Our hero Tom Sauer participated in the transatlantic rowing race has experienced many adventures, just not feed a shark and, to cope with all the misadventures, like in the movie, dressed in a tuxedo and had a couple of cocktails.
Transatlantic rowing race Atlantic Challenge Race, from 1997 is held every two years. The race starts in the Canary Islands. Passing about 3000 nautical miles, participants will finish in Barbados. The race involved nonprofessional athletes, but without the semi-training (this is at least) there is nothing to do.
Son Derk Sauer – the founder of our publishing house – Tom Sauer and his namesake and best friend Tom Fensett decided to participate in one of the toughest offshore racing. 5500 km from the Canaries to Barbados, a tiny rowing boat, any accompanying ships, helicopters and film crews. Just two strong guys fighting with the sea. And before that – six months of serious training as bracing and special comb, first at the gym, then the water. In order to prove that Tom is ready for the race, at our request, he paddled nonstop six o'clock in the simulator, set in a Moscow shopping centers. In preparation for Tom and Tom learned to navigate by the stars, light to signal rockets, fish anything available. Volumes are lucky that all this time they did not work and could devote himself to training. Less fortunate members went to the race start and a half years. Finally, feeling ready to test your best, our heroes arrived at the port of San Sebastian, which is packed in a boat all you need to start successfully. 23-year-old Tom Sauer was to be the youngest and the youngest Dutch Russian (Tom, who has lived all their lives in Russia, insists he is not a stranger to us) to cross the Atlantic Ocean. Here is his account of the adventure.
In the crowded and nausea
Storms this year is incredible. Of the 17 boats that took part in the race, dropped out, 6. First, on the third day, because of the terrible sickness of one of the crew members. We also do not seasickness passed. The first two days we were in a hell of a wet-whipped waves of us also whipped the waves, you can not eat or drink, or sleep. The first night I cursed all thinking, "E-me, what did I come from?" Despite these horrors, we continued to row, but were only 40 miles a day. By the third day more or less oklemavshis were able to eat and accelerated to 60 miles per day, and on the fourth day have already entered the design speed -70-80 miles in 24 hours.
And here you finally start to feel the buzz of the event – only the sea everywhere, at least 100 miles around a single soul.
And everything that happens to you, depends on the marine element and your strength. You can not call any mechanic or a doctor, and if something happens, rescuers will come not at once. It is difficult to describe in words, but perhaps pathetic "first time in my life felt like a real man" approach.
Last but not least, Tom and I have learned a whole new way to communicate. We both used to stand on his own, not willing to compromise in the past often misused, showing each other their views, including those preparing for the race. But in the boat we fortunately, immediately realized that no one here but us not and can not lose the only possibility of human communication, from which the more dependent the result. No matter how you tired after the change (we rowed by one to three hours), you are sure to cook food companion. He, in turn, looks, conserving your iPod. In general, we have become even better friends than before. But all of this brings us to the Idyll dramatic outcome that occurred in the evening of the eighth day.
The day before we were able to catch up and go along with it, has a top speed up to 17 miles / hour – for a rowing boat is very fast. Finally ended the night reflection on "what the hell am I doing here", we got the hang of things started to like it. Uplifting and that the problems are over – every day we were getting better and better, began to overtake other boats, even those that were 4 paddler. By the end of the first week we were the second double of the crews and the fourth in the overall standings. But then …
So, the evening of the 8th day of the race, I otgreb his shift from 5 to 7 pm. Tom got out of the stall, I climb up to it, I say "good luck, buddy", planning to take a short nap, I hear the cry of Tom: "Damn! Hell "- and the boat capsizes huge wave. High waves were already two days in a row, but usually they just raised and lowered our boat, and this wave broke on us. I remember, as a wall of water rushes into the booth. Comes up and the first thing convinced that Tom is not about what is and is not to hit thrown from the boat (because then it could quickly take away the ocean and catch up to him it would be almost impossible).
