Today I put the GoPro under the boat to photograph my downstairs neighbours – the Grannies. There were more than I had realised, but a sad omission, too. I couldn’t see a single Tweedle – my favourite Boat Fish of all time. (Read my book A Dip in the Ocean for more on The Tweedles) Still, whatever the colouring – spots or stripes – it is nice to know that I have pals below, even if the conversation is a bit one sided. Or maybe it’s not. Maybe I just can’t hear them or can’t speak the latest edition of Fishese. You just never can tell with fish.
It is a soothingly warm day, a gentle sea and sky contrasting with recent bouncy greys. The deck is strewn with drying bedding and a pile of clothes waiting for the laundry. My solar powered light is charging happily and so, too, is my battery, my soul.
I have just finished a call with Allington Primary School over my Iridium satellite phone, answering questions from youngsters as part of my work as an Ambassador with Inspire +. I smiled throughout and then grinned when they all shouted a huge GOOOOOOD LUUUUCK SAAAAAAARAAAAH! , blinking back the tears. My favourite question was, ‘ How do you feel right now? ‘ Calm. Content. Happy to be outside and on the phone to a school. A whale had harrumphed by noisily as I dialled the number. My fish friends were swarming alongside the boat and nipping out to check on bits of flotsam. The sun was shining. I almost got carried away in the moment, noticing all the good things about the moment. Another interesting question was, ‘ If you could change one thing, what would it be? ‘ I answered that it would be really helpful if the weather could be changed in my favour and held in a useful state long enough for me to make a few more hundred miles East into a more useful weather sector. I tempered it with a bit of chat about accepting the things we can’t change and trying to remain positive, remembering that everything changes in time. Being in the moment is a good goal, if not a tricky one at times.
It is funny to think that these children will finish school in a couple of weeks, have their summer holidays and return to school in September and I will hopefully still be out here, plugging away, pulling ever closer to home. I hope my fish friends are, too.
For now I leave you with the news that my home made rudder didn’t work as a rudder due to not being able to pin it in place firmly enough but it does work as a skeg, when jammed into a cleat on the side of the boat, helping Happy Socks track.
Until next time
Sarah and Happy Socks x
P.S Hopefully you all enjoyed the Australia I have drawn on the Tracker. Taking commissions now but only for one-sided long straight things pointing towards home.
P.P.S If you would like to arrange a live satellite call for your school, please email Project Manager Sara Davies via email@example.com
Presumably the rudder is to keep you rowing straight ish. So, I would rig up a very small, say one sq foot, sea anchor and attach it to the single end of a Y shaped strop. The two remaining ends would each attach to one side of Happy Socks. Would create a small amount of drag but it would dampen down the yaw. I have this in place as emergency steering for my own boat. Don’t give up, hope you can re supply food. You are too far away for me to do it. I know Your PM.
So good to see your happy, smiling face (and yours too, Grannies)! Sorry to hear about the makeshift rudder…hoping that a cruise ship will do a meet up and supply you with that and more! (I loved watching the videos of the Queen Mary 2 doing that with Mylene!)
Wishing you days of sunshine, calm seas, and winds blowing you in the proper direction!
~Gigi in Va. Beach
Nice post Saarah – hope the right wind picks up and the right rudder slots down.. Here’s to a chimp-free crossing…
now the drawing of Australia in the Atlantic is a good sign since your first successful ocean row was from the west coast of Oz, and the pre-warm up circular jig down there, it is all go go go East young lady…so how is the plan to get a new rudder delivered and food supplies going? Fish talk – excellent. Always good to have Granny chat to accompany water activities. Great pictures of the fish and your happy face and so glad to hear you have recharged your internal batteries too. Come on Oh Canada – help out a damsel in need – it’s just a small ask!
Hi there Sarah! You are amazing – but then we knew that! Hang there, we’re with you all the way and then some. Joan from the Chatham PBCB crew.
Hope all is going well for you . The kids from Allington School are thrilled that you have mentioned them on your blog. Thanks for inspiring them – you are a superstar.
All the best from Leanne Barr ( Headteacher) and all the kids .