Memories Haiku


through airplane window
closing red sunset
in mimosa leaves

image copyrights: wikimedia

image copyrights: wikimedia

Shameless explorations!

copyrights: wikimedia

copyrights: wikimedia

Several attempts of explorations were recorded also among the representatives of the animal kingdom. The curiosity to pursue the unknown is inherent in all living beings. Here is one of my favorite examples. If only humans had this shameless courage!:


“M. Colon, Vice-President of the Geological Society of Paris, saw a ball of lightning descend slowly from the sky along the bark of a poplar tree; as soon as it touched the earth it bounced up again, and disappeared without exploding. On 10th of September 1845 a ball of lightning entered the kitchen of a house in the village of Salagnac in the valley of Correze. This ball rolled across without doing any harm to two women and a young man who were here; but on getting into an adjoining stable it exploded and killed a pig which happened to be shut up there, and which, knowing nothing about the wonders of thunder and lightning, dared to smell it in the most rude and unbecoming manner”!

Geometer Haiku


Hawks circle
above Alps,
above Featherless Bipeds

who is not a geometer may not enter.jpg

Stardust Haiku

Stardust Haiku

If science not proof
human body from stardust,
your stellar presence.

Pinch of stardust, Author: unknown, Copyrights: CC BY 4.0

"Crystal Pillars" Haiku

"Crystal Pillars" Haiku:

Brendan the Voyager
called it
"Great crystal pillars"



Scientists call it "solid state of dihydrogen monoxide at sub-zero"

But what do they know of the heroic journeys? 


Warning: boring post, only for geeks

I recently received questions regarding the estimated vs actual time of arrival to Svalbard. I will try to answer it here, it is a bit complex. Here is an excerpt from my application process related correspondence:

"Question from the Official regarding the permit: 'how long you will spend going from place to place, including the average speed of the boat if you can estimate that from previous expeditions.'

Answer: 'I estimate to complete the first leg (approx 600NM) in 9 days, which gives 2,7 knots'."

This quote alone was previously on my blog, but now let's look at it in detail:

The actual calculation of 600NM in 9 days is 2,77 Knots to be exact, but I made it a bit lower due to the "approx" added to 600.

600NM / 2,7 Knots = 222 hours = 9 days 6 hours.
600NM / 2,77 Knots = 9 days

So the distance discussed was the estimated actual distance rowed, not the distance in a straight line taken later into the consideration by records adjudicators, which is 520NM. That's normal proportion when it comes to ocean rowing and the actual distance vs straight line distance.

The actual distance rowed turned out to be less than 600NM due to very well executed power on the oars and as a result turning out less vulnerable to winds and waves caused detour. On the Polar Row front page, the tracker shows 566NM of actually rowed distance to Longyearbyen.

We decided to check in for the record in Hornsund, not in Longyearbyen, due to the fact that the other team, Albedo, that started a day before us was approaching Bear Island while we were approaching Spitzbergen. If that team touched the land on Bear Island before we touched the land on Spitzbergen we might have been facing disputes whether they had completed the first Open Waters row in the Arctic Ocean or not. The distance to Bear Island was incredibly short, just 289 Nautical Miles from Tromso, and even shorter in the case of Albedo as they didn't start from Tromso itself. Typically such distance would not be enough to be considered as proper row, but as once in the past a row of just 202 Nautical Miles in the Arctic ("Old Pulteney Row to the Pole") was approved, we wanted to avoid unnecessary disputes and proceed in a way that excluded such possible complications.

Taking Hornsund as the arrival point into the account, the following recalculation of the proportions of the distance and the speed would apply according to my understanding:

600NM (declared) - 566NM (actually rowed to Longyearbyen)
x (recalculated distance to be used for calculating speed) - 458NM (actually rowed to Hornsund)

566 times x = 600 times 458

x = 485 (recalculated distance according to the estimated actually rowed total distance initially used to calculate the estimated speed)

7 days and 7 hours = 175 hours (total time rowed to Hornsund)

485NM / 175 hours = 2,77 Knots, (Nautical Miles per hour, average speed)

This means that whether we take into the consideration 2,7 Knots I declared initially or the corrected 2,77, both numbers make sense, and the error was either 0 or we were ahead of the estimated time of arrival.

The other way to look at it could be:

9 days (declared) - 566NM (actually rowed to Longyearbyen)

x days - 458NM (actually rowed to Hornsund)

x = 7,283 day = 7 days 7hours, (the actual time of arrival to Hornsund)

We departed from Hornsund and headed to Longyearbyen 28 hours later as the speed record was confirmed and there was no need to rush any more and we enjoyed the hospitality in the Polish Polar Station in Hornsund.

Low tide at the entrance to Isfjorden is approximately each 12 hours so we could have left after 4 hrs spent in Hornsund or after 16 hrs or after 28 hrs, according to my calculations of the back then expected speed.

Greenland Sea Haiku

Greenland Sea Haiku

2°C soaked damp hatch
less comfortable
than Poseidon's Trident

At the ice shelf

Arctic Ice Shelf Haiku

Rudder, ice berg,
dagger board
Arctic Pandemonium

Svalbard Arrival Haiku

Svalbard Arrival Haiku

10 arms and 7 days
Oar propulsion
Or ocean's handshake?

Barents Sea Midpoint Haiku

Barents Sea Midpoint Haiku

Greenland Sea on port
Bear Island on starboard
Strength and courage aboard


Arete - a struggle for the multipotential excellence

"It was commonly believed that the mind, body, and soul each had to be developed and prepared for a man to live a life of arete. This led to the thought that athletics had to be present in order to obtain arete. They did not need to consume one's life, merely exercise the body into the right condition for arete, just like the mind and soul would be exercised by other means"

"Arete is a significant part of the paideia of ancient Greeks: the training of the boy to manhood. This training in arete included: physical training, for which the Greeks developed the gymnasion; mental training, which included oratory, rhetoric, and basic sciences; and spiritual training, which included music and what is called virtue."


DAO Haiku

DAO Haiku:

Depth: Psychology
Art and

all connect to.

Symphony of efforts

Erden asked around about tips on crossing the Moloka'i Channel

me: "Use double deinterlaced stroke pre-compression following 7/9 in the exert stage, going mezzo forte towards the recovery but gently alluding to muchos gracias right at the catch. I underline, only alluding while you are keeping 7/9 in innuendo."

Erden: "You made rowing sound read like a symphony of efforts."

My reflections upon the conversation: I have come up with random complex sounding multidisciplinary gibberish on many different occasions to many rowers pretending to instruct the stroke type in entertaining manner, but nobody has responded in such intelligent manner back.

Letter to my rowing comrade Carlo

Do you miss me?

Do you think of me?

Or do you regard me with a grain of salt

Like an old logbook in a damp hatch.....



Carlo's response:

Dreaming of being on the Pacific.

Cranking away at night and pounding through the waves

when it felt like we were going 100miles per hour.