31 Jan, 06 – 20:39
No man (or woman) is an island…
But being on a little rowboat in the middle of the Atlantic must be about the next best thing. I’ve been enjoying a fine sense of self-sufficiency today.
With my solar-powered watermaker droning away, my chickpeas growing in my seed sprouter, and plenty enough food to see me to Antigua, I looked around at my DIY improvements and felt, possibly for the first time, at home in the ocean environment.
I got this same feeling when I was trekking in Bolivia, knowing I had my tent, sleeping bag, and enough food for a week stowed away in my rucksack. I remember gazing into my campfire one starlit night and revelling in the feeling of having all I needed, not needing to rely on anyone else for anything.
This was one of the reasons I wanted to do a solo ocean row – the opportunity for physical self-sufficiency, and emotional self-reliance, that it offered. It’s a very powerful, and very empowering, feeling.
Bliss to the buttocks
The extra padding I’d put on my seat 2 days ago wasn’t really working for me. Yesterday was tolerable, but by the end of the first shift this morning my increasingly bony backside had had enough. I was also worried about losing my third and last alpaca skin seat cover, its two predecessors having been washed overboard.
So I’ve now fashioned a new improved seating arrangement out of my spare pillow, a piece of netting and some string. Much more comfy, and hopefully the extra airflow around the nethers should help me avoid Cracknell-bottom.
Cheerfully miserable – Clarkie, don’t worry. Since I became Officially Miserable, contrary woman that I am, I’ve been a lot more cheerful. Since I released myself from the burden of trying to have a good time, I’ve relaxed a lot and am almost in danger of actually enjoying it.
Hayley Bennett – hey Hayley! Was thinking of you just yesterday and your wise words – ‘you must have a very good relationship with the voices in your head’. I didn’t at the start of this row, but I do now!
HHS: you star – a free massage in Antigua. I’ll take that up, for sure!
My texts today had a definite international air…
Hello to CHP Consultants in Sydney!
Hello to Mat and Grace in California!
Hello to Hondo in Ohio!
Hello to Paul in South Africa!
Thanks also for texts from Caroline Haines, Karen Luscombe, Alex Burton, Henry and Elizabeth Burrows, Di Morris, Sean Chapple (good luck in Norway), Sinead Martin (has to be worth a go – easier than a sponsorship drive! One lucky dip please), Mike Dunsmore, Natalie (torturing me with memories of 16-course dinners and fantasies of toasted ice cream sandwiches!), John T (thanks for navigational tip-off).
For GPS position, race position and miles from La Gomera, see http://www.atlanticrowingrace.co.uk
Wind: NE, now about 15 knots (estimate) and improving
Weather: sunshine and little fluffy clouds
Sea state: moderate
Hours rowing: 12