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Algae keeps Konyukhov’s boat on solo voyage in Pacific from sailing fast

January 29, 2014, 12:18 UTC+3 VLADIVOSTOK
Traveller regretted he had not thought of taking with him a simple mop that could be useful in cleaning the hull
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© Oscar Konyukhov/

VLADIVOSTOK, January 29. /ITAR-TASS/. A rowboat of world-famous Russian traveller Fyodor Konyukhov, who continues his solo voyage across the Pacific, becomes overgrown with green thin algae.

Such a bundle of algae on the boat’s hull lowered the speed of Konyukhov’s Turgoyak that over the past 24 hours covered only 46 miles instead of usual 60 miles per day.

During his short communication session on Tuesday Konyukhov said he still could not dive into the ocean and clean the boat’s hull from algae.

“The thing is not in a risk of meeting a shark, but now it is simply impossible to work over the hull. The ocean is covered with big ripples and windy waves, the boat is moving up and down, rolling from side to side,” Fyodor complained, adding that the longer he stayed in the tropics, the stronger his rowboat would be overgrown with algae.

“At some moment I will have to make a decision and dive into the ocean,” he said, regretting that he had not thought of taking with him a simple mop that could be useful in cleaning the hull.

He said yesterday there were a plenty of events. At first, dolphins approached his rowboat, these had been the first dolphins since the start of his voyage from Chile’s Concon. “But they found the boat’s slow movement dull, there was no waves from the stemhead and swimming around 2-3 minutes, they went to the ocean,” Konyukhov said. “At lunch time birds, the whole flock, around 20 white-tailed tropicbirds, arrived. They were flying in a circle over the boat, probably, looking for bait fish in the boat’s shadow. I was very glad to meet them.”

Fyodor Konyukhov sailed off in Chile’s Concon in hope to cross the Pacific to Australia’s Brisbane on December 22, 2013.

Konyukhov has already been sailing in the Pacific Ocean for 37 days. His Turgoyak rowboat has covered 2,258 miles (4,203 kilometers). To reach the Australian coast he has to cover another 5,669 miles (10,499 kilometers), if measured by a straight line. To cross the ocean the Russian traveller has to make 4 million of rowing strokes.

Under favorable conditions Konyukhov’s voyage may take approximately 200 days.

If successful Konyukhov would be the ninth person in the world to row the Pacific solo and the second person to row the South Pacific solo.

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