Montreal’s support team, led by Mylene Paquette
This is your rower here, soon to be cyclist and kayaker again. Soon to be home. Home! I haven’t been home properly for 18 months and have a lot of hugs in store for friends and family and team, and my baby nephew, whom I am yet to meet. Lucy and I fly from Montreal tonight after a magic and gentle couple of days doing nothing very much besides some exped admin and, for me, enjoying as much fresh fruit as I can eat.
Lovely Mylene and Carol practising their banner placements
If I had to come ashore on this side of the Atlantic then there is no better place. My good friend and sister of the waves Mylene Paquette lives here and so has hosted us and been Chief Liaiser/Fixer/Translator etc etc. Another wonderful friend from Cape Cod, Carol Penfield, drove for 10 hours to surprise me as I stepped off the boat, bringing with her bags full of cakes, presents and greetings from my Chatham supporters. To be with folks I know and love and who understand a little of the journey and waves is like a warm bath – gentle, supportive and nourishing.
Possibly the squeeziest hug in the world after 5 months apart.
Everything feels a bit surreal right now. It is as though a part of me is still on the ocean with Happy Socks, rowing, rowing, rowing….and I am in some parallel universe. To have left the ocean so quickly and then be on shore within a week is rather a lot to process, especially without my dear little white boat. I am trying to keep it all contained until we finish back under Tower Bridge and I have time and space to reflect. Hooray for adrenaline.
Captain Gupta and myself on the bridge of Federal Oshima
Plans are evolving apace for the final legs of cycling and kayaking in the UK. Led by Project Manager Sara Davies and PR Chief Jenny Ellery, it is all coming together nicely, with input and support from various external parties. We are all excited for cherishing these final miles of the journey and getting under Tower Bridge on November 3rd, and grateful to everyone helping make it happen.
The crew of Federal Oshima
Big thank yous to Suzanne and Marc from local agents FedNav for arranging the legalities; the Customs chaps for coming out to St Lambert Lock to sign me in; Erin and Tibo and Christopher for coming to wave; Evelyn, Laurence and Loic for cheering and pictures; Marysol for filming and smiles; Carol for being the Cape Cod Messenger and Hug Deliverer (and the senders for all the warmth and support); Mylene for everything.
A special thanks to Captain Gupta and crew of Federal Oshima for their assistance in the Atlantic and welcome onboard during my week at sea. The Indian cuisine was some of the best food on my entire L2L journey…
We look forward to posting details and updates of these final legs as things draw closer.
A final thanks to you – my online family of supporters for all the messages and good energy you have put our way.
Sarah and, in her absence, Happy Socks x
P.S Still marching towards our charity goals for CoppaFeel!, MND Association, WaterAid and Jubilee Sailing Trust. Please consider donating here. Thank you!
P.P.S We are looking to borrow/hire/get sponsored with 2 weeks of a motorhome hire for the final leg of the journey. Must be UK based, roughly Oxford/London area and to have had no animals inside. Any leads, please get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org