Preview: Tom Robinson’s Solo Row Across the Pacific – Update #4 from Tom’s Shore Team

The following is a letter sent by Tom Robinson’s Shore Team to the followers on his website You can sign up on his site to receive these updates directly, and we’ll carry them here on OCH as well.

Side Note: We have been attempting to have a satellite phone conversation with Tom and hope to dial in that technology over the next week. If so, we’ll share that with you soon.


“A Conversation with the Chief Officer”

Dear Sponsors, Supporters, Family and Friends ~

Tom in his boat MAIWAR reached the half way point between Lima and his first port of call, the island Hiva Oa in the Marquesas, at 9.30pm AEST on Sunday 28 August. His position was 3.05 S, 107.8 W.

At the half way point, MAIWAR had travelled 1,903 nautical miles (3,524 km) as the crow flies, at an average speed of 1.39 knots. Of course, because Tom followed an ocean-current-chasing route, he had travelled more than half the straight-line distance from Lima to Hiva Oa which is approximately 1,823 nautical miles. This means he had travelled an extra 80 nautical miles (measured in a straight line) to enable him to get most benefit from the fast flowing currents.

On what Tom called “halfway day” he said he treated himself to cornflakes for breakfast and was allowed to drink twice his usual daily water ration.

Tom’s half way position is shown as 2 in the map below, with Lima at position 1 and Hiva Oa at position 3. Due to the difficulty of transposing distances of thousands of kilometres to a few centimetres on a computer screen, the distances shown on the map are only approximate, but we’re sure you get the idea.

The photo below is of the shore team’s diary log book. It shows a freehand-drawn box in which are printed the relevant coordinates, and the time the half way mark was reached. The initials MT in the circle indicate that this information came from the Marine Traffic website which gives approximate real time positions for MAIWAR rather than those given at six hourly intervals by Tom’s trcker. The scribble to the left of the square box shows calculation of the extra 80 nautical miles travelled on Tom’s current-chasing route.

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