Special thank you to our First Sea Lords WeSEE.com today for their wonderful sponsorship of our row.
Words can’t really describe the first 24 hours, we wanted to be out front for that great helicopter shot at the start, and our youthful exuberance, and gun ho attitude meant we went flat out. Jamie said at one point ‘its a sprint not a marathon!’However as the night came we were absolutely exhausted, I got off the oars cramping in every part of my body; back, arms thighs; places it would never usually get me. I can’t even remember what schedule we were doing. Our cabin quickly became a mess as we tried to adjust to our routines, I was trying hopelessly to find the right ointment to put on my bum which was agony already; I had ruined it by sitting in sweat for too long on the wrong kind of seat.
It was just plain absurd waking up in the middle of the night being reminded I had 15 minutes until my shift started when I felt I could barely move. Still we somehow got though it. I don’t think I have ever had a tougher time mentally or physically (even during my Channel Swim), especially since the night before the race I didn’t sleep at all. Thank the lord for my ‘motown’ playlist on my Ipod Lionel Richie and Diana Ross kept my head away from the bad thoughts although at times it felt quite overwhelming. I woke up in the cabin each time thinking I was dreaming, or that the boat was in the UK where we had spent time on it before. I couldn’t and still quite can’t believe this has begun.
But it had got much better, we have gone South to try and pick up the trade winds, my bum is getting better, and this morning was one of the most special experiences I have ever had. All through the night and the previous day we had been battling really lumpy seas, and we were on sea anchor twice, but then the sea calmed, and it was brilliant not be thrown side to side which is excruciating on the bum as you try and stay in the seat. Then the sun came up behind some of the most amazing clouds I have ever seen and I watched the last stars go out, and then just as the sun came over the horizon some dolphins started swimming around and playing by our boat – two adults and a baby. All you could hear was their splashes when they came for air, and the deep pink sky and the oranges and reds coming through the clouds was spectacular. I realised why I am happy to be here, its these small snippets that make it worth all the pain and tiredness – my hands are struggling to type from gripping the oars!
We are easing into it well now, hopefully we can start making progress west in the next few days..
I didn’t have time to say this to everyone who had wished me good luck and said kind words, but it really means so much, at times when i have felt so lonely it has been amazingly comforting thinking of everyone back home, so thank you so much.