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Things have got a bit simpler this week. The usual maintenance challenges remain but thankfully they are confined to a broken seat bearing and damaged footplate - it’s not too major compared to other problems we have had. This remarkably unexciting state of affairs has sadly extended to other things such as wildlife, of which we have seen next to nothing for most of the race. With the atrocious weather most wildlife seems to have gone on strike. The first 200 miles of the race was amazing, we saw dolphins, wales, marlin, a shark and a few birds. Little of that remains, although Hamish the bird (or a close relation at least) still appears to be following us but just about everything else seems to have given in. Amongst the fatalities we have already had to deal with the demise of our beloved Larry the locust – but we have kept busy so thankfully have not dwelt on it. I am sad to report that we had another casualty though. We had a teddy bear called Chirpy who was kindly donated by a team of 4 girls, the Coxless crew, who are preparing to row the Pacific this year. We recently discovered that Chirpy was absent from his post on the cabin roof. We have been waiting for search and rescue report but we are not holding out much hope because he didn't have a life-jacket. We will say a few words for him as he is now missing presumed dead.

General bits and bobs

Our only food luxury is tinned fruit a nice energy drink called Pussy. I am not craving food but a cold drink would be fantastic. I keep thinking about the beers from La Gomera which came in a frozen glass. Marvellous! But even an elderflower cordial would be good for now, as long as it’s cold.

Sights and sounds. The night skies have been amazing but the opportunity to view them has been a bit limited. We have incredible sunsets when it’s not too cloudy with all kinds of shades of pink and red. We just need a bit more clear sky to make the most of it.

Crew behaviour. Cayle has names our ‘new’ crew member ‘Bambi on roller skates’ – a role being played by Jenks. His complete lack of poise and balance is keeping us all entertained.  Other than Jenks’s clumsy perambulations we all have a pretty steady routine.  We come off each shift get the admin mat out and then clean our sores with Betadine and our body with baby wipes. The only other erratic behaviour is Scott, who has a tendency to get dressed and ready for shift an hour early which is a truly frustrating experience for him given how long it takes to dress and undress in the cabin.

Race position

I can honestly say, despite the fantastic team we have, I really didn’t expect to be doing as well as we are. It’s a remarkable achievement and I am so proud of the team. The challenge we have got now is that having taken advantage of going south earlier than many other crews we are now all back together again and the advantage is no longer there. It is now more of a drag race and this time we will have little or no weather advantage. We seem to have managed the bad weather quite well and that has helped us stay near the front so far.

The forthcoming conditions will be a new challenge with stronger winds from Monday, probably around 30 knots. It will increase the sea state leading to larger waves and an increase in boat speed and daily distance. It may also mean that we need to disable the auto-helm and steer manually for safety – not necessarily a disaster as our biggest mileage so far has been on hand steering at 74 nm in 24 hours. Our hope is that we have more consistent winds than in the past so we have safer conditions.

For the nautical amongst you, we are now at 41 degrees and have to get to 60 degrees.  If we average 60 nautical miles every 24 hours that should mean another 20 days to go and get us in around the 22nd. We can’t relax for a second before then. 

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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