First 24 hour row!

We have been pretty flat out for the last few weeks, but we are almost there with logistical preparation! I have to go back to university today, and then I will be leaving again on the 18th of November, so there are really only 8 weeks left, it will fly by!

Jamie and I have done our first 24 hour row, which was a great experience. We started at about 16:00 last weekend, and rowed down the river crouch with a following wind whilst the tide was also going out. The conditions were favourable and it was a good opportunity to get the jet boil out for the first time and practice eating rations on the deck. I had one spill with a porridge meal, and learnt how difficult it can be to make food if there is a lot of stuff moving around. Its going to be tricky!

Once we got out of the river we headed out to sea until it got dark. The wind dropped even more, the stars came out, and the light on the windfarms about 10 miles away turned on. Charlie pitcher came out of nowhere in his rib to have a chin wag with us and check everything was OK, he looked like a navy seal as he had left the lights off on his boat, and was wearing some dark foul weather gear!

The candle of excitement that was lit when Jamie first mentioned this challenge to me is about to start a bonfire!

It really was beautiful and peaceful and gave us some time to reflect what it might be like under the stars in the middle of the Atlantic. Although many focus on the tales of huge seas and blistering winds, there will be many still and clear nights when we are left in solace, perhaps feeling lonely, or perhaps deep in thought about our world and ourselves, as those types of settings tend to evoke powerful emotions.

The tide changed and we rowed back into the river and anchored for a few hours until the sun came up over the sea, another beautiful sight on a clear day. As my experience builds, so does my confidence.

Luke Birch


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