With Ben Fogle and James Cracknell

23 Jan, 06 – 20:04

So sorry to hear about the Spirit of Cornwall. And so close to the finish, too. But glad to hear they’re safe and sound.

I’ve been receiving some fascinating and thought-provoking questions. An embarrassment of riches. I’ve noted them all down and will aim to answer them all before the end of my journey.

For now, an answer to an easy one…

Jeff: Q:what do I do to recover at the end of a shift?
A: it varies. Usually there are some jobs to do – maintenance, laundry, preparing food, texts to pick up dispatches to write. If there’s time, and especially if I’m having a bad day, I like to take a quick 20 min nap. Or sometimes I get my on-board masseur to rub my aching shoulders. No, only kidding.

To those who have advised me to get new oars – sorry, but in the nicest possible way I’m exercising my right to ignore your advice. a) It’s very unlikely Woodvale would be able to get the right length oars. b) I’m managing fine with the patched-up ones I’ve got. c) It’s a matter of principle (long story). So as my side of the bargain I’ll stop whingeing about them!

Special thanks to Ben Fogle and Marina Hunt for their kind message. Well done on a fantastically speedy row. Am now looking forward to my own arrival!

A lovely message arrived for Monty the ship’s teddy bear: ‘Dear Monty, It’s very quiet in Mr Butler’s office without you. One of the children is taking me skiing to cheer me up! Give Roz a big hug from me. Luv Molly xx’ (Molly is the other Southbourne Junior School teddy.)

Thanks also for messages from Dee on Aviva, Victoria Humphries (will try your Arctic memory game – if little grey cells up to it!), Mark in Colorado, Nathan in Richmond, Sean Chapple of Polar Quest (good luck!), John T, Martin Turner (enjoy NZ), Mat & Grace Ellis, Merran (good to hear from you after all this time!), Steve Maskell (I’ve already done my dream menu – search on ‘lobster’!), Stew, DB, Jeff (you saying I have baboon derriere, you insolent Frenchman?! Better than baboon face, monsieur! :-), Tom in NZ (already considered increasing inboard, but would be too uncomfortable for bashed hands and ribs), Adamski, Lizann, Sandi and my US fan club (?!), Tim Ratbag, James Oglethorpe, Matt Oglethorpe, Sarah, Pauline, and all other texters.

Rita Savage’s PS: Sponsored miles coming up: Alastair Brown at 1369 and Tessa, Gerard, Gemma & Tom at 1370. Thanks friends!

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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