Mel’s Blog - Fri 12th – Sunday 14th Feb.
Hello everyone, our new twice a week blogs are back! The laptop is definitely bust so we’re now phoning them through and thanks to Paul at Explore for typing them up. We’ll try to blog each Monday and Thursday.
Slow and painful sums up our progress at the moment: the wind died on Friday and this weekend there has been no breeze and so no swell making it hard to make headway.
The ocean is stunning – completely flat and still, like a lake which is unfortunately no good for rowing – getting just half a knot is hard work and tougher in the heat. The sun is intense and the heat is relentless – there’s no escape.
Our headgear is interesting though – Annie is wearing a red bandana constantly dipped in water and I have a beaten up old panama that’s so out of shape it makes me look like a Flower Pot Man
The pain is both mental and physical – old aches and pains are worse when the boat is heavy. Mental pain is the worst though: every 12 or 18 mile day equals another day at sea for us if you take 50 miles as an average day. The British record is always in our minds and we’re desperate to break it. We like it out here but the thought of hitting Antigua in record time drives us on. 12 mile days don’t help the cause!
The scenery is amazing. We have seen some fantastic sunsets with 360 degree horizons of oranges, yellows, pinks and purple – just breathtaking.
Phosphorescence has also been incredible. I was rowing on Friday and the puddle around the blade glowed bright yellow - like glow stick bright. The light fanned out and faded and then the droplets coming off the spoon set of more sparks making it look like it was dripping off the blade. It is truly beautiful and I spent a full hour transfixed by it – which seems slightly excessive but it took my mind off the slow pace and the fact that no matter how hard I rowed I couldn’t achieve more than half a knot.
We’ve been up and down leader board so much we don’t know if we should be eating Xmas cake or shepherd’s pie! It’s weird that after 40 or so days of rowing we’re still only a single figure miles apart from the other competitors. Being 9th
one day 13th
the next is good for motivation though, if we’re fighting to overtake someone or someone else is snapping at our heels. We’re desperate to put the miles behind us – if only the wind would cooperate.
Despite the pains and gripes we’re both fit and well and in fine form. On Friday we were the fastest boat over 6 hours. We can’t wait to punch out 60 mile days again and get to Antigua.
We are tracking Annie and Mel’s progress and posting more of their blogs here. Keep up to date and find out why we are supporting therm here
. Track their progress across the Atlantic here