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Date: 11 Jan 2010 14:16:51
Title: 1st week completed...............

We survived our first week and it really has flown by. Although, we're not popping out the champers yet as I heard a very sobering fact just before we left La Gomera. Of the 8 independent (not part of the Woodvale race) ocean rowing boats that attempted to row from La Gomera to Antigua in 2008, only 1 boat made it across without being rescued! We're about a tenth of the way across and making good progress and touch wood we've no major structural or electrical problems and Red Arrow is performing like a true legend. Rich and I are both in good spirits, Rich is back to full health and we're still on speaking terms which is a bonus!
 
I hear the UK is still is a cold spell so I though I'd do some weather gloating.............I'm currently looking out of my luxurious cabin and I can see nothing but clear blue sky and bright sunshine - which seems to be burning Rich as we speak! It's probably knocking on 30 degrees with a nice breeze so our biggest decision of the day is what factor sun cream to use.
 
Since I've been at sea I have lots of time to think and this race really is unusual for a number of reasons;
1. It costs £15,000 to enter - I thought the London Marathon was expensive at £50!
2. There is no set route that every team must follow - we should have gone East and circumnavigated the globe to get our money's worth!
3. We don't know what position we are in until we receive an email/text update. Although we are technically online via our sat phone we can't browse websites so are depending on Dad to update us with the headlines.
4. You could overtake a competitior or be undertaken and not be aware of it at all. Overnight we gained 5 places on the leaderboard and we didn't see another boat. We can only see as far as the horizon which is about 6/8 miles at our boats height so we could now be overtaken but not see the boat - weird!
5. There is no prize money for the winning boat. Whether you come first or last you all get the same glass trophy.
 
Anyhow, I thought I'd update you on how the old body is shaping up;
Hands     -    Doing okay although blisters have formed all over although the Blister Stick is really helping - thanks Rachel. Kakadu kangaroo (sorry Laura) gloves are working well. We're using the Oarsome Potential (from Dragons Den) which seem to relieve the pressure too.
Feet         - No problems at al thanks to the Yacht Boot Company. Jo Harris - you'll be pleased to know I've ditched the Crocs but check out my new bad boys - Sharx shoes!
Bum         - the worst of the 3. Mild nappy rash developed and quite spotty. I've started wearing Granuflex (basically giant cushioned plasters for each bum cheek) today and this has helped already. Great recommendation Oly Dudley.
Nose         - burnt..........it might be because it sticks out a fair bit! 
 
Enough from me - rowing to do.
 
Antigua here we come!
Barnesy

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