Are oars supposed to do this? I think not!

1 Jan, 06 – 20:03

For GPS position, race position and miles from La Gomera, see

Happy New Year!

Mine could have been happier – I had a little weep on the phone to my mother last night. I’m ashamed to admit it, because I chose to do this row, nobody forced me, and if I’m finding it harder than I ever imagined I’ve only got myself to blame.

It wasn’t loneliness that made me cry – it was the sheer, unrelenting, weary stuckness of my situation. I can’t take an evening off from it and nip down the pub with my mates, then come back to it refreshed the next day. It’s just me and this big blue ocean, day after day, until I’ve rowed every last mile of it. I got myself into this situation, and now I’ve got to row my way out of it.

Fortunately today I woke up feeling better. I skipped the second night shift so I got some extra sleep. The wind was favourable, the sun came out eventually, and I got some good rowing. I even enjoyed bits of it.

I don’t for a moment think it’s going to be all hunky-dory from now on. Hollywood might be like that, real life isn’t. But gradually those things I already know, of which people keep reminding me, are sinking in and taking effect – take it a day or an hour at a time, focus on the positive, just keep going.

Oar – back from the dead

On a lighter note, see the photo of the amazing bendy oar. When a wave caught me sideways on this morning and I saw the oar bent under the boat like this I thought it was a goner for sure. But as soon as I managed to get the spoon of the oar out of the water it pinged back into shape. This happened a few more times during the day. So I’ve taped up the broken carbon fibre casing to prevent splinters, and I’m still using the oar. It may not last forever, but with only 4 oars on board and 2 already broken, I need to slow the rate of attrition.

Wind: 12-15 kts, E to NE
Weather: sunny and cloud
Sea state: rough
Hours rowing: 11

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