Day 144 – Sub 200

199 nauticals to Adak

199 nauticals to Adak

My phone cast this evening (technically yesterday as I write this at 01:15) cut out after less than a minute I think, so I thought I’d quickly touch base with an email. Forgive spelling, grammar etc – it’s been a looooong day.

The goal today was to go sub 200 before I went to bed. I came in from rowing at quarter past midnight, having pulled us to 200 nautical miles from our waypoint at the western passage to Adak. In the last forty minutes we have drifted the final bit. We did it.

My back is screaming, my hands are curled as though bent round the oars and I only know my toes are on the end of my legs because I can see them. Although the southerly wind is warmer than if it were from the north, it is still chilly both within and without the cabin. Currently reading 11 degrees inside.

Chimpy has been pretty quiet the last few days, calm and chilled about this final push for the most part. Though some of that has been thanks to me telling him to sit tight until he’s needed. Tonight with the ‘Sub 200’ goal he was chattering away that we could row all night into the dawn and make the most of the waxing moon and gentle seas. I politely told him where to go and that we need to conserver our energy. After all, we still have 200 miles to go. And of course I was right. The final few hours and Chimpy just wanted to come inside and sleep and not sit at the oars with stiff back, full of knots and hands stuck in one position. ‘Just a few more miles Chimpy and we’ll be there….Come on Chimpers, let’s do a push for ten…and another…and…another?’ Now that we’re inside Chimpy has crashed and I am just doing final admin for the day. WE need another feed of something warm – perhaps a curry or mashed potato. I think I‘ve already earned 3 curries in the last 24hours. Delicious.

Night rower

Night rower

In other very happy looking-ahead-to-land news, Lucy is going to meet me in New York on the way home. Getting out to Adak is crazily expensive so we decided NYC would be a good half way home point. We’ll be staying with one of my sponsors from Accenture and I cannot wait.

Crazy and brilliant and a whole riot of things to think I might be on land by this time next week. Oh yes, and by the time you read this we will be half way home to London, having crossed the point at which East longitude becomes West. Massive sleepy happy tired satisfied grins.

Feels like we are red lining it. Just topping up enough food and sleep to keep things pushing hard to the end. Enough in the tank for the final couple of days which will be the maddest and most demanding of all and emptying it enough to know there is nothing more I can do. And enough to keep us alert and thinking clearly. Landing will be our biggest challenge to date.

Meanwhile, please pass the story on – the more followers we have, the more people we inspire, the more donations we collect for our L2L charities. And if you have any U.S media contacts who you think would be interested in hearing more, do please pass them on to Jenny via

Thanks folks. Let’s row this little boat home. Keep the great messages coming – we need every bit of support we can.

Sarah, Happy Socks and Chimpy x



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22 Responses to Day 144 – Sub 200

  1. Christine & Kathleen says:

    Hi Sarah

    Its great to hear things are going well for you, hope the last lot goes just as well. Your messages keep us lot going, what an achievement, it might have taken you a bit longer than you had planned since you left Tower Bridgae but just think over half way now. That’s a big milestone, no one can take this wonderful journey away from you. In your busy schedule once you get home you will certainly have to do another book. You will certainly deserve the red carpet royal treatment.

    Take care for now and Happy Rowing

    Much love

    C & K

  2. Gigi Walentiny says:

    A week…oh my goodness…A WEEK you say!! No wonder Chimpy was nattering at you!! And to know that Lucy will be awaiting you in NYC is such wonderful news!

    So it’s all come down to this! Stay strong. Stay focused. Stay healthy. Stay rested. Stay hydrated. Stay nourished. And above all – STAY SAFE!

    You, Happy Socks and the cheeky Chimpy take good care of one another out there!

    Rooting and cheering for you in this final push!

    ~Gigi in Virginia Beach

  3. Lucy says:

    I read twitters and comments out to Sarah on the phone and her mum sends them by email too and it is such a boost and motivation for her to hear all these lovely things. It really sets her up for the day and picks her up out of a low moment – so thank you everyone! keep them coming 🙂 – she is so chuffed at having such an awesome crowd behind her.

  4. virgil l funderburk says:

    You can do it, almost there. as you say : ticking off the miles in the chart.

  5. Vladimir Bychkov says:

    Hi Sarah,

    It is great to hear that you are closing on the landing. Stay focused and you will be rewarded for all your amazing persistence!

  6. Sarah Benson says:

    Hi Sarah – go girl! You are one amazing lady and inspirational to so many. We are with you every minute of this last week till land!

