Phonecast: Day 143 – The pick up

Due to two low pressure systems interacting as well as  hurricane Joaquin causing havoc in the North Atlantic at the moment, the decision was made in the wee hours of today for Sarah to be picked up. Listen in below:


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62 Responses to Phonecast: Day 143 – The pick up

  1. Elizabeth Cunningham says:

    Blessings. and Tears. And Blessings. And Tears. And Blessings. You are the most amazing woman Sarah – the most amazing woman. I have been watching that Hurricane and have been wondering about its trajectory your way. I am relieved you have taken the path that is guided by Safety. And yes, the row to the Thames will happen. And the entire global family that holds you in prayer will celebrate with you on that day! But for now, packing and remembering and thankfulness and tears and more tears and smiles too. And prayers for Happy Socks.
    Elizabeth Cunningham, Mount Albert, Ontario, Canada


    Sensible, sensible, sensible.
    You have more than suffered enough of late.
    The pick-up sets a sublime example of a proper and courageous decision.
    You have provided the world with more than enough new data for it to analyse for some time yet, and the substance of lessons to be learned.
    I in all humility fully endorse this decision.
    On a strictly personal note, I suffered a bout of very severe and frightening vertigo this lunchtime. I have been told by my friends in no uncertain manner that I should lay off my relentless punishing exercise and studying, and to balance the nature of things with respect.
    Need I say more – thank you once again Sarah for setting me even now this very example I must follow.
    Thank you Sarah.

  3. Elizabeth Cunningham says:

    Happy Socks :'(

    Elizabeth Cunningham, Mount Albert, Ontario Canada

  4. Margaret says:

    Hi Sarah
    This is not a failure. You have given this leg of the journey as much effort has you could. The weather has not given you a break and the forecast now leacesvyou no choice but to get picked up.
    Enjoy your passage home.
    Margaret x

  5. Shifty Mo's and family says:

    We’ve been sending you and all your family and support team best wishes all day Sarah. It is truly about the journey and the lives you have touched along the way and not about the destination. We all know that you stuck in there beyond what is humanly possible. You made the very best, wisest and smartest decision!!! Full support from Northern Canada!!!!! xoxoxoxoxo

  6. Barbara Semple says:

    sarah: From those of us in Chatham Mass., you have given us the adventure of a lifetime. We saw you off, with joy and trembling. Both those emotions have continued as we followed your progress. Today, those same feelings go to you as we rejoice in your safety ( and ability to be clean and dry and see people!) and trembling as we sadly see your mission stalled . I like to think of Happy Socks as not lost at sea, but continuing the journey in her own way for you. May you find joy in so much learned, so much shared with so many of us and the safety net of your friends and family. Carry on; there will no doubt be more adventure in your life.

  7. Scott and Debbie Cameron says:

    Dear Sarah, this was the right choice and we are so relieved you made it. Your endeavors have left us awed and inspired so many times. We are so proud to be part of your adventure.
    Love, Your Alaskan Family Scott and Debbie

  8. Christine and Kathleen says:

    Dear Sarah

    First of all we are so glad you are safe and being cared for, gosh you are certainly not a failure, you have tried your utmost to get home but sadly the ocean didn’t like to be told that it needed to send winds in the correct direction for you. You had no other choice in the matter.

    What a tremendous journey you have had and we are so grateful that you have shared it with us all, there are so many folks who have been thinking of you every step of the way and are still there supporting you, perhaps you could call us your other team.

    Your team have been magnificent and we do thank them for the support that they have given you. It’s a dissapointing end to this part of the journey but the most important thing us you are safe.

    Will be thinking of you and just rest and reflect. Who knows what the outcome may have been had you not been picked up now.

    Much love and a big hug for now.

    Kathleen and Christine

  9. christina watts says:

    Sarah as long as you are safe is the most important and that you can come home to write your story on this chapter … your strength and motivation power and determination is the greatest xxx

    with all my love to you

  10. ed morgan says:

    WOW! What a journey!! I just recently learned of your trek when I was reading a post from the Bike Wanderer who you met in western Canada. You definitely have true grit 🙂 I know it is dissapointing now but this is not the first time you have faced adversity and I look forward to your continuing journey!!!

