A century at sea

Ahead of the century at sea – which will happen on Sunday, August 4th, I wanted to write about something very special.

One hundred days alone is quite a mind-boggling concept, even for me, mostly because days merge into one and, unless something major happened which caused me to write it up on the cabin wall, the past three and a bit months have merged into a seemless blur.

Day 22, 33 and 63 were all capsizing days and there is a big list of the 40 plus  days I have been on sea anchor. We passed Rosie HQ on day 14 and were 1000 miles from Japan on Day 25 after riding the Kuroshio express. On Day 58 we first crossed over 165E and have been back and forth over it a few times since. Likewise with 170 degrees East – by the time you read this blog I shall be on the ‘wrong’ side of it. Day 37 was the first fabulous ocean swim and day 50 was the less brilliant one in which I hurt my neck on account of the fish.

Every other day of the voyage but one is part of that blurry parade of days, memories perhaps distinct but days certainly not. Except Day 66, which was July 1st.

For on that day my life changed forever. As normal, I rang my girlfriend Lucy to wake her up in the morning and then I followed up with a second call a few hours later, words bursting out over my Iridium satellite phone. I asked Lucy to marry me – twice, because she didn’t hear me the first time – and with a whoop and a holler and lots of shrieking, she said yes.

Reason for a marker pen I hadn't anticipated when boat packing...

Reason for a marker pen I hadn’t anticipated when boat packing…

So for the last 30 odd days I have been the self-appointed happiest person on the Pacific, bubbling with excitement and spending many hours grinning and doing happy tears, sharing the news with family and friends.  I have also been doing my best to keep it secret from my blogs and tweets, while said nearest and dearest were told.

It is funny how life deals you surprises and you never can tell what – or who – is around the corner. I never imagined that my L2L story would turn into a love story or that I would ever get engaged while alone in a boat miles out to sea. As I said at Rosie HQ, I am grateful for her messing up our party last year, for everything it taught me and mostly for bringing me together with Luce. Both ladies have changed my life forever and for this I am a very, very happy rower.

Now, more than ever, I am keen for the cheeky east winds to go and play elsewhere, for my fiancée is waiting for me and we  cannot wait for the moment when she gets the go ahead to book her flight to Canada. Bring. It. On.

Sarah and Happy Socks x

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40 Responses to A century at sea

  1. h says:

    Such beautiful, exciting news!!! What an amazing journey you’re on. I guess you are living proof of the whole closed door/opened window saying. What you lost to Rosie, you made up for in the most wonderful way by finding the love of your life. Massive congratulations to you and Lucy.

  2. h says:

    (oddly, I seem to frequently be the first commenter, I swear I’m not stalking your blog :D)

  3. Stace says:

    Fantastic news congratulations 🙂
    May the winds and currents speed you on your way to Canada and back in to the arms fiancée.

    You truly are amazing person Sarah and a continued inspiration.

    Safe Journey


  4. Gigi Walentiny says:

    Everything…absolutely EVERYTHING for a reason!!

    Happy news, indeed! I think that is about the biggest grin I’ve ever seen – and I imagine Lucy is sporting its twin! Congratulations to the both of you! <3 <3

  5. ah says:

    Bravo, lady. A magnificent and strange world you’re in. Hardly another human is as seperated form humanity yet together with the world as it presents itself. Every bounce and nuance felt in your very bones and fears and joys. In such a world you tell a tale of existence between the life of the ocean and below the stars of the milkyway, joyful and ever hungry for the sweetness the world presents. An exemplar of our species in a new world that you yourself are bringing to light. There, in these moments, the world comes to be. We may not know how, but here they are again and again. I may not be one, but I love you life livers.


  6. Ray Girard says:

    Happy…………….so happy for you.
    Wonderful news.



  7. Les Brandt says:

    Congratulations!! and happy rowing! can’t quite fathom the idea of being in that little boat for 100 days and you still seem almost sane!! good luck and let’s get that wind to Canada! Cheers, Les

  8. Congratulations! Have you gone completely mad?

  9. Chris Nolan says:

    So glad to see that picture of a big ol’ smile! Happiness can make everything work so much better. Keep your positive attitude and hurry up and get to Canada!!

  10. Matt says:

    Fantastic news Sarah! What’s also amazing is that after so long at sea you sound more sane than the rest of us! Best wishes for swift wind and current to take you home to your beloved. 🙂

  11. Patrice Delanty says:

    Congratulations! While you are showing there is no limit to tthe human spirit, love is eternity still, and dwarfs even that seemingly endless ocean you are on! Congrats to you and Luce, and may the days and winds fly to bring you together in one place soon. 🙂 All the best!

  12. Margaret Ponsonby says:

    Congratulations. Keep that smile on your face and keep on rowing. Perhaps you can honeymoon in Scotland and visit Bute Womens’ kayak festival….there will be chocolate cake.


  13. jack heron says:

    Sinharitiria – that’s Greek for congratulations – from another, uh, unconventional navigator, albeit on a smaller pond, the Aegean. Kaloriziko kai kalo taxithi – good luck and a safe voyage…

  14. Katrina says:

    Congratulations Sarah. It’s great to see the excitement and happiness radiating from you! What a happy picture – love the ring. We all kayaked for a day yesterday along the Cypriot coast and tried to imagine we were you- such a long way from your reality I know!! Every day when I look out for your tweets constantly wonder where you find the bravery from. Is there an element of madness that allows you to do what you’re doing? Reading your book I wondered again and again how you manage the fear? One day I hope you will write another book and it will become clearer. Once again, huge congratulations. We will be willing you on to your destination and the arms of your fiancé.

