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Tropical fish attack Russian traveller’s rowboat crossing Pacific

March 30, 2014, 10:19 UTC+3 VLADIVOSTOK
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VLADIVOSTOK, March 30, /ITAR-TASS/. Tropical filefish attacked rowboat Turgoyak of Russian traveller Fyodor Konyukhov who is crossing solo the Pacific from South America to Australia.

Filefish are knocking on the rowboat by their “beaks” and, in the words of Fyodor, he “is quite grateful” to filefish for this. Filefish eat shells on the underwater part of the rowboat.

At a communications session with the Russian capital of Moscow late in the evening on Saturday the oceanic pilgrim said it was quite difficult for him to pass the islands in the central part of the Pacific. “I have left the sea area of French Polynesia just recently and reached the Cook Islands,” the traveller complained to the expedition headquarters. Turgoyak is passing atoll Autitaki in the Cook Islands at a distance of just 31 miles (around 49.8 kilometres) from it. Around 2,000 people live on the atoll, but they will hardly notice Konyukhov’s nine-metre-long tiny “ship” amid oceanic waves.

From the start on December 22, 2013, according to Fyodor’s estimates, Turgoyak had rowed 5,500 nautical miles or more than 10,000 kilometres. The rowboat heads southwards, “it becomes colder each new day, the further I row southwards, the colder it becomes, I like this, as I had spent the last month in heat, as the air temperature reached 47 degrees Celsius in the cabin, but now the situation is more comfortable,” the famous Russian traveller shared his impressions with Moscow.

Fyodor is left to row 2,700 nautical miles (around 5,000 kilometres) to the finish in the Australian port city of Brisbane. This is exactly the distance from La Gomera Island to Barbados Island in the Atlantic Ocean. Captain Konyukhov rowed in boat URALAZ from La Gomera to Barbados for 46 days and four hours in 2002.

“It is an understandable and familiar distance to me, but here in the Pacific it will be much more difficult, as the past month showed this. I am rowing slowly along Islands of Oceania, meanwhile, the summer is already over, autumn set in bringing autumn storms. So, I will not guess, I will be working and I hope to pass final one third of the voyage with God’s help,” Fyodor Konyukhov said at the end of the communications session.

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