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Date: 13 Jan 2010 09:49:45
Title: Happy 30th Reynolds

Today my best mate turns 30 and I can’t be there in person to say “ Happy 30th you old git”! I’ve known Reynolds for too many years and I’m gutted not to be able to help celebrate in true Barnes and Reynolds style – we’ll make up for it in Antigua! About 2 years ago when Rich and I started to think we need some serious sponsorship to get this project off the ground I’d obviously told Reynolds what I was planning on doing. The next morning I get an email from the man himself saying that his company, Carbon Finance, would become a gold sponsor - our first official sponsor. At the time Carbon was a start up so this was incredibly generous although the sponsorship did come with one stipulation…….. the Carbon logo was to appear on the hull of Red Arrow because if we capsized and were getting rescued it would be highly visible exposure! With friends like that…….I’ll be giving you a reverse charges call later on today. Thanks for your support mate.

Yesterday was my favourite day rowing in the ocean so far. I’d been dreaming about doing this for so many years and this afternoon was the picture that I had in my head – clear blue sky, gentle rolling waves, a subtle tailwind, the sun beating down on my back and not another boat to be seen. It is a far cry from my daily slog up and down the A316 to my normal desk job. To top it off a handful of dolphins then swam along by the boat but flipper and his friends quickly disappeared. I feel very privileged to be out here in the Atlantic and experiencing these sights and I’m savouring every last minute.

However, just when the sun was setting and I was getting ready for my 18:30 shift in the cabin a rogue wave decided to come through the back window soaking half the cabin and our mattressing. What a f*cker I can tell you but thankfully none of the electrics were affected and we’re drying the foam out on deck today. The cabin is now damp which isn’t ideal but it could have been worse. Lesson learnt – don’t have the back window open ever, even when you think it is calm.

A few personal messages…………..

James Downie   -              sorry for the delay. The shuffle is amazing and I especially love the Ali G clips – old but gold. Thanks for arranging all the personal messages.

Debra Searle      -              we’re really chuffed you’re following our progress. We’re just over a week into the race now and I can’t imagine Rich getting off and finishing on my own. After now experiencing some time at sea – massive respect from us both. Keep in touch.

Tarquin                 -              I read your letter yesterday and I was touched. Top man.

The Yelling’s       -              stick to Athletics as you’re no good at singing! Thanks for the lucozade bits – I’m having a recovery bar as I type. Looking forward to meeting Ruby.

Ells                         -              nice audio message about “if the cabins rocking, don’t come knocking because Rich is probably……!”. Thanks for the daily messages you’ve written – you must have had some help with them as they are quite funny.

Mum                     -              likewise, it must have taken you hours to write 65 double sided messages. I read them everyone morning. Also, I loved the “The Pursuit of Happyness”  DVD you sent out with Hilary. I watched it the other day when we were on para-anchor – one up side for not having to row! Miss ya.

Nan                        -              my first ever email from you – thank you, thank you. I’m going to print it out and frame it when I get back. I bet Mum’s PC screen is covered with tipp ex now!

A’bel                     -              sorry to hear about you and Joost. I’m sure your brother in law will do his best to line you up with an Antiguan local when you come over!

Hearnester         -              have you sent the present to team leader Laura yet?????           

Lynda & Charles -             thanks for the text and when you’re flying overhead to go on your cruise could you see if you can air drop me a food parcel?

The Whitelings -               hope you had a good time in Barbados and thanks for your support throughout.              

Just before I sign off I want to share a text message with you that made me laugh…

Is it fair to say there’d be less litter in Britain if blind people were given pointed sticks” – thanks Cath

Antigua here we come.


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