Blog

Welcome to my blog, where I share all the stories from my L2L expedition as I row, cycle and kayak a continuous loop of the planet. I hope you'll enjoy experiencing the highs (and lows!) of my journey so far and the adventures ahead on my way back to Tower Bridge. You can also have a listen to my Phonecasts recorded en route.

Phonecast: Day 105

Catch up on news from the cabin bound rower…
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Day 100 – To my team

It’s Day 100 out here on the Atlantic. Hopefully, from this point there will be fewer than 100 days to the end of the expedition – to Tower Bridge, to home. These are the closing months of a journey which has taken over five years to plan and pursue, and three attempts to get this far. I won’t say complete as we all know it’s never over until it’s over. Until I have stepped ashore and hugged my family, hugged my team, will we be able to say that we’ve done it.

Laundry day

Laundry day

We is really important here. Because this has been a team effort from the start. I am just the engine and the one who gets the sweatiest. With me, metaphorically or in person, are a team of brilliant people, most of whom I didn’t even know before L2L, all fulfilling different roles and supporting me in some way. They manage, they train, they advise, they liaise, they listen, they guide, they activate, they forecast and facilitate, they pick me up and help me through and fix me when I am broken, they make me laugh, they hug, they make me feel less alone and stronger in scary times and join in with the fist pumping and whooping in the good times. They are always there, wherever I am and wherever they are, even if we are not here together. I look forward to being together again in person, to celebrate what we have done and to look them in the eye with the biggest of Outen grins and hug them from the heart. I couldn’t have done any of this – or do the rest of it! – without them.

This side of the cabin has the elec & comms panel, photos & day tally, cuddly toys, camera gear, cooking locker, creams/ powders

This side of the cabin has the elec & comms panel, photos & day tally, cuddly toys, camera gear, cooking locker, creams/ powders

Their belief, their commitment, their support and good energy, in all corners of the globe, often at all hours of day and night.

So, to my kick-ass team on both sides of the Atlantic -  thankyou all for everything and sorry for the times I’ve made you sweat or swear our kept you awake into the wee hours. I’ll be home as soon as I can. And then we party!

This needs to say: 'They are awesome'

This needs to say: ‘They are awesome’

In other team news, we are very chuffed to welcome back Jenny Ellery to the team to steer the PR home.

Your rower,

Sarah x

P.s If you would like to celebrate my brilliant team or Day 100, please consider donating £5 to three L2L supported charities. You can do so by texting SARAH5 to 70500. P.p.s I am currently being pulled and blown backwards by adverse winds and currents. I am officially a Gulf Stream Denier.

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Ocean magic

Splash, splash, splash…..splash, splash, splash… I couldn’t work out what the new sound was when I opened the hatch onto the deck this morning. Part splash, part glug – I wondered if there was a (big) fish in the bilges or something hitting up at the boat from the water.

Meet Duracell

Meet Duracell

I knew I had petrels as I had heard them scratching about. They fly into the antennas at night, attracted by the light. A new moon or foggy night is the worst and I wince as I hear the twang of an antenna, followed by the soft thud(s) as the bird bounces down onto the deck or into the footwell. It can’t be much fun and I always pop outside to relaunch them if I am awake, their tiny bodies soft in my hand.

A bit soggy and flustered round the edges

A bit soggy and flustered round the edges

Given the numbers, I like to think that they each pass on stories about their time on board and how the Big Friendly Giant picked them up and put them out to sea again. Happy Socks is a chick magnet, of sorts.

This morning, on looking down into the foot well I saw three little petrels, one tucked into a corner and the other two doing the same in another corner, only one sitting on top of the other. Whether it was for warmth or dominance or love or the beginnings of a bird ladder – I don’t know. As I launched them all into the morning sunshine one at a time I could still hear splashing. I looked down into the liferaft cubby hole as bird #3 took flight and saw a bedraggled, struggling petrel stuck down between the liferaft and edge of its hole. Scooping the little fella up I could see his feathers weren’t taking him anywhere soon, so popped him on a towel and dabbled gently to help him dry, blowing onto his feathers like a human hair dryer of sorts. He was eager to get going so I launched him fifteen minutes later, only to watch him flap madly and fall straight into the water. There he stayed for half an hour, flapping up all his energy in vain, while I heaved in the sea anchor then rowed
back for him. It took a few loops before I got close enough to scoop him onboard in my fishing net and then put him on the towel again. I called him Duracell for his relentless effort and was very glad that after half an hour of drying in the sun, often with wings stretched out, and preening feathers back into proper alignment that Flight #2 worked. I wouldn’t normally interfere with wild animals and the course of nature, but in this instance I felt Happy Socks and I were responsible.

The happiest orange there ever was

The happiest orange there ever was

It is a wonderful opportunity for an up close biology lesson, watching how they move about on ‘land’, using wings and chin to grip and pull, and a chance to study their teeny webbed feet, tubed nose (for excreting salt) and feather structure. Less exciting is the morning routine of cleaning petrel poo and regurgitated fish bits from the deck.

Welcome to my world

Welcome to my world

In other animal poo news…. A pod of seven dolphins swam by today, doing a few laps of Happy Socks before losing interest. The water was so calm and bright that I thought it would be fun to get in with them to film. At that moment I noticed a trail of dolphin poo. I didn’t swim.

Another magical visit from these lovely dolphins, apart from their poo!

Another magical visit from these lovely dolphins, apart from their poo!

Back to the oars. It is slow going at the moment with easterly components in the wind.

Until next time,
Sarah and Happy Socks

P.S The dolphins asked me to ask you to text SARAH5 to 70500 to donate five squid to the L2L charities on their behalf. Thank you.

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Phonecast: Day 94

Share in Sarah’s thoughts about the future, here and nows

(Due to signal dropping, there are 2 phonecasts for day 94)

 

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Phonecasts: Day 85+86

Sorry for the delay in posting these, a few technical hitches but catch up on Sarah’s excitement here:

Day:85

Day: 86

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