We were looking forward to life after the ‘shift of doom’ - our worst night-shift of a few days ago. It was a miserable night and we hoped that would be the end of that kind of stuff. In fact it has continued to be horrible for quite a few days now. All the guys are doing well but the conditions make it twice as tough as it should be. It’s hard enough just putting in the physical effort, but when you are constantly soaking wet and surviving on cold food it takes things to a new level. We have not eaten any hot food for about a week now.
I’m sure everyone has thought at some stage that “I don’t want to be here”. Mark fell over on deck last night and cut his face but he says he feels lucky that he didn’t break anything. I see his point – I’m not sure I would want any of us to have to operate on each other!
We have had big strong seas and because the steering has been difficult only me and Cayle are rowing. Mark and James have been concentrating on steering - that is a tough enough job because you have to be on the ball all the time. You have to concentrate like mad. It doesn’t matter if you are rowing or steering it makes your brain feel like it is doing a tougher workout than your body.
But even with all the challenges we are doing really well. We are 6th in the whole fleet and 2nd in the fours category. I can’t really believe that.
Even though we have been soaking wet we are managing to keep on top of admin. Getting in and out of our cabin is ok but we need to close the door quickly to stop the waves getting in. Now that the weather has improved today we are feeling ok. We are looking out for each other. Me and Roycey have had our moments. Getting up in the mornings is tough. You just have to be very disciplined all the time.
Nights have been by far the toughest, just horrible. You can’t see where the waves are coming from. I have been knocked out of my seat tons of times. The leg is fine but my elbow took a big knock, I had to take painkillers to manage the discomfort. I feel alright about it now. In the end you just have to carry on.
I hope my elbow will hold up. I don’t want to let anyone down. Mark has not had a chance to look at it yet, but I hope he can work some physiotherapy magic when the light comes up tomorrow.
I have been thinking about home a lot. We have just a few more weeks left. I’ve got to be strong. Just grit my teeth. I miss my fiancé Amy, my dog Bruce and a cold beer!
I always knew this would be tough, but there are times when the experience is just mind-blowing. I’ve just got to remember the reason why we are doing this, for those guys who have been wounded and for their families. I have to remember the pain that they have gone through. I know that if I had seen Row2Recovery when I was in rehab it would have really given me hope. It would be great if this project does that.
When I get back I want to go and see those guys and tell them about the adventure. I think, a bit like Patch Adams, “Everything can be cured with a smile”. Even on board we still smile. We must be mad.