Releasing your inner hippy

The Return of Irene III - 2018
Louis Goor
Sat 2 Dec 2017 18:27

2 December 2017 - Day 4  - Irene III maiden trans-Atlantic voyage

Lat 28:05.06N  Lon 17:06.54W


There a definite hippy vibe creeping into the Irene III voyage….


When the skipper announced at 7.15am that a yoga session will be held on the transom, how could one refuse?


Sabine, who’s as limber as an acrobat and was always a high achiever - had planned an ambitious 43 pose introductory programme. That was until she saw just how inflexible her yogic virgins were.


To the great amusement of passing local fishermen, Louis, Sean and John E attempted to strike the Cat and Cow, Downward Facing Dog and Three Legged Dog poses. After just seven exercises, Sabine wisely brought the session to a close, with a final prayerful salute, thanking the rising sun for its bountiful energy.


After that zen like start, the day soon turned frantic. With Louis’s list almost fully completed, it was time for a detailed safety briefing. Touring the boat from bow to stern, we  familiarised ourselves with kedge anchors, Dan Bouys, emergency tillers and learned how to use the satellite phone and E-Purb location device. Each of us was also assigned a specific duty in the unlikely event of an Abandon Ship scenario.


Without doubt, the scariest bit was when Dr. John graphically demonstrated when and how to use the Special Forces medical kit that he’s brought along for the voyage. It’s great that we’re ready for every eventuality.

At one point today, Irene III looked like a Chinese laundry. All of the bedding got the marina laundromat treatment and it was such a glorious day, bed covers were pegged to the rails for airing.


While we consider that our impending voyage will be epic, it pales into insignificance when compared to the “Atlantic Challenge”. In the commercial port next to our marina, a fleet of small boats are parked on the hard. They too are being prepared for a trans-Atlantic voyage – but they will be rowed 3,000 miles across the ocean. We met several of the 28 crews participating in this year’s race, including two from Ireland.


Team “Relentless” is made up of three lads from Cork and a Dub, their name is well chosen, because all the four person crews will be rowing in two hour shifts 24/7 for between 40 and 70 days. The former player, Damien Browne is planning to row his boat solo.


The “Wight Lightning” crew from the UK, joined us for drinks onboard Irene III. Despite Sabine’s best efforts over a hot stove, she could not produce enough Greek Chicken meatballs to satisfy their daily 6,000 calories target. It’s really quite an extraordinary feat to row the Atlantic –  there’s lots of information online about the Challenge race, which is due to start on 12 December.


So Louis’s has settled the marina bill, we got our passports and immigration papers in order, the decks have been scrubbed and farewell calls are being made to our families.


About two hours after we slip La Gomera dock tomorrow morning, we’ll be out of mobile phone range and well on our way.


So we’ll try to keep these blogs coming and ask that you keep us in your minds and hearts as we ride the waves to the New World, just as Christopher Columbus did when he left La Gomera in 1492.