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It’s business as usual here on board. Christmas has yet to make an impact. The weather is still overcast but finally its warm enough on deck for shorts. We have recovered well from a difficult week and we are making great progress. But you cannot underestimate the challenge for a second out here – you have to be switched on all the time. We have been in contact with other members of the fleet and continually hear of others challenges, ranging from faulty steering to broken water-makers. It’s serious stuff. As for our challenges with the auto-helm we have finally, after about 10 attempts, managed to patch it up. It has been working reliably for about 2 days now.


We had bad weather for a number of days prior to capsize. With that came a number of close calls but the hand steering had helped us keep out of trouble. We had also been lucky. That night was a big one and I half expected it to happen. I had phoned Tony (our weather router) to ask about weather updates. On the night it happened we had 60ft swells and confused seas. The wave that caught us was a side swipe – like 2 sides of a zip being drawn together with us in the middle. We tried to hold on but almost immediately I was under water. The steering lines were ripped for my hands.  I felt the tow of the boat against my lifejacket safety line.

The first thing I did when I surfaced was to check that Cayle was attached and ok. The ambient light was sufficient to scan around the waves and we were close enough together that I could see roughly what was going on. The challenge was distinguishing between Cayle’s head and other random bits of kit that had been ejected from the boat and were now floating in the briny deep. Once we were out and safe I got straight back on the steering. Now that we have been rolled we know what to expect and that knowledge dispels fear. All in all this event has only added to our confidence. Having said the conditions are still serious. I’ve sailed the atlantic twice and never seen it like this. When I rowed the Indian Ocean I saw waves the height of 2 double decker buses. Out here they seem to be as high as 3 or 4.


The guys have done really well. Cayle had a good understanding of what to expect up front, but Scott and Jenks did not really know what they were letting themselves in for when we started this. Up until the roll I had never admitted that the waves were big – I was trying to play things down. But when I admitted that the seas were really big they actually seemed relieved to hear that they weren’t being soft!

I couldn’t really ask for any more of my team mates. No one has been sick and I have been really impressed how they have adapted to a hugely challenging task. Being able to trust in each other and share the work-load has been important. This has been a battle of attrition – of boat and of body. We are finally finding a more sustainable level routine and that’s a great place to be. I’m finding it hard not to think about Antigua but we still have a hell of a long way to go. We have discussed Christmas plans and Scott was talking about having a day off. I have told him we are still in a race and will be having a crew lunch but then we are getting straight back into it.


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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