• 20th November 2009 - By greg

    The central theme of my worst fear regarding the challenge that lay ahead of me – to pedal WiTHiN human powered boat 4300 km across the Pacific ocean from Canada to Hawaii – is basically any episode of The Deadliest Catch. Huge breaking waves, 60 knot winds, pitch-poling capsizes, throwing up all over the place, flooding the cockpit or the cabin – that kind of horror story.


    The more I think about the challenges that lay ahead of me, and the more I talk about it with experienced ocean rowers, the more I realize that the toughest aspect of this will be the day to day grind. Waking up in the morning, eating, making my water for the day, and forcing myself to get back into the recumbent seat for another 16 hour day of doing nothing more than staring at a never changing scene out of my tiny ports and turning the pedals over. And over and over and over. Then, to get up the next day and repeat. And the next day, and the next, etc, etc.

    Not only is gaining more ocean experience going to be required, but an essential aspect of my training will be spending as much time as possible in the cockpit training my body and my mind. It is one of my goals to make the crossing as fast as I can, and my target is 50 to 70 days. A record time (fastest average speed for a human-powered passage) will be a testament to the creators of WiTHiN – designed by Stuart Bloomfield and Rick Willoughby and their incredible workmanship by my builder Ken Fortney.PB190017

    So – to further that training objective, I used an old gear from Critical Power 2 ( last summers 24 hour distance record on Whitefish Lake in Montana) which Manny from Rohmec made for me. Since the shaft diameter on the MitrPak gear box on CP2 is the same size as the new gear box, I was able to easily rig up my mag trainer with an old 700 wheel with a rear cassette and a chain. It works perfectly. Since I can’t use the SRM meter to measure watts (I need to use a special chain ring) I took a heart rate measurement to calibrate the resistance to equal the pedalling resistance while on the water. Today I am going to put in another 2 hour training session, then start planning out a long-term training program. Watch my training schedule for details.

    I watched Crossing The Ditch DVD documentary last night. WOW! James Castrission and Justin Jones did a really fantastic job producing this video – and being the first to kayak across the Tasman sea. I’m starting in on the book by James Castrission today – can’t wait. Buy the book and DVD here. Justin and James are now in the midst of a speaking tour and Justin told me that their show in Sydney was a huge sold-out success.


  • 2 Comments to “Training WiTHiN”

    • Emery on November 20, 2009

      Greg — Its tough to flood the boat if all unused spaces and voids are fitted out with air mattresses, pool cover floats or similar devices that maintain floatation even if the boat is submerged in heavy seas. Also, it is very difficult to corrode electrical terminations when all bare metal is coated with liquid electrical tape. Similarly it is difficult for salt spray to damage the electronics that are pretreated with conformal coating. Just some things I’ve learned on my boats. — Emery

    • duncan mckellar on November 20, 2009

      i wonder if #of blades on prop affect your speed and pitch of the props

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