In which Tigger bounces patiently

‘A man who is not afraid of the sea will soon be drowned, he said, for he will be going out on a day he shouldn’t.

 But we do be afraid of the sea, and we do only be drownded now and again.’

John Millington Synge – ‘The Aran Islands’ (1907)

I was happy to be on shore last week

The weather continues to do its changeable thing out here in Japan and Gulliver and I continue to wait for the right opportunity to push out east. Fellow ocean rower Charlie Martell slipped out from Choshi Marina yesterday morning in Gulliver’s sister boat ‘Blossom’ on his North Pacific rowing bid, but we stayed on land and waited. I am glad, too – after a cracking start yesterday Charlie and Blossom have had a rough second day in big swells, confined to the cabin on the sea anchor and feeling rather sick. Do head over to Pacific2012 and send them a hello and good wishes. Charlie and I shared beers and pizza in Choshi on a couple of nights and swapped tales of the sea, our hopes and fears for the journey ahead. Charlie has already seen whales, so I am happy he has been welcomed by the waves and look forward to following on soon.

After standing down last Sunday I headed away from the coast with friends to decompress – the emotion of getting ready to go and calling it off at last minute with the storm forecast was exhausting. Midweek and we headed back to Choshi to wait for a chance to go. As predicted, the storm raged and impressed us all with the raw power with which it battered the coast, hurling spume and spray ashore and turning the seascape to hues of wild grey. I love watching the ocean on days like that, preferably from ashore, tucked up and safe. With no stable window presenting itself for a while longer yet, I have come back away from the coast again to stay with the aforementioned friends. Tari, Tracy, Kelly, Kaz and Mike – thank you. Currently Lee predicts the 14 – 17th May is offering a good stable window and the most comfortable departure opportunity. We are keen to choose the optimum gap in the weather so that I can settle in to sealife quickly, safely and as comfortably as possible.

With Hercules-the-carthorse at home in the UK, I am excited to be trying out a speedy racing bike!

Mostly I am calm about being on land still, knowing that it is the safest option and that these things can’t be rushed.  Yet the impatient Tigger-like side of me is bouncing to get started, raring to go. My head is ready, Gulliver is ready. Space away from the boat and the sea is a good thing – I can distract myself with bikes and resting. There will be little opportunity for either once we get started.

Thanks for all the messages of support from all corners of the globe. It is wonderful and humbling to know that this journey is a shared one. With that in mind, if you could all face east and blow with all your might, the Tigger in me would be super happy.

For now, all best from out here.

Sarah and Gulliver x

PS Thanks to everyone who has donated to the charities lately. We have smashed £10,000 already. I wonder if we could hit £11,000 before I go next week? To donate your pennies and pounds please click here

PPS Thanks to John Bartlett for sending me the Synge quote. I have now downloaded ‘The Aran Islands’ to read on the boat

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12 Responses to In which Tigger bounces patiently

  1. peter douglas says:

    hi sarah good luck and best wishes for the journey, i’m a 56 year old cyclist, surfer, bricklayer and ocean lover who is coming to terms with the fact that i will now never have the adventures that you are going to have ,with age i have downgraded my expectations and will now have these exciting tmes vicariously through people lik you. following you on twitter, be brave. try to get a book called ice be tristan jones, what a man. look forward to your blogs. weathers rubbish in london as well.

  2. Dennis Davidson says:

    I heard that the prevailing trade winds are expected to diminish over the next few months due to La Nina subsiding. Perhaps a period of calm coming over the Pacific. That might be nice…dunno really as I am a land lubber.

    Dennis Davidson

  3. Libby Craig says:

    Thinking of you Sarah on this bright sunny day – at last warm Spring weather here in your home town.
    Stay calm and patient and we will keep blowing for you.
    Love from all at SJS.

  4. Rob Hart says:

    Thinking & praying. Wise, I think, to avoid the unsettled period. As you said, too much shipping out there to want to have to contend with the weather as well. Enjoy the “Freedom” while you can. Blessings Rob

  5. john Globemasterone says:

    Hi Sarah,
    I noted that a very rare tornado struck northeast of Tokyo on Sunday. WAITING IS GOOD !
    john, Bay of Quinte on Lake Ontario

  6. Ian Stokes says:

    Hi Sarah,
    Just a quick note to send best wishes.

  7. Tim Haldane says:

    I have blown east for you Sarah and I put my faith in the Butterfly Effect taking ahold of it for you x

  8. Justine says:

    I ate baked beans just for you, and aimed my wind eastwards! 🙂

  9. Gigi says:

    While I know you’re eager to get going…err…rowing (!), I’m happy you have a few more days to stretch your legs and enjoy the company of friends!

    Va. Beach, VA

  10. Helen Outen says:

    Enjoy the freedom of being able to stretch your legs and have a walk for a bit longer ………and maybe do a bit of cooking. I have emailed the recipes to you.
    Mum xxx

  11. Phil Harnett says:

    Hi Sarah

    I hope you managed to find a small space the package I sent you … the boat looks so small in the photos.
    Here in China we are desperately trying to get rid of the pollution in Beijing, so we are going to arrange a mass blow to the East on Sunday morning to help you on the way …. 15 million Beijingers should do it ha ha!

    As for famous quotes my favourite is by WC Fields who stated ” I never drink anything stronger than Gin before breakfast” … it has always served me well in my life. By the way – have you got a bottle to throw overboard at the date line – I think it is a tradition ??

    Safe journey !!

    • Sarah says:

      Hi Phil,

      Indeed, the mp3 player and headphones are safely tucked away ready for stormy nights or cabin days. Thanks again for that .

      WIshing you and Michelle all best. See you on the other side!

      PS Yes, plenty of offerings in the drinks cabinet…

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