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Date: 06 Jan 2010 13:22:02
Title: 1st 48 hours at sea!

Hello from the Atlantic!
Well I can now see why the Race organisers describe their races as the "World's Toughest Rowing Race!" Rich and I have just completed our first 48 hours and it has been eventful............
Race start went well and we avoided and collisions with any of the other boats. Thank you to Hilary and Martin who came to see us off and have now been my courier taking my valuables home. Rich and I rowed 2 up from the start and I then after 3 hours we would go into our 2 hours on, 2 hours off shift pattern. As we didn't have a coin on board to toss I volunteered for some reason. After my 5 hours on the oars I was ready for a rest.
Thankfully, the sea sicknesses hasn't affected me too badly so far - only 1 big vomit into a sick bag in the cabin. However, Rich has been hit quite badly but to his credit he hasn't missed a shift and is fighting through it.
The first night was beautiful with a big full moon so we could see the waves coming - last night wasn't the same story. Full cloud clover and waves hitting the boat with no warning. One big wave activated our EPIRB (Emergency Position Identification Response Beacon) so we had to ring Woodvale to inform Falmouth Search and Rescue in Cornwall (where the EPIRB is registered) not to activate a full search and rescue. Last night was quite dangerous and when the rudder rope came lose and gave us limited directional control and it would be hard to fix in darkness we decided that even with a lifejacket on, harness on and full foul weather gear that it was too early on to be out there in those conditions. Rich and I had a few hours off and managed to get a few hours kip in the cabin.
The rudder was fixed in the morning and we managed a few hours on the oars until the wind picked up to 20kts + and turned to the North West and kept pushing us South East - we need to be going South West so we're currently on Para Anchor (anchor deployed at the bow of the boat to keep us turned into wind and fxed to the spot) so we don't lose any position. Rich is feeling better and is currently running the water maker on deck and I'm typing away in the cabin. The text we're just had from Woodvale is that the wind is from the same direction until 18:00 tomorrow so we could be on para anchor for some time.......... Thanks to CT we've got lots of films to watch on the Toughbook.
I'm slowly adjusting to life on Red Arrow - my home for the next 60 days although I have quickly learnt that everything is a hassle from walking on deck, making hot water, pouring from one container to another, finding everything you need for various things and worst of all going to the toilet!
Keep the texts coming - good to hear from you all. Amy Y - I can't believe you mentioned the IM canteen - what I could do for a 3 course lunch now!
We'll be in touch soon
Barrnesy & Rich

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