Now that we are off para anchor we are finally heading in the right direction. We have made slow progress south, before entering some strange currents and winds. We seemed to be going in a figure of 8 at one stage. Quite disheartening. I wondered if our GPS navigation was broken, but it wasn't. We really were slaloming around the ocean like Maureen from driving school - remember her 17 point turns? Now that we are through the Atlantic equivalent of the Bermuda Triangle we have a strong NE wind which is pushing us in the right direction. We also have a good following swell. Our speed has picked up accordingly and are now moving at 2 – 3 knots. What a pace. It’s electrifying!?
Back in the womb
Having this really strong wind takes you to the point where you start to question if everything is ok. Then you look at James who is totally nonplussed and think, either he has no idea what we have got into, or that everything is ship shape and we are completely ok.
Whatever the case, getting back in the cabin changes everything. You have a surreal sense of being back in the womb. It feels nice and safe. We had to share cabins on the Para-anchor and sharing with James is quite an experience. Do you remember that film, ‘Bigfoot and the Hendersons’? Well sharing with James is like sharing with Bigfoot. He snores like hell and you can barely move. It was torture.
The shift of doom
I am happier to be on the move, although we are still facing challenging conditions. There has been lots of rain. Scott and I renamed our last night shift ‘the shift of doom’. There was no moon, and therefore no light. Big waves crashed over the deck and over us constantly. We were soaked to the skin. Scott has been using swearwords with a vigour I never imagined possible. He spend most of the shift from midnight to 3am swearing at the sky. I won’t repeat his words but all I can tell you is the weather got better the next morning. Scott clearly has access to a higher power.
At least we are in the tropics, how bad can it get? Well, how about hailstones? Oh yes sir, hailstones! So having been pummelled by wind, rain and hailstones I have a simple question - please can I have my money back?
Moment of reflection?
People have been talking about perspective, the bigger picture and the cause that we are representing. Please understand that I totally buy into it. It is crucial. But during last night, when it comes to ocean rowing, I forgot about all that totally.
Ocean rowing is not enjoyable at all. In fact, it’s shit. I just kept thinking - this is ridiculous! Scott and I were fearful for our lives at one point but then you would chat to James or Cayle and they are cool as a cucumber. Their sailing experience gives them, and all of us, a lot of confidence.
I just keep thinking about the line from Platoon, when they are about to see out a brutal tour and the guy says - “just get through the next 6 months and the rest of your life is gravy”.
And with that, we fight on!