Big ocean, small boat

22 Jan, 06 – 18:51

This morning’s shift was abandoned due to excessively painful shoulder. When a jarring wave reduced me to tears I retreated to the cabin, took another painkiller (now out of dihydrocodeine – boo) and slept for a couple of hours.

The afternoon was considerably better. Dosed up and liberally sprayed with Deep Heat the shoulder was tolerable. And I only had to stop once for another oar repair. The show goes on.

There are, in fact, moments when I feel like I’m in an alternative Truman Show, with all of you on the outside looking in at me as I bob around in my bizarre little marine world – I keep wonndering when I’m going to bump into the painted scenery of the sky like the scene at the end of the film.

But I know this is just a temporary life – real life awaits me. And although I constantly try to cultivate patience, I have to confess to being increasingly keen to get back to that life. A recent text made me stop and think about my ‘normal’ i.e. dry land, life. It said ‘u will never be this free again’.

I’ve realised that I enjoy an uncommon degree of freedom in my normal life, so much so that by comparison I don’t feel free out here. In the last 3 or 4 years I’ve re-engineered my life to make myself as free as ssible. I’ve opted out of most of the things that make people feel un-free. By not wanting a home or material possessions I don’t need to have a regular income. By not having one special relationship I can do what I want, when I want.

The only things I really want out of life are good health, good food, good friends, and freedom, and all these things I enjoy in abundance.

I realise that I’d started to take my exceptionally nice life for granted, especially the freedom. After three months confined to a 23-foot boat, rowing all day every day I can’t wait to be back on dry land and enjoy freedom of movement and freedom of choice over what to do with my time. And freedom to eat sesame chicken (today’s food craving).

Mum – hope you’ve had a lovely birthday. Although I hear your voice every day, I can’t wait to see you in Antigua for a belated birthday hug! Rxxx

Texts: John T (most embarrassing moment? Allow a girl some secrets!), Philip Goodier (thank your son for the joke – made me laugh!), Bethia at OUWBC (ah, happy memories!), Margaret and Bob in Staines, Snowy (no need to vex yourself over my hot food situation – thanks for trying, but I really don’t mind the temperature of the food – it’s the variety and freshness that I miss), tbeshoff in NZ (will take care – no sunburn yet), Nic (thanks for encouragement).

For GPS position, race position and miles from La Gomera, see http://www.atlanticrowingrace.co.uk

Wind: E, 12-15 knots (estimate)
Weather: sunshine
Sea state: moderate
Hours rowing: 10

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