3rd March 2013
Since late afternoon yesterday, the wind has piped up and is steady at 15 knots from ENE and E. This morning was quite wild with some squals and rain, but now it is the perfect weather. The water is rolling along with dogs barking on the tops of every small crest (my version of mini breakers) and shimmering with the surface tension of the wind. With most of the waves travelling in one direction, aligning the boat up has been much easier and when the rudder is neutral on top of a wave, whooosh..off I go! However, when I get this wrong and there is force or turbulence on either side, the boat will spin out and throw me sideways with a massive jerk. The only upside of this is that it builds your core strength……as if I need that sort of exercise now! If only this weather could hold for a week or two, then I’d be home, but it is only forecast for the next day before falling off again, so my mileage will drop.
I am in a very good state of mind compared to a few days ago. I am running a good routine with about 15 hours of rowing, eating properly and getting some good rest in the early hours of the morning. If I can keep this up, I’ll be ok, but my bottom needs careful attention every time I get a break and I’ve some deep blisters in my left hand that may need antibiotics. I’ve got claw hands which means I can’t close them easily as the tendons are being constantly tweeked. Otherwise, apart from a very sticky smelly environment around me, we are looking good.
I have not needed to use a tool or carry out any repairs apart from changing the bearings on my seat. This same situation as my last row, because all my preparation has been intensive. When I was based at The Burnham Yacht Harbour, I would go out on the water and worry if I’d over done it on the weight and stability situation as Soma was very tippy, but with only 670 miles to go, it’s obvious this was the route to a fast crossing. The Burnham Yacht Harbour have been so helpful with both my campaigns and I couldn’t think of a nicer bunch of staff, so it’s well worth a visit if you are visiting our wonderful town. Burnham is also a great place to practice for something like this as I found you can go rowing anytime, any day what ever the weather and there are protected areas and even Pubs to visit up river or down river, so any rowers out there……come here to start your exciting adventure.
I love being at sea and working myself and the boat, infact any boat. It’s a wonderful place on a good day and a place to respect on a bad day. The colours, the air, the freedom all make it so special. On the other hand, I have always been a family man and really miss being with all my family. They are there on the end of the line for me and today is James’ 11th birthday, so I shed a few tears when I wished him well this morning. I haven’t seen them since a month before I left La Gomera, so it will have been nearly three months when I do get to see them soon, I hope.
I’m trying to be sensible for this last stretch, but can’t help working every bit I can, I suppose it’s nature of the beast, so best I get on with it.
Keep those messages coming every one…I’m getting ever single one, loud and clear, thanks.