21 Dec, 05 – 19:08

Latitude: 25° 44′ N
Longitude: 24° 17′ W
Miles from La Gomera: see http://www.atlanticrowingrace.co.uk
Miles to Antigua: 2098
Miles in last 24 hours: 3

To give you some idea of what it’s like to be in a tippy little ocean rowing boat, try this…

1. Look at the top photo, and incline your head until the horizon appears horizontal (check out the angle of the deck).

2. Look at the second photo, and again incline your head until the horizon appears horizontal.

3. Now tip your head forwards through about 45 degrees…

4. …and now backwards…

5. …and now combine the above 4 movements in a random sequence, e.g. Left, right, left, forward, right, back, forward, back, left, right, left, right, back, forward. If you start to feel queasy you’re doing it right.

For added authenticity get someone to chuck a bucket of cold salty water over you at irregular intervals.

This tippiness goes on, to a greater or lesser degree, all the time – during rowing, sleeping, eating, cooking (no longer applicable since demise of camping stove), live radio interviews via satphone (occasionally necessitating great self-control to avoid swearing), boat maintenance, writing up logbook… everything. I don’t mind it especially, but I think I’ll be quite glad when life becomes more stationary again.

Thanks to all who have sent suggestions on how to resurrect the camping stove. Unfortunately none of them have worked so far. But my dinner of cold prawns with omelette pieces and peas wasn’t too bad. I’ll live.

Good news – I am on the move again. The wind has moved around to the north, so at 1pm today I dusted off the oars and started rowing. After nearly 4 days on the sea anchor, I could just about remember how.

And finally, if you’re in London and you read this before you leave work, pick up a copy of the Evening Standard on the way home. Apparently there’s a fair-sized article about li’l old me.

PS: Race and weather-watching:
Between December 16th and 19th, only 8 of the 26 boats made any progress forwards due to the adverse wind conditions. Boats were blown backwards towards La Gomera between 1 and 24 miles each.
By 21st December, those further south were moving again, those further north and east continued to lose ground (ocean) up to 49 miles in one case. The last 6 boats in the listings between them lost 163 miles. At last the wind is shifting and they can begin to row again.
(Rita Savage, using data from www.atlanticrowingrace.co.uk)

Wind: 20 kts from the north
Weather: wind and sun
Sea state: moderate to rough
Hours rowing: 4
Song for the day: Stuck in a Moment (U2) – like I was last week

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