- 10:00 1st Rowing
At present the sun is rising at approximately 09:45 so the majority of the shift
is in darkness. We look right into the rising sun and it we’ve seen some amazing
sun rises. It tends to be warm enough for me to wear just a rash vest and a
lovely pairs of briefs! I have the same routine for all my rowing shifts and
before I start I always go to the loo, adjust the footplates, attach the ankle
strap, tighten the seat cushion, put on my gloves and make sure my water bottle
is topped up and I have snacks nearby. This normally takes 5 minutes but we’re
constantly trying to reduce this start up time. I’ll then row for 45 minutes and
then stop for a couple of minutes to have some water and snacks. Row again for
45 minutes and same again with F&B. This leaves the last 30 minutes which I
try and up the pace. With ten minutes to go I’ll give Richie a knock. If with 5 minutes to go
he hasn’t surfaced I’ll give him another gentle reminder. When the 2 hours are
up we’ll have a quick chat about conditions/boat handling etc and handover. One
- 12:00 2 Hours
to the front of the boat and boil some water to make some breakie. Normally it
will be a porridge expedition meal that you add hot water and I’ll always have a
hot chocolate drink as well. Brush my teeth after breakie. Head into the cabin
to turn the sat phone on and try and reply to emails and write and send the blog
in the 45 minutes remaining. Normally the sat phone plays up and I waste time
waiting for emails to download or send. I’ll then read anything important or
funny to Richie whilst he’s rowing. I’ll then make sure I’ve coated my body in
sun cream ready for the onslaught ahead. I don’t often have time to rest in this
period. Richie will give me my 10 minute warning and we’ll then handover and it
will be back to going to the loo, adjusting the footplates etc before I start.
The on deck music system normally goes on during this period and if we have
enough power will stay on for the whole day.
14:00 2nd Rowing shift
Normally the sun is really warm during this shift and I’ll just wearing my
pants, sun glasses and a hat. Richie will go and have his breakfast at the bow
(like I did the shift before) and whilst he’s on deck we’ll chat about anything
and everything. Once Richie goes into the cabin to escape the sun he’ll check
the electrical power we have available (determined by the amount of sunlight) to
run our electrical wquipment. If we have enough power we’ll run the water maker
and ensure we have 25 litres on deck. The water maker is the biggest electrical
power drain but we can normally get the water collected between our feet whilst
we are rowing. At the end of the 2 hours we’ll then swap
- 16:00 2 Hours
Lunch – this is my number one priority
during this period. I’ll boil my water and have a main and a dessert – both
expedition meals. It will be really hot on deck so I tend to get this down my
throat quickly and then head into the cabin and finish off any emails/blogs that
I didn’t manage in my first shift off - like I’m doing now. If I have time I’ll
have a short siesta but these 2 hours go so quickly and before you know it
you’re back rowing again. Between us we’ll make sure that our log book is
updated and we can then compare our information to the race stats we receive
from the team back home.
- 18:00 3rd Rowing
sun will be on my back and burning a hole through it and again I’ll normally
just be wearing my lovely briefs, sunnies and a hat.. Rich will be on deck at
first for a bite to eat before heading in and as always I’ll try and put a hard
2 hours in on the oars.
- 20:00 2 Hours Off Dinner
– same as before, go to the front of the boat boil the water and make a main
meal and dessert come to life by adding water. Some are okay and some are vile!
The quiz book will also come out at some stage and I’ll read Rich his 20
questions. Once in the cabin I’ll start getting my night kit and snacks ready. I
tend to eat main meals during daylight and live on my snack packs during the
night shifts and this works for me. The last thing I want to be doing in the
pitch black is boiling water!
22:00 4th Rowing shift This
shift starts in daylight and ends in darkness although it is still normally warm
– often I won’t wear anything different from during the days. Rich will ask me
my 20 questions and we’ll then go through the answers. Thanks Rachel, this has
been great to have onboard. Once the quiz is done and I’m alone on deck I’ll get
my iPod out as we won’t have the power to run the deck speakers. The sun
will set and I’ll then pretty much handover to Richie.
- 00:00 2 Hours Off Straight into the cabin and have a body wash
with wet wipes. Brush my teeth and then get some sleep. Richie will then be
banging on the door to wake me up…………
- 02:00 5th Rowing
A proper night shift now and depending on the conditions I will wear a rash
rest, briefs and a buff on my head if needed. I’ll often wear waterproof socks
too although we haven’t needed the full waterproofs for the last 2 weeks. Night
rowing is harder because you often can’t see the wave that will soak you or
throw you out of your seat!
- 04:00 2 Hours Off Straight
- 06:00 6th Rowing shift Again,
a night shift and if there is cloud it can often be in complete darkness. When
there is a full moon it is almost like there is faint torch light on. I try and
keep myself awake by thinking of the reward that I’ll be eating in my first
break. Sometimes your body just drifts off and you can’t fight it – it’ll just
shut down and you’ll then wake all of a sudden.
- 08:00 2 Hours Off
- 10:00 New Day The
shift pattern starts all over again!
regime may seem very brutal although I’m pleased to say we’re coping well and
that the body adjusts very quickly.
Arrow is operating on GMT (same as London) and not on local time. At our current
location we are 3 hours behind GMT – so when I start my 08:00am rowing shift it
is actually 05:00 local time.
row must go on – Antigua here we come.
couple of personal messages from me…………
Great to hear
from you both and I heard from Reynolds that Emily has taken a shine to Oscar!.
– I didn’t get your first text.
Mike – radio us when you’re next overhead!
Random but I love the facts about the Ocean. I was thinking of you on
Valentines Day – someone had to be!