Fri 20 Dec 2013 12:45
the last few days have been tiring. but then the whole thing has so not much has changed! Today we moved into first place in the pairs, and third  overall. This was a great feeling for me and Jamie, as our more northern route choice has paid off. and the fact that we decided not to have a weather navigator like many of our competition makes us feel quite smug about our progress.  we have been rowithere have been a few really tough nights; the sea is totally unforgiving. Picture the frustration and obscenities i shouted having got to 1 hour 58 mins without getting hit by a wave, and then a huge one comes over, smashing my ribs into the end of the oar and thoroughly soaking me. its so annoying because then the cabin gets soaking and everything becomes extremely icky.
I think the nights will get more enjoyable when it becomes less rough, and then I might be able to listen to something more relaxing, but when the water and sky are indistinguishable in colour and you have heard about the other teams that have capsized, flooded batteries and snapped rudders, the nights become quite tense and require good aggressive music.  i listened to an entire 50 cent album top to bottom last night, and loved it! I dont think I have done that since when i first bought ‘get rich or die tryin’ on a school ski trip, at the counter in hmv the guy pointed out the ‘explicit content’ label and i assured him that i knew all the swearwords already, reeling off a few until I got a poke in the back and a stern look from the teacher that I didnt realise was next in the queue.
On the morning of our 14th day in the boat we had a what seemed to be about 50 dolphins pass us, surfing down the waves and jumping out of the water either side of our boat. It was wonderful to see and amazingly uplifting to experience the joy and playfulness among them.
we have spent lots of time messing around with different seat combinations, today im writing this almost in tears of frustration. our stupid waterproofs are so useless i have just come in from a shift where i went from dry to miserablly cold as it rained to agony as my bottom half got drenched by waves and as the salt crystallised it it t keep my bum dry and now have a horrible set of boils/rash between my legs ive taken codine and all types of painkillers and its still miserable to row and i feel helpless because there is little to amend the situation. we have lost our foam seats overboard, and skin just wont heal in these conditions. i hope something can change because its realy going to suck if im in this pain each shift for the next month out here.
the rowing part is the easiest bit by far, its the continual discomfort and pain and salt and difficulties that accomplishing even the simplest tasks that makes the challenge so gruelling.
but i know we are going to get there, and I will soon have forgotten these small blips in the bigger picture.