Day 91: First Signs of Land

Today I saw five birds, all circling my boat at the same time. This in itself was unusual – I often see a solitary bird, sometimes two, but this was positively a crowd. And the other unusual thing was that they were tweeting to each other. Then, later on, I saw another bird, on its own, and it was tweeting too. This may not sound … Continued

Day 88 Dealing with Boredom and Loneliness

A few days ago Erin A asked this question: Please share more of your wisdom on how you have trained your mind to deal with boredom, fear and loneliness. We all know it is all in the mind but then that is no easy task for everyone. I don’t specifically train my mind in advance of my rows, but I do have a few tricks … Continued

Day 87: Roz Rocks: A Geological Perspective on Roz’s Amazing

Last year I gave a presentation at a boys’ school in Virginia – although to call Woodberry Forest a school is a bit like calling the Pacific a puddle. It was a magnificent school – gorgeous buildings situated in rolling green parkland. I got to stay in a beautifully appointed guest house. The boys were polite, interested, fun. But best of all I came away … Continued

Day 86: Plastic – Use and Abuse

When I was on board the JUNK the other night I talked with Marcus and Joel about plastic pollution – of course. Hard not to, when the raft beneath our feet was a monument to the issue, being kept afloat by 10,000 plastic bottles lashed together in cargo netting. And we agreed that we are not against plastics per se. Plastics have many valuable uses … Continued

Day 84: The Life of Pi

If I had a dollar (or pound) for every time I’ve been asked if I’ve read The Life of Pi, I wouldn’t be needing to ask you to vote for me in the Amex grants scheme (hint!). But although I had read it, it was quite a while ago and at the time I didn’t really GET it. Today I’ve been listening to it as … Continued

Day 83: The Aft Cabin – Living Area

Following on from yesterday’s blog about my aft cabin, here’s the detail about the “living area” – which could best be described as compact. Or maybe “bijou” in real-estate speak. Between the foot of my bunk and the exit hatch to the cockpit I have just about 20 inches of space. At this end of the cabin the ceiling is just high enough for me … Continued

Day 83: The Aft Cabin

The next part of my series on what lies where on board the Brocade, today we get to the aft cabin. If the rowing seat is my place of work, then this is my home. I’ve even got into the habit of calling out, “Honey, I’m home!” when I come in from the final rowing shift of the day and take my baseball hat off. … Continued

Day 82: Attitude of Gratitude

I was talking with the guys on the JUNK the other night about the things that we are looking forward to when we get back to dry land. Our wants were simple – crisp sheets, hot showers, cold drinks, and beer might possibly have been mentioned. (In answer to the several people who asked about our dinner party drinks, alas there was neither wine nor … Continued

Day 81: Water, Water . . .

I feel the need to make a confession. There’s something I’ve been keeping very quiet about. (Podcast listeners will already know this.) On 1st July my backup watermaker broke, and has not worked since. There I was, sitting on deck, pumping steadily on the manual watermaker, when the water stopped dripping from the product pipe and started spouting from the innards of the machine instead. … Continued

Day 80: A Pile of JUNK

Unusually, I am writing this blog mid-afternoon. Normally I wait until my day’s rowing is over and get out my laptop at about 9.30pm, but today the JUNK has asked me to stop rowing for a while so they can catch up with me, so I find myself with time on my hands – and even on the ocean I don’t like to waste time. … Continued