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Date: 24 Jan 2010 09:40:58
Title: Day 20

Some bits and pieces from me today…………


Days at Sea:                 20

Days remaining:           Approximately an additional 40 to 60 days depending on conditions

Last 24 Hours:              Yesterday afternoon/evening was definitely the worst/toughest conditions we’ve faced. Monster waves (some must be at least >30ft) smashing into Red Arrow soaking everything on deck, strong winds that were blowing across the waves made it even harder to hold our heading. Very challenging.

Other Boats:                 Still nothing………..

What’s been happening?

Well apart from the rowing for 2 hours every 2 hours here are some other snippets;         

1.     Spirit of M.A. rang

The boys on Spirit of M.A, Neil & Dean, gave us a quick call yesterday afternoon. We’ve a very friendly rivalry between our teams and they are a few places behind us (which I duly reminded them) so it’s now first to the finish between us and them.


2.     The cabin got wet AGAIN

Whilst I was on the phone to Neil a wave came through the smallest of gaps in the back hatch and soaked the back part of the cabin – this was the 3rd time. I was so pissed off and I hear all the ocean rowers saying  “never leave the back hatch open” and others saying “they obviously haven’t learnt since the first time” . Rich and I have resigned ourselves to the fact that we will have the hatch open and the cabin is going to get wet from time to time.

3.     Rich managed a poo!

Sorry to have to stoop to this level although it has been the topic of conversation on board since we started. Hopefully, he’ll now get back to normal. 


Looking forward to:     

  1. Belated Christmas Day
Tomorrow is the big day and although there will be no roast turkey, no log fire and no afternoon of falling asleep in front of the TV. It does mean that Rich and I will give ourselves a few shifts off which will be welcome change. We haven’t finalised our plans yet but we’ll probably skip 2 or maybe 3 rowing shifts and enjoy opening some presents and reading cards/letters from home. The Christmas carols will be in full swing.


My Santa list;

  1. Inboard Motor –            this would help increase the DMG everyday and much more discreet than whacking a 275HP outboard on the back!
  2. A huge sail -                  Another to help catch the race leader, Charlie.
  3. Hatch cover -                Some clever clogs to invent a hatch cover that allows air in but not water!
  4. £3,000                          To cover the shipping costs of Red Arrow back to the UK so we can sell her.


A recent highlight for me has been discovering the delights of audio books. I had thought audio books were reserved exclusively for the elderly or lazy gits who can’t be bothered to read but I’ve been proven wrong. I was at the stage where I was getting bored of listening to music and Rich said he had some Richard Hammond Top Gear audio books (trip to the North Pole, drive across the Botswana salt flats etc) on his iPod and I borrowed it. I’m hooked. The Hamster tells a good story and has now just reaffirmed that the shows presenters have the best jobs in the world. When Clarkson is killed off by a tree hugger I’m going to send my CV in!


Text of the day goes to Oli Dudley;


Q. Where do you find a one legged dog?

A. Where you left it. 


A few personal messages from me………….


Aunty P -                      I loved the snow joke and it was a welcome distraction. Yep, a haircut when I get back would be amazing as it is going to need it. I hope the family are well.


Robin Gilmore -           Hi Robin. Thanks for getting in touch and so far we’ve thankfully had no problems with Red Arrow. I hope Woodvale are paying for you to come out to Antigua!


Cookie -                       Yes, we are losing to another solo rower now and I blame my personal trainer! Say hi to the team at FIT and you need to change your text sign off – “FIT SI”.


Luigi Cox -                   I was only thinking about you the other day when we passed our 3rd day at sea. Until now the previous longest I’d been to sea was when we did the 3 night fishing trip to the Hen & Chicken Islands with Merv “The Lung”.  What a free diver he was! Keep up your good work as Mayor.


Dan & Sandra -             You must have been bored if you tuned into the radio interview in Sweden. Hope all is well and it’d be great to hook up when I’m back and you’re next over.


Gunny -                        It’s about time that all the departments at Carbon lost some weight. If it works I’ll then have to change the nickname of FOB to OB!     


Booker -                       I can’t believe the news and I’ve been wearing a black arm as a mark of respect for you. Hang in there mate – new job on the horizon very soon.


Griffo -                         Come to think of it, Free Willy could have been a relation! Hope life is good.


The Nolan’s -                I wish I was on your cruise liner – very jealous! I hope my navigation isn’t that bad and our paths cross in the Tasman Sea. Have a good trip.


JK -                              Ta for the email and I was interested to read one of your mottos in life! Answers to your questions below – all the best pal;

a)      I felt like that after the 1st stroke pulling out of the harbour in La Gomera!
b)      I think I’ll be quoting Redgrave when I get to Antigua – “if anyone sees me near a boat again then please shoot me.”
c)       Ground rules have been established but you should know better than anyone…..”What goes on tour, stays on tour”.
d)      Rich said that gloves help!
e)      Yeah, I do miss you two. Whenever I see either of you it always makes me feel good about myself!   

The row must go on – Antigua here we come.




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