Since the excitement of Christmas day things have continued to improve. Yet another incident with the auto-helm had took the jam out of our Christmas doughnut, but other than that we have much to be thankful for. Don’t get me wrong, having to row in a circle in a rolling sea in order to recalibrate our auto-helm was not much fun - but now that the new gear in in place we have seen a marked improvement in our course and efficiency. The good news is not only that the new system is working, I think we have learned a lot about the equipment and made ourselves a better crew as a result.
Scotty and I prepare dinner
Since the weather has picked up, life on the oars has improved accordingly. It’s not perfect rowing and we have not had the strong following conditions of the last few weeks but we are doing our best to try and keep a steady pace above 3 knots. We are still keeping up a good 60 miles a day. Just as importantly we are keeping up the maintenance of our health and bodies. We are having more hot food at night, coffee every day and quite often squeezing in an Irish coffee too. On shift, our daytime rowing routine is now shorts and t-shirt. Nights are getting darker than ever and we had no moonlight until 3.30 am last night. But with all these small luxuries don’t let our Saga holiday deceive you. Rowing is getting boring. Night shifts are like sitting on a rowing machine in the dark, with someone throwing cold water at you and with trying to push you out of your seat. Dawn shift, 6 – 8am is the pinnacle of the day, a real highlight to watch the sun come up. There is still lots of time to reflect and my thoughts have often gone back to my aunt who passed away just before the row. You are reminded so much of how important your family are.
Today was my first row in the new spring/ summer collection - Army speedo’s, a pair of gloves, and that’s it. Scott took the piss out of me and refused to wear to his trunks so I told him he was being ungrateful and gave him a hard time. Having successfully made him feel bad, he has now agreed to wear them on the next sunshine shift. We are all still looking a bit pale - these last 2 or 3 days are the only real sunshine so far but we can finally believe the stories that we heard about the nice weather, something we hadn’t seen up until this point. It’s great to be out of survival mode at last. The misery of the first 3 weeks has really helped us to appreciate our current situation!