morning was very special – we were joined by a large pod of dolphins! It was
about 10am and I was in the water scraping Red Arrow’s bottom for barnacles
whilst Rich was on look out. I came up for a breath and he said, “mate, there’s about 30 fins coming towards us
over there and another 30 or so coming from over there.” My immediate reaction
was that it was Jaws and his mates coming for some human breakfast and I needed
to get back in the back prontor but I said, “Sharks or Dolphins?” as I didn’t
think you could get that many whales together. Rich replied, “Dolphins I think”.
Now, in hindsight I perhaps shouldn’t have trusted his 50/50 vague guess as I
know Rich isn’t a marine wildlife expert and got out of the water just in case.
I stayed in the water and as it turned out Rich was right – flipper and a large
pod of dolphins had come and joined us and we were treated to an amazing close
up encounter. When Red Arrow started moving again the dolphins swan alongside us
for half an hour or so before disappearing off as quickly as they had arrived.
AMAZING!!! Laura – I said hello from you!
my last blog I bored you with my daily routine and I’m now going to bore you
with what I throw down my throat in 24 hours. Food and drink is so important out
here – we’re exercising for 12 hours a day and if our energy levels get low
we’ll become weak and row like muppets Back home both Rich and I have very
healthy appetites and food is one of our only “luxury” items so we spent quite a
bit of time on the planning of it.
so you are all aware our race rules state the following about food;
is a mandatory requirement to start with sufficient food for 90 days. Not all
food shall be freeze dried, a minimum of 20% shall be wet rations. The Race
organisers shall ask you questions about your calorie budgets and dietary
reading up and talking to previous ocean rowers the consensus of opinion is that
your food planning should consist of the following 3 areas
– this is food that requires boiling water to be added to it and left for 5
minutes for it to hydrate and then be edible. 80% of our food is dry food and
in emergency cold water can be added but we’d have to be seriously desperate.
The 2 main brands we have onboard are First Choice Expedition Foods from
Yorkshire and a Norwegian brand called Dry Tech Real Expedition Foods. If you
are bored do a Google images search and you’ll see the orange packaging for
both of them that we are eating out of each day. After almost 50 days at sea I
can honestly say that Norway has mastered the art of making dry food – I look
forward to eating them. In comparison First Choice food is vile and if this
was sent to African famine victims it would be sent back with, “Return to
sender, we’d prefer to go hungry”. Our faces light up when our food bags have
some Dry Tech rations although sadly we don’t have that many of them.
food / rations- this is food that already has water
added to it and can be eaten cold straight from the packet or just boiled in
the bag for 8 minutes and the meal is ready to eat. I’ve loved some of the
sausage, omelette and beans meals out here – the closest I’ll get to a fry up.
Wet food is heavier than dry food and is about half as calorie efficient as
dry food although if you can’t boil water these are your lifeline – hence the
– a daily goodie bag made up of chocolates, sweets, nuts
recommended daily calorie allowance for an adult is 2500 calories and we based
our plan on each having between 5000 / 6000 calories per day. We’d heard stories
of previous teams who plan to eat 9000 / 10000 calories per day but physically
can’t force it down and you end up rowing with lots of excess weight unless you
decide to ditch it en route.
is an overview of a typical day’s food and drink. To keep it simple I’ve based
the day all on dry food.
MAIN e.g. Porridge &
DRINK – Hot Chocolate
MAIN e.g. Shepherds Pie
DESSERT e.g. Rice Pudding
MAIN e.g. Chicken Korma
DESSERT e.g. Custard &
DRINK – Cup a Soup
Extra (Super Noodles)
of the above require water to be boiled to eat and these will all be prepared
and eaten during my 2 hour off periods.
Typical Snack Pack
x 250g Sunmaid Raisins
x 60g Boost Bar
x 40g Nobby’s Nuts
x 50g Toffee Popcorn
x 45g Lucozade Carbohydrate Energy Gel
x 28g Quaker Oat Bar
x 25g Peperrami
the snacks are ready to eat from the bag and I’ll munch my way through all the
snacks during the night shifts and sometimes during the days.
/ 5 Litres of water a day.
x Berroca with a litre of water
x Centrium (multi vitamin tablet).
packet of chewing gum every other day,
we’ve started I’ve been very consistent with my diet and managed to eat this
amount from day one. Some days I might skip a dessert or soup or something
although I have eaten significantly more than Rich since we’ve started. We are
both noticeably losing weight and I think by the time we finish I would have
lost more than a stone. An extreme way of losing weight if some of your diets
and I decided to load Red Arrow up with 65 full days worth of food and 25 half
days each. In total we have 180 food bags crammed into Red Arrow and on top of
that we have 130 snack packs (65 each). The food takes up so much of the space
onboard and will probably account for 300 / 400kg of the 1000kg fully laden Red
Arrow weight. The more we eat the lighter the boat gets!
if you have nodded off to this blog but I can’t keep gloating about the glorious
weather in my blogs! FYI – for those of you in the UK, the sun does still
of the day was sent in by text but we have no name…….
is the first thing a blonde learns when she takes driving
can also sit upright in a car!
row must go on – Antigua here we come.
few personal messages from me………………………….
& Pete -
Just read your letter that you sent and it was so nice until you ruined
it when you said, “all the girls fancied
Downie at College!” Thanks for the letter and we’re long overdue a catch up
when I get home.
Glad we could make your day mate!
Thanks for the email and sorry to hear about the old shoulder. Hope the
wedding plans are under control!
for the jokes and have a good time in France – enjoy.
Tanya - I only know
one Tanya so I knew who it was straight away and then you mentioned Adam so I
couldn’t not get it! Thanks for the email.