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When we began the race on Wednesday we set out into light southerly breeze. It doesn’t sound like much but it was hard rowing and we had to dig quite deep. The route for this crossing is designed to take in the trade winds and favourable currents so whilst a light southerly breeze sounds tame, the reality is that any headwind makes ocean rowing infinitely harder.

The lightning storm on the first night was quite severe, with forked lightning and some booming sounds to accompany it. The storm remained in front and behind us but miraculously never came directly overhead. In the highly unlikely event that we got directly underneath the storm we could be faced with power surges and potential electrical failures on board.

Weather routing is about navigation not only by direction but also by best weather conditions; it has been our key decision during this first week. We chose to head south east whilst most of the fleet stayed further North. The aim, for those Top Gun fans amongst you was that the northern crews would ‘hit the brakes’ whilst we would ‘fly right by’.

Last night bumpy and wet, we were side on to the waves, with lots of water crashing over us. Despite much of the sunshine you may have seen on TV we have been doing a lot of our rowing in our full waterproof oilskins (courtesy of our friends at Musto).

The bumpy weather has made routine more challenging. Cooking breakfast was difficult because we could not cook on deck. My experiment of holding the jet boil cooker between my toes while cooking boiling water is not to be repeated. Daily ablutions have been similarly challenging and with some of the recent waves crashing into the boat Jenks (Mark) is one of the crew to have had another narrow escape. His (full) poo bucket was smashed by a wave and narrowly avoided capsize back onto the deck!

We spoke to our weather router this morning and we are now heading in a more easterly direction which should mean less cold showers from now on. Crew morale has gone up by a factor of 10 as a result. The race tracker will show you progress directly toward Antigua, but the distances we are covering in practice are much greater. In the last 24 hours we did 56 miles and we anticipate beating that in the next 24.

Last night could have been miserable, rowing a 3 hour shift with waves soaking you every 2 minutes. But since I am rowing with Cayle all I need to do is look over my shoulder and that puts things straight back into perspective.

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After a frustrating last 24 hours or so we began today with slow conditions and not much visibility. It was quite squally, with little rain showers coming and going, but things cleared quite abruptly around 8am and suddenly we could see land. After being hidden in the mist it appeared out of nowhere and it seemed really close! This last stretch was totally different to the first half of the race. For so much of this crossing the weather has been horrific, I have never experienced anything like this. Yesterday morning at 8 am marked the first time in the entire race that we had a full 24 hours out of full foul weather gear and today is also the first day that an equipment failure would not be a cause for emotional devastation. I always thought that we would make it, but equipment failures could have slowed us down a lot. The thought of breakages always kept us on edge. But now we can finally enjoy the realisation that WE HAVE DONE IT!!!!!!!!

Read More | posted on Jan 21, 2014


It feels great to count down the hours and the miles. It is a big morale boost to know that we are almost there. For most of the crossing I had felt confident that we would make it but we did have a few scares. When the auto-helm broke I did worry that we would be down to one rower for the whole crossing. One rowing and one hand-steering would have been a horrible routine. Luckily we managed to fix it. But the most important bit of equipment is my leg - it has never let me down.

Read More | posted on Jan 20, 2014


Hard as it is to believe, this is my final blog! It has been a moment to reflect on an extraordinary 7 weeks at sea and an even more extraordinary group of people. By that I mean not just the guys in the boat, but the many wounded persons that they represent. I have been thinking a lot about what this team has achieved and what we hope others can achieve. This project has been about setting a huge challenge, committing wholeheartedly to it and then facing every challenge head on in pursuit of our goal. There have been no excuses only a choice to live this experience to its fullest and to take a positive attitude to all things. I hope that we have demonstrated that it is not what people see in you but what you go on to do that counts. I want to thank to all those who have personally supported me – you know who you are. There were a few people who said it could not be done. Oh dear… you will have to kiss my nappy-rash!

Read More | posted on Jan 19, 2014