21 Jan, 06 – 20:28
I was rowing along this afternoon, admiring the cloud formations and trying not to think about my aching shoulders, when my right oar suddenly started to feel… different. I looked out, and my heart sank when I saw the spoon flapping uselessly at the end of the loom. The Sikaflex had given way. And I thought that stuff was meant to be the stickiest stuff since Mr Sticky the Stick Insect won the Stick of the Year Competition. But maybe it had to be applied to a ‘clean dry surface’ – not easy to find around here.
So with a sigh of oh-no-here-we-go-again resignation I pulled the oar in for another round of running repairs. First thought was to bolt the spoon onto its boathook splint, but I couldn’t drill through the centre of the spoon – must be reinforced with something strong. So instead I drilled two holes either side and threaded a cable tie through to secure it in place.
I hope it holds. For some reason it’s become important to me to complete this row unsupported, and I don’t want to have to call for outside help to resupply me with oars. So I’ll hobble along with my cobbled-together oars for as long as I can.
Special message to a very special mother: HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MUM!!! Wish I’d managed to get to Antigua in time to celebrate it there with you, but we’ll make up for lost time when I do finally get there. Have a great day tomorrow. xxx
Texts: Martin Turner (no, haven’t read Old Man and the Sea, will think about other question), Bob (not awaiting new oars – want to make it across unsupported if at all possible), John T (hope you had a good time at the footie), Greg Danforth (everything will indeed be just fine!), J-F (no, always wanted to go solo, so don’t go having fantasies about two naked women in a boat!), Mark Reid, Karen Luscombe, Gary, Pauline (ouch! hope finger recovers soon, would want Cameron Diaz to play me in a film of my life – or in fact, maybe we could arrange a total life swap – after this I fancy being a glam Hollywood actress for a while!)
For GPS position, race position and miles from La Gomera, see http://www.atlanticrowingrace.co.uk
Wind: E, 25 knots (estimate)
Weather: cloudy, sunshine, squalls
Sea state: very rough
Hours rowing: 0 (spent day repairing oars and allowing wrenched shoulder to recover)