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Date: 11 Feb 2010 11:09:37
Title: Halfway!

We should reach the halfway mark today – you beauty! As we’re now on day 38, we could be in for a 76 day crossing (which is how long it took Rachel & Lin in Red Arrow in 2007) but we’re hoping we can pick up the pace in the second half of the race. We’ve decided that we need to celebrate reaching this milestone and the most appropriate reward we’ve managed to find is a small tin of pineapple each! Hardly a fitting tribute for 1200 odd miles but we’ll savour every mouthful as we haven’t had fruit since we started.

 

A slight digression from the rowing….

My little sister has just broken her foot which she did this whilst out running. When she was put on crutches she then slipped on some water and broke her toe – double breakage. Not ideal, considering she has just changed career and is now a personal trainer! She’s a very talented athlete and she won’t be shy in telling you that she has a faster marathon time than me although she’s now unlikely to run the London Marathon in April where she was trying to break 3 hours for the first time. Get well soon Ells and at least you’ll still be able to train your clients how to hop! Love ya.

 

A quick snapshot of the last 48 hours onboard HMS Red Arrow….

 

Days at Sea:                 38

Last 48 Hours:              We’ve been making good progress and have climbed a few positions in the fleet. We’re not getting carried away as the last time we were in the top ten we dropped 5 places over night and have no reason why. We’ll just keep trying hard every shift and see what happens.

Other Boats:                 YES – and it was well worth the wait. A 250m long cargo ship (we’re 8m long) popped up on our radar and then emerged on the horizon going to West Africa. Even 5 miles away it was huge and thankfully we were in no danger. We tried to do a radio check with him but we didn’t get a response. I’m a bit worried about our VHF as we had clear line of sight and it should work – either that, or the ship was on auto pilot and the captain was having a fag!

What’s been happening?

An update from the last couple of days…………………

1.     Amazing Sunrise

This morning the sunrise was stunning and I couldn’t stop myself from staring, similar to watching a fire burn – it was mesmerising. We’re still operating on GMT and the sun pops up around 9:15 at our current position.

2.     The Downpour

The most surreal weather conditions happened yesterday during my early evening shift between 16:00 – 18:00. At the start of the shift I was plastering on the sun cream and then halfway through this huge black front was moving in. I could see rain was coming and the seas were increasing. I had 2 options:

-       Go and grab the Musto waterproofs and kit up, or

-       Get naked and have a free shower!

There was only ever going to be one winner with my options and I had my first mid Atlantic rain shower. The temperature was still warm and the rain was very heavy so it was really refreshing. Our first bit of rain in 38 days – not bad really. Yes, that is weather gloating.

3.     Thank you Ricky

Oh, how Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant and Carl Pilkington have saved me during my night shifts. James Downie very kindly bought me an ipod shuffle for the trip and pre-loaded it with personal messages, songs and comedy podcasts. The 3 mates chat absolute random shit, insult each other and have a laugh for half an hour and then sign off. I’ve been roaring with laughter at stupidly early hours to their comments – absolutely love it and I’m sure it has saved me from falling asleep!

 

Looking forward to;

  1. My Terry’s Chocolate Orange treat on Sunday – this will count as one of my 5 a day!
  2. England beating Italy on Sunday.
  3. Our follow up Radio interview tonight at 19:45 on BBC Radio London Sports Show  (94.9 FM).

Joke of the Day goes to Cath Allaway....

 

Bride’s Dad hands a note to Groom – “Goods delivered are not returnable”

Groom hands a note back to Bride’s father – “Contract void if seal is broken!”

 

A few personal messages from me………….

 

Dan & Sandra -             Hello in Sweden. Dan -  I love the letter and looking forward to seeing you both when you’re next over in the UK.

 

Alan Skennerton –        Thanks for the letter and jokes, which were very entertaining. Thank you for your support throughout and the upgrade back from Dubai!

 

The row must go on – Antigua here we come.

 

Barnesy


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