  15. Mark Beaumont says:

    Lovely blog Sarah. So happy for you. Great to catch up as well and you sounded in great spirits. Hold Fast. Mark and Nicci

  16. Jean Stangroom says:

    Congratulations to you both ,A special day you will remember forever .

  17. Peg Peter says:

    Congratulations! So excited for you both!

  18. Linda, Cambridge says:

    Congratulations – fantastic news! Well done both of you. There will now be even more purpose to your rowing…

  19. Sandy says:

    Congratulations!! Happy to be following your story and wishing you well. Happy rowing! =)

  20. Angela Wheatley says:

    Congratulations to you both! What wonderful news! I’ve text your mum my congrats too – bet she’s on top of the world! My dad sends his love to you. My mum & your dad would be so very proud of you! Keep going stronger & stronger each & every day!

  21. Roz Savage says:

    Absolutely amazing news, Sarah – CONGRATULATIONS!! to you and Lucy. I wish you fair winds and following seas to speed you across to Vancouver asap so you can replace the marker pen engagement ring with something more official. Howard and I can’t wait to see you again – and meet Lucy – once you’re back on that thing you’ve probably almost forgotten about – terra firma! Much love, Roz x

  22. Corinne Schmidt says:

    Congratulations! I happened upon your saga purely by chance and have been silently following your tweets ever since. But this is wonderful news, and puts a whole ‘mother spin on your epic paddle. What fun! Best wishes to you and Lucy!

  23. Susie Hewson says:

    Well Sarah you are full of surprises but I have to say that on this one, we were way ahead of you on the guessing front. Such a lovely person needs lots of happiness in life and none more deserving than you – (and Lucy of course) HUGE CONGRATULATIONS to you both and may you have an enormous lifetime of happiness together – now can you stop crossing the same bit of Ocean you are making me sea sick just following the tracker (* xx Susie and all the Natracare SISTERS

  24. YATO says:

    HAPPY LIFE to both of you§ Congratulations

    YAN from Paris, FRANCE

  25. Elly says:

    Congratulations! That’s brilliant news! I love how things like this turn out, such a fun surprise! 🙂

  26. Shelagh says:

    Best smile EVER! Congratulations to you and Lucy! I am so happy for you both and hope that the next 100 days zips by with lots of following winds and currents and good rowing in the easterly direction so you can be together again ASAP. Sending lots of positive and happy thoughts to you both.

  27. Bruce says:

    Congrats, Sarah!!

  28. Sasha says:

    Congratulations Sarah and Lucy!!! 🙂

  29. Andrew and Judy Henderson says:

    Congratulations to you both! You look so happy. Vancouver Island ( Victoria ) might be an easier destination for your Pacific crossing, then kayak to Vancouver. Your tracker is followed enthusiastically from here. The undersea ridge visible on the map seems to be a long extension to the Hawaian chain of island. Does this cause changes to the surface currents which might explain some of the current variations you seem to be experiencing. Good fortune and again congratulations. Andrew and Judy.

  30. Averil Trott says:

    Many congratulations Sarah – let’s hope for some favourable winds and currents to bring you together again soon. Love Averil.

  31. Tony F says:


  32. Sally Angel says:

    Wishing you happy ever after this voyage is done!

  33. Efrat & Einat says:

    Dear Sarah,
    Such an outstanding person you are!
    What an inspiring way to take your life and raw/paddle/bicycling
    Your life, your love.
    So happy for the two of you, for finding one another
    (We just joined your blog this week)
    Efrat&Einat (kayaking in Israel )

  34. Christine & Kathleen says:

    Hi Sarah

    What lovely news, hope you and Lucy will be very happy together. Your mum will have had lots more practice for her floral arrangements by then too.

    Keep up the good work and hope the winds take you int he right direction now, Onward Canada. Never ceases what surprises you give us, a few days away from connecting to your bloghs and you never know what the next one is going to be.

    Much love for now

    C & K

  35. Belinda Dade says:

    Many CONGRATULATIONS Sarah and Lucy!

    With love from Belinda and Sarah (on holiday in Majorca for a few days!) xxxx

  36. hannah c says:

    Best blog entry ever?! Xx

  37. Godfolks says:

    Our fondest love and congratulations to you both – we cant wait to celebrate your engagement with you and Luce together but in the meantime don’t wash that hand of yours until you cant put on the real thing!! All our love xx

  38. Sarah Wilson says:

    wonderful news for a wonderful pair 🙂 Enjoy the glow…

  39. Just catching up with your great news – many congratulations Sarah! And it’s good to see Happy Socks surging in the right direction too 🙂

  40. L2balance says:

    Have been following your adventures for awhile. Just back from our piddly (compared to you) month long atlantic maritime bike tour adventure and was on the bus headed to work (here in Oakland California); read your news and for many reasons, it put a big smile on my face.My wife and I have had two weddings, one the wedding of the heart, the other in 2008 when California briefly allowed SS weddings. With all the current forward movement around marriage equality, what a time to celebrate. Thanks for sharing. Best wishes to you both, as you both set out on a together adventure.

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