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Date: 18 Jan 2014 17:51:14
Title:

A Q&A with Jim.
 
J you’re just 10/11 days out from the finish. how does it feel?
 
Hi J, thanks for having me. Well, relief is the first word that springs to mind. By the time we pull up over the finish we will have spent an entire summer holiday at sea, and that my friend is a bloody long time to have spent in a tiny cabin, on a painful seat, eating dehydrated food, drinking desalinated water, going without showering, going without washing my lovely blonde, now minging and matted locks and it is for these reasons as well as many more that i simply cannot wait to get my tanned, skinny, pissed off, bored ass off this damn boat.
 
Right. Would you mind telling me what your mental state is like?
 
Not at all. For the past month i’ve mastered the skill of self conversation. Let it be known that this is not the same as talking to ones self. No, this is literally having a 2 hour debate and conversation with Jamie (my other half) about any issue that may come to mind. We laugh together, we disagree, we fight and then luckily we always make up in time for next shift. Recently however, topics of conversation having been running dry. so dry in fact that i’d now say i am painfully bored. it’s upsetting me in fact how bored i am. it’s like a thorn in my mind. 10 days to go has been a statement i have dreamt of for a year. i never thought it would come, and now that it’s here, im not that bothered.
 
Oh come on Jimbo, lighten up, think of what you’ve learnt and achieved!
 
This is true old boy, thank goodness i always have you to shed light upon my dreary moods. I have as you say learnt a tremendous amount about us. it is during times of adversity, strain, fear and stress that you learn what you’re made of and i can easily say that this has taught me shed loads.
 
Best thing about the row.
 
The clarity of thought is limitless. we all know what it’s like when we day dream. we go to another land for perhaps a minute and delve into the deepest of thoughts. out here, these last for hours. to quote Eddie Morra from the film ‘limitless’ ‘i wasn’t high, i wasn’t wired. just clear. i knew what i had to do, and how to do it’. this is how i feel now.
 
you’ve lost your marbles mate. low points.
 
we have not enough time but making my way through the tiny hatch and to my seat 6 x a day is usually bloody miserable, and 100x worse when the weather is bad. At the time i don't feel fear, but looking back at some of the weather we have faced, it scares me now to think about it.
 
Would you ever do an ocean row again?
 
I hate my answer because i know it will lead to more pain, boredom and frustration, but yes, as a 4. Any of my OH mates interested??? I have a long list of changes i would make to better the rowing experience and QOL on board. So, if anyone reading this would like to do the Pacific or indian, get in contact as i can assure you that you’re experience will be better than mine due to my new found knowledge.
 
What are you looking forward to most?
 
That first step on land.
Holding my family as tight as i can grasp and telling them that i’ll never do anything like that again (i’ll be lying).
Walking amongst the palm trees to the hotel.
locking myself in the bathroom and showering for an hour, using all the complimentary shampoo, conditioner and body wash. Collapsing onto the clean sheets, staring up at the ceiling and smiling, because i will be thinking about what i’ve just achieved. A Dream, a myth and a goal that i thought unobtainable but still dared to attempt.
Of course that first beer that washes away all the bad times and heightens all the good ones.
Back in the UK i can’t wait to see my friends and all the wonderful people that have supported us through good and bad and bad and bad and bad times.
AND, firing up my dad’s BMW 1200 GS Adventure, which i’ve been told is mine to use on return. Wohooooooo!!!!!
 
Nice boyo, now how’s the body?
 
My feet are blistered, my hands are worse that that, my joints are aching, my bum is covered in sores and my head hurts from the lack of stimulus. I’ve lost 15kg and got a beaut tan but the beard lines are going to be horrendous.
 
Would you recommend the row to anyone?
 
It’s been the most remarkable experience of my life, and i’ve hated it, so if you want something like that, time to sort out your issues, time to make new goals, i couldn’t recommend it more.
 
Cheers Capt Jamie (Jack) Sparks (Sparrow). Peace. Great, back on the oars in 16 mins. J 

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