  11. Jonathan Reggler says:

    Congratulations, Sarah, on all that you have achieved. And thank you for your example: of courage, of determination, of wisdom, and of humility and acceptance in the face of natural danger.

  12. john mora says:


  13. Marj Burgard says:

    Dear dear Sarah You have been in my thoughts every day ~ I am so relieved you are safe !! I am also so
    grateful to have met you, have you visit here in Duxbury and to even have had a tiny row on Happy Socks. I cherish our friendship. I hope you will keep in touch. Your inner strength and courage continues to amaze me,
    as well as your compassion, thoughtfulness and joy of life. I hope you’ll keep in touch and post details and pictures of your wedding !!
    I send you much love Marj

  14. Gigi W. says:

    Everything (absolutely everything!) for a reason, dear Sarah. You have many who love you and want more than anything for you to be safe. This is the RIGHT decision, although I know one not made easily or without great heartache. In the days and weeks ahead, I hope that you are able to focus on all the tremendous things you have seen and done in the past 143 days! You ROCK!

    ~Gigi in Va. Beach

  15. Karen W. says:

    You are making absolutely the right decision! I was worried about you when I saw the track the hurricane was taking. Perhaps Happy Socks will ride out the storm and be pushed home to land at the entrance to the Thames. Wouldn’t that be wonderful! She’s a strong ‘ship’. 🙂
    So, so happy that you will be safe and sound to go home to your love who must be worried sick for you. You are very, very wise to make the hard decision you had to make. I applaud you for courage you have shown for months and months. And as. you say in your phone chat, one has to be able to adjust plans when circumstances are beyond our control. Having a hurricane barreling down on you is just such a circumstance! I am in awe of all you have accomplished. Thank you for being safe so you can tell us all even more of your stories when you are back home safe and sound. We can’t wait to hear them.

  16. Chris Duff says:

    You are a woman of such LIFE. Thank you for making this very tough but very wise decision. There will be another day, another dawn, another plan. Be gentle with yourself. Surround yourself with all the loving friends and family who await your return. You are such an inspiration to all of us. A huge THANK YOU for taking care of yourself!

  17. Wendy Alden says:

    Sara, you made the best decision for yourself to keep alive and safe, as others here have also stated.
    I keep thinking back to the evening in Vancouver at the celebration for Jamie MacDonald who ran across Canada when meeting you, couldn’t believe your undertaking and how far you’d already travelled to Feb. 2014 and were on a break before finishing the Pacific segment which you’d had to abandon due to a storm.
    The miles you have travelled since are simply astounding to me. Cycling in the cold north of Alaska and then across parts of Yukon, Canada, and the US states all through winter months.
    IF you’d had the currents and winds behind Happy Socks, you’d have made it to England’s shores by now; so in my books you crossed the Atlantic. You just had winds making you do the miles except you were doubling back. So, I’m saying this: Sarah you have completed the trip; you’ve done the miles and am sending my heartfelt congratulations to you from Vancouver at 11:25 pm, October 3, 2015.
    Feel very honoured to have met you all those months ago.
    Rest well, enjoy the freedom of being safe, secure on the ship and enjoy the land experience once in Montreal.
    God blessed you with the fortitude to do this unbelievable journey and blesses you still.

  18. Andy Homden says:

    What a difficult and brave decision and so much the right one.

    All our best wishes,

    Andy & Jan Homden

  19. Sarah, you are an inspiration. The decision you have made is courageous and underlines the painstaking thought & effort that you have shown throughout the journey you undertook. All of us at Outposts Ltd congratulate you on your achievements and the endeavor and humility you have shown us all.

  20. SRS Mermaid says:

    Well done Sarah and best wishes from all mermaids

  21. Amanda Makemsom says:

    Such an amazing achievement , don’t be disappointed at this final challenge , it may not have been as you wished but then when is anything ? Nature is amazing , good or bad you hVe battled through , so take this time to rest up and no doubt be greeted with an amazing reception when your back on land !
    Cannot wait to hear all about this when you visit us !
    Kindest regards

  22. Tony says:

    Phew, that was hard to listen to Sarah. Tough but wise decision for you and everybody else. You are such an inspiration to so many and the world is a better place for having people like you in it. It follows that it is better for everybody that you get back safely to continue inspiring another day. Well done.

