Daily Update 2.1
Week 3: Module 2: Date 2/12/13
The history of the ocean. Where does one begin? It is such a vast topic that even to begin to understand it would take a lifetime. In the next two weeks we will investigate a few topics that relate to the current expedition.
We will begin this exploration in history with a look a the first people in recorded history to row across the Atlantic. Frank Samuelsson and George Harbo.
These two men were both Norwegian immigrants to the US and had crossed the Atlantic in a boat before so they understood the enormity of their undertaking. Their historic row occurred in 1896 and took just a brief 55 days! This record wasn’t bested for over 100 years! In the previous module we learned about the JRH and some of the equipment that it is carrying. All of the equipment that we learned about, Harbo and Samuelsson did without. They had no water maker, GPS, VHF, life raft, or even a self-righting boat. Instead they had a sextant, compass, seventeen bottles of wine, five hundred raw eggs, and a small gas stove for cooking up coffee. All of this along with their other provisions were placed in the FOX, a boat that they designed and built for their ocean row.
Their boat was designed with handles built on the outside of the hull in order for them to right their boat in the event of a capsize. It was also built with airtight compartments built out of tin to help keep the necessary equipment dry and serve as extra buoyancy. Rounding out the rest of their gear they used hemp rope for lifelines, wax-impregnated canvas for foul-weather gear and life-vests stuffed with reindeer hair.
Can anyone guess why they used reindeer hair?
If you think that the crew aboard the JRH is a bit crazy for undertaking such an amazing journey just imagine what it was like for George Harbo and Frank Samuelsson.
For a more detailed look at Harbo and Samuelsson’s expedition you can check out Daring the Sea by David Shaw.