By Jess Rego on January 25, 2019
I’m going to come right out and say it… we are crushing it right now. This week we’ve continued to have our best rowing days yet, routinely hitting 60+ miles in a day. We quickly passed halfway and hit 1000 miles. Watching the counter tick over to triple digits was such an exciting moment. Suddenly Antigua feels quite close.
We had plans to celebrate the 1000 miles with some tasty fig and orange cake but before we could get around to it we’d hit 900, then 800. The miles seemed to fly by and the team were exhausted but so happy to be able to show just what this little red boat could do - even if the winds haven’t been very helpful. Hey, we can really say we rowed this ocean when it’s all done and dusted.
However, we aren’t getting too cocky just yet. We’ve just had two slower days and know that at any moment Mother Nature could throw us a curveball and set us back but until then we’re going to keep giving it our all and inching towards our friends, families and rum punches waiting at the finish line.
This week also marked the arrival of the first few teams to Antigua and we were so happy to hear about their successes! Our time in La Gomera ahead of the race was a bit like summer camp and we really loved getting to know all the other mad souls who took on this challenge. Can’t wait to reunite with many of them back in London.
In other news, it’s been fairly quiet on the wildlife front this week as well. Lots of visits from our sea bird friends, including a few new characters including one particularly chubby little longtail who visited a few days in a row. Now most of the time these creatures are so graceful and beautiful we just marvel at them but our new friend, affectionately named Maurice, was anything but. With his little ineffectual wings flapping wildly he would circle overhead, occasionally dropping with a suddenness that suggested he was one fish dinner from losing all ability to fly. I tried to get him to come take a load off by landing on the boat but he seemed quite offended at the suggestion that he was too obese and hasn’t been seen since.
Maurice, you’re still a beauty and no judgement because I too still have a Buddha belly but maybe lay off the fish a few days.
Other than that there isn’t a lot to report from out here. The flying fish attacks have stopped and despite sacrificing sleep to gain some miles, the team are holding up well. We’ve had a few questions and concerns from our previous blogs so just going to answer a few.
Rotations: currently we row two hours on, one hour off during the day and two hours on, four hours off at night. This lets us maximise how often we have two people rowing, cuts down on changeover and helps us get more sleep.
Harnesses: yes, everyone, we are always harnessed on. Safety has always been our top priority so even when swimming (yep even skinny dipping) the harnesses are buckled up tight and clipped onto the boat with a three point harness.
Oars: we have four oars in rotation with an extra pair as back up. Winston and Derek are the stroke oars and definitely the cheekiest pair. I appreciate Derek valiantly saving me from a flying fish but still don’t like how many bruises he gives out. In the beginning Winston just kept trying to escape but he’s mellowed lately. Doesn’t stop them teaming up to crush any thumbs and fingers that get between the oars though. In bow we have Samson and Delilah; far more chill than the others but occasionally still give out a smack to keep us on our toes. Currently Delilah’s favourite prank is getting stuck in a wave moving so fast you end up punching yourself in the chest.
…look… I know that they’re really inanimate objects but we have a lot of time on our hands out here… you’re lucky we aren’t far crazier by now.
Thats the roundup - keep your questions and comments coming, we love reading them and hopefully see many of you very soon!
Back to blog