Row4Ocean Time and Tide
DAKAR TO PARAMARIBO – 2305nm
Row4Ocean – World Record Attempt to row 2305nm. Africa to South America. Port of Departure: Dakar, Senegal, Africa – Port of Arrival: Paramaribo, Suriname, South America.
Team: Patrick Bol, Lewis Knollman,Andrew Ruinoff, Matt Wilds.
Day 14 Report: 1200 UTC Friday 28 December, 2018
After two weeks at sea, the Row4Ocean team are approaching halfway in their attempt to break Atlantic rowing records and raise the awareness for plastic pollution in our oceans. The team is battling power issues to work their auto-pilot and precious water-maker. Today, Friday 28 December, the team past the 1000 miles rowed milestone, and is approaching the half way stage. Row4Ocean has kept up an average speed of 3.15 knots, which is ahead of the current world record for the route (3.06 knots, set by a team of five, skippered by Ralph Tuijn earlier this year).
The weather forecast supplied by Row4Ocean sponsor StormGeo is looking good, solid trade winds are forecast for at least the next week, which will raise ‘Year of Zayed’ average speed in their quest to reach Paramaribo, Suriname. However, the row is entering into a very strategic phase for the duration of the row, as ocean currents begin to make a big impact on the progress of the team. The North Brazil Current (NBC) can run at over a metre per second.
“We have been getting detailed weather and current data from StormGeo,” commented Nick Leggatt, on board ‘Supertramp’, shadowing ‘Year of Zayed’. “It is important that we have these predictions because the team need to plan along way in advance. ‘Year of Zayed’ is only travelling at about 3 knots and can only alter course by a maximum of 60 degrees, so the team need to look as far ahead as possible. Even now, over 1000 miles from the finish, the team need to position the boat so that they can reach Paramaribo, rather than get swept by the current and wind to another part of the coast. After 14 days, it seems that their bodies are getting accustomed to the physical hardship, but it is not just a physical challenge, it is also a mental one.”
“We have about 15-20 knots of wind from a better wind direction and more significantly a sizeable sea state of close to 2.5 metres, which adds up to waves that we can sometimes surf down,” commented Patrick Bol from on board Year of Zayed. “We are posting much better daily average speed than in the flat seas experienced before. This extra speed is bringing a lot of happiness to the team. Our steering has been set for using minimum power consumption but we have reset that to give us a more aggressive steering mode for these bigger seas to stay perpendicular so that we do not broach.
We have had our Christmas Cake which we took with us, and it was a very welcome change to our staple diet of freeze dried food and biltong! On Christmas Day we took a slightly bigger break and all ate our food together but there were no gifts, we had no weigh allowance for presents. We did get messages from our families and friends on Christmas Day, and we really appreciated that and all the support we are getting. This is a memorable Christmas for us but we could not help imagining what it would be like to sit in that nice cozy environment with an iPad plugged into the electricity. For Row4Ocean we are still in ‘Apollo XIII mode’ – conserving every bit of power.”
Row4Ocean is raising awareness of plastic pollution in our oceans. According to reports, 8 billion kilos of plastic are dumped into the ocean every year, that’s a staggering 22,000,000 kilos of plastic every day; 900,000 kilos of plastic per hour; the equivalent of 60 container loads each weighing 15 tons. No wonder our beaches are covered in plastic debris. The problem will be with us for generations. Over the course of time the sun breaks down plastic into micro plastics. Fish and other marine life end up with plastic in their digestive system, which eventually makes it into the human food chain.
The ROW4OCEAN team will be sending regular reports from the Atlantic Ocean via satellite link.
Stay up-to-date with the #Row4Ocean expedition by following their activities directly on:
Website – Row4Ocean.com
Instagram – @row4ocean
Facebook – Row4Ocean