20/19 March

Mon 20 Mar 2006 21:07
Hi this is Mick, this is the most difficult blog for me to write and by far
the most upsetting. I learnt late yesterday afternoon that my father had
died following a period of hospitalisation. He had been becoming
increasingly frail over the last year and was showing the early stages of
dementia. He finally succumbed to what I understand was a secondary
infection. I am of course devastated by the news. Both because of the loss
of my father and because of the feeling of helplessness and inadequacy in
not being asble to be with my family at this time. Modern communications
means that I can talk to all my family from the boat but that is hardly a
substitute. The burden therefore for sorting out arrangements will fall to
my sister and mother, my wife Pat and close relatives.

Tim is being incredibly supportive and someone I can turn to to talk things

I have discussed what I should do ansd decided that the only thing to do is
to press on and get then job done with all speed and then get back home to
see my mom. I feel my dad would have wanted that and I will think of him as
we enter English Harbour, Antigua.

Yesterday evening as the sun went down the sea took on a blood red hue,
I had not experienced before, it was a fitting end to the day.

We are a little limited in what we can put on as a 'do'.on Fraser's Boat,
However Tim and I broke open a packet of our prized digestives and cheese
for a midnight feast along with whiskey chaser. We toasted my dad's life and
those our respective families.

Hi Tim here,
Complex times, helpless feelings, a boat to row and an adventure to safely
finish as quickly as possible. About an hour before Mick heard his terrible
news we had a "boat meeting" and discussed issues relating to boat speed,
rowing practices, sleeping patterns and us to each other, a sort of mid
atlantic summit (crest). The following was agreed.
To row 24 hours a day. We have had a 2 hour break when we could both
sleep enabling a 4 hour kip. Not anymore, as I was out voted by the cook and
To sharpen up changeovers and not lose boat speed
To help each other at changeovers to make it a swift process
To try and be positive despite poor rowing conditions.
A few home truths were discussed in a positive way and we are set for the
second half.

Still waiting for a sea change - ever hopeful and working hard not to
maximise our progress towards Antigua.

Our boat is too small for privacy of any kind and so Mick has to cope with
this as well as personal isolation from family and friends.. At some time
things will return to
routine but for now I have to focus on the boat and Mick. Mick's father
Frank has a son to
be proud of and I'm sure Mick has your hearts. Please support Mick by
forwards and not backwards and help us both complete this journey safely and
surely, focusing on our progress enabling Mick to find his own peace.
T x