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On the 1st March 2017 I will finally, weather permitting, set off to row the Atlantic Ocean. Now I know what some of you will be thinking - ...

Friday, 10 March 2017

The early days...who knew rowing an ocean was tough?!

In terms of progress the team are doing amazingly. They have now passed the 10% waymarker!!! That's over 600km already rowed! 
This blog is a summary of recent communication from the boat for those that haven't seen it - some from Niall and some from his teammate Colin.

From Niall on Day 2
Highs and lows so far. Highs include a swim past by a pod of dolphins, going to "save" a turtle trapped in a plastic thing only to find he was playing with it and my first boat poo! Lows are the night watches - pressed the Dorothy button about 15 times last night but seems to be broken. Getting more sleep but still not enough. Fingers crossed for tonight.

Colin's blog, Day 3
Today was off to a flying start with the wind and wave direction supporting the original passage plan.

Niall is still suffering from a lack of sleep so we suggested he swapped rooms for day. The aft cabin where he normally is contains the Navigation equipment and the auto helm, unfortunately it does not get any breeze and is too noisy.
At the next watch he swapped to the queens suite (fwd cabin), things were going well and he had just started to sleep when Ralph started shouting get up, get up. Niall and I rushed out of the cabins and were told a sea turtle was trapped in some plastic so we should go and help.  We turned the boat around and got back to the turtle who was happily playing with a milk carton.  So the social spirit award goes to our skipper Ralph.

Niall has explicitly stated unless there is a whale or MOB (man over board) then not to wake him.
In other news I no longer have soft modelling hands, after 3 days using beeswax my hands have given up.  To give you an idea of the feeling it's like if you poured boiling water over your palm and then someone throws you a cactus to catch.  No kidding the first 10-20 stokes on the oars each watch is excruciating .

Colin's blog Day 4
The two graveyard watches this morning were extremely tough.  The weather had changed covering the ocean in thick fog, we had approximately 250m visibility.  As I came out of the fed cabin it felt like a scene from pirates of the Caribbean and I was expecting Jack Sparrow to appear from the fog.

Whilst our boat speed over ground (SOG) has slowed we are making good velocity made good (VMG) to the canaries so the crew are all feeling positive about the trip so far.

Update from Niall, Day 5
First 4 days were nothing short of brutal. Just no time to do anything - on watch just row. Off watch decide whether to eat or sleep - everything else forget it. Pain becomes a constant - interesting that your body prioritizes the sorest things - didn't even notice a huge blister on my heel until I changed my socks. Since yesterday my bum bones have become a serious problem - imagine fracturing them both, then driving to hospital on a hard seat and a bumpy road, for 2 hours, every 2 hours. Considered rowing on my knees last night just for some respite. 

But on the upside we're all finally in the watch routine and sleeping well so a little time for other things, like brushing teeth - what luxury! Weather remains unusually benign and boat speed good. Onwards! 

Day 6 
Better day today - found blow up cushion to sit on so now bearable to row again.

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