So there is a God; and he has a sense of humour - Day 102

JJ Rowers
Jamie Facer-Childs and James Thysse
Wed 29 Jul 2009 09:53
 So there is a God; and he has a sense of humour – Day 100

Suddenly they stopped diddling. Suddenly the miles were being eaten up. Suddenly we realised that it was time to book a flight to Mauritius. However, the Good Lord smiled as we phoned around. He smiled as each travel agent told us the flights were full but would we want to go from 20th July to the 20th August. The alternative was Business Class. Now I was not about to pay more to get to Mauritius than it cost to equip and ship the boat out to Australia. I heard God begin to chuckle but, in the spirit of the Woodvale Challenge, I was not about to give up.

Six hours later I found a dream ticket – an all inclusive flight and hotel for more than I had hoped but by now I was willing to pay. The flight left on the 29th August which would get us there before SX got in – but this was on the 19th July or “Day 92” when SX managed a mere 5 miles. And then God chuckled again and intervened a little more strongly by making sure the weather was more favourable – which meant that in the following days they covered 48, 48, 74, 63, 52 and 60 miles. This makes an average of 57 miles per day which was outside our calculation limits. Our non-linear mathematical models, regressions analyses and factor analyses had not taken this fire power (or rowing power) into account. All that sophistication and yet they were now projected to be in Mauritius before us! How can meticulous blob watchers get it so wrong! The calculators and statistics programmes have been relegated to the pile labelled “looks impressive but isn't”.

But God was on our side. He could see into our hearts and knew we wanted to be there to greet these boys as they stepped onto dry land. With benevolence and magnanimity he stirred the seas to create a few currents which slowed them down and, looking at them sternly, he reminded them that 4 bags of food did not allow this kind of mileage. It has worked and, God willing, it is reasonable to expect them on Saturday. The window for the arrival is now closed. It must be Saturday because that is the day after both families and supporters arrive. It is also the day that the weather turns – winds of 20 knots rising to 30 by Sunday!; waves of 10-15 foot high. If they don't make it by Saturday this weather change makes the arrival dangerous and dubious since the reefs can be treacherous. Just another challenge but we will be waiting ....

... and in time I will chuckle too.