18 May

Thu 18 May 2006 19:15
Hi this is Mick
As you remember we were left yesterday doing battlle with an se wind.
our own but not able to move directly toward Antigua.. Well every dog has
his day and we had a bit of good fortune. Our
energy sapping se wind came around to be a friendly ese pushing us along
nicely and
allowing us to re-establish our course direct course to Antiigua. Since
them the
wind direction has continued to be in our favour. We have now 99nm to go to
Antigua and are maintaining a speed in the region 1kn in that direction. The
battle is not over but the ne current which is causing us the problem is
now sufficiently overpowered by our wind assisted forward motion. Wind
speeds have to be maintained to eensure that we maintain our present
direction. The
forecast is still good, 4 more days with good strength easterlies. Sounds
good to me.

From time to time we see life a death battles between dorado and some other
fish, sometimes dorado is the prey or the attacher. I was at the oars
yesterday afternoon when a dorado chasing a sprat the size of small goldfish
leap vertically out of the water along with ithe sprat. They flew easily 15m
into the air. back into the water followed by another leap of half
magnetude. Who won I have no idea. In another instance a bird was flying
along side the boat at night. We picked up its outline with the deck light.
It eventually landed on the hutch ventialtion hatch cover. I put my hand up
toward the bird from inside the hutch and it sat on my hand. We weren't sure
whether it was exhausted, we didn't see it again after that.

Hi Tim here,
Down to our last 100. That seems amazing when we have done 2900 miles
already. Perception id funny as these last 100 seem such a long way. However
things are changing on the boat. We are talking about which day to finish,
we have weather forcats beyond that date, we have good contact with Antigua
coastguard who is helping us with current directions and strengths, we have
liz and pat organising and encouraging and it is changing how we think. It
still feels a long way to go but i decided to try and start a list of
positive things i'll miss when its finished.
rowing - i love it when its fast, moonlit, warm and i have a mug of (cold)

food - the food has been interesting and fun and i ahve enjoyed surviving on
much less than usual and feeling well on it - Will it continue?Making a meal
from nothing and it being enjoyable.

Time to reflect, time to myself, to examine and re-examine, feelings, fears,
friends and fantasy
The weather - sunny days and warm nights. I just love it when rowing and
suddenly a warm breeze flows over you as if someone opened a sauna door -
fantastic. And of course the sunsets

The self imposed discipline and being able to do it
The stress and coping. Putting pain aside.

i have loved the physical challenges - with me , the weather, the sea. i
have loved feeling fit, strong.Sounds cazy but almost invincible. Stupid but
in context nothing was going to overpower me and it hasnt. That feels good.
I have loved the exhaustion at times. flopping to sleep knowing everthing
was given and there was no more left. I cant do more than that.

To have rowed for three months with no more than 2 hours sleep and feeling
good, strong, and happy.

I have enjoyed relying on Mick to do the same as me. Through out the trip
neither of us have once pulled out of a rowing shift. Relying on him to look
after me when I'm asleep.

I feel good about completion. If the boat sank now i would have still rowed
this ocean. Noone can ever take that away from me. Inside their is immense
pride in doing what many thought was

I have loved as much as anything the support and confort given to me from
family and friends. My colleagues have been immense and never will thry be
forgotten. Names from the past have returned and reminded me of forgotten
special times and places.

I cannot yet understand the belief in me from others who have never doubted
capacity to see it through Liz especially. Thanks.

Sharing. Throughout the trip nooone has taken more than their share.

I'm sorry about that self indulgence but there it is anyway.