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Sergey Goltsov
fighting spiritual and material poverty

Routine and admiral

What an amazing creature a man is, after all, in his desire to gain something new: knowledge, welfare, emotions. Only a few days ago we were overexcited about all we had seen and about all that was happening , and today this is already a matter of routine. But the routine, in its turn, is also interesting if you make a story about it, isn’t it?

The changes of the route I wrote about yesterday have proved to be successful, being at the distance of 93 nautical miles to the west of Easter Island, having circuited it (by the way, for the first time ever on a balsa raft), we have already managed to sail 203 nautical miles at a good speed of 2 knots, and keep doing so being driven south – south-west by the wind and the desire to fling ourselves on the mercy of the forties in order to turn east after that.

Thus, the manoeuvre offered by our captain Signe has brought good results. We have shown good teamwork and nobody has been upset about a week schedule delay, moreover, the work results have made Torgeir Higraff, the expedition leader, the happiest man and he told us about that on the radio.

This week during which we are getting used to each other has appeared to be happy for us, too, it has helped us finally overcome the language barrier, get to know each other, and above all, our habits and personalities better. Now all the crewmates are used to the homelike way of life and household established on the raft.

The captain Signe is busy with the maps navigating, cooks breakfast and makes bread, Liv and Lisa control the fresh water and food consumption, make notes, write about their observations, cook lunch, dinner, catch fish, Rasmus is responsible for the raft maintenance being busy with the sail and ropes, Pedro and I make and record dozens of scientific measurements (today we measured the thickness of the ozone layer and the force of the solar radiation), I ask all my crewmates about how they are making notes in my logbook, and Evgeny films everything and everybody (we have already been used to his moving like shadow spying on all of us with his camera). Meanwhile, we keep on the day and night watching, navigating the raft on a regular basis, steering the course, sometimes all the crew doing the rigging work and being roped up swim in the water which is already getting cooler and do a lot of other things making our raft life better.

I’ll continue the story about the events making the routine of our days more interesting. Last night our top lantern on the masthead broke down, I can imagine how worried the watch keepers on the Tupac raft were, all over sudden the Rahiti Tane disappeared in the dead of the night. But we switched on the poop lantern quickly and in addition fixed another one, a blinker light, at the front of the raft as to repair the top one under rocking conditions is not safe. Manana, the Chileans would say :) – we’ll do it tomorrow! That moment our raft looked to me like an emergency ambulance with flashing beacons on and the smell of the petrol spilt a little bit from the engine of the rubber tuzik-dinghy with the help of which we travel between the rafts when there’s no wind contributed to my memories about my home city and my family. It`s a big event if you are in the ocean! But I am not so amazed now by the smell of the bread made on the raft and the view of the flying fish jumping onto the deck as I was at first.

Our life is made more and more colorful by events happening to each of us, or we just start taking notice of them having satisfied our primary thirst for wonders after meeting something New for all of us. Thus, for example, as a doctor, I am glad that the sanitary well-being is still good, the medication supply is safe and the teammates regularly use… the toilet. This is an indicator of good health, after all! Now the crew members don’t say to each other that they are going to use the toilet, but they say, we are going to make one more man happy – our doctor. :) Generally speaking, we are having fun here!

Taking into account that we are sailing already a week behind the schedule, we have inspected the food and fresh water supplies, there’s enough of everything, but, as the saying goes, we should tighten our belts. After this news all the rafters have started fishing a little bit more actively. However, we have managed to catch only a fishing buoy which has been roaming around the ocean (judging by the date on it) since 2000, by the way, it is the only piece of pollution we have seen in the ocean. Frankly speaking, I’ve never ever seen such transparent or clear water than that. Pedro says that the water transparency is more than 60 meters! While I am busy writing this one fish has gobbled up our huge bait together with the hook and line leader and disappeared in the depths of the waters.  

With every passing day we are getting more and more sharp-sighted beginning to notice something hard-to-find but interesting what has always been with us on board.

Thus, on one of the lug-boxes given us in Peru, which are around our hut on the raft, where we keep ropes and tools and which we use as seats, there’s a picture of a man with a beard wearing a naval uniform.  As it has turned out this is a Peruvian admiral Grau, a very well-regarded and respected historical character. Can I use his face as a seat after that?! ;) Would you like to know why he is so honored? He was famous not only for his feat of arms during the Second War of the Pacific, he killed a Chilean admiral all by himself, his colleague, so to say. And after the end of the war he went to this Chilean admiral’s wife and expressed his regrets to her, he said, don’t be angry, we were in the war, you know… After that he gained tremendous respect on the part of both the Chileans and the Peruvians.

Now we don’t know what to do, this admiral has really put all our team of the Rahiti Tane raft into the embarrassing situation. Shall we either put this lug-box vertically as a monument to the admiral’s military merits or shall we keep on using it as intended during our evening informal gatherings sitting comfortably, I do apologize, on his face?

We have enough time to make the final decision, 2 months of sailing are still ahead.

13.01.2016, the Pacific Ocean, the Rahiti Tane raft, Kon-Tiki 2, Expedition Doctor Goltsov Sergey