LOG 1: 17 May LOG 2: 22 May LOG 3: 5 June LOG 4: 26 June LOG 5: 10 July LOG 6: 25 July LOG 7: 16 August LOG 8: 18 September
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Pacific challenge
THE JOURNEY THE ROWERS THE BOAT
Map of the pacific challenge The rowers in their boat
INTRO
LOG 1: 17 May
LOG 2: 22 May
LOG 3: 5 June
LOG 4: 26 June
LOG 5: 10 July
LOG 6: 25 July
LOG 7: 16 August
LOG 8: 18 September



The boat
The calm before the storm
Links

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Log 1: Thursday 17 May
Despite encountering several powerful storms Tim and Dom have managed to answer some of your e-mails below.

Dom and Tim left Japan 12 days ago on 5th May and got off to a good start. But they have already run into three storms and are now in the middle of a fourth. Despite these challenges they are both in very good spirits.

'A raging storm'

In an e-mail to BBC News Online they say: "First storm is always good to get confidence in boat and crew and equipment, we then know we should be able to take whatever the weather can throw at us.

"Weather now is Southerlies 25 knots, big seas and a raging storm, hurrah!!!"

Although they have covered more than 400 miles, the fickle currents and bad weather have meant they are being forced to the north rather than to the east.

Alasdair Keir, the technical manager of the project, says: "At the moment the weather is horrendous for them. They are being blown backwards.

"The Kuroshio current creates eddies which produce big whirlpools. At times it is a bit like a rollercoaster ride."

'Cramped and grim'

During the first storm Tim and Dom took on some water which temporarily affected the boatís electrical systems. "Had one wet one battery controller, but fixed it, small problem with compass light, other minor fixings, but normal with boats," they say in their e-mail.

Whenever there is a storm Tim and Dom are unable to row and have to take refuge in their cabin. To help prevent them being blown too far off course they throw their "sea anchor" over the side of the boat. Alasdair Keir describes the sea anchor, which is more than five metres in diameter, as a bit like an underwater parachute which helps to keep them in the west to east current.

Tim and Dom say the cabin is "very cramped" and "very grim". Apart from a few brief trips outside, they might have to spend up to five days in there waiting for the storm to pass. At the same time the noise from the wind, rain and sea on the hull of the boat is deafening.

YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED:

The weather has meant Tim and Dom havenít been able to speak to BBC News Online by satellite phone yet, although they have managed to communicate by e-mail and answer a few of your questions.

Q: Heather Mayer from the USA asks what will you most enjoy about the next 120 days?
A: enjoy most, decent weather we can row in, cos off watch each man has whole cabin to self so sleeps well, and rower can enjoy the sights of sharks, birds and sea around him and we are moving towards America.

Q: James Conway from the USA asks what sort of emphasis, if any, do you put on keeping up with world events while rowing?
A: Not concerned with general news and in Marines have learned over the years that time off from it can be good thing. But both think it very important to vote, [re general election in UK] as Royal marines we are very aware of sacrifice made by others for that right.

Q: Benjamin Smith, aged 8, from Belgium, asks how does your water freshener work?
A: Support Team; Crackers is fitted with a system which takes the salt out of the sea water - a process called desalination. There are several ways to do this but the type that we use is called a reverse osmosis pump. It's all pretty technical so maybe best if you look at the following link: check this link to a site which shows how http://www.howstuffworks.com/question29.htm our pump works. You can do it another way - boil salt water, direct the steam into a bucket then direct the dps that come off the bucket into a cooling jar. Once cool the water collected will be free from salt!

Q: David Butler from the UK asks what will you be doing to keep your hands in good shape? Mine get blistered and sore if I row too much and gloves don't help that much either.
A: Yes we do have blisters on hands, they are now thick calluses and donít hurt at all. Act as protection. However we also have a few blisters and boils on our bums!!!

Q: Christopher Wefing from Germany asks throughout your journey what thought will keep keep you going to the end?
A: Motivation learnt as royal marines, belief in each other and the boat, our families and especially our wives will keep us going until the end.

Q: Omar Bouabdallah from UK asks would you like an outboard motor right at this minute?
A: Might surprise you to hear us say no - it surprises us. As this is an unsupported crossing we cannot have such things, so to stay inside the rules its rowing all the way to the USA.

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