Chapter 2

I am still determined to trace that line back to London, via the North Pacific

So the journey continues… by boat. Rowing boat.

I am happy to say that my plan for the L2L journey is to return to the ocean and make a second attempt on the North Pacific.

There was a moment during Tropical Storm Mawar (or ‘Rosie’ as I had nicknamed it) in June when I thought I would come home and be a teacher. Safe, dry, tucked away from battering waves and the terrible washing machine simulation that Mawar was treating Gulliver and me to.

But even before the end of the storm I had already messaged Sara to say that, while I really wasn’t keen on going head to head with Tropical Storms, I was still in love with the ocean.  And I still am.  A recent kayaking trip round Mull with Justine confirmed that being on the blue stuff is still one of my most favourite things about this life.

Anyone who knows me knows that I would never have wanted to let ‘Rosie’ put an end to the L2L journey, but at first it was hard to see how to carry it on.

Which way?

With Gulliver adrift and not coming back, I had thought I would need to reinvent and rejig the route plan and order of things. A few different ideas were kicked around but, after speaking to lots of different people, they were all put aside in favour of continuing the journey in its original form. Row across the North Pacific to Canada, cycle across to the other side, row home across the North Atlantic, and make my way to Tower Bridge using Nelson, Hercules and a rowing boat.

I am aiming for the 2013 season and shall leave from Choshi, Japan once more.

What lies ahead….

In the meantime, my focus is on planning and preparation across all areas of the campaign – funding, training, logistics, kit preparation, mental preparation, team building. My experience with ‘Rosie’ taught me a lot, so it is with this extra knowledge and  perspective that the boat and I will be readied for the next attempt. Lessons from Charlie Martell and his boat Blossom (also heavily damaged by Mawar) will also be important. More on the boat in due course…

So, here’s to the next chapter and to London once more… To the ocean, to the other side, to the journey; to smashing the £100K target for the charities and connecting up with even more school children and classrooms all over the world.

As ever, everyone is invited to join the journey and share in the highs and lows and everything in between. If this continuation of the journey does one thing, I hope it inspires people to get out and about and take on their own adventures and challenges. Just watch out for typhoons on the way!

Thanks for your understanding my radio silence recently. It has taken a while to adjust to being home, find my bounce again and figure out some more details to the plan. I am glad to have been so well supported by friends and family, my team and sponsors and feel happy to have the renewed focus and goal. Thank you.

Bring. It. On.

Sarah x

PS

Now that I am ‘off expedition’ for seven months I am available for talks – do get in touch if you would like to find out about me joining your event. press@sarahouten.com

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42 Responses to Chapter 2

  1. ricardo diniz says:

    proud of u. Welcome back :)
    (maybe Gulliver will show up…)

  2. Scott Lockwood says:

    Just want you to know you do continue to inspire. At the age of 62 I competed in the first ever Epic Shore to Shore Kayak Race on Flathead Lake as a fundraising event for First Descents. I paddled a respectable 1 hr 56 min for the 10 mile course. I can just maybe begin to understand the allure of true adventurers like you. good Luck!

  3. Sarah,
    You know your fans would still love you no matter what you chose to do next. Happy that you want to keep rowing, but above all stay safe. Good luck with your preparations.

    Paul

  4. Terry says:

    This is fantastic news!!

  5. Ken Purcell says:

    Keep up all your adventure and good ideas. All good things in their time!

  6. Alan Thomas says:

    YAY YAY
    Knew you would go for it
    So proud to say we are your friends
    Pob Lwc / good luck

    Alan and dawn

  7. Stella says:

    What fantastic news to wake up to! Good luck Sarah – you have been a complete inspiration to me to get off my backside and go out there and make the most of life and all it can offer rather than let it wash past me, which I have done for far too long. I will always be grateful to you for that! Right, I’m off to pack for a kayaking weekend, for the first time in 11 years…….. :)

  8. June Bibby says:

    My dear Sarah, I am so glad you have decided to ‘carry on’. You are one plucky girl
    and with your spirit of adventure such an inspiration to the youth of today.
    Every good wish, June

  9. Will Unwin says:

    About time lol… Knew you wouldn’t be able to resist!! Can’t wait. This time you will succeed… :)))

  10. Poul Brix says:

    Fantastic Sarah, I had a strong feeling you were not finished with L2L just yet ;-)
    You’re a fantastic inspiration.
    I wish you fair winds and safe onwards travel
    x

  11. Linda of Bunbury WA Australia says:

    Thank goodness you are irrepressable!!! You do inspire me so. Good luck with all the plans. I look forward to reading and thinking about adventures to come.

  12. sota says:

    Its great thing to continue.
    Your challenge was on Yahoo news few days.
    And many japanese people are big fun of you.

    But please take Accompaniment ship with you.
    Coast guards spend more than 80years of my tax for you last time.

  13. Robert Douglas (Gamebook Writer) says:

    Hi Sarah,

    That’s great news about your resuming the ‘Great Crossing’! Let’s hope – this time around – the Pacific is kinder to you. I’m also glad ‘Rosie’ hasn’t dampened your sea-faring spirits (although a little trepidation is understandably human).

    Here’s to a new start in 2013! :)

  14. mike says:

    Thanks very much Sarah for your update. I wish you well in your future adventures.
    Your efforts and experiences ,, which have you allowed us all to share,
    have been a continuous source of inspiration to everyone.
    Even proving that the cruellest of blows can be overcome, when you
    show grit , focus and courage ,mixed with a healthy dose of humour.

    Take care -Love Mike

  15. Jill Lewis says:

    fantastic news Sarah. Good on you.

