Day 26 – Tears and sweetcorn

Day 26 – Tears and sweetcorn

For a few days there have been some wobbly lip moments that wandered off by themselves until today when, happily, we had the first tears of the Pacific (this year-obviously I gave the Pacific a few last year when Rosie came to play). I say happily because after a blubbering and reading a couple of the ‘Pick Me Up’ letters from friends I felt much better. This morning I had felt absolutely empty of energy after pulling in the sea anchor and struggled to eat much – most things just made me feel sick. Cue tears, letters and a few hours of sweet, sound sleep and I woke feeling refreshed. The sound bit of the sleep is important – for the last week and a bit my sleep hasn’t felt very restful as I have been having weird and unpleasant dreams, often waking up in a bit of a pickle not knowing where I am or what is real or not. But today, finally, I had a few hours sleep with a pretty neutral dream. Hopefully the rest will realise they are not wanted and wander off too.

A day in the fog - here with our greatest visibility.

A day in the fog – here with our greatest visibility.


For the last 30 hours or so we have had thick fog – turning our little patch of the Pacific an eerie white. Rowing this afternoon felt like being in a sauna, albeit not a toasty warm one. It meant that I came in with crinkled toes and hands – everything damp with the fine mist of the day. It is really disorientating having a world painted in whites and greys, not to mention a bit unnerving too. I looked round more than normal to check for ships and kept popping inside to check my chartplotter for other shipping showing up via the AIS (Automatic ID system). It is on days like this that I am reminded just how much I enjoy and appreciate the sun – it’s warmth, predictability and the way it makes colours so vibrant and warm. On my solo travels, the sun and moon are like friends – I greet them and talk to them and feel secure with them beside me.


Sun, I love you. Please come back soon.

Sun, I love you. Please come back soon.

Happily, I end the day a much perkier rower than the one that cried her eyes out this morning. Wobbles are normal and healthy and so long as I don’t descend under cloud that won’t move, all will be well. Being solo makes the wobbles all the wilder, but thankfully my months and months of solo’ing over the last four years has given me some pretty good tricks to climbing up out of them and an acceptance of them. I let them do their thing and then move them on. One of the tricks I learned on the Indian in ’09 was to make a list of ‘Good Things About Today’ and I am happy that today, top of my list, is ‘I cried – it felt good’. In at Number 2 is a tin of sweetcorn. And the third and final one is my lovely friends, their smiling faces, cards and trinkets here in my cabin reminding me of good times together and the parties ahead . You rock my Happy Socks and I hope you know it.


A huggable soup - happy days

A huggable soup – happy days

All salty best,


Sarah and Happy Socks x




Mrs Butler’s Geography class – Orwell Park School – Great to hear you are following the journey. Do shout for an phonecall via and I’ll tell you all about life at sea.


Xtina Watts – Really really hoping for balloons and birthday bunting in my presents bag! I have the lovely Happy Socks bunting that Mum made, nonetheless. Indeed, third birthday alone at sea. Next year the Atlantic…


Alan Hind – Racking my brain to think of Monty Python and albatrosses. For MP and birds I can only think of the sparrows sketch…


Ray Girard – Thanks indeed. Lets hope Dr Doolittle delivers. Top of my list for this journey is a whale shark, closely followed by a blue whale.


Bruce Ellen – I have lots of video footage of the rough stuff – of everything in fact – but cannot send it from out here. You have to wait until the other side J

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15 Responses to Day 26 – Tears and sweetcorn

  1. Hang tough Sarah.

    All natural feelings and the clouds will move with your strong mindedness!

    Keep safe both of you


  2. Emma says:

    Aww glad you’re feeling better now! And I love the idea of writing a list of ‘Good Thing About Today’, I will have to try that one (so there’s another one for your list, you’ve helped someone out!) Keep at it Sarah!! Xx

  3. Brian Churchill says:

    Glad your doing ok , when the fog descends it must feel awfully weird, you are an inspiration to lots and lots of people just following you on twitter is an experience. Today is a good day best wishes and when it hurts just keep going

  4. Team Tony says:

    Keep your chin up, Dora – you are a strong, incredible woman, winning over the Pacific stroke by stroke. All best wishes from the whole of Bristle xx

  5. Tom Cibulskas says:

    Hi Sarah,

    Just wanted to let you know that I’m keeping track of your journey and enjoy reading your blog posts when facebook reminds me about them. Keep going !


