In my last blog I mentioned that “morale was high” on Red
Arrow which must have given us the kiss of death. As you’ve probably read from
yesterday’s blog Richie was struggling and as the day progressed he got worse
until he hit rock bottom – or as he said, “my worst day yet”. The ocean will
break everyone and it is only a matter of time before it gets me. If you have
never watched any footage of the space we are living in, the conditions we face
and how I see this more as a matter of survival more than a race then have a
look on You Tube – I’m sure you’ll find lots under “Ocean Rowing”. This will
help you understand what we face 24/7 and the mental toughness you need out
There are days when we are in paradise – when everything is
working, we’re covering big distances, the sun is shining (not too much though),
we have a tail wind, the seas are following and morale is high. There are other
times when everything breaks, we’ve on para anchor and not going anywhere or
even worse drifting backwards, we have a strong head wind and waves are crashing
into Red Arrow and breaking on deck. Rich is fine when we are in “paradise” but
really struggles when we’re not and has done all along. I was expecting the high
and the lows and during one of our chats yesterday I tried to explain that in my
opinion what were are trying to achieve rates as highly as climbing Everest. So
few people want to Row the Atlantic or climb Everest, few people attempt them
and so few people succeed. I doubt very much that when people attempt Everest
they have perfect conditions for the ascent and descent. The weather does what
it wants when it wants and I just accept that. Richie takes it personally, get
upset and thinks we’re being picked on and he shouldn’t. Don’t worry, I’m watching his back out
here and we’ll get there.
On a slight side note, Rob and Stu onboard “Ocean Summit” are
climbing Everest this year. The boys original plan was that they would fly to
Nepal via the UK to start their acclimatisation once they’ve rowed the Atlantic.
I’m not sure how the race delay has affected their plans but what a year they’re
in for! I take my hat off to them for attempting both, let alone back-to-back
and I wish them every success.
So we’re within 275 miles of land and have been for the last 3
days and haven’t got any nearer which is very annoying!!! To make matters worse
family (Mum, Dad, Grandad, Aunty P & Rich’s Mum) are already in Antigua
awaiting our arrival and Laura, Hannah and Richs’ Aunty Nina fly out today. I
know more friends or family are coming but I’m not sure who as someone let slip
how many are staying in the villa! If the conditions hadn’t changed we should
have arrived this Friday which would have meant that we wouldn’t miss anyone.
Everyone has different commitments and I am so annoyed because my Grandad has to
return to the UK on the 14thand I’ve resigned myself to the fact now
that I’ll definitely miss him. It is so hard for people back home to book
flights because they obviously have personal and work commitments and the longer
you leave the flights the more expensive they get. Sorry for any problems this
is causing anyone.
So what do you do onboard a 24ft rowing boat for 24 hours when
you’re on para anchor? Here’s how my day panned out yesterday and I didn’t go
for a dip yesterday as I couldn’t be bothered to wash afterwards……….
Woke up and the sun was just rising (which would be 6am local time). Had
a crampt, sweaty and broken nights sleep wedged in the cabin next to Richie.
Richie wrote his blog in the cabin and
I went on deck and had some breakfast. The conditions overnight hadn’t
11 am -
Went back into the cabin and had a read of the emails that had come in.
Chatted to Richie and looked through some photos on my iTouch. Rested for a bit.
Went out on deck for some lunch. Put some sun cream on and gave the deck
a real good scrub and clean just for something to do.
Decided it was time to start reading my first book out on deck. I’d
borrowed Oscar Pistorius (aka Blade Runner) the South African double leg amputee
described as “the fastest man on no legs” from Richie in La Gomera but hadn’t
got round to reading it then. A fascinating read, very inspiring and I’d
finished the book by the end of the day. Richie was resting in the
18:00 - Dinner time and I ate 2 more wet meals.
Went into the cabin and replied to a few emails which took a while to
send. Richie went to get some fresh air.
Richie and I had heart to heart on deck and he wasn’t in the mood for a
quiz which I thought might cheer him up.
We both retired to the cabin and I decided to crack open my last family
packet of Haribo for us to share.
This brought a smile to Richie’s face!
We watched the film Zoolander – absolute gash!
Lights out and we decided to keep watch every hour to monitor the
conditions any by about 06:30 the following morning we thought it was rowable
and pulled the anchor in.
That’s about enough from me but if you’re bored on
Thursday night we’re back on air with Buncie at 19:45 GMT – BBC Radio London
Sports Show (94.9 FM).
Chris from HCL just called and it was good to chat to the
The row must go on – Antigua here we come!
Thanks to the following for getting in touch; Dickie, Goz,
Gunny, Aunty P, Loretta, Matt
Collings, Viv Whiteling & Tim Farrow.
A couple of personal messages from me……………..
You must have been bored or swallowed a joke book – how many
I like Georgia’s favourite song! The other day I was only thinking
about when we did the Coast to Coast Mountain biking and you celebrated by
jumping in the North Sea – madness! We got emailed a new version of the C2C the
other day – a triathlon, across the Lake District and Yorkshire Moors which
starts in Whitehaven (85k run), swim Lake WIndermere (20k) and Bike across the Yorkshire Moors and
finish in Whitby (160k). One for you and Mikey???
The Inn at Maybury – oh, how nice that sounds now and I bet it will
be one of those free tastings nights!!
I thought News Access made your day??? I’m pleased to hear our blogs are
helping you pass your time at work. Also, I sat bolt upright when I read your
news that the canteen is stopping doing a cooked breakfast. I’d already planned
my first days food back at work so I’ll have to re-think now!! Thanks for the
Lovely to hear from you and hopefully not long now.
Lin Diaby –
Thanks for the texts and when the weather changes we’ll be in like a
Enjoy the Rammo’s visiting. Say hi to Rob Lowe for me!!
65 days into the trip and you’ve just worked out you can send multiple
text messages for free from the website – genius!!! Thanks for the barrage last