  23. Mary Ann Barton says:

    NOT NOT a failure, a TRIUMPH…….. your late Father would be so so proud, chin up and grin like always.
    Mary Ann Isle of Wight


    Some simple maths indicates that you completed 92% of your goal.
    I thus tend to think of Shackleton and Mallory.
    I think you are in good company.
    You now have the opportunity to tutor others of whom hopefully in your lifetime one will complete 100% of the goal. That is a sacred trust to be able to pass on.
    Thus you are doubly blessed.

  25. Sue says:

    I’m glad you are safe

  26. Timbob says:

    Sarah you have done well……. congrats on your achievements. You are truly awesome and inspiring.
    I just know you will be back at it, with a stiff Brit upper lip to finish the row. Time to regroup and stay safe !
    The serenity prayer comes to mind.

    God grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not change
    Courage to change the things I can,
    and the Wisdom to know the difference.

    You have certainly shown all of that ! Good luck and I hope somebody somewhere can rescue Happy Socks too ! We can only wish !
    Southern Ontario Canada

  27. Elsa says:

    Thinking of you Sarah. I know how difficult this decision was, and can imagine how you are feeling right now – but it was the only sensible one to make. More soon, but for the moment, just enjoy that first hot shower and meal of fresh food. xxx

  28. Nick says:

    What a difficult decision to make but it is the right one.

    And if you have achieved 92% this time just add the Indian ocean miles and you are way over the 100%.

    Rock on!

    Nick in Perth

  29. Barb Howard says:

    We are so relieved. Well done, Girl!

  30. Belinda Dade says:

    The most important thing is that you are alive! What more can anyone ask? Bx

  31. April says:

    Sarah never mess with mother nature…you made the right choice. Sooooo proud of you!!!

  32. John Perrott says:

    You are an inspiration to thousands of people all around the world. No multi-million pound government scheme could do what you do to bring people together. You are wise to admit that the weather this time will not let you through. These are forces beyond our control. What matters to us is that we still have you. Looking forward to renewing your company again, along with so many of your team. I hope that it was possible to leave the GPS on board. You never know when you might need it. John xx

  33. Jane Swan says:

    A close friend got within 80 metres of the summit of Everest and took the decision that his journey had to end there. A lifetime of planning and expense and anticipation – but a future of looking back on that experience and achieving something that 99% of the world could only dream of. It is much more courageous and gut wrenching to make a brave but difficult decision. You are an inspiration and this world is a far better place with you in it!

  34. Leah Belliveau says:

    Greetings from Cape Cod, Sarah! How very fortunate a ship was passing at the right time. Hurricanes are not to be messed with and I’m so glad you all made the right decision! You were in my thoughts as I was driving through the rain and lo and behold, the local radio news announced your departure. You made a big impression on all of us here on the lower Cape! I can’t wait for your book to come out! You are writing one, yes?
    Leah from the Eddy School.

  35. ian says:

    oh sarah,this is heartbreaking,i hope it’s a comfort to you to know that you were both never alone,those of us who have shared this epic adventure feel a it has been a HUGE priveledge to be a tiny part of one of humanities defining journies,you are a real inspiration,testing your boundaries,being in commune with nature in a way so few will ever know,you have enriched our lives with your witty globetrotting reportage and built yourself a unique cache of memories for the future,beyond this your stalwart awareness/fundraising for your very worthy charities will not go unremarked,there is so much ahead for you,re-uniting with those closest to you and the chance when you feel able to share the awesome journey,new adventures await,you are a SUPERSTAR!

  36. Frankie Owens says:

    It has to be the right decision once you saw the trajectory of that hurricane – no choice.
    You have been amazing and have achieved so much!! Your experiences on this epic trip will be with you forever. See you coming up the Thames soon!!

  37. Greg Miller says:

    Be proud Sarah! What you did was unbelievable, and incomprehensible to most humans. I hope you enjoy the thoughts for the rest of your life. God bless you.

  38. Ken Purcell says:

    Congrats to you Sara! You have achieved a great journey. Everyone knows how much the weather and mother nature can work her magic. You have felt this more than most! It was such a pleasure to watch you in action. The end of one journey – means the start of another!


  39. You have an important story to tell and the really important thing is that YOU will be here to tell it!

    Right call indeed!

