Oar repairs with Sikaflex, flattened boat hook and cable ties.

28 February 2006

No, not referring to Roz’state of undress.
Each day I hear about new people logging onto Roz’ website – most welcome, but they don’t know half the story! I am therefore going to give some quotes from earlier dispatches to summarise what Roz has been through:

(Day 47) Roz did suffer a knock-down today, worse than the previous one on Thursday 5th January, but came upright again. She has great confidence in her boat and its ability to self-right. The para anchor and drogue both went overboard but she struggled and got them back on again.
Roz does not expect to sleep much tonight, and is also concerned about salt-water sores due to sleeping in a wet bed.

(Day 49) When I told my mother about the latest casualties she commented, ‘The ocean is really stripping you down, isn’t it?’. And this is true, metaphorically as well as literally. As I’m left with less and less, it makes me realise how little I actually need, how little is actually important.

Updated Casualty List

New entries:

4th and final oar now damaged – so I have:
Magic bendy oar – irreparable
Oar with no spoon – irreparable
Oar with spoon almost broken off – Sikaflexed and splinted
Oar with shaft broken close to gate (rowlock) – splinted

I’m amazed and rather indignant about the two broken spoons. These oars were properly stowed alongside the guardrail oars, i.e. with the spoons 4ft clear of the water, and supposedly protected by the guardrail spoons – yet one broke clean off and the other nearly so. For this sort of pressure to be exerted, 4ft above the waterline, on both sides of the boat… That must have been some knockdown.

And more losses overboard:
Thermos mug #2 (1 remaining) with dinner inside
Drinks bottle #2 (1 remaining)
Lip salve #2 (2 remaining)
Bag for para-anchor line
2 buckets (1 remaining)
Alpaca skin seat cover #2 (1 remaining)

Plus flooded lockers:
#5 – beneath aft cabin. Relatively empty, fortunately, but cosy dry alpaca socks as special treat (courtesy of Alpaca Centre near Penrith) are cosy and dry no more
#7 – grab bags and lifejacket are swimming
#13 – jerrycans and cleaning materials. Deliberately left flooded for added ballast.

Plus previous casualties:
Petzl head torch (contacts rusted)
Camping stove – plunger jammed
Navigation instruments
Thermos mug
Lid off thermos flask
Drinks bottle
Storage jar
Alpaca skin seat cover
Lip salve
Milton fluid
…and a comfy foam cushion for sitting on.

And now since 17th February the satphone.
I am not too concerned that she only achieved 18 miles yesterday, as she is very obviously having to work hard to get further north. One email that I had today was from Caroline who is clearly reading the signs in just the same way. Or maybe she had to repair an oar again? Another email messager suggested that I should take some flapjack to Antigua. This is already in hand, courtesy of the mother of a friend of Roz’ in the 1980s.

How would you feel with ONLY 330 more miles to row?

Sponsored mile: 2607 Mark Merritt, the numbers represent his son’s birthday! Happy birthday, and thank you.

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