In the groove – some disciplined rowing.

16 Feb, 06 – 20:36

I have received that rarest of things – a piece of unsolicited advice that is helpful. The text said,

‘When I was trying to stop smoking, a mate said just stop putting fags in your mouth, you big wuss.

So just stop letting your routine break down – let your non-emotional mind stay in charge, you big wuss.’

For some reason this message hit home where more sophisticated arguments had failed. I’d been failing to make that essential link between present actions and desired future outcome. I want to get to Antigua, and soon. How am I going to get there? Teleport? No, get rowing!

I was quite embarrassed that my outlook could be so revolutionised by such a painfully simple piece of advice, but when I thought about it I found some consolation in the fact that it seems to be a common human failing at all levels.

I want to lose weight.
So stop eating so much, you big wuss!

I want a more exciting life.
So do something exciting, you big wuss!

I want my children to know a planet with rainforests/glaciers/diversity of species.
So start living a greener lifestyle/using energy from renewable sources/recycling your rubbish, you big wuss!

I want global peace.
So stop starting wars, you big W!
(or is that just hypocrisy?)

I now call this my Big Wuss principle.

Thank you to George from Atlantic4. That’s the second good piece of advice you’ve given me, the first being on Day 1 of the race: ‘your watermaker probably has air in it and needs priming’. Dammit, man, I may have to review my prejudice about unsolicited advice from men.

Note to non- British readers: ‘wuss’ is a mild term of abuse, implying weakness of some sort. A bit like ‘wimp’, but less harsh.

Other stuff:

In Eddy’s clutches again…

Great progress this morning due in part, I suspect, to an eddy. I saw clumps of green weed floating in the water, which Tiny tells me are a tell-tale sign. Just hoping Mr Eddy doesn’t now decide to do something naughty, like whisk me south after I’ve worked so hard to get back up close to 17?N… oh, just checked my position, and he already has. Swine.

Texts: thanks for messages from AJ, HSS, Derrick and Elizabeth Pitard, James O, DB, Firinne, Margaret and Bob, Kurt, K&T in Canada, Jeff, John T (I do have something in mind even more challenging… Just still trying to decide if it’s a challenge too far), Steve from the Vivaldi Atlantic 4 (respect!), Helen from Univ, Pascale and Terrence (anything I want in Antigua? What sort of thing did you have in mind? A good dinner and a comfy bed will do for starters!), Martin Chambers, H Briers.

Rita Savage’s PS: More sponsored miles looming: 2202 Phil Goodier; 2222 Yannis Niotis. Brief paragraph about Roz and HMS Southampton in today’s Guardian, Telegraph and Times.
A party to welcome Roz back from her voyage is being planned for March 23rd in London. See her Home Page for details.

For GPS position, race position and miles from La Gomera, see

Wind: E, 12kts (estimate)
Weather: sunshine and cloud
Sea state: moderate
Hours rowing: 12

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