17 November 2012
The first time around, I seemed to have been more organised with all the admin, but now I realise there is so much more to do with this campaign and very little time left to do it. The first major deadline is here, the boat leaves here in six weeks! OMG! I'm frantically chasing my last remaining suppliers to get the kit and provisions to me so that it can be weighed and packed for the journey. Monday is the last day I have to book the shipping otherwise, I miss the slot, but this has to happen despite not having a major sponsor on board yet, so it's out with my plastic friend again to make sure I can at least get to the start line. It really is nail biting stuff putting together a challenge such as this, the costs are huge and the logistics are complicated. It's not just about getting to A and rowing to B and flying home again. For instance, the boat lives on a special cradle and trailer when it is out of the water, so these too have to do return journeys every where. Then there are all the jobs to do at home to make sure all is shipshape before I leave. The list is endlass..
In all the months we have had to prepare this challenge I honestly thought getting sponsorship would be easier than this. I am working hard at this aspect for hours each day.
I'm in pretty good shape and the training is right on track. It's great to feel a small improvement each week and I am probably in a little better shape than I was a few years ago. How about the boat? "Soma" is a slippery bit of kit in deed. She is absolutely fit for purpose and I feel safe and comfortable on board her. She is having a few more alterations done now, but after that, it will be back to the water for a last session of rows before I am 100% happy with everything. Then it will be down to the business of weather and working out if there are any trends starting to form and how the general situation is on the Atlantic over the Christmas period. I will then be able to get an idea on when I am likely to push off from shore and start more than a million strokes!
The County papers have been kind and featured me a few times and I've been on the BBC Essex Ray Clark Show every day this week and did a fundraising talk for the Dunmow Rotary Club which went very well, so getting my name out there, raising a few coppers for great causes and hoping that Gandalf will arrive, wave his wand and a potential sponsor will call and help make this happen.