fighting the good fight

Ronnie Simpson brings us the report on lovely Lia…

SA’s friend and occasional contributor Lia Ditton is finding the mellow Pacific to be anything but, during her record attempt at rowing from San Francisco to Hawaii. Consistently pushed south by coastal northwesterlies, she has had her hands full with what is undoubtedly the most difficult part of the rowing journey from Cali to Hawaii; breaking away from the California coast and getting into the following wind and seas.

Human powered, slower than molasses and only able to be rowed about half of the day, solo open water rowing attempts are almost entirely at the mercy of the gods. Unfortunately, those gods haven’t been working in Lia’s favor as the has been up against a well-formed summer time high that has consistently pushed her south without allowing her to make any much needed westing. 

From Lia’s blog at rowliarow.com, “Since Day One of this row (today is Day 13) I have fought to row west, to hold ground, to not relinquish miles to the east… During the day, I fight to row west. Many times I have lost those miles at night. Sometimes those miles and more… The current running down the coast of California splits again and again into a SE stream and a SW stream. I claw west, desperate to catch the SW stream. Failing once more, I ask myself at what latitude will it be too late? When will I be locked out of being able to row west to Hawaii? My anxiety level rises and falls.”

To make matters worse, it’s forecast to begin fully nuking from the north and perhaps even a bit NW at her position over the weekend and into next week. If Lia doesn’t make some westing soon, nature may force her hand to where the Baja peninsula or a rescue becomes a more attainable goal than the Hawaiian Islands.

Follow along at rowliarow.com