, 2009 1:14 PM

Anonymous said...
Perhaps under the heading of wind dances, tomorrow, Friday, will be an especially good day. For all of the Colgate friends, and friends of friends, tomorrow is "'GATE DAY" 13 being a special number in the Colgate community. So friends, to honor Paul, it would be an especially good day to hit the donate button with a contribution of $13, or multiples thereof! How well timed is this trip that it spans Two 'GATE Days?!?!

To Paul, Be safe, Be well and Row Hard!

March 12, 2009 2:38 PM

Anonymous said...
Hope the transmission issues get worked out. My ski house will be wearing some Row For Hope marketing materials (hope this is OK!!) up in Stowe, VT, this weekend. Hoping to bring in some $$$. Will send pictures on Monday. I'm sure they will prove hilarious.

March 12, 2009 8:16 PM

Mr. Brightside said...


That's a Portugese Man of War and they are extremely painful if you get stung by them. Do NOT scrape barnacles if you see one nearby.

Most I've used my marine bio degree in a few years. Hope the trip is going well!

Anonymous said...

I can sesnse you're down after less progress than you'd hoped for today, but DOG!!!! You are, relatively speaking, suuuuper crazy close. I know you have the juice. If you didn't, you wouldn't be where you are now.

So play some Neil Diamond and Turn On Your Heartlight, man! Or, you know, whatever inspires you, haha. You're doing great.


Anonymous said...

You can push through, Paul! Keep your chin up and keep thinking about the reward!

Happy early Colgate Day!!! We'll all be thinking of you and hoping for great wind (in the right direction)!


Anonymous said...

Hey Paul,

I am very inspired by your row. I have been following your progress throughout and loved the interview.

On topic of the Portuguese Man o' War "the booger like purple thing." It is very harmful to fish and humans, meaning don't ever touch it dead or alive. However, they are interesting creatures because they are actually a group of organisms working together (4 Polyps). Each has their own function to create the whole organism. It also gets its name because the top part that sticks out of the water resembles an old warship at full sail.

Probably more than you wanted to know, but there you have it. Row strong and don't let the winds get you down. Me and my co-workers down here in NW Florida are following your incredible journey.

Take care!!

Brooke S. (honorary Norwalk rower in Florida)

Anonymous said...

jellyfish, no?

Anonymous said...

I say poke the pink thing with your oar or a stick

S Pedersen said...

Hoping for great progress on 'gate day.

Be wary of those Portugese Man o' wars - potent and painful as noted above.

Keep pressing - you're never out of the game until you think you're ouit of it.

Anonymous said...

dear Paul
I saw your picture of the fish
I have a Question for you what is that fish called

write back