Arts and Crafts

It appears I've crossed the equatorial counter-current without too much trouble.  It was the last major current running against my desired route of travel, so I'm grateful I made it through relatively unscathed.  The next major benchmarks are reaching the equator and the international date line.  I don't anticipate any issues reaching these milestones.  Once established in the southern hemisphere, there will be challenges dealing with low pressure systems running directly across my route of travel.  I'll also have to reverse my thinking; weather patterns run opposite of the northern hemisphere. 

Due to the predominance of land mass residing in the northern hemisphere, the convergence of hemispheric weather systems resides north of the equator, where I'm currently located.  The region is known as the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) or the doldrums.  According to my pilot charts, this region is characterized by hot and sultry weather conditions.  I'm not 100% on the definition of sultry, but it sounds way more fun than what I'm currently experiencing.  The heat has its challenges, especially in regard to sleep. An advantage of growing my hair and beard out - it holds fresh water that keeps me cool a while longer than without.

The sun is on a northbound trajectory once again, the cycle beginning anew following the annual rendezvous with the Tropic of Capricorn.  On March 20th, the sun will reside directly over the equator, presumably creating conditions worse than I'm currently experiencing within the ITCZ.  Right now, late January, the sun is still 17 degrees south of the equator.  I think that means it's still not so bad out, even right near the equator. I'll probably cross paths with the sun somewhere in the first 5 degrees of the southern hemisphere.  I'm curious to find out if the location of the sun or my location near the equator will have a greater affect on heat.  

I've determined I'm unable to visualize how the earth is oriented within our galaxy using casual observation.  I keep looking at the band of Milky Way rotating above our heads, then imagine that we are also in that Milky Way, then imagine the earth spinning and orbiting within some arm of the Milky Way, but unsure where I am relative to the band of stars above.  Up, down, north, south, all that gets confused in my head, mainly because I'm not sure if there's a North for the Galaxy?  Is the location of where we think the Big Bang took place, the cosmic North?  How have I not figured this out before?  

Speaking of all the forces allowing me to gently row across a 16,000 foot deep swimming pool while violently spinning through a cosmic void, you now have the option to isolate some of the forces on a digital globe called Google Earth.  David Burch at The Starpath School of Navigation in Seattle created a file for use within the application.  The file displays my location pulled from the map on my website, but cleaned up and averaged.  It also allows for the selection of a number of overlays.  You'll be able to select and display currents, winds, wave height and direction, sea surface temperature, amongst other variables.  I wish I could use it out here, but I'll have to wait until I reach shore.  

David Burch has reached wizard level when it comes to maritime knowledge.  He's literally written the book on most things maritime related.  I took two courses through his school, one on weather and one on navigation. I suspect the Google Earth file he put together is pretty legit.  Here's what you'll need for this digital arts and crafts project:  

1.  Google Earth on your computer or compatible device.

2.  This blog:

3.  This file:

4.  This instructional video:

5.  A good attitude, probably.  

Let me know how it goes!  I'm 6 minutes away from having a 12 hour day followed by a 12 hour night.  The gap is narrowing.  Another thing I'm not sure about - is it possible to have a greater than 12 hour day on the equator?  Visualizing shadows from a gigantic sun on a tiny ball creates similar brain problems to orientation within the galaxy and infinity.  Maybe you can figure it out with this Google Earth project.

Paddle On
Row On
Just Keep On!

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