  16. Jim Robinson says:

    Heard of your journey several months ago and was reading your posts from the start as ‘Rosie’ was barreling down upon you. Why am I not the least bit surprised to hear of your continuing commitment to your quest? Sure, in the middle of it, a dry land teaching position would sound most appealing but given some time away for reflection there could be no other choice for you but to press on. One of Murphy’s Laws states: “When all is said and done, more is said than done.” Thank you for digging a deep hole and burying that.

    Safe journeys to you, always. Jim

  17. Sasha says:

    Great news Sarah! I knew you will be back.
    You are strong and you do inspire me to go forward with my little land issues :)

    All the best!

  18. Ray Girard says:

    Your decision shows us that you are conquering fear, and since it only exists in the mind, you are showing us, again, how strong your mind is. How can any obstruction stand in the way of that? It is already a ‘done deal’.

    I hope we all learn a little from that.

    Langley, BC, CANADA

  19. Tony F says:

    Hi Sarah!
    Really pleased that you are not giving in, but worried for you too.

  20. TERRY B says:

    Hi, Long time no comment,have been a follower since MARITUS , watching your progress ,very sorry about
    your hold up with the nasty nature , All that has been on the sea for time knows how it turns from tranquility to very ferocious.. No doubt you,ll will bounce back up and be on with your journey again Sooner the better for us followers .Keep that smile and chin up as we are all with you.
    Happy to have you back on line with us all
    TERRY B AUSSIE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  21. Bruce Ellen says:

    Hi Sarah
    I never deleted your page and have been waiting to hear from you hoping that you would not give in
    and am glad that you have decided to regroup and continue.
    Hope the next time will be a better outcome but you have not but try.
    When do you plan to start again
    Looking forward to hearing more about your preperations and building your new boat
    Cheers from sunny Queensland
    Bruce

  22. I couldn’t think of a better use for spending my taxes – but then I’m not Japanese!

  23. john Globemasterone says:

    Great news Sarah.

  24. Sara O says:

    Go girl, massive respect for you and a huge inspiration, keep the dream alive.

  25. Rob Hart says:

    Great News Sarah. Thanks for keeping us up-to-date.

  26. Mihoko Kato says:

    Great news and amazing courage, Sarah!

    Any decision of yours would have been a right decision
    but as I compared your last blog entry with this one,
    I could tell you’ve overcome something to make that decision.

    Will be on your side.
    See you next year again!

  27. Graeme Joy says:

    What great news Sarah. I’m sure it has been a difficult decision in many ways, dealing with the recovery from the storm and the resulting changed state of the expedition. It’s not surprising to see you planning a successful completion to the journey!!

  28. Christine & Kathleen says:

    Great news Sarah to hear that you are going to continue, we will support you to the best we can in whatever way we can. What an inspiration you are to so many folks.

    Hope your planning and fund raising goes well and that all your sponsors will stay with you as before. We shall look forward to hearing how things continue.

    Take care for now and regards to your team.

    Christine & Kathleen

  29. Karel says:

    Great to hear Sarah,Karel

  30. Linda, Cambridge says:

    Good decision – can’t leave things half done. I hope the preparation comes together as seamlessly as possible.

  31. Gigi says:

    Never had any doubt!! Onward!!

    Blessings,
    Gigi in Virginia Beach

  32. Naoko says:

    Goooooood to hear that. Looking forward to seeing you in Japan!!!

  33. Jhessye says:

    Good day! I am so glad you are well Sarah. Been following since your crossing Asia on hercules. It’s a constant inspiration to transcend the ego and go further to exploring one self. That’s awesome that you just keep swimming. I am on my plans to bike to World Cup in 2014, the Humanmentum campaign. Thanks so much! And glad you are well. Cheers.

  34. Wonderful news Sarah – so proud of you. Can’t wait to follow the next phase of your amazing adventure.

  35. OK, Bonkers Girl!! ………I give up!! The “smacked bottom, locking the bedroom door, throwing away the key” idea, was never really an option was it? And, having slept in your bedroom recently (when you were in London- for which “Thank you!” ) , I realise that you could have , oh so easily climbed out of the window! so it wouldn’t have worked anyway!!
    What you are planning to do next , is something that you simply HAVE to do. If you don’t do it,you won’t be Sarah anymore, and that is unthinkable. I wish you all the very best and will be avidly following your progress.
    Good Luck Girl – go do it!! bed here for you in September if you need it!!
    Gxx

  36. EdwardoB from Colombia says:

    Great news Sarah, you have no idea of how you and your prodigic undertaking have inspired people on this side of the planet, I am 65 and an avid cyclist and kayaker, and since first hearing from your project, I have been doubling my usual mileage, not only me, but now my 18 year old daughter thinks you are very cool and has joined me and we are planning a cross country bike tour of USA for spring 2013, we where hopping to be able to at list see you in person during your bike crossing in north America.
    We are very happy to hear you will complete the journey next year and wish you the best.
    Edwardo & Angelina
    Cartagena, Colombia

  37. Andreas says:

    Dear Sarah,
    it is great news to read that you will go on with your journey. I am happy that you restart your dream and live it on. I am proud to follow you on the web! :)

    I wish you all the best!
    Andreas

  38. Roger says:

    Sarah,

    I don’t know why, but it gives me tremendous inspiration that you are continuing your journey despite all the obstacles. Your joy and enthusiasm throughout the difficult journey is exceptional. Wishing the best for you and your team on this next leg.

    Roger

  39. Aidan, Connor and Julie says:

    Fantastic news that the journey continues! Aidan sends his best and the below message.

    “Hoping that you won’t have any more typhoons the second time and I hope you have fun doing it all over again!”

    • Sarah says:

      Hello Team Hickey!

      Fingers crossed no typhoons. Aiden if you know anyone in the Typhoon Deterrent Agency, let them know to steer them away next season? Hoping all is good in Tokyo. S

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