Day 146 – The unforgiving minute

Adak here we come!

Adak here we come!


One of my favourite poems is Kipling’s ‘If’. And those final lines of filling the ‘unforgiving minute with sixty seconds worth of distance run’, twisting ‘heart and nerve and sinew to serve their turn long after they are gone’ seem especially fitting right now. Though for us it is the final days of unforgiving distance.

Coming in from rowing tonight – a very misty night – we have 128 miles to our waypoint at the western entrance to Adak island.

I am pretty zonked, totally stoked with adrenaline and excitement and chuffed to bits to have had two whales visit us today. Or we visted them when we nearly rowed into them. It is always humbling to be right alongside something so huge and peaceable and powerful, each of us as curious about the other.

Tony and James should now be somewhere over the Atlantic en route to our patch of the Pacific.

For now I am going to sleep. When I mentioned in a tweet earlier that I had started hallucinating and getting mad weird dreams Briony messaged me IN CAPITALS to tell me I needed to get more sleep. Never one to disobey capitals, I am off to bed immediately after sending this to Luce to post, though the adrenaline is keeping me awake at times – that crazy situation of being dog tired but not being able to get to sleep when you want to and then at others falling asleep and sleeping longer than you want to.

It’s my goal to go sub 100 miles by the end of tomorrow, though as ever we will wait to see what the forecast brings. It is changing every day at the moment – thankfully nothing nasty as yet. Fingers crossed.

Sarah, Happy Socks and Chimpy x

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18 Responses to Day 146 – The unforgiving minute

  1. Karel says:

    Sarah put a check mark next to wind and check it out if its like the real wind in your area

  2. Tari says:

    Go to sleep and row again tomorrow. The second you put notice you are sub 100, I am putting my next donation!


  3. Shelagh says:

    I’m very excited for you as well as you near Adak Island. Sleep well, row strongly and keep safe.

  4. Amz says:

    The map graphic is so cool! I hope that you can get lots of sleep (while at the same time I’m itching for your next update!)
    Fill us in as soon as you’re able, and may the miles keep dropping when you’re off the oars.

  5. Linda, Cambridge says:

    Yes, sleep and food totally necessary – you’ll need your wits about you as you get nearer to ADAK!

  6. Holly says:

    It IS my favourite poem…. yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it 🙂

    Keep meeting whales, I hear they’re pretty cool, row hard when possible, rest up when not and the remaining few will fly in!x

  7. christina watts says:

    bringing back memories of the time you stepped off Serendipity ~ onto land in Mauritius with pizza chocolates etc and a steady hand to let you meet us all … not long now Sarah ~ you know you can do it, just get that rest and it won’t be long Txxx

  8. Stephen from Wisconsin says:

    What a feeling it will be to see land, at last. And then see people, friends, soon after. So much emotion all bottle up and ready to pop like a bottle of champagne. Please stay focused as you negotiate through the passage. Hold the cork down until safely at port.

  9. geoff says:

    Seems you’re doing really great Sarah. Be your best for the last 100.

    Big hug.


  10. Donald says:

    Right harbour is close. Remember your experience, no crash landings this time. Make land in daylight with the right sea conditions.Think, plan, an hour or two delay can make a big difference.

  11. Phil in China says:

    Hi Sarah

    Over past months we have seen your courage, your strength of character, your determination, your emotional ups and downs, and of course your physical strength ….. now it is time to let us see your self control and intelligence.

    Keep calm and use all of your intelligence, wit and guile to reach Adak safely – then you can explode and run around naked in the snow …. but you have to get there safely. Listen to all of your team and to your inner voice….

    Take care over these next few days … £200 from me if you make it to Adak !!

  12. Richard Adams says:

    Good to read your letter in the Rutland Times this morning. Your fellow Rutlanders at the Oakham Memorial Institute and the Rutland Trust send their best wishes for a safe landing,

  13. Great going Sarah!
    Although it must be difficult to keep the adrenaline at bay I guess it’s more important not to burn out… so resting would be a priority (sleep deprivation can be a nightmate, remember!).

    Here’s to sub 100!

  14. Bruce Ellen says:

    Hi Sarah
    You are on a roll.
    Your heading in the right direction.
    But please take care when landing.
    Hope the locals can help you.

    Cheers from sunny Queensland.

  15. Allan and Jill Peterson says:

    Rest and be strong for the final 100. The first line of your favorite poem is ” If you can keep your head when all about you ..” so listen to your team. We wish you fair winds and a following seas.

  16. Ray Girard says:

    Don’t let these moments go by too fast. They are precious!

  17. Immagine being out there on the high seas – rowing like mad and suddenly coming on two whales!!! Sarah, although I keep saying it would be my worst nightmare to be where you are, but I do envy you the wonderful experiences you are having! Safe trip and soon to land.
    Pamela and Robert

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