Arriving to an amazing welcome in Antigua yesterday –
see the size of that grin!

14 March 2006 | ANTIGUA!

Hello from one very happy ocean rower, now chilling out in Antigua, enjoying good food and warm hospitality… and wishing the ground would stop swaying.

Yesterday I got up at 4am to start rowing. With the finish line finally in sight I rowed nonstop for 10 hours to make sure I got to Antigua before sunset. If only I’d realised earlier I was capable of such rowing feats I might have got here weeks ago!

I had no idea what kind of a welcome awaited me. I’d envisaged pulling in at a jetty, giving my mum a hug, and then pottering off for a bite to eat. I certainly hadn’t expected a flotilla of boats coming out to greet me, hundreds of people standing on the quayside, a choir of schoolchildren singing to me, and presentations from a series of local dignitaries. After months of solitude and silence it was pretty overwhelming. And really, really good.

There’s so much to catch up on since I last wrote, but my laptop battery is about to go flat, so it will have to wait. I’ll try to post some photos later today – I’ve never been so skinny or so brown so I’m going to show it off while it lasts!

Thank you for all the messages of congratulations that I’ve received so far, and thanks also for all the messages of support that were sent to my mother, especially during my ‘Space Oddity’ phase since the satphone packed up. All very much appreciated.

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