I’ve been at sea for over 3 months now, and it’s starting to take its toll on my body. I’ve been fortunate so far – but this week I’ve started to fall apart. Nothing major – fingernails lifting from fingers (apparently due to some fungal thing), aches in the back, sunburned skin – but worst of all is the saltwater rash. It may sound like a trivial complaint, but grown men have been reduced to tears and/or excessive use of painkillers by this undignified ailment.

The best way to avoid the rash dreaded by all ocean-rowers is to bathe in fresh water, which I haven’t been able to do due to the water shortage since my watermaker expired, so I am surprised that the affliction did not strike sooner. I have done my best to stay clean, bathing with salt water, supplemented with wet wipes and liberal application of tea tree oil. These measures probably bought me some spot-free time.

But now it has struck, and has struck with a vengeance.

Maybe it would have been better if I hadn’t looked. Out of sight and out of mind. But I knew something was going on, so today I took out the small mirror and used it to take a look at my backside. It was not a pretty sight. For anybody who saw the pictures of James Cracknell’s bottom after he had finished the Atlantic Rowing Race.. Well, I may not be able to beat James on the ergometer, but when it comes to spotty-botty I reckon I could give him a run for his money.

The main problem with this is that it makes it painful to sit on my rowing seat – which is the one thing that I simply can’t avoid doing. So I shall have to grin (or grimace) and bear it. Only a few more days to go, but they may feel like long days indeed..

Other stuff:

Position at 2030 26th August HST, 0730 27th August UTC: 21 53.089’N, 154 43.757’W.

An underwhelming day on the mileage front today. Same number of rowing hours as usual, but it takes the cooperation of the weather to produce impressive leaps forward. At the moment I would say I’m 70% likely to arrive on 1st Sept, 30% likely to arrive later than that. I won’t know for sure until I get there!

Mum sent me all the messages that had come through before she had to leave for the airport. So I probably haven’t seen them all. Thanks for the ones I’ve seen. and for the ones I haven’t!

Helena – fantastic effort on the beach-cleaning front. Well done! Interesting what you said about the number of straws. I wonder if there are reusable ones, or biodegradable ones. What did we used to do before straws were invented? That’s quite an interesting question for most plastic objects – what did we used to do before they were available? After all, we survived for thousands of years before plastic came along!

Thanks also to Sandi (for my ongoing journey from Lands End to JO’G), Olivia in Oxford, and John H – informative as ever!

Click here to view Day 93a of the Atlantic Crossing 3 March: (I) Like a ship Passing in the Night. At last some news from Roz, via a passing ship.

Books Box: Do check the list of recent “reads” mentioned by Roz when talking to Leo Laporte. Available from Audible.com; and also from Amazon if you click on the title.

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