The last few days have been slow, the seas have been a bit confused and the winds are from the North East so we are getting some side on action. Today is looking good though and the forecast is also looking better for the coming week. The weather will be coming from further East and that’s more on our tail hopefully all the way to the finish. Since the Atlantic Polo team passed us we still seem to be matching them for speed. They have got themselves in a good position and we will have a challenge to get past them again. We are really pleased about their success - they were the one crew that we hung out with the most and we got on with the best so it’s cool to see them do so well. It is particularly entertaining given that they did not have a clue about this beforehand. They even had a fish-finder on board to check for sharks – it was hilarious!
Sunset transmission was brought to you courtesy of BLESMA, the limbless veterans’ charity
Strengths and weaknesses
We have our own strengths and weaknesses on board but overall we have a really solid team now. Everything we do is part of routine which we share so even if your strength is cooking then you are only going to do 25% of it. We have saved a lot of time by being slick with our routine. We try and be as efficient as possible with all duties outside the act of rowing the boat – this means changeovers of shift are fast and all personal chores are done when on the rest period. Being in the Army you are used to being in a small team in a close environment. We are able to share the load and everyone has been very good, no-one needs to be prompted to do anything.
We do have some different skills on board and some people have special jobs. Cayle is very technically minded and has been excellent on repair jobs. The problem is for him is when he has to work in the aft cabin – meaning he has to slide along the boat on his arse which is not to pleasurable. Jenks has being doing a great job on the media front even though all the technology is totally new to him and to all of us! Scott is responsible for all the stores and has had a job on his hands as there has been flooding in the hatches. This has kept him occupied as any water intrusion means we have to check all food by unpacking and repacking the deck hatches. Both Cayle and Scott always do a cooking shift, despite the discomfort of moving to the rear cabin. I can’t think of anything where we have made an exception or special treatment for anyone. Every day it is humbling to be part of this – it’s a hard enough challenge without having to shuffle around on deck, avoiding sharp bolts, lifting bodies in and out of cabin hatches. I don’t know if I could what Cayle and Scott are doing – it’s amazing.
Ultimately I would like this project to result in a decent cheque to Help for Heroes and perhaps more importantly I would hope that it inspires other service personnel. The guys often talk about the impact of seeing other guys who had completed challenges post rehab and thinking ‘if he can do it then so can I’. I am doing this because I stood next to Cayle in hospital and he told me that one day he would love to get back on the ocean – with Row2Recovery I found myself in a position to do that.