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Giant waves batter Konyukhov’s boat on solo voyage across Pacific

February 06, 2014, 10:37 UTC+3 VLADIVOSTOK
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© Oskar Konyukhov/

VLADIVOSTOK, February 06. /ITAR-TASS/. Giant waves pound on a rowboat of world-famous Russian traveller Fyodor Konyukhov, who continues his solo voyage across the Pacific.

“The situation is tense, the storm tries to turn my Turgoyak over its side. Simply “mountain waves” are striking astern and sweepingly sliding under the boat,” Konyukhov said by a satellite phone late on Wednesday, adding that during the whole day the storm was accompanied by thick clouds and there was no sunshine.

“At night skies cleared, in general it was a calm night. I saw stars and even the moon appeared for three hours. In the morning the sun peeped out from behind the clouds. I hope a new day will be good,” he said.

Konyukhov said every day he switched on his water filter and softener, one of the most vital systems aboard. He would be unable to survive without it, as it was simply impossible to collect rain water, the traveller added.

“If the squall attacks, gusts of wind mix rain drops with salted oceanic water, which simply suits for washing my hair,” Fyodor said, adding that he hoped to quench his thirst with fish juice, but for 45 days of his voyage he just caught a tuna.

“I have great fishing experience, as I have five around-the-globe voyages and 1,000 days in ocean behind me, but here I somehow have no luck. My forecasts for supplementing my food reserves with fish have not come true,” Konyukhov regretted.

At the moment, the traveller determined the closets point en route, Fatu Hiva, the southernmost island of the Marquesas Islands, in French Polynesia, in the centre of the Pacific Ocean. In 1937 famous Norwegian traveler and researcher Thor Heyerdahl and his wife lived on the island.

Konyukhov said he planned to leave Fatu Hiva on the right and to start sailing southwest to Australia.

“But it is still so far away, and I still do not look ahead there. But I have to cover 1,400 nautical miles to get to Fatu Hiva, this is quite clear and tangible distance. Let’s hope I reach the island by mid-March, this will be my first land I will see since the start of my trip,” he said.

On December 22, 2013, Konyukhov sailed off in Chile’s Concon in hope to cross the Pacific to Australia’s Brisbane. His Turgoyak has already covered 2,754 miles (5,183 kilomteres). To get to Brisbane the traveller still has to overcome another 5,257 miles (9,736 kilometers).

Under favourable conditions Konyukhov’s voyage from South America to Australia may take approximately 200 days.

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