  40. Glennis Ireland says:

    Dear Sarah, we were so sad to learn that you had to abandon Happy Socks and your expedition, but it is the best decision under the circumstances, we are relieved that you are safe – we have been concerned about you with the prevailing weather conditions.
    You have been an inspiration to so many, and we feel that you and your team made the right decision.
    God speed,
    Roy and Glennis Ireland,
    Eagle River, Alaska

  41. Joao Paulo Diniz says:

    Dear Sarah, it is absolutely fantastic what you have achieved! So, think positive, because you are an example for us, for your courage and determination!
    Greetings from Portugal,
    João Paulo Diniz (Ricardo’s Daddy)

  42. Bob Mehrens says:

    Sarah – We are SO, SO proud of you and all of your accomplishments. We can’t imagine the number of people you have been an inspiration to all around the world. Only great things await you in the future.
    Bob and Joey Mehrens
    Montgomery, Illinois

  43. James Hickerson says:

    I have been following your journeys since before your first departure from Australia, crossing the Indian Ocean. It took a second try, didn’t it. And after a brutally difficult crossing of Eurasia, there was the Pacific. That took a second try, didn’t it. The Atlantic now has it’s turn. And we know from past experience, that this hiatus will not be defeat. Another valiant effort is the reward for previous valiant efforts. You have all the skills, knowledge, support, and internal fortitude to finish your quest. The prize will be yours to own, ours to share in. Thank you for enriching my life. Thank you for trying.

    Walk in beauty,

  44. Averil says:

    Well done Sarah – I have been anxiously watching that hurricane and shall be really relieved to hear that you have been safely picked up – and hopefully Happy Socks too. I second the serenity prayer above – may God keep you safe until you are back home. Look forward, not backwards and build on what you have achieved. Love Averil.

  45. Sherry & Doug Ruberg, Ninilchik, Alaska says:

    We are very relieved to know you are safe! We have followed you with awe and admiration for your fortitude and tenacity through all the daunting adventures you have been through on this global venture. As you know, you have completed something few humans, and maybe something no one has ever done! It’s a huge WOW!!
    Words are not enough to describe all the admiration we feel for all you have done so far…
    We look forward to you next adventure! Thank you for taking us all along!

  46. Ethel Leonard says:

    Dear Sarah, I am so happy to hear that you will be picked up. You have done a fantastic getting this far. Do not be discouraged. It is a triumph for you. Hope you arrive home safely to be with your partner and live a long and happy life. Write book and sit by the fire and enjoy what you have accomplished. Anxiously waiting for work that you have arrived in “Jolly Old England”. All the best, Ethel

  47. Pam Stocker says:

    All the words, wishes and prayers as above. Admiration, pride, relief that you are safe …. and my contribution right now – go very gently with ourself as you allow yourself to roll with this. Lucy, Mum, brothers, friends, rellies, camp followers and your team…. we will all just be glad you are safe. Perhaps it will be possible to rescue Happy Socks too. I hope so. Who knows what unexpected good things and rich things can come out of this bitterly disappointing moment.Who was it who said that the only failure is never having tried. When I don’t quite have the courage for anything, I think of you, put a grin on my face, take a breath, put on a virtual pair of happy socks and do it anyway! Have you thought of selling happy socks, Helen? I’d love a pair! Let’s all boost the fundraising too. Bless you, Sarah. Come safely home and the rest of the journey will take shape as you find your bearings. Lots of love. Pam

  48. Jean-Guy says:

    Congrats on your historic voyage. I am sure Happy Socks will do the rest of the distance to Ireland and you will pick her up soon. As I am sure you know, most ocean rowing boats have been found virtually intact ashore somewhere after they have been left to finish the voyage on their own. Your are an inspiration to many and I am sure you have inspired 10 persons for each mile to Falmouth. You will find that Montreal is a great place to be mid-October. Rest so you may resume and finish the journey to London.

  49. virgil funderburk says:

    Sarah, I have been in 35 foots seas in working vessels,can’t imagine what it would be to be in rough seas in a rowing vessel, you are a warrior. God bless

  50. Graeme Joy says:

    You’ve made a tough decision Sarah but I’m sure you know it’s the right one. A brilliant effort to achieve all that you have. Congratulations!!!

