November 19, 2006
Two ocean crossing events are happening now
Ocean rowers Ralph Tuijin and his brother Michael are just over half way across the Atlantic ocean on their way from La Gomera, Spain to Curaco. The expedition is a sort of shake-down leg for Ralph, as his main focus is to cross the Pacific Ocean at its widest point - solo.
The 16,000-kilometer solo Pacific crossing will not make use of any motor or wind-related power. This extreme challenge will take between 7 and 9 months to complete and will be non-stop, without re-supplies or any other support. After leaving from Panama in January 2007 Ralph will set course for the city of Cairns in Australia, where he expects to arrive in mid-September.
The brothers left La Gomera, Spain on September 27, 2006 and almost immediately ran into difficulty. After suffering seemingly endless sea sickness, they were struck by some very large 8 meter seas and their wind generator snapped in half. Ralph and Michael were relying on the wind generator as their main source of power for the impressive satellite communications system they were sporting. The plan was to transmit daily video and photos from the expedition using a state of the art Nera Fleet 55 satellite communications system.
Since early September, the duo has been suffering from unusual calmness. Flat seas and no trade winds make for a slow trip! Due to the wind generator malfunction, I am very disappointed that we are not able to enjoy the video coverage of the expedition that was planned.
You can follow the progress of the Zeeman Challenger on their nifty Google maps page.
Today, Sunday, November 19th marked the start of the “RAMES GUYANE” event - the first transatlantic rowing race competed single-handed, non-stop and without assistance. Sixteen rowers - mostly from France will make their way 2600 nautical miles across the Atlantic ocean from St Louis in Senegal to French Guyana using a standard design 8 meter long, 1.6 meter wide rowing boat specially designed for this race.
The race is expected to take between 40 to 55 days depending upon weather. One of the main difficulties of “Rames Guyane” is the mandatory crossing of the “dol-drums” - an inter-tropical convergence area, where the trade winds give place to sporadic, uncertain and often adverse winds.
You can follow the progress of the RAMES GUYANE rowers at their Google maps "Cartographie"