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Severe storm batters boat of Russian traveler on solo voyage

March 12, 2014, 9:32 UTC+3 VLADIVOSTOK
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VLADIVOSTOK, March 12. /ITAR-TASS/. A severe storm was all night long battering the boat of world-famous Russian traveler Fyodor Konyukhov, rowing on his solo voyage across the Pacific.

Konyukhov’s Tugroyak rowboat has stood out the storm, driven hither and thither. Huge torrents of water drove the captain into the cabin, and keeping the boat adrift he stayed inside waiting for the storm to subside.

In a communication session with Moscow, Fyodor said all of a sudden he had heard a strange scratching noise on top of the cabin. “I felt a bit uncomfortable, it would have been a different matter if it had been under the bottom, but who could have got up on to the cabin’s roof?” he said. “So I was lying in my sleeping bag straining ears. The noise was coming from different sides as if somebody was trying to tear off solar batteries,” he continued.

So he opened the hatch, looked around and saw three birds looking like pigeons. They had been thrown onto the boat by rain and wind, and now they were trying to settle on an arc where antenna was fixed. The wind kept knocking them off and they were sliding on wet solar batteries.

“I took one of the birds into my hands, it was so skinny, just bones, with the heart beating hard. I put her into the cockpit, returned to the cabin, put on the earphones and switched on the player. This was the only way to switch off from the noise outside and I had a good night sleep,” the traveler continued.

As he could not control the boat amid the storm, the boat had been carried south-east before the ocean calmed down by the morning. “I did not find the birds, my night guests, finding only the traces of their presence in the boat,” he said.

The satellite navigation system showed that the rowboat had covered 23 miles during the wild storm. All in all, Konyukhov has already covered 4,700 miles since he left the Chilean port of Concon on December 22, 2013. He has to cover another 3,460 miles to reach his port of destination in Brisbane, Australia.

The Ocean Rowing Society International tracks the traveler’s route with the satellite navigation system and measures daily distance Konyukhov’s Turgoyak rowboat covers in kilometers and miles, making daily reports.

The Russian traveler set the task to cross the Pacific in 200 days.

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