Ok. It's my birthday!

13 January 2013

Ok. it's my birthday. Some people say I'm fifty and others are not sure including myself. Certainly not fifty, that's for sure. What's the big deal?

It is very hot and the wind has just got up here in La Gomera. A couple a days ago, a fellow rower, Geoff Allum, set out to row solo across the Atlantic and unfortunately took a bad fall and had to be rescued after activating his EPIRB. He is recovering in Hospital and we are all thinking of him and wishing him well. Geoff rowed the Atlantic once before back in the 90's. Even the most experienced people can have accidents and this has alerted me to the safety issues and procedures for moving around on my boat and looking after myself. There are four other campaigns attempting to cross the Atlantic this winter. There is Ole Elmer and Fraser Sinclair in their brand new Rannoch Pairs boat, Simon Chalk and six crew in Titan, Leven Brown with I think eight crew in Avalon, both leaving from Gran Canaria and a Four man crew from Canada leaving from Morocco.

There is so much "stuff" to do and every time I make a list and cross everything off, I wonder why hours later I am still working away at details. However, I am very lucky to have my mother and sisters with me to help out and give encouragement and support for a few days before they go back to the UK later this week. About the boat and the campaign – I am just staggered with the outcome of my boat Soma of Essex. She is fully loaded and after my initial rows out here, yes there are some changes to make, but generally I could not be happier with her. She is floating 20mm above her designed load which means she is slightly lighter than we thought after putting all my food and safety equipment on. This gives me the option to take a little more emergency water if need be. She has less protection than my last boat, so I think I'm going to get fairly wet, but hopefully I'll not be out there any where as long as last time!

It's funny doing a blog like this…again. It takes me back to 2009 and the beginning of my first blogs. I feel somewhat lonely now as I write and listen to the furious waves breaking on the shore, a stones throw from my apartment window. I am celebrating my sisters birthday later on and will be with family and friends, but now that I'm nearly ready, I can't help but feel I just want to get on with it now. The end to my two years of planning and fund raising is drawing to a close and it will soon be time to row. Time to ask for all those old supporters and new friends to join in and get the fires stoked in anticipation of a good start and be part of a new adventure. I know we are not going for a few days, but the ship can't leave port without burning fires eh?

Motivation comes from competition and targets, but when you are really alone without any kind of assistance for nearly two months, motivation comes from virtual partners, legends and people who send messages. Andrew Brown is my virtual partner (current world record holder in my old boat), Peter van Kets is the Legend from South Africa who I've raced against and all the well wishers are the fuel every nutter like myself need to keep going with all the messages you send. I've not left the shores yet, but am getting into the zone and would really appreciate your support.

Here's to the next forty five years!