"I've run out of food," Alex Bellini wrote in his dispatch this week. Left with a few packs of sugar, he barely had enough energy to row. He was finally forced to accept a resupply 3 days ago from a cargo ship nearby. Live image sent over Contact 3.0 courtesy of Alex Bellini (click to enlarge).
Alex Bellini accepts resupply after 175 days on Atlantic

Posted: Mar 16, 2006 05:05 pm EST
(TheOceans.net) Are you sitting down? asks Alex Bellini in his latest dispatch. Because I have something to tell you, he writes to his readers. Ill just come right out and say it: Ive run out of food.

Earlier this week, thanks to his home team manager, Roger, Alex was fortunate enough to get a resupply from a cargo ship nearby.

While Alex admits hiding this in his dispatches, he asks his fans to forgive him for not revealing his dire situation. Had I told anyone, besides Roger, it would have just made things even worse, added fuel to the fire, really. I would have had an anxiety attack from all the emails and sms of concern that would have surely flooded my inbox."

Rations running low

In the beginning, Alexs rations were not huge he says, but sufficient. I admit to have eaten more than my daily rations though, he says. I was sure it would be enough to get me through March 30, which is when I expected to reach Brazil.

But adverse winds and rough seas continued to dog Alex. To make matters worse, his fishing efforts proved fruitless except for some minnow sized fish. Convinced he could make it to Fortaleza without re-supplies; Alex was going to bed hungry, with terrible stomach cramps.

A few days later, conditions were perfect, so he took to the oars with full force, but the amount of energy he spent left him weaker than ever. My body was screaming for carbs, energy, anything, but I just didnt have anything to give it.

Hunger sets in

The last couple of days have been the worst though. Alex was left with 10 chocolate bars and 3 rations of dehydrated food, which he devoured in one morning. Still, he barely had enough energy to row. Finally only a few packs of sugar remained. The more I ate, the more hungry I was, wrote Alex. It was as if I had opened this valve and could not close it my hunger was out of control.

I felt like taping my mouth. The nights were the worst I couldnt sleep.

Re-supplies finally arrive

Luckily, Alexs expedition manager, Roger was able to radio a cargo ship, the Star America, which was within 2 miles of Alex. After a few communications problems, and an hour of trying to coax him on board, the Captain agreed to give Alex a resupply of food.

By 3 pm I was finally able to get under way. Carrying a small bag of food, I knew that no matter what was inside, it was too little, and my food dilemma would only be put off for a few days. Thankful for the food, nonetheless, Alex began making his way southwest.

A couple of days later Alex got offers from another two ships that were willing to steer off course to provide him with re-supplies. The next day, the Star America showed up again; Captain Eduardo Bagaan gave him enough food to get Alex through the rest of his journey.

I'm not even that disappointed that Ive had to accept a resupply - which I wanted to avoid altogether - especially this close to the end of my row, but what really counts now is that Im near the end of my expedition. Fortaleza here I come.


Alex Bellini departed Genova, Italy on September 18th, 2005 for his second attempt to row the Atlantic Ocean (E-W). The 27-year old Italian had attempted a similar route in 2004, ending when technical problems and bad weather forced his boat onto the rocks of Formentera Island, off the coast of Spain.


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