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