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Date: 23 Feb 2010 14:42:05
Title: Half Century - DAY 50

Happy 30th Frapey –                  Happy 30th mate. Josh is my best mate from Uni and we lived together for 4 years in Naam (Cheltenham). Widely known for being abusive towards his close friends I was strangely looking forward to reading a letter he’d written to me. Last night read it and as expected there were the customary abusive sections although I was amazed at parts which showed encouragement! I think his wife Amy must have written it - like his dissertation! The last line was my favourite, “nice guys come second……..now f*cking row!!!”. Josh - I’ve been keeping up to date with the Guinness Premiership whilst I’ve been away and couldn’t help noticing how poorly the South West clubs are doing since your appointment for the PRA - sort it out!


Happy 23rd Peter Barnes –        Cous, I’m guessing now but I think you’re either going to be 23 or 24. Either way, have a good one and I hope your brothers remember! Thanks for the email the other week and looking forward to seeing you and Faye down at Sam’s wedding.


Happy 21st Hero! –                    I know the big day is tomorrow but Rich will be doing the blog tomorrow so you will have to excuse me being a day early. HAPPY BIRTHDAY in advance and you must be 21 again! Knowing you I’m sure it will be a low key, quiet night somewhere………enjoy!


Days at Sea:                 50 – we’re now into our 7th week at sea. I seem to remember it took Cracknell & Fogle 49 or 50 days to do the crossing but I don’t think they had over a week on para anchor!

Last 24 Hours:              Hot, hot, hot…….and our mileage was better over the last day which was pleasing.

Other Boats:                 Nope, nothing since the big tanker last week.

What’s been happening?

Nothing major – we’re sticking to the shift system religiously and trying to do as many miles as we can each day. I just want to share with you all one thing for today…………

Family Concerns

The other day I spoke to my elder brother, Adam, who lives out in Dubai with his family for the first time since I’ve been at sea. 18 months older than me we grew up together and shared many great times and I was best man at his wedding. Adam was sceptical of me doing the row and a year or so ago he wrote me a long letter explaining his concerns. I guess he was prepared to say what many friends and family were thinking. Uncle David was another family member who wrote me several long emails of a similar nature. Coming from a military background he knew danger and risk more than most. I have a great deal of respect for both of them and deep down it just shows that they both care. At the time my responses to both of them was very lengthy and along the lines of;

-       I explained that what I would be doing was dangerous, there were risks and there were many unknowns but if we prepared properly we could understand and minimise these risks as best as possible.

-       I explained that nobody had died whilst taking part in one of the organised races before. However, many have failed and required rescuing although sadly because of the nature of the event I think that a fatality is only a question of time.

-       I explained that I have always wanted to row an ocean and that if you have a dream you should go for it. I would prefer to try and fail than to not try at all.

-       I explained that I wanted to raise money to help James Downie and fellow Ataxia sufferers. My 2 months of hardship would be nothing compared to what people with Ataxia suffer day in day out.

-       I went on about other bits and pieces as well………..

-       I summed up by saying that neither of them had written to me saying that they were concerned I was cycling 17 miles to and from work most days where people are knocked off their bikes or sadly killed in some circumstances. This was a case with a colleague at work last year and it was a tragic loss of life. Sadly more people will die cycling to and from work than have done from Ocean Rowing races.


After hearing my reasons they both pretty much came back to me and said, “Right, if that’s the case and you’ve made up your mind then we’ll do what we can to help.” I’m very lucky to have such a supportive family and this has without doubt helped me during the tough times out here.


Looking forward to:     

  1. Reaching 50 degrees West – should be by Wednesday morning.
  2. West Ham getting another win.
  3. England getting their 3rd win of the Six Nations against Ireland on Saturday.


Joke f the day goes to Lynda and Charles - .


Man goes to the Dr. with severe sunburn.  Dr. says I can do very little, but I can give you some viagra.
Viagra!,  says the patient, what good is that????
No good at all, says the Dr. but at least it will keep the sheets off your legs at night  while you sleep.


The row must go on – Antigua here we come. Rich and I have just changed our GPS waypoint to the finish line and it is currently reading 727 miles to run! We’re going to try and eat these miles up as quickly as we can – “ROW RICHIE, ROW!”




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