We were very unlucky. The boat is designed so that, turned over upside down, she gets back. But this is only the case if the door to the booth is closed. But since we are at this moment gave way, it was open, and the cabin filled with water ballast in the bottom of the boat, it could not outweigh. As we tried to turn the boat, our strength is not enough. The only thing that was left – to get the life raft, a bag with emergency reserves in case of such situations and to give a signal of distress. Get the transmitter, which was to send a signal to the center coordinate races, and NC was easy – they were on the deck in a special carrying case, which is very easy to detect. But the raft was much more difficult. I dived under the boat in the hope of an air bubble, which would help calm cut a cable which is attached to the deck of the raft, but instead hit his head cool – no bubble was not, and now the blood flowed from his nose, which could attract sharks. Just what we were missing. 20 minutes we were in pain, in turn, diving, trying to cut the ropes. Although there was a day because of the storm under the boat was all white with foam and had to work by touch. Finally we were able to cope with the ropes, but it was only half the battle. Raft inflated by gas cylinders, which, of course, lighter than water and snuggled with him to the deck of the boat overturned. To pull the raft had to stretch down to the deck, grab it and synchronously with the power to push off your feet down, it is psychologically quite scary, because under you depth of 6 km. In the end we got the raft inflated it, threw back radio, NC and began to pray that we will be saved. Although no assurance that our signal is received, it was not: the receiver, we did not and we were not even sure that the transmitter is faulty.
However, due to NC and survival course, we could reach the raft several months. We had a supply of water and food, mechanical desalination, fishing rods, flashing lights. We tried hard not to panic, to believe in luck, fun and encouraging each other. All the time suffered from the raft, I worried not for myself, but for the parents, imagine what they would be today if they knew what happened to us.
Like James Bond
We spent on a raft 11 hours. Fortunately, rescuers immediately took our message and looked for the nearest ship. Within reach of the ship was a 4, but the closest Crystal Serenity – 250-meter, 13-deck cruise ship, which went from Tenerife to the Caribbean St. Maarten. Very handy to us on the road, besides the southern half of the island – the Dutch, I have no problems with the passport. We noticed the ship around after 10 hours of sitting on a raft, it was early morning, still dark. On the ship, we saw flares began to approach. Boat down was dangerous – too big waves. So we just threw a rope ladder. Huge cruise liner swimming pools, cinemas and tennis courts suited to our plastic raft sized double bed – I was afraid that we simply prolong a ship. Fortunately, this did not happen, but we have stripped all the hands on the stairs, trying to grasp it in a storm. Once in a dedicated cabin, we finally ate the soul of the human food.
In the evening, the ship was the official reception, where everyone has to be in tuxedos and evening gowns, and for us – worn shorts and T-shirts. Everything else remained on the boat (though it also had shorts and t-shirts). We were given tuxedos, and we felt James Bond – just clambered out of trouble, dressed in smart suits and took them to the cocktail. We hung out, however, mainly to the staff – there were boys and girls of our age, and the passengers were mostly the very rich and the very elderly Americans.
Ship owners, of course, hyped news of the rescue of drowning – Americans are very fond of these incredible stories with a happy ending. We are continuously photographed, I made at least 50 autographs and even talked on the phone with reporters American radio stations and newspapers.
After 5 days, the ship came to the Netherlands Antilles, meaning I almost sailed home. As a result, we have outperformed all the other boats, and were the first. Although, of course, despite the miraculous rescue, already on the second day of the liner would most like back to the boat – rowing, fight and is soluble cereal.
PS As it turned out, the parents had to go through some heavy hours. Every 4 hours boat to automatically send a signal to the focal point races, and our location noted on the site. Of course, close following our movements. And suddenly, after a few days of the movement of all the growing pace we're almost 12:00 froze. They are happy that everything ended well, not at all happy that I'd like to once again take part in something like that, but well aware that I will not be dissuaded. And I hope that next time, in my stories will be less adventurous, but the end is not a cocktail on the liner, and champagne on the podium.