  51. Ray Hudson says:

    You are a total champion! Awesome and inspiring! You have made the right decision and we applaud you to the skies! Shelly and Ray

  52. Lois and Gerry says:

    Sarah, you have accomplished so much, have inspired so many, and have so much to teach us all about triumph and loss, and the enduring spirit. So relieved that you are safe.
    Lois and Gerry, Cape Cod

  53. craig wolfe says:

    there is an old country song

    you got to know when to hold em , know when to fold em, know to walk away and when to run

    you showed us all the way

    a thrill and a pleasure so say we know you and you are a friend

    we will follow you anywhere you go ( on line only)

    keep em safe

    craig wolfe
    hull ma. usa

  54. Clem (TMWC)!!) says:

    Hi Sara from WA
    Been closely following your path and weather for the last week or so, the right decision!! As always I have you in my thoughts, Be Safe, Clem

  55. MARY FAUGHT says:

    Happy that you made the right decision…and have been following you journey for awhile. You have so many fans. We all await the book you will write when you get back home. You are simply amazing and an inspiration to so many people.
    Hope you put a tracker on Happy Socks as she will eventually make it back to England. You heard about the fishing boat from the Japanese Tsunami that made it all the way by itself over two years and landed in Canada.

  56. Roz Savage says:

    Sorry to hear that conditions weren’t in your favour this time around. I know how hard it was to accept rescue just 10 days into an ocean row, thinking of all the hard work I had put in already, so it must be so much the harder after 143 days. You have been so very wise and courageous in making this tough decision. I have the feeling that the North Atlantic has not seen the last of Ms Outen!

    Sending you much love and respect,
    Roz x

  57. Gen Mackwood says:

    So glad to hear you are safe. Mother Nature is shaking her fist still so stopping was surely the best choice. Always a champion you are. It’s not the completion but the striving to complete that has measured your success. And your success has spun off into infinite spirals of inspiration for others around the world. Your strength and courage is uplifting and your grace under fire is remarkable.
    Keep well,

  58. Sandy Mac says:

    I was looking at the projected track of Hurricane Joaquin. It would not have been good news for you. As difficult a decision as this was, I am so glad to know you will be safe. Your journey, in its entirety, is such an incredible inspiration. You have been in our thoughts constantly as you soldiered on with that unmatched optimism of yours, always finding something to celebrate no matter what the circumstances. Thank you for sharing that journey and your thoughts with the rest of us.

    Here’s a great big hug for you.

  59. So glad you’re safe. Hurricane Joaquin was looking quite frightening.

  60. Sharon Kay says:

    Sarah, I am so very proud of you and your accomplishment. I know you will finish one day. I was so worried about you and I a was excited to hear that you made the decision to be picked up. Your life comes first. Enjoy your time at home on land. Love and hugs to you awesome one. I met you in Sand Point.

    Sharon Kay, Anchorage, Alaska

  61. Lynn says:

    Hi Sarah—
    I’ve been following you since Cape Cod and I wish I had known of your exploits earlier!
    You may not have gone all the way across but in accumulating memories for over 140 days— as if you had completed the crossing according to plan—well, you must have AMAZING memories. And although we got a taste of them through your blog, these sensory experiences belong to you alone. You may share them but only you can truly relive them the way they felt. Thank you for imparting the magic of these days. Can’t wait for the book!

  62. Alaina says:

    Dear Sarah, You have given so much to so many of us, even old dogs like us….something very precious and indescribable. Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you – and throughout your life you will continue to adjust your sail to accommodate the winds – which we cannot control.

    So take what ever time needed to recuperate, grieve the loss of Happy socks, enjoy good food, and especially cherish the hugs and love of your dearest. By choosing Life you have invited a continuation of life long journeys – marriage, sharing your wisdom, adventures and joys with children and adults.

    While following your blog kayaking the Alleutians, I was particularly grateful for your insight into the suffering and plight of the Original Peoples of the land, not many of us who are non indigenous people are able to acknowledge their struggle.

    So looking forward to your next writing of L2L. Throughly enjoyed “A Dip in the Ocean” and sent copies to friends and relatives.

    You, in deed, are one of the most genuine souls we have ever had the joy of meeting.

    Carry it on,
    Alaina and Pete from Duxbury, MA

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