8th May

Tue 9 May 2006 00:22
Hi again,
We have worked well today and pushed a little further "home" with about 25
miles done already. (Down to 275). Its right about the longest miles
(Paula!) and we are forever pot watching and progress is small. We have
decided again to stop looking ahead and choose smaller targets (250 next)
and so on. Today we still havent had the east winds promised but the SE we
were given were light enough to go west and south. We are still 75 above
Antigua and it will be a big ask to bring them down to 0 but the effort will
be there no doubt. Mick and me are at opposite ends of lots of discussions
and ideas but when rowing both know the way back home.
If we can get some east or north east winds we will be pushing hard SW
towards the island.

Liz and Pat have been great taking care of the food drops. We may have
enough food aboard now unless we have to endure another bout of southerlies
which will delay us. In case of that happening Liz and Pat have found
another boat leaving for Barcelona in 3 days. If we rendvous what ever the
weather we will be ok. It will then be a case of trying our utmost to row to
English harbour but crossing into the Carribean somewhere will have to do.
I have become aware of the seriousness of this challenge for months and
always believe that the goal can be achieved if we focus on what has to be
done and not distracted by the day to day events which if allowed would
affect the longterm outcome. However if the winds do keep blowing strongly
from the south how can we row south. I suppose doing the best possible you
can is all that can be asked but for me sometimes only the full result will
be good enough.. Mike is more realistic than me in an examination of the
"end game" but just as determined to try for the harbour. Its a debate that
rolls round my head when rowing at night when It all has to be given a
perspective. I guess the crossing will be enough but its not what i would
choose but the elements are the real bosses here.

Yes Tim and I agree that the end game is a row into English Harbour, we are
75 miles north of the entrance but the track to lay it is about 260 true and
easily achieveable if we have a succession of winds from east and north east
even light winds from east south east would be OK. The real problems are the
southerlies which we have been dogged with for days on end driving us north.
One catastrophic day we were blown 12 nm north. Another problem are
the circulating currents patterns that that have caused other altlantic
rowers extreme problems. We are not out of the woods yet but we are giving
it our best. Tonight in the light airs and sea we have a free rein to
wander where we want and have choosen a big southerly component in the

The food situation has lifted the stress levels. The first night after the
drop we feasted on fresh roast chicken pine apple with masses of yoghourt.
Quite unsettling in a funny sort of way and made me feel a little down.
Anyway a further drop will be the insurance we need incase of anymore bad

Thanks again for all your words of encouragement. We will do everything in
our power to wrap this up with an English Harbour, Antigua landfall.

Oh Yes, don't forget to tune into Radio Cumbria at 7 45am for the latest
news from Frasers Boat.