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Russian traveller Fyodor Konyukhov runs into storm in Pacific

January 04, 2014, 22:17 UTC+3 VLADIVOSTOK

Gusts of wind reach up to 30 knots and five-metre waves toss the boat up and down

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VLADIVOSTOK, January 04, 22:03 /ITAR-TASS/. Russian traveller Fyodor Konyukhov, who is crossing the Pacific Ocean solo in a row boat, has run into a violent storm in the Pacific, which may overturn his craft.

Gusts of wind reach up to 30 knots and five-metre waves toss the boat up and down. “The seas were so stormy last night that I thought on a couple of instances that the boat would overturn,” Konyukhov told his headquarters in Moscow on Friday, January 3.

His boat is now sailing along the Humboldt Current. “Its water is very cold and if one falls into it, he won’t last long,” the traveler said.

Konyukhov admitted that he felt seasick despite his experience of five round-the-world voyages. “The boat is struggling to survive, the ocean is raging and the situation is very depressing,” he confessed.

He is wearing a waterproof costume and leather boots, which he has not changed for ten days. His safety harness is secured to the boat. The traveller admitted that he had not expected such challenges.

Konyukhov has travelled 1,148 kilometres over the past several days but there are still over 12,000 kilometers to go to Australia.

Recalling his New Year celebration several days ago, Konyukhov said, “I wanted to drink some wine, but just ten minutes before the midnight the navigation system detected a tanker straight ahead. So I had to put off my celebration and negotiate my way to avoid the vessel that eventually passed three miles away.”

“I row a couple of hours and then rest for half an hour or an hour with an alarm clock. So I get five to six hours of sleep a day, but I recover faster than in Moscow: there is more oxygen in the ocean air,” the traveller said.

He sailed off from Chile on December 22, 2013. The London-based Ocean Rowing Society International said that 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.

Konyukhov hopes to get from Chile to Australia in 200 days.

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