27 February 2013
It's day 21 – I wrote yesterday about how great it was and all too soon the car lost it's wheels!
The wind dropped completely and then went on holiday and 30 hours later we still have zero wind. The sun has sucked all the energy out of me and pulling the boat along has been like driving a car through deep sand. It's not that the boat is slow, but the fact I've used up all my strength to keep moving over the last 30 hours. I've just clocked over 60 miles for the last 24 hours and it has been the hardest work out and I've got to do it all over again....because Mr Wind isn't coming back until around tomorrow sometime. I've been drinking gallons and the greatest thing I did, thanks to a tip from Karen Rowntree years ago, was to bring a bottle of Elderflower cordial and my oh my! What a delicious treat to have on such a hot windless day. If you were to draw the scene here, you need four colours, silver for my boat, dark blue for the sea, light blue for sky and yellow for the sun. There isn't anything else to put in the picture...no birds, clouds, wave crest, nothing. I have not even seen a living soul or any sign of life since I left La Gomera, excepting that one yacht. Not one ship, plane.....in fact the nearest living people to me are 140 miles above me in the International Space Station! It's lonely, it's hot, it's a blue desert and I am spent.
After a nice sweaty lay down in my cabin (34*C) I'm sure all will be ok and I'll get back to repeating what I have just done over the last 24 hours! Shouting at the wind " who gave you permission to leave?", drinking loads of water, chewing on sweets, listening to the same old music and knocking off 5 miles distance on the oars each time before a break, right through the night with no sleep. It sounds tough, but it's the only way I'll move forward. I can take a good rest when the wind comes back and the boat moves along by itself....hopefully tomorrow.
I have just over 900 miles to go, so getting close to the last zone and figuring out my final approach to landfall and an ETA. I am not even beginning to think what that might be yet as anything can happen, but I'll make my first prediction in a week. I now have blisters all over my hands which I rub alcohol into and my left buttock is very sore! Why aren't they both sore? My left shin has been battered by my oar, but not the right one! Again, I'm trying to figure this out. I've got a two week beard which is coming off as soon as the wind is back and I managed to have a fresh water wash yesterday. So all in all, everything under control!
I would like to mention Sarah Dottie Weldon who has been very active in getting the story out on the network, all off her own back. Thanks Dottie. Three other people who have been keeping me amused on a daily basis with their messages are Bertie Portal, Tim Rowntree and Sophia Jensen in Antigua. But of course, it's everyone else's messages that are also so important and put fuel and energy into my tank to keep me going. Jack Lewis, there's another daily messanger!
The difference between this and my last row? The first one was an adventure with the most adverse weather conditions in the history of the race I entered which eventually took me 52 days to complete. It had it's highs and lows which are all logged, but I must be honest and say this is the hardest I have ever pushed myself and going against the clock is just as motivating as doing a race with other competitors. Suffice to say, I will not push my body this hard again even though I will continue to do my adventures.
Last but not least, a big thank you to Amy, Bella, Lottie and Angus who have been spreading the word and getting other friends hooked to the story. I love you all.