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Date: 20 Dec 2013 11:18:00
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time for an update from me. We’re 17 days in which sounds amazing to my ears and i say with some hope that the hardest part is behind us in terms of culture adjustment. what we will never get used to is the lack of sleep. during the day when the sun is up (although it’s been bloody gloomy for ages) it’s easier to get up and crack on but in pitch black your body just can’t react. last night i endured for the first time the symptoms of sleep deprivation. when we all wake up we have those maybe 2 minutes of blurry eyed vision. i had this for my entire 2 hour shift! i would shut my eyes intending to continue with the monotonous motion of back and forth but within 5 seconds my mind shut down. i was having to slap and pinch myself in places i shouldn’t mention. All i wanted more than anything was stimulus. just anything to fire an electrical signal through a nerve and get the machine working again. nothing at all came. i rummaged through a snack pack and devoured a pack of nuts and Haribo and beef jerkey hoping for a sugar rush. eventually around an hour in i collapsed back off my seat onto the deck. i wanted to cry just to let the frustration out but i had not even the energy to muster that.
 
3 days ago i experienced what can only be described as my first ‘oh shit this is going to hurt’ experience. waves away from reefs like out here don’t usually break but when the wind is up to 25knts, they do, and this one clattered the hell out of me ripping the foot plates out of their screws and throwing me onto the side of the boat flooding absolutely everything. for those that have seen jackasses ‘wall of water ‘ stunt, that’s what it was, but mine was in darkness. i’d say that if i experienced half the stuff i do out here in normal circumstances i’d run but considering the mind can’t do that out here its amazing how brave you have to get. you simply learn to react accordingly and consequently stay calm.
 
I must be the fastest surfer on the block. I know this as I've broken 17knts around 5 times although i do find myself getting battered, drenched and hurt more than most rowers i’ve spoken with. you know what they say – ‘if you play with water you’re going to get wet’! our aggressive rowing style has also seen us catapulted into first in our class and 3rd overall though. what this means is if the scary tough weather continues we’ll clean up but if it gets calmer and nicer which i actually want, they’re may be faster boats. (pause to get over wave of sea sickness)
 
my bum has sores and my elbows, shoulders, knees and hands all hurt terribly. within 1 week i see us both having to administer pain killers before each shift. I feel like an old man. or a young man trying to paddle his stupid ass across an ocean. My beard and hair is a bloody pain but i deserve to pay the price of vanity, although funny enough i’m the only one that likes the look.
 
when my mind wonders on shift i come up with the most incredible life plan for myself. people call me delusional for a reason. out here there are no boundaries, only opportunities and i can’t wait to return and getting going on them. my aim through it all (my life) has always been to help those less fortunate so, i would like to start a charity called Adventures for disadvantaged kids or ADK. you must all be thinking that i’ve had a zoolander centre for kids that cant read good moment, but i’ll give it my best shot.
 
all your messages of support have added an extra element to self drive. every tough action i take i no longer embark upon with just my mind and body but with all of your support as well. i cant describe how good it makes us feel to know that you’ve all got our backs. on return i don’t know how i’m going to express my thanks. Lots of hugs and kisses i guess. 
 
my aim has always been the truth. i have no interest in dressing up what’s it like out here so i apologise if i’m not going on about the wonders of seeing dolphins because to be honest, i couldn't have given a monkeys, as my bum was in too much pain.  j xx

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