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Date: 15 Feb 2010 11:04:54
Title: Day 42 - Exactly 6 Weeks

Exactly 6 weeks ago today we were on the start line in La Gomera – it has gone very quickly for me and I feel very privileged to be out here. Most importantly is that Rich and I haven’t had any major arguments and are still mates working towards the same goal.


Word of warning to you all – don’t try and stuff three quarters of a Terry’s chocolate orange into your mouth in one as it is very hard to breath and takes about 15 minutes to chew through! I got excited when I saw my Sunday treat yesterday,


Sadly there wasn’t a FedEx Valentines air drop for us both yesterday although we both did speak to our girlfriends which was really good.


I’ve just read the match report from the game yesterday and it seems we scraped through against the Italians. The Grand Slam is still on though!


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


Days at Sea:                 42

Last 48 Hours:              Saturday afternoon we were becalmed and after rowing in treacle for 8 hours and covering 5 miles we decided to put the para anchor out at 8pm . A nights rest for both of us in the cabin and we were back on the oars at 10am as the weather had changed. We did some boat stuff for an hour on Sunday and since then we’re been back to the same old shift system.

Other Boats:                 Nothing again and we’ve recently passed a few boats in the race and it would be nice to actually see them and have some friendly banter with them as you pass.

What’s been happening?

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

1.     Not your typical Sunday

If I was at home yesterday I would have woken up next to Laura, had a nice breakfast, watched Match of the Day, skimmed through the Sunday Times, rang mum up to find out what time she was cooking the roast for and watched England play Italy before fallen asleep on the sofa. My day at sea was slightly different;

-       I woke up next to a smelly sleep talking ginger man wearing just briefs! When both of us are in the cabin we are literally shoulder to shoulder and when one moves the other one normally wakes. Saying that, we did get our heads down on Saturday night for 6 or 7 hours which was the most amount of sleep we’ve had in one hit in about a fortnight.

-       My breakfast was a rice pudding expedition meal and the only way I have found to make them palatable is to add large amounts of chocolate – this time I sacrificed my Boost bar and mixed it all up.

-       We then gave ourselves an hour (30 minutes of each of our shifts) to do some other boat maintenance in the early afternoon. I cleaned the hull again although there nothing really there this time. It was lovely to get in the water and I then had my weekly full body wash and felt like a new man afterwards. I was then on rubbish duty and had to condense all our rubbish, bag it, duct tape it and squeeze it into the most forward compartment in the bow. Rich was on lifeguard duty for me when I was in the water and then sorted out his food compartments. 

2.     Movie Night was back

Having one night in the cabin did mean that movie night was back. This time it was Shawshank Redemption and although it is my favourite film I hadn’t watched it for years. Rich was asleep 10 minutes into it – standard! It was just as good this time and I knew what was coming. I love the quote, “Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things and no good thing ever dies” - BRILLIANT! If you are reading this and have never watched the film – shame on you and go to Blockbuster now, do not pass go, do not collect £200 but just watch this ASAP and if you don’t like it seek immediate medical attention.

3.     Quiz Update

We had another quick game yesterday and I was victorious. Barnes 9 Points, Hume 4 Points. You’re probably expecting to hear it was 10 questions each – it was 20 questions each so I really shouldn’t be bragging!


Looking forward to;

  1. Reaching 45 degrees West which is our next waypoint – should be by Wednesday/Thursday.
  2. Soon after 45 degrees West we’ll reach 1000 miles to run and our countdown will then all be in 3 digits!


A few personal messages from me………….


Lin Diaby -                   Congratulations and perhaps a mother and son/daughter crossing in the future???? I can sell you a good boat if you need one???                          


Woking Round Table – Thanks to everyone from table for their emails. We really appreciate your support and looking forward to coming down to the Wheatsheaf upon our return to show you the 5000 photos!


Reynolds -                    Spot on with the position texts – top work.


Sara Hollingshead -      What an unexpected but inspiring letter and I love the way you wrote it in small text and printed it out on tiny paper. Very thoughtful and thank you very much. I hope the bump is doing well and I’m expecting a future Vandal second row fundraising legend!


Debbie Pritchard -        Congrats on the birth of your baby (not sure if you’ve a boy or girl) and it sounds like it was the same day as Lisa in LA. No doubt it will play for West Avon county!



The row must go on – Antigua here we come.



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