Sat 15 Apr 2006 22:27
Well the past 24 hours have taken us from the depths of despair and
incomprehension to euphoria and the best meal we have had on board for a
After a good days rowing on the daytime shift on the 14 April we were
assailed by a a strong ESE wind overnight which blew us way off track. All
our efforts could not bring the effects of the wind plus the slightly
northgoing current in our present position under control. We were swept off
at up 300 true as our intended track no more than 265 true. A midnight
conference on how to mitigate the effects had tension coming to the surface.
Not an easy situation when all around appears to be going wrong. Tell
yourself that it is one day in many and not to get upset but there again we
had worked hard to maintain southerly progress over the last few weeks and
here we were seeing it frittered away in an evening.
We eventually agreed on a course of actioin and were able tolimit the
northerly drift to
5 nm for the day.
We pressed on the following day with wind moving back to the E making our
task a little easier. Things were a bit muted between us but we pressed on.
These tensions between
Tim and myself can materialise in the strangest way. A casual innocent
comment is taken out of context, a joke not seen a joke or taken seriously
can lead to a few truths being exchanged. Tim Bunker one of email
correspondents summed it up very well
in his last email too us. There will be tensions but we are mature enough
that we can keep it in check. We are free to apologise and to make small
Another thing that has obviously made for depression is lack of food. Rowirg
rations at night when were you are at your lowest were pitiful, breakfast
after enduring that were then pathetic. Who can function on that, but we
to my mind remarkably efficiently. Anyway I was pulling on the oars as I do
during the morning when I noticed that we were about literally to be run
down by a bulk carrier. The vessel was raised on our VHF radio. We
explained the situation regarding food and asked if they could help with
some rations. They were very helpful. Made up a couple of food packages for
us but how to get them to us in the end they were dropped overboard as we
rowed past. Highly risky as we could have missed the lot. We went after the
first parcel like a bat out of hell with me on the oars and Tim eyeballing
both packages. We just missed the first one we were just 15m down wind with
us being blown away from it. The contingency was for someone to swim for it
quick as you like Tim was over the side connected to the boat with a safety
line.A dozen frantic strokes later Tim had the package in his arms and I was
abe to pull him back to the boat.
Tim here. Home truths indeed!!!!!
Anyway i think it was nearer 200m. (not really so theres no
misunderstanding). It was a bundle of watertightish buckets tied onto old
jackets and contained tinned meats, biscuits, pringles, porridge like
suvival rations, nuts, and all welcome. I have split them up to last us
another 24 days into packs that makes a meal worth having.
Mick said 2 bundles were thrown. the second one I took my eye off swimming
for the first and when back on board we went in the general direction of
last seen. Mick spotted it down wind making it an easy pickup with no more
heroics. (I needed a good wash anyway).
Earlier in the blog we mentioned an American yacht which passed us called
"Shearwater III" and they had given us some very basic things like peanut
butter (it would have to be), crackers, rye bread coffee but not enough to
make up he shortfall
Thats why we used the radio to contact the vesssel today, Dorrick Spirit.
The officers and crew were excellent and circled the rowing boat before
supplies over the side. You can imagine their amazement to see two old men
ina 24 ft rowing boat some of the questions asked-
1. What are you doing here in the middle of the Atlantic?
2 Where is your mother ship?
3. Are you training for something?
4. How did you get here?
I did my best to explain and hope they contact us with their details so we
can thank them properly.
Mick again; getting the extra food as made our time on board much more
enjoyable, we still have to be careful with the food and ration it out over
our remaining days but we can cope with that, its still cold, no problem. It
has also made the problems with northing we are experiencing at present less
important. Lets face it we are two old fellas having a great boating
holiday. As long as we keep pulling westward we will bump into land