  6. Christine & Kathleen says:

    Hello Sarah

    What can we say, you are so brave and you put us all to shame, its understandable that you are going to get some tears but we are so glad that you are feeling better now. I agree with you about the sleep too.

    You will be fine, how many nautical miles is it to Canada, having got the first of many milestones behind you, you are such a credit. Wish I could fly in with some party things for your birthday but a bottle of bubbly will be waiting for you in due course.

    As before when you were on your Indian trip, I suggested everyone make a donation to your funds in lieu of your birthday presents for the time being, perhaps others will follow suit and help boost your total a little bit. We shall over the next couple of days.

    You take care and Happy Rowing in “Happy Socks”

    Much love

    C & K

  7. Janice Small says:

    Hi Sarah, a good cry is wonderful isn’t it, helps relieve tensions and stress. Glad you feel the better for it and not too proud to admit it. Your unwelcome dreams are a strange one, have you had them on previous trips. Keep strong Sarah, the sun and moon will return to speed you along.
    All the best

  8. Shelagh says:

    You are absolutely right about the positive therapeutic effects of a good cry. Glad you are feeling better and as trite as it may sound, sometimes one needs the low points in order to really appreciate the high points. Let’s hope the sun returns soon! Keep up the great work, Sarah….you inspire us all!

  9. Linda, Cambridge says:

    Crying is the best way of relieving stress that I know, and followed by a good sleep – well, you can’t beat it. You must feel renewed and cleansed! Here’s hoping the sun will shine on you and Happy Socks, that the winds and the currents will be kind and that the birds and animals will continue to be around you. Keep strong. Happy rowing (when you can!).

  10. Tari says:

    Did you know I cried my eyes out last weekend in Nikko over a symbolic ‘croissant’? I did. I will tell u why in an email later. It felt good. Crying is good and it empties all that is holed up inside. Sending you a hug in the fog!

  11. Bruce Ellen says:

    Hi Sarah.

    You are going well,going in the right direction and have not gone backwards like last year.
    Pity that you cannot row in a straight line and take a short cut.
    Glad that you have got over your low and to talk about your feelings. [ It is another side
    of the challenge that I have never appreciated ].
    Could your blogs include distance from Toyoko and distance to Canada or the nearest point
    of America or some other way point [ how about a contest to name your landfall with a $ 10.00 entry fee or
    you dont show a photo of your hair until you have raised $ 1,000.00. ]. the people would have to be quick
    to donate as you will not be out there long.
    Stay safe and keep rowing
    Bruce from sunny Queensland

  12. Amz says:

    Your blue-dotted yellow line is looking really impressive Sare – great progress, and great to hear that a tearful morning ended with a peaceful rest and happy thoughts. I’m still running, and always think of you and your encouragement, through Uni Parks, as I slog it up hills (latterly in a blustery local 10k) and through pain barriers. Inspiration is an understatement.

    Let us know if you are in need of any poetry through the blogs!

    Keep those happy lists going and make each entry spur you on for another 20, 50, 100 strokes. And I hope the sun puts his hat on soon!


  13. Bruce Ellen says:

    Hi Sarah

    Please delete my request for distance from Toyoko and Canada as the
    information is on the distance traveled.[ another horizon comming up soon ]
    Heres to the duck and I hope he / she does not have to swim.

    Bruce from sunny Queensland

  14. Well done Sarah, you will inspire many people with your words. Here we are in Brittany, complaining about the weather, the cold, raining today and very windy. But what of it – we can go out, do anything we want to – unlike you, in Happy Socks – only able to move about over a few feet of space, or those poor people in Oklahoma who have lost loved ones and their homes, what have we to complain about! We have it so good! At the same time Robert and I think of you out there on your own, in that vast ocean – that would be ‘my’ worst nightmare! So keep looking forward – how many n miles to Canada? I seem to remember that the whole trip is about 4,500 nm ? So you must be nearly half way? Won’t be long …………………………….. you will be stepping ashore … 🙂 XX

  15. One lovely way to help with a good sleep is to eat some wild mountain honey 100% raw and uncooked honey from the bees. Very good for the liver too. Wonder if you have a few jars hidden aboard Happy Socks? Cheers to an exciting weekend in Monaco and Indianapolis!

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