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Last Updated: Monday, 28 April, 2003, 05:46 GMT 06:46 UK
Rower under a cloud
Simon Chalk
Simon Chalk: Needs sunshine
Ocean rower Simon Chalk may be forced to turn off his steering at night as dense cloud cover means the batteries on board are not being charged.

Mr Chalk, 30, is attempting to row the Indian Ocean from Australia to Reunion Island.

He has an emergency battery so is still able to communicate, but in 58 days at sea this is the lowest he has been on power.

In the latest message on his website at BBC Devon Online, Mr Chalk also told how a shark swam under his boat and how the thought of decent food, a cold drink and a bed are keeping him going.

At least I'm making progress. Every mile counts
Simon Chalk

"I'm now fighting to get south but the storm's still blowing hard," said Mr Chalk, a property developer from Newton Abbot.

"But this is now day five of this bad weather.

"According to the weather router it may turn round tomorrow but what I really need is sunshine to get the batteries charged.

"It'll take four days to fully recharge from scratch, and that's with good sunshine," he said.

Mountainous seas and ferocious winds peaking at 130mph have pounded his 23ft vessel for most of the two months since he began his bid to become only the second person to cover the 3,478 miles to Reunion.

"Still, at least I'm making progress," said Mr Chalk

"Every mile counts."

Ocean rower's boat in danger
24 Apr 03  |  Devon
Storm speeds ocean rower
18 Mar 03  |  England
Ocean row record in reach
15 Apr 03  |  Devon
Ocean row 'in lap of gods'
11 Apr 03  |  Devon
Leak scuppers ocean record hope
30 Mar 03  |  England

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