Another good question received via email: "Where would it go if you didn't row? I mean after you were clear of the West coast."
The answer is that I would drift towards Hawaii - but very slowly. Last year I asked the experts to run the figures through OSCURS, the ocean currents modeling software, and this is what they came up with. This is the route that my boat would have taken if I had set out from San Francisco in 2005.
In the real world, I hope to get there significantly faster. I'll be rowing 8-12 hours a day. After all, there's not much else to do once I get out there!
No, not crew for me. I row alone - definitely! But a New Zealand-based nonprofit is looking for crew to assist on research projects in the Pacific.
Fantastic Opportunity to join OceansWatch Yacht!
Oceanswatch, the newly formed Trust connecting sailors and divers with marine conservation and humanitarian projects, needs crew for two yachts this coming season in the Pacific region.
The yachts will be heading out from New Zealand into the Pacific during May to undertake a variety of marine conservation projects and humanitarian aid work in Tonga, Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea.
Magic Roundabout, a Sweden 34, will leave at the beginning of May for Vanuatu where the team will be assisting the Fisheries Dept with various projects, as well as conducting Reef Check surveys. After Vanuatu Magic Roundabout will head for Papua New Guinea where the crew will be working with the PNG Institute for Sustainable Marine Resources on marine conservation issues and also helping the people of Karkar Island. Skipper is OceansWatch founder Chris Bone.
Amadis, a 12m cutter owned by OceansWatch Trustee, Lily Kozmian-Leward, will sail from New Zealand towards the end of May to the Kingdom of Tonga where she will be working with the local Fisheries Dept as well as undertaking Reef Check surveys and working on whale identification. Lily is an experienced Marine Biologist who originally sailed from England in 2005 conducting coral reef conservation and monitoring surveys en route. She is looking for crew members, who can sail and dive, to join Amadis for a minimum of a month.
For Magic Roundabout OceansWatch needs -
• An experienced skipper from 25th June until August 10th - as a replacement for Chris Bone. They need to have reasonable diving experience, an interest in the environment and be sympathetic to the ideals of OceansWatch.
• A crew member with a Marine Biology degree who is an experienced diver, preferably with Reef Check accreditation, (Reef Check trainer would be even better) from Aug 1st to the end of season in November. This opportunity may suit an intern looking to gain experience working with an NGO in the Pacific Islands.
• A crew member from about July 1 to end of season - November. Must be a Divemaster to take responsibility for all marine survey diving, prefer Reef Check accredited, but we can train if necessary.
These opportunities are unique!
All positions are self funding, I.E. a contribution of NZ$250pw to cover food and boat running costs.
Please reply with a comprehensive C.V. outlining your experience to:
Landline +64 9 434 4066
Mobile +64 276 212 214
Mobile +64 273 408 618
I recently received this question: Have you ever heard of the BBC radio program called Desert Island Discs? They get famous people on and ask them what their essential CD would be if they were ever marooned on a desert island. Then they play the music. It's a great show. Not to carry the metaphor
too far, but being at sea for months on end does qualify as, at least a comparable circumstance. So what's on your MP3 that will get you through that length of time?
I think I answered a similar question while I was on the Atlantic, but that was a while ago now, so time for a revisit. Here is a list I put together for a radio interview here in the US a little while ago:
1. The Logical Song (Supertramp) - youthful dreams, and how easy it is to lose sight of them as "maturity" and cynicism set in
2. Sleeping Satellite (Tasmin Archer) - environmental awareness
3. Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Pink Floyd) - "you reached for the secret too soon, you tried for the moon" - memories of difficult early days on Atlantic, wondering if I had underestimated the scale of the challenge, or overestimated my ability to cope with it.
4. Bring Me To Life (Evanescence) - chose this for my video of being battered by storms. "Save me from the nothing I've become" - feelings of insignificance in the face of hostile natural elements
5. Stuck In A Moment (U2) - becalmed at sea - almost as bad as storms - frustration
6. Space Oddity (David Bowie) - "for here am I sitting in a tin can, far above the world, Planet Earth is blue and there's nothing I can do" - memories of isolation after my satellite phone broke, severing all communication with shore
7. Glorious (Andreas Johnson) - glorious feeling of arrival in Antigua
8. La Vida Loca (Ricky Martin) - just because it's fun! And life shouldn't be taken too seriously.
Last week I was having a meeting in Washington DC with some staff from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and they passed on this handy tip for finding out whether the fish on your plate is healthy and from sustainable stocks.
Simply use your mobile phone to text "Fish sea bass" (or whatever your fish of choice) to number 30644.
My "sea bass" enquiry brought this response:
"Black Sea Bass (GREEN) few env concerns. Chilean Sea Bass (RED) HEALTH ADVISORY: High mercury. Try striped bass or pacific halibut instead."
Click here to find out more details about Chilean Sea Bass from a recent National Geographic article)
Be warned: It does take a little while (several minutes) for the response to arrive, so you may not be popular if you start texting the entire fish menu from the restaurant, especially if your companions are hungry...
(Sorry, but this only works in the US. There may well be something similar in the UK - if anybody knows of such a service, let me know and I will publish details here.)
[photo: the Chilean Sea Bass. Eaten for its flavour rather than its handsome good looks]