Spending a day with the fastest solo Atlantic rower Charlie pitcher is not something that many people get to experience. Having spent the previous night on the boat we were well rested for what was going to be a long day on the oars. It will be the last night we spend on there without our new mattress which will be welcomed by our back and bums.
The clouds cleared up very quickly and suddenly it was a roasting hot day, with nice flat water, ideal conditions to calibrate our new Raymarine autohelm, and ballast the boat with 100 kg of water to get our trim set up right. Before we had been experiencing some problems with balancing the boat as it slightly leant to one side.
Rowing with the beating sun on our backs was perhaps the first time we had been exposed to conditions similar to what we will experience out on the Atlantic. Of course replicating the stormy conditions and 30 ft waves will be impossible. It’s fair to say that Luke got fairly rattled with the 30cm waves we have in the marina but some calm words from Captain Sparks soon had him off the poo bucket and back in his rowing seat.
With only 75 days until our departure to La Gomera, and with Luke heading back to university up in Edinburgh very soon, we are really feeling short of time, although that said, our preparations are coming along to schedule.
At present, we are in Lincolnshire receiving and packing some massive orders of freeze dried food and countless products from Boots. Only once we saw all we had to take, laid out on the floor and filling half a tennis court, did the magnitude of what we are trying to accomplish, yet again hit home. What we have been learning through out the last 5 months is that this is so much more than a long long long row – the planning, logistics and fundraising are massive and they will all contribute to our survival in the harshest of conditions. However, with the addition of the final, vital, 3 ingredients; long blonde hair, two fine 6 packs and a lot of heart, everything will be in place for a World Record Row come December 2nd.