Day 16 – In Which we almost rowed over a turtle

I woke at 4am today and coaxed myself out of the cabin to a grey morning, the sky a thick white and the waves metallic. After my morning phonecall home and while continuing to graze on anything that took my fancy for a first breakfast, I took the first strokes of the day. Having been pulled south east over night I was keen to try and scoot eastwards or north of east to cross the southward flowing current and get up the more useful eastward flow in the Kuroshio.

An aerial view of Happy Socks

An aerial view of Happy Socks

The greyness had clearly committed to a full days work, but for a brief moment when the sun said hello. We surfed with gentle rollers all day long, taking a boat full of water a few times with steep waves looping over too soon. I love those moments, where your tummy squeezes a bit as the boat lifts up and runs, curling across the wave and there is a tiny moment where you see the boat roll…it doesn’t…and you relax again. I think we must have passed over some interesting sea floor or a particular swirling mixing of currents just after lunch because it felt like we were in a tide race, waves pushing up in all directions and slapping into each other.

Still trying for a perfect picture of an albatross

Still trying for a perfect picture of an albatross

Besides our faithful friends the albatrosses who are always in my ‘Good Things About Today’ list, today’s highlight was the turtle whom we almost rowed over. On first sight it looked like another clump of seaweed, and then flippers appeared and a tan periscope of a head peered up out of the water to look for that which had nearly rowed over it. We were both a bit surprised, though I was probably the more excited of the two of us, and tried in vain to row back into the waves for a proper hello. And that was that.

We are now over 700 miles (as the albatross flies) from my starting point in Choshi. Not bad for 16 days at sea. Bring on the first 1000.

All salty best from out here,

Sarah and Happy Socks x

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11 Responses to Day 16 – In Which we almost rowed over a turtle

  1. zanah says:

    Hey bud,so in awe of you, l’d be terrified out there. Travel safely Zan, Nick + Fly xx

  2. Tari says:

    That wasn’t Taid then? 🙂

  3. John Nelson says:

    Great Blog again Sarah…. keep safe and enjoy your most wonderful adventure…. I’m almost jealous of your Grandkids and the tales they will hear!

  4. Bill Hoover says:

    Wow. I’ve been too much out of the loop, since I’m astonished that you’re covering an average of 43 miles per day–can that be right? (700 miles in 16 days!) I’m guessing it that Kuroshio current is helping. Thanks for the updates. I’m curious as to how far you normally row per day, if there were no current. Gonna get better familiar with your site and try to answer other everyday sort of questions/curiosities and such. YOU GO GAL!!

  5. Christine & Kathleen says:

    Hi Sarah

    Great to hear that things are going well for you at the moment long may it continue like the good start. Thanks for keeping us up to date with your blogs, they really do bring your adventure alive especially the birds and animals you come across. Looking forward to hearing in duie course about some new tweedles taht you will meet in due course I am sure.

    All the best

    C & K

  6. Janice Small says:

    So enjoy reading and listening to your appreciation and love of life, Sarah. You lift my spirits, I hope this message lifts yours just a little. Best wishes. Janice

  7. Gigi Walentiny says:

    LOVE the progress!!! Started out a very grey day here too…makes us appreciate the blue all that much more when it reappears!

    ~Gigi in Va. Beach

  8. Linda, Cambridge says:

    Back from a week’s break in the highlands of Scotland. Sheer bliss (in spite of the wet, windy weather) – batteries fully recharged. No internet access there – so what is the first thing I do? Check on your progress, of course! Very impressed with the distance covered. Also relieved, as I’m sure you were, by the fact that you’ve gone past the rescue point of last year. Have just completed my daily row on the concept 2 parked in my bedroom, trying to imagine what it must be like rowing for real, for long periods of time, on a very real ocean. Am in much admiration of your fortitude! I love the details you give and photos you put up of the birds/animals. It must have been such a shock coming face to face with the sea lion(?) this morning! Here’s hoping the currents and the weather keep favour with you……..

  9. Phil Harnett says:

    ….. rowing ….. such a strange and varied sport !

    You almost row over a turtle and for myself on my Concept 2 – I nearly rowed over my jym jams that I had previously thrown on the floor having missed the washing basket.

    I guess the turtle marginally wins on the interest factor.

    Great to see your progress … travel safely.


  10. Susie Hewson says:

    Well indeed – some info about the turtle, which is an important symbol in the mythologies of many indigenous cultures, usually representing creation, longevity, and wisdom in these belief systems. Hundreds of years ago, there were many millions of sea turtles swimming the Earth’s oceans. Today, all seven species of sea turtle are considered either endangered or threatened. Do you think it was a Leatherback as they are the biggest I think, around 6 feet tail to tip? Love your Albatross and sperm whale sightings too Sarah.

  11. Stephen Stewart says:

    Hiya Sarah, It is such a wonderful feeling when the swells pick ones boat up and you slide down the face, as long as they are not too big of course. Have been out rowing on San Francisco bay when the swells coming in the Golden Gate cause us to row with one oar to stay on course. Of course after a couple of miles of that ones arm gets a might tired. Still a lot of fun though. Also great when you are in the trough and can’t see out. Would like to see a turtle some day, sounds great. Have you heard the tale of the Five Turtle Brothers who hold up California? The tide race sounds interesting. Was under the Golden Gate Bridge once when several gallons of water jumped over Berne’s shoulder and landed in her lap. Naturally she was very surprised, as we all were but fortunately she had a blanket over her and so did not get wet. We did have to bail a bit though.
    All the best, Stephen

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