Father Christmas doesn’t exist – I had a very short Christmas list and I got
none of it!
you may have seen from the race website the last week has seen mixed results for
Red Arrow. We slipped down through the fleet very quickly and covered very low
mileage in comparison to the rest of the fleet for a 3 or 4 days. It was very
demoralising for Rich and I and we didn’t understand why. We felt that we hadn’t
changed anything we were originally doing that had proved to be fairly
successful. I sent an email to Dad to explain how frustrated we were and below
is part of Dad’s response;
“I know you're
both frustrated at what you perceive to be the slow progress and being overtaken
by others. But remember, it's a long way still to go and the order will change
all the time and the difference between all you guys in the middle is not that
many miles. The really important thing is not to worry about the others. You
know you're not going to win it - it looks like Charlie will and I wouldn't be
surprised if he beats the 12 man boat! Just focus on enjoying it and staying
safe. It just doesn't matter where you come compared to others. It's your
personal challenge - you against the ocean. No more, no less.”
always, Dad knows what to say and when to say it. Thanks Dad – this really
24 (which has flown by for me)
We haven’t rowed since 11:30 yesterday morning (Wed
Nope, still not heard or seen any
update from the last couple of days…………………
wasn’t a traditional celebration I can assure you. It was the first day that
we’ve been to sea that it was overcast and because we were aware that the
weather was moving in, rather than giving ourselves the morning or afternoon off
we decided on a 2 hour celebration window. Out came all the various presents,
envelopes, letters etc onto the deck. We were well and truly spoilt. A special
mention to Rachel and Lin (former owners of Red Arrow) – we loved the food
treats and all of the books were inspired - crossword book, Brilliant Answers by
AQA (I keep boring Rich with “did you know”) and most of all, the Quiz book. I’m
currently 2-1 up in the series which proves to me that state education is
clearly better than private!
people had suggested that to increase boat speed we need to clean the hull of
various barnacles/growths to give us less resistance through the water. To do
this one of us would have to get in the water. Rich wasn’t keen so it was down
to me and he was on look out on deck. Armed with a wall paper scraper and
wearing my Sport Soccer briefs, goggles and attached to the boat by an extended
ankle strap I bombed into the water. I couldn’t believe how many of these little
f*ckers were on our hull – the cheeky freeloaders trying to get a free lift to
Antigua. Operation removal came into swing and after an hour the hull was as
smooth as a baby’s bottom again. I didn’t see any marine life when I was in the
water but I was keeping an eye out for Free Willy. It was actually quite nice to
be doing something different.
increased boat mileage might have something to do with the fact that Rich and I
swapped shift patterns. I was struggling to stay awake on some of the early
morning shifts and although I would still have the same number of shifts a
change was a good idea. It certainly suited my body clock better as I was firing
on all cylinders for my new shifts.
and I are currently stuck in adverse weather on our para anchor (prevents us
from drifting backwards) and we’re confined to our very small, damp cabin. The
forecast is that it could be like this
4 or 5 days which will be unbearable. Please keep us
again – in a strange way, when you are rowing you are craving time off to rest
and sleep but we’ve now had a day of that and I’m ready to start rowing
Hammers beating Blackburn
of the day goes to my Christmas cracker;
fish in a tank. One says to the other – do you know how to drive this
personal messages from me………….
loved the home-made Christmas paper hats and great effort on the card. Thanking
& Dad – I read your combined good luck / leaving
/ Christmas card on Christmas day. You made me cry for half an hour! Thank you
for everything and can’t wait to see you both in Antigua. Love you lots.
Thank you ever so much for the Christmas parcels – we loved them.
However, the “one size fits all” for the Willy Warmers doesn’t work – I’ve grown
since you last saw me in the bath! I hope you’re enjoying Mary & Reg’s
home made Christmas cake was lovely, thank you.
– One of my favourite
presents for Red Arrow – a selection of topless women wearing Santa hats which
were already laminated with double sided tape. To keep you happy Gozza we have
put them up in the cabin!
Thanks ever so much for the letter although I couldn’t understand a word
of it so I passed it onto Rich (a fellow dyslexic) and he translated for me. The
incident in the kebab shop was not my fault – he left his chips unguarded! I
love the Churchill quote; “Never, never, never give up”. This must have been the
motto you adopted when you were chasing Bev all that time. I especially liked
the photo – even Frapey was smiling!
You won the Benfleet 15 miler, congrats. By the sounds of it your
winnings would have just about covered the B&B costs for Grandad’s! Looking
forward to going on some runs when we get back. Come to think of it, I’m
initially looking forward to standing up straight without feeling like I’m
you had a good time in Oz. No, we weren’t both naked in the cabin when we were
doing the radio interview. I can’t believe a lady in your office was welling up
listening to us – were we that bad??? Good luck
What’s happened to our joke of the day????
Ah, the Vandals away trip to
Guernsey. I’m gutted I missed that one although it seems we had the same result.
Did you get sin binned in my honour?
Can you send through some recent Vandals match reports/scores etc so
I can keep up to date?
You would love this. Want to buy a boat when we get back and do the 2011
Yep, slow day today and please try
and blow really hard! I wasn’t expecting that sort of email from a married
woman. Say hi to everyone at work and I’m missing the lunch club.
/ Kebab -
Blue & blue - good to hear from you. Rich isn’t enjoying the stripe
system out here!
A victory at the Monte Carlo rally please. Rich and I did think that with
a woman driver and a woman navigator a Tom Tom might be worth packing! Good
Please can you contact the Iridium website and ban Oli Dudley from being
able to text us? He sent the following; “Boys. I’m at home with my feet up watching
the box. I’ve a nice steak for dinner and a cold pint. Keep rowing lads – chin
up.”.Rich read it out to me whilst I was rowing and we simultaneously called
him the c word at the same time!
and most importantly……………………
missed you so much and this is the by far the longest we’ve ever been apart and
it isn’t nice. I’m really sorry to have left you and for doing a selfish, time
consuming and life threatening race but I figured you’ll forgive me when you’re
sunbathing in Antigua for 2 weeks. My Christmas presents were amazing – A
Gliding lesson, Kendall Mint cake and Terry’s Chocolate Orange (which I hope
counts as one of my 5 a day). However, best of all were the stress relief fake
boobs which genuinely do help our hands. I’ve checked the race rules and this is
the only exception I can see where a “motorboat” is permissible in this race.
Thank you for all the daily updates you’re sending us. Love you lots and can’t
wait to see you.
to bore you all but that’s it from me.
row must go on – Antigua here we come.
Rich has just opened a harmonica from David Moss. Rich says thanks and I’m
trying to find the mute button!