Day 7: Confession Time

I have a confession to make. I do not love the sea. Admire and respect it – yes, as you might admire a strict and unforgiving teacher – but love it, no. Before I rowed the Atlantic I had romantic notions of the ocean as the last great wilderness, where sea creatures played and humans enacted heroic tales of courage and derring-do. And no doubt, … Continued

Day 6: Seals and Sisyphus

Sisyphus might sound like an unpleasant disease, but in fact he was the guy in Greek mythology who was condemned to push a boulder up a mountain for all eternity. As soon as he stopped pushing the rock would roll backwards, so he just had to keep pushing away. I know how he felt. I continue to row hard just to stand still. The wind … Continued

Day 5: If It Was Easy, Everyone Would Be Doing It

The last few days I have been spoiled. I have been in calm waters, enjoying the company of dolphins, whales, seals, and even the occasional human (the marine biologists at the Farralon Islands). The rowing has been easy, rhythmic and regular, like flat-water rowing. At night I have been gently rocked to sleep by the ocean, so although I’ve only been sleeping about 4 hours … Continued

Day 4: Bag Balm, Bleak House, and the Maintenance of Discipline

It is always useful to have multi-purpose items on board – drinks bottles that double up as waterproof containers for electronics, a diving knife/bread knife, and so on. Yesterday I found a new use for Bag Balm. You might remember that I was advised to bring several tins of Bag Balm with me, usually used for to ease chapped cow’s udders, but in this case … Continued

Day 3: Over The Edge: Dolphin Encounter

Today I rowed out over the edge of the continental shelf, and into the deep ocean. This is an area especially rich in marine life, and I was delighted to see about a dozen whales at various times – surfacing to spout sprays of water from their blowholes. But even better, at one point I found myself totally surrounded by dolphins, arcing and leaping through … Continued

Day 2: The Devil’s Teeth

The Brocade Today I rowed past the Farralon Islands, also known as the Devil’s Teeth on account of their jagged silhouette. They are famous for their population of Great White Sharks. Fortunately it’s not shark season (although there are still some lurking around, apparently) and the only natives of the islands that I encountered were relatively friendly (and with relatively small teeth) – a couple … Continued

Day 1: Golden Gate Bridge Dream

Location: The Brocade I’ll keep this blog brief, as I haven’t quite got my sea legs yet and tapping on the keyboard makes me feel queasy. Last night, at a few minutes to midnight, I pushed away from the dock at the Presidio Yacht Club and rowed out under San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge. That makes it all sound very easy. In fact it took … Continued

D-Cups in Las Vegas

Las Vegas, Nevada No, I am not talking about the conspicuous features of the silicon beauties on the Las Vegas Strip – but rather the blight of Disposable Cups. I am in Las Vegas for the EMC2 conference, at the invitation of my title sponsors Brocade. Today when I went to a coffee shop in search of my morning caffeine hit, I did as I … Continued

Emotional Rollercoaster

Woodside, California Generally I attempt to maintain an attitude of Zen calm in the face of life’s ups and downs. The Atlantic taught me, among many other things, that things are rarely as good or as bad as they seem, so there is no point getting too excited about the good, or too bent out of shape about the bad. But this last week has … Continued

Pre-launch Nerves?

Woodside, California Various people have been asking me how I am feeling as I prepare to relaunch my Pacific bid. Am I excited? Nervous? Confident? My honest answer is this: I haven’t had time to think about it!! Still so much to do – that is all I can focus on right now. If I start thinking ahead to the row itself, my head would … Continued