23 February 2006
I have been asking myself the question: What would Roz want me to write about? There are probably quite a few things that she would not want me to write about – family anecdotes that would make her blush. Perhaps it would be safer to stick to questions that people ask. Amongst quite a number of messages today, somebody asked whether Roz would still have enough food left on her boat.
Initially each rowing crew was asked to take enough food for 90 days. She did, in theory, have more than enough, and even gave away some while we were in La Gomera. Roz is really really hoping that she can complete the crossing in less than 100 days. However, I think the answer is yes, she does have enough – though probably not the things that she would choose to eat. There were days when she found it very difficult to eat anything much; she had plenty of sachets of oat porridge with her, but with the stove not functioning she has only used a few of those. If really desperate can a person eat “uncooked” oat porridge? She also had some expedition meals that she did not fancy eating, but which we stowed away in a hatch difficult to get to under her mattress, just in case of real emergency.
Another question was how did I feel after watching Ben Fogle and James Cracknell on TV? There were times when Roz phoned me in desperation (just a couple of times), obviously in tears, and hating it in the same way that Ben and James did. She did write about this in one of her dispatches. Watching the two men made me realise just what she must have gone through, and how helpless I felt at the time to say or do anything to help her. I am thankful that she was not thrown off the boat as Ben was; thankful that, being on her own, the cabin was not quite so crowded when the weather was bad. Hard though Ben and James might have found it to row that distance, Roz has had to row every mile herself. Though I say it myself, I am proud of her tenacity, and her ingenuity in repairing those oars. I shall be mighty glad to give her a big hug!!
Thank you to those who have been sending messages. I have in the past tried to answer them individually but there have been a larger number just recently. Lovely to hear from you all, and apologies for not being Roz!