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Date: 07 Feb 2010 15:55:40
Title: Bits and Pieces............

So, we beat the Welsh then – get in! It must have been me singing the national anthem out here. Rich came on shift an hour later after having a sleep in the cabin and said “Was I dreaming or did you sing the national anthem earlier?”


Some bits and pieces from me today………


Body Update

Hands:             These are the worst affected part of my body in terms of pain/discomfort, especially my right hand. As our hands are gripping an oar for 12 hours a day they become like claws and sometimes even straightening individual fingers is painful. In our time off we’re using stress balls as much as possible to try and increase the range of movement. As expected the skin has really hardened but there isn’t significant blistering which has surprised me. I’m trying to use a combination of gym gloves, Kakadu gloves and no gloves rather than just doing the same for every shift and maybe this is helping.

Bum:                See attached photo……………….I’m joking but we have been taking pictures so we can monitor developments! Although I clearly have a nappy rash the Granuflex (bum plasters) have really helped me. I’ve been sent blogs from other teams who are in the race and they are really suffering and there can’t be anything worse at this stage as it is only going to get worse.

Feet:                 A few blisters on the top of a few toes but thankfully no major problems at all. I’ve not rowed bare feet yet and don’t intend to as the Sharx shoes are doing the job.

Sun Tan:          My right hand side of my body seems to have caught a few rays but the left is somewhat behind. The sun rises in front of us and then loops over our right shoulder and sets directly behind us burning a big hole in our back. When we get to Antigua I’ll have to make sure all photos are from one side!

Mentally:          I still feel very determined and positive especially since we’ve come off the para anchor. In total we have spent 6 days stuck inside a cabin getting no closer to Antigua and this is really frustrating but has to be expected for the nature of this type of event. For the last year or so I’ve been having constant mind battles;

Would I be able to mentally cope doing this?  

Whether my lack of rowing and sea experience would be my downfall?

Was rowing an ocean beyond me?

I kept telling myself that if all the previous successful ocean rowers can do it, then so can I. To my knowledge none of them had anything different from me and now we’re 34 days into the crossing I feel I (and hopefully Rich) can complete the crossing in a positive state of mind. Every time something pisses me off – I make myself smile and this works for me every time.


You may recall from one of my very first blogs about the process of when one of us is rowing and the other is in the cabin and we give each other a 10 minute warning when the other one is due on shift. At night, this warning consists of a few heavy knocks on the cabin door. I always say "thanks mate" or "cheers Rich" although I’m actually thinking "would you please just f*ck off”. Well, last night I got them the wrong way round and I thought I whispered it! Even more annoying is when you wake up an hour early (after thinking you’re had the warning) put your clothes on etc and then open the blind for the other person to say – “You’re an hour early mate”. We’ve both done it now!


Right, must dash – hull to clean and we have some 3ft blue fin tuna (we think) swimming with us so I’m going to try and take some underwater pictures.  After that is my weekly ”full wash” and hopefully I won’t fall in the water after this one! What I would do for a power shower right now and I will never complain about the smelly, often broken showers at IMG again!


Joke of the day goes to my old buddy old pal Nelson……….


“Sex is like bridge. If you don’t have a good partner, you better have a good hand”



The row must go on – Antigua here we come.



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