6 Jan, 06 – 20:34
For GPS position, race position and miles from La Gomera, see http://www.atlanticrowingrace.co.uk
I get knocked down, but I get up again, ain’t never going to keep me down…
This is no way to treat a fare-paying passenger. Early night, sleeping tight, suddenly the world turns upside down and I find myself head-down in a box of freeze-dried food. The indignity of it.
It was a bit of a surprise. One moment I was asleep, being rocked (relatively) gently By the waves. The next moment it’s like I’m in a washing machine – everything is spinning and there’s water pouring in through the ventilation hatch.
My lovely comfy bunk, which I’d managed to keep remarkably dry and salt-free, was dry and salt-free no longer. Sleeping bag, pillow and blanket were all sopping. After restoring some kind of order inside the cabin and on deck, I spent the rest of the night curled up into a small damp bundle of anxiety, flinching at every big wave and bracing myself for another roll.
Today, as if to make amends, Mother Nature sent me perfect conditions for an enjoyable afternoon’s rowing – and I mean genuinely enjoyable, not just enjoyable compared with working in an office/ being held captive in Beirut for four years/ having my fingernails pulled out with red hot tweezers.
The sun was shining, the waves were rolling, and Tiny, I found that sweet water. And ah, was it sweet!
Happy Birthday, Nick Jones. Enjoy a pint for me.
Thanks for today’s texts, many expressing commiserations on last night’s event. Hello John T, HSS (your jokes are awful – love them!), DB, Clarkie, Philip Goodier, Y (I did get your birthday message – thanks!), AJ (Caie’s barge – seems a lifetime ago! Can you remind me of your name?), Mark R.
Someone asked me what would be my first meal on arrival in Antigua. Ideally, a large rum cocktail as an aperitif, then a buffet of salads (avocado with buffalo mozzarella and cherry tomatoes, rocket with parmesan and pine nuts, marinated peppers and aubergine, with an assortment of dressings – pesto, lemon and coriander, spicy tomato). Then, as the main event, a platter of lobster, served with lime and hot melted butter, crab claws, jumbo shrimp and barbecued monkfish, all washed down with a glass or three of Chablis or a crisp South African Chenin Blanc. Then, if I had any room left, strawberry shortbread, followed by a caffe latte and three chocolate truffles, one white, one milk and one dark.
Not that I’ve given it a moment’s thought, obviously.
Rita Savage’s PS:
People have expressed concern for me, knowing that I will be worried about Roz out there in the Atlantic. I know that I am not the only anxious mother – and other family members and friends – whose thoughts are very much with those taking part in the Atlantic Rowing Race. I suppose I am a bit different as Roz is the only female solo rower. I was fortunate in that I was able to spend several weeks with Roz when the boat was being prepared in the boatyard, as well as at La Gomera. She had me crawling all over the boat with epoxy resin, screwdrivers and paintbrushes. I checked, packed and re-packed her first aid kit. I counted out packages of different types of food into weekly packs; experimented with the stove to assess the amount of fuel needed; went shopping in La Gomera for spare fuses, Velcro, Milton, hand-held water pumps, without being able to speak a word of Spanish. There was not much that I did not know about the boat and its contents, apart from the electronic gadgetry. All of this has helped me to have confidence that Roz has prepared very carefully to cover every aspect of the voyage. There have been some disappointments when people on whom she was relying for shore management, weather forecasting and finance have let her down. Roz and I are both most grateful to so many others who support us with their words, their messages and their prayers.
Sponsored miles: Mariya and Molly McCallum 850; Mat Ellis 888 hopefully coming up soon!
Wind: E to NE, force not known because wind/speed instrument hasn’t worked since last night
Sea state: rough
Hours rowing: 9