11 Feb, 06 – 20:23
(with apologies to the makers of Alien)
Today I hit the wall. Big time. By lunchtime I’d already abandoned two shifts early, stormed off in a sulk, procrastinated, petulated and generally behaved more like a spoiled child than an intrepid adventurer.
I’d tried every trick in my emotional toolbox but I just couldn’t find it in me to row another stroke. Routine and discipline had totally broken down.
How many times have I done this? I’ve lost count. Each time I recover and I think I’ve cracked it, but then a few weeks later it happens again. Maybe I just don’t have an ocean-rowing temperament.
I’d maybe put myself under impossible pressure by announcing my intention to reach Antigua by the end of the month. I’ve been putting in an extra rowing shift at the end of the day and reduced my sleep to 4 hours, but without the wholehearted co-operation of the weather this strategy has succeeded only in making me weary and teary, without achieving any extra mileage.
So for now the Big Push is postponed, and I’m reverting to my 12-hour routine. I need to be gentler with myself. In my current state I’m worse than useless – I’m self-destructing.
I’m going to have a restorative nap – a brief journey to the Land of Nod to take a mental break from being an ocean rower – and then I’m going to try out a suggestion from ocean rower Westie. I’m going to stand stark naked on deck, hanging onto the roll bar and facing the bows, and I’m going to yell and scream and curse at the ocean until I’ve vented all my frustration. And then, hopefully, I can get down to some rowing.
Correction to Team C2 information texted to me yesterday: they actually took 13 days to cover the last 1000 miles, not 23. So maybe my goal isn’t impossible, although it will require a) more help from the weather, and b) more rowing from me than was achieved today.
Thanks to Lucy from Woodvale for the messages. Nice to hear the whole of Antigua is waiting for me! Will try not to keep them waiting TOO much longer.
Messages: thanks to Mike & Izzy Urry (great to hear from you!), Mel and tribe, Bri, AJ, Sean Chapple, John T, HSS (forgiven!), Avelline, the Galls, Andy & Emer (you serious? Thank you! Hope rib now better), Kevin, Margaret and Bob, Kurt, Tanya, Lynne (lovely message – thanks), Anton, Mike M (will be good in your absence. Write a book? Think there are enough books about ocean rows already!), Susan Frederick.
For GPS position, race position and miles from La Gomera, see http://www.atlanticrowingrace.co.uk
Wind: E, about 12-18 knots (estimate)
Weather: overcast and humid in morning, hot sunshine in afternoon
Sea state: moderate to rough
Hours rowing: 6