    Best wishes from Faringdon Rotary Club

  7. Approaching the final furlong now… It’s great that you’re back in the west and across the date line. Amazing to think that it could soon be ‘land ahoy!’ Go Sarah! Go, go, go Happy Socks 🙂 We’re rooting for you all the way…

  8. Linda, Cambridge says:

    So exciting – possibly less than a week until you land – AND you’re now half way through the whole trip! Lots of congratulations in order. Am in much admiration of your courage, sense of humour, knowledge of self and resolve. As others have said – stay strong, stay focused, and above all stay safe.

  9. Pete Mac says:

    Not long now Sarah, hope the miles fly by and you arrive safely at Adak soon, for a well earned break for the winter. Pete Mac, Sian and the girls, Nell & Tara.

  10. Michael Pearce says:

    Hi Sarah,
    I would like to dedicate the following song to you and it is “Sailin’ Home by Demis Roussos. Substitute rowing for sailing. Remember you when you did the Australia to Mauritius crossing. Keep it up and good luck in the future. By the way will you be doing a polo shirt again? Mike.

  11. Ollie jay says:

    Hi Sarah,
    Great to hear the end of your current row is in sight, what a fantastic achievement. Make sure you stay strong for the row in and we are all hoping the weather stays for you to get on land safely.
    Take care

  12. Amy Bryant says:

    Half-way across the world – AWESOME SARAH!!! Keep setting yourself goals and the miles will creep down with every set of ten strokes and every slide of the seat. If we could send warm weather, a cosy blanket and a hamper of hot meals through this blog, you’d be inundated with curries and fry-ups!
    Do you know when you will start to see land? How far away might you begin to see your approach to Adak?
    I hope the antibiotics did the trick, too, or as much as possible when you’re pretty much running on empty.
    Row hard and you’ll soon be there Sare, keep it up xxxxxx

  13. Bruce Ellen says:

    Hi Sarah.
    You have made the halfway mark [ remember all those records that you broke on the way ]. The times
    past a quarter of the way ,The times past the third of the way mark. Congratulations.

    Safe rowing, take care and I hope the local people look after you
    Bruce from sunny Queensland

  14. Klaus Schatt says:

    Hi dear Sarah, as I saw (actually I am following your great experiences since Perth) you cracked the datum line few hours ago. Absolutely great. Keep on your lucky trip. Since now its down hill back to London
    Viele Grüße

  15. Susie Hewson says:

    Now’s the time to stay fuelled and focussed and Chimpy will need to get ready for the landing chatter….as we sit in our cosy rooms, it is astonishing that we all feel we are right there with you, pulling against the might of the ocean, ignoring the rumblings of hunger and thirst, shivering against the cold and damp, just to get a few more miles out of that perfect rowing weather – it must be crowded in there right now 🙂 and when you eventually come to sight the landing point, thousands of us will be waving and jumping to greet you and Happy Socks
    (yes and Chimpy……!) Go SISTER xxx Susie

  16. judy burdett says:

    Chimpy, Happy Socks and Sarah are roaring away! Can’t believe you’re nearly back to dry land – what an achievement! Congratulations to you all. Keep rowing and focused, but we know that’s a given! You’re just one amazing lady, so inspirational, any problems here become so small compared to those you have overcome on that mighty ocean.
    Almost there, keep earning those curries and watch out Adak, here we come!

  17. Team Tony says:

    Hey Dora, congrats on the half way mark, fantastic performance. I know that you are gritting your teeth for this last push before a well earned rest and pampering. Bris is behind you – c’mon my babber! Tx

  18. Heather and Cameron says:

    Hi Sarah. Get some well earned rest, enjoy that curry and put Chimpy to bed! You are nearly there, you, Happy Socks and Chimpy can and will do it! Wow! what a reunion in NYC with Lucy to come. Safe rowing
    Love and hugs, Heather and Cameron, Sarah says hi too.

  19. Paul says:

    Your team has probably picked this up already searching for you on google now picks up a huffington post article about your approach to Alaska. Fame indeed!! Keep on keeping on. Hoping for another inspiring & humbling talk at RGS in London during your “shore leave”
    All the best

  20. John Twigg says:

    Hi Sarah

    This is my first post on any blog. I have followed your progress every day since Tower Bridge constantly refreshing for the next blue dot. You have inspired me to get up and get on with fitness and I have gone from couch potato to running 6k every other day. My mantra during the hard times is “what would Sarah do” and that gets me to the finishing line. I am feeling great because of YOU, you are a true inspiration.

    Be careful not to get complacent as there is often a sting in the tail, run through the line and then relax. Keep strong, keep fed and stay happy. Your next stage looks fantastic on Google Earth, I can only imagine how it will look in real life. Good luck.

    • Mel Johnson says:

      Hi John,
      Thanks for your post and well done for taking up and sticking at running, I know it’s not an easy thing to do. Sarah inspires in many ways and it is fantastic to hear of real stories. Fingers crossed she will be on dry land in the next few days and can take stock of all she has achieved. Mel (L2L team).

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