Imagine trying to sleep in a washing machine full of gravel, standing on a creaky floorboard, in an aeroplane going through serious turbulence. That’s the best way I can describe what my first night on the open ocean sounded and felt like.

I soon realised this was going to be very different from my previous sailing experiences, in Australia and Thailand, when we would moor up in a sheltered harbour and be gently rocked to sleep by the waves. Steamy steams on, 24 hours a day, our crew of 4 taking shifts at the helm, while the rest sleep as best they can.

Surprisingly, I slept rather well. The other good news is that I haven’t yet been seasick, and haven’t been fazed by getting out of sight of land. These are things I needed to prove to myself BEFORE I got to the start line in November. It could have been rather embarrassing to discover that far down the line that ocean rowing really wasn’t the sport for me after all…

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