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Date: 13 Mar 2010 13:29:00
Title: Hello

Righty right, how are you all?
 
Feeling alot better today, mainly because we are moving. It took us 8 days to move from 300 miles to 200 miles to go when ive have been covering that distance in 2 days easly for alot of the time.
 
I have had a lot of emails and text refering to the fact that i had given up on "HOPE" and that i shouldn't because so many people around the world rely solely on hope. I thought i would address this first in this blog. Firstly, i never ment to offend or upset anybody but i have realised that on land and in the sea, hope are two very different things. I cant think of a situation i have been on land where i havent managed to atleast give a solution a go. We might flippently say "oh, this is hopeless" but we atleast try and get ourselves out of the mess we are in. If we dont have a job, we go job hunting and HOPE we find a new job. If we are in Iraq fighting, we actively continue to run missions in the HOPE of achieveing our goals. Hope on land is a very strong word and one i use and will use alot in the future. But on para-anchor, out here, HOPE, in my eyes is different. You sit there getting battered and whichever way you look at it, there is nothing you can do about it. On top of that, you dont know when it will finish, how it will finish and how bad will it get before it finishes, if indeed it will finish, and that is where i find "hope" a differcult word. Were, whatever angle you look at it from, there are no answers or even possible answers, and after you have HOPED eachday would get better and it doesnt, you begin to question a few things. Does that explain it ok? I HOPE so.
 
OK, on to the rowing. Red arrow is flying along at the moment and we currently have 182 miles to go to the finish. The weather is apperently good for the coming 4 or 5 days except tomorrow could be slightly against us with winds comeing from the south. As a result, we have drifted slightly south so that these winds will push us back north but we will be able to continue to row without stopping. Whats really exciting is that by monday, if we do manage to row throughout tomorrow, we could be looking at land. Then its a matter of 2 days rowing and we are in. Fingers crossed.
 
There hasnt been a whole lot to report since i last wrote, except for the fact we are moving again. But, yesturday i was rowing through a rain storm. Actually it was hale and really rather hurt. In some places it was haling from above but then hitting the water so hard, water was coming up from below. I got well and truely soaked and very cold. Today?, no different really. Its drizzling and cold, but there waves are moving us thankfully at about 2 knots an hour. Long may that continue.
 
The guys and girls who are in antigua have decided to go over to a nearby island today, so i hope they are having fun today. Its funny knowing they are there. On the one hand, you feel very close to them but also a long wayaway as well. 3 or 4 days to go, will feel like a month atleast. But, both myself and tom are looking forward to getting there, having a good meal, shower and bed, ah the thought.
 
I hope i dont jinx it!!!! But, Red arrow is an amazing boat. she is perfroming amazingly and when the last owners said she knew the way to antigua, i idnt really take much notice of it, but, SO FAR, she really does seem to know. Very little has gone wrong. We did loose our 152 GPS very early on, infact day 1, i think, when we realsied we couldnt run that and our other GPS without blowing a fuse. As a result, to make sure one continues to work, i diconnected the 152. The telephone areal broke, i tried to fix that with no luck, but fortuantly we have a back up or 3! The water maker has only failed once and doing the restart process fixed that easly enough and weiredly, thats about it. The cabin has been great especially with it being slightly bigger than most boats, the power (batteries etc) have worked exactly how they should have, which makes a change. I have nursed them along and not put them under too much stress and it seems to have done the trick, the rowing gates have squeecked a hand full of times, solved by a wet wipe and the runners/seats have been perfect. If you want to buy a boat, this is the one for sure!!!!! BUT the biggest sucess for me has been the rudder. It is the cause of so many failled attempts and apart from one break on day 2, a simple knot solved this, it had been faultless. Not sharing shoes (which was the original plan, and one i hated) and having both feet moving inorder to steer has help massively and i think wil become the new way to steer ocean rowing boats. Were the only one in the fleet to have that, and its been brilliant. Long may it all continue. Well 3 or 4 days at least.
 
Right, im gonna go. But have a great weekend and when i next write to you on monday, i might be able to begin with......I CAN SEE LAND!!!
 
Take care
 
Rich

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