Post-ocean hello

The last time I took to the keyboard to blog I hadn’t at all expected that the next time I did so would be at my desk at home in Rutland. But here I am. And how grateful I am to be here. Alive, all limbs intact.

Since being picked up by the Japan Coast Guard and then flying home, it has been a whirlwind couple of weeks as my mind and body recover, with much to sort out and deal with. As such, it has taken a little while to get to this point of being able to write about what has happened, is happening and will happen. Suffice to say, we took a beating and have been knocked back, and it is with a heavy heart and teary eyes that I must let you know that my good pal Gulliver the rowing boat won’t be coming back. Unfortunately, during the pick up the Coast Guard removed some things they thought I might like to keep – the Yellowbrick tracker was in that pile, so sadly we have no means of tracking him. My hope is that he washes up on the other side, perhaps in a year or so, given the track record of tsunami debris reaching that coast.

It might seem strange that I should be so attached to a boat, but that’s what happens. We were a team, each looking out for the other. Any boatie, especially the soloists, will tell you what it’s like. It is gutting and feels like I have lost a friend. Were it not for him being so brilliantly built, I wouldn’t have made it out of the storm in one piece. Jamie and Emily at Global Boatworks did another marvellous job in building such a fine boat.

Ahead of the storm’s arrival, we knew it was going to be a very rough ride. Weather router Lee was closely tracking Mawar as it progressed North in Typhoon form from the Philippines, updating us on the likely conditions. Mawar means ‘rose’ in Indonesian, so I had nicknamed the storm system ‘Rosie’ in a bid to make it seem more friendly.

A row like this is a huge undertaking and my team and I had worked hard over the last 30 months liaising with the Japan Coast Guard and Weather Bureau to make sure we were as prepared as possible and that they were happy with our plans. We took on the North Pacific knowing the risks but with the best team, knowledge and boat we could build, hoping that the likes of ‘Rosie’ would leave us in relative peace.  After all it was not Typhoon season in Japan. Alas ‘twas not to be this time.

Out at sea, as it got closer to the 6th June when the centre of the system would be within 100 nautical miles of Gulliver and me, the wind forecast figures grew. Weakening from its typhoon form, we would be facing a violent tropical storm with sustained winds of 55-60 knots, gusting over 65 and more. By now I had prepared Gulliver as best I could and could only take to the cabin with my helmet, strap in and wait the worsening of the conditions. I had also agreed with my project manager, Sara, that I would text her using my Iridium Sat phone every hour or so to let her know that I was OK.

As predicted, by the evening of the 6th the wind and sea was a roaring mess. Knockdowns and capsizes became the norm as waves throttled us from all angles. Water had started to leak into my cabin via the hatches and before long a ribbon of water was streaming in through my main hatch, like a tap left open. Given the extraordinary force of the waves I wasn’t surprised and I gritted my teeth each time a wave smashed directly into the bulkhead, waiting to see what would happen.

As night fell the conditions worsened, both inside and outside the cabin. Wave heights were up at 10 metres and still growing. The sea anchor was now taking huge strain – I could hear it and feel the g-force as I was thrown back in the harness as Gulliver was swung round into different wave sets. Over and over.  A few times Gulliver was upended off the back of a wave then slammed down again with an ear-splitting thud, followed by another roll. By daylight we had rolled eight times and been knocked right over onto the side many more. The waves were now at 15 metres. Worst of all, the damage to Gulliver had clearly reached a critical state:

-        Everything inside the cabin was wet, the electrics box and water maker included

-        The sea anchor had gone from the bow of the boat and was attached only by its retrieval line on the side of the boat.  This was holding us broadside to the waves meaning increased capsize risk

-        The retrieval line was getting caught around different parts of the boat, breaking off critical equipment

-        All of the communications aerials were damaged  or ripped away

-        I could hear that the rudder was damaged and it sounded like it was damaging the hull

-        One of the safety rails had been ripped out, pulling holes into the cabins, potentially opening up the forward cabin to flooding

-        The satellite dome on the front cabin had also gone, as had the GPS antenna, all serious leak paths into the front cabin

-        And Gulliver was clearly taking longer to right himself after each capsize, given the water he had taken on

With all this damage and knowing that I already had water coming into the back cabin, there was no option but to call in for help.  My feeling was that with the further inevitable capsizes there was a very real likelihood that the forward cabin would flood and I would be trapped in my cabin under water.

The most frustrating thing of all was that I was powerless to do anything else to prevent or repair the damage, given the sea conditions. To open that hatch would have meant a wave into the cabin and irrecoverable capsize and even if I had made it out I risked being swept overboard and seriously injured, if not drowned.

For the next 32 hours I lay and waited for the Coast Guard’s rescue boat, willing Gulliver to keep righting through each capsize. From time to time I confirmed my position on the VHF radio with the Coast Guard plane which overflew us and, later, over fellow rower Charlie Martell aboard his boat Blossom who had also suffered serious boat damage a few hundred miles to my North. Sara and George stayed up through both UK nights with me, sending me messages and trying to keep me calm. I know Mum didn’t have much sleep either.

I had been able to drink very little – condensation on the hatch above my head was often all I could reach to quench my thirst – and had eaten just a couple of Mars bars and boiled sweets throughout.  Sweltering and airless through the daytime sunshine, at night I did my best to keep warm in a soaking cabin that got wetter with each roll and direct hit. My skin was chaffed and soggy from lying strapped to a soaking bed and I had a thumping headache after twice colliding with the cabin roof while not strapped in during a roll. We added twelve more rolls to the tally during the wait.

By the time I was picked up by Japan Coast Guard Vessel Zao, both Gulliver and I were battered. I was exhausted and Gulliver was in very poor shape. Thankfully by this time – 1700 on the 8th – the wind had dropped to below 20knots and the seas were calmer, making the rescue possible. However, the Coast Guard had already said they would not be able to take Gulliver aboard, so I prepared to abandon him, with the knowledge and hope that we could track and salvage him later on.

It took until the morning of the 10th to make the 500 miles back to shore. The Coast Guard crew took very good care of me and I smiled when the Captain said, ‘See you again. Never give up’ as we went our separate ways back in Japan.

Arriving on shore in Sendai I was met by friends from Tokyo and Choshi. It was emotional and I am so grateful to them for being there. I spent a few hours in hospital on a drip to rehydrate before being driven south to rest for a few days with friends. I then flew back to the UK and was delivered up to Rutland. It all feels rather surreal still right now. To have swapped the rolling blues of the North Pacific for the rolling greens of the Rutland countryside in such a short space of time is rather mind-boggling, and not just for me. This storm battered more than just Gulliver and me. And Charlie and Blossom. Our families and teams, and sponsors and supporters and followers have also taken a hit. I am just thankful we made it out alive. (Charlie and his boat Blossom were picked up the morning after I was by the crew of MV Last Tycoon, and they landed safely in Vancouver last week.)

I am very grateful to everyone for their support and kind messages – during this mad time and throughout the expedition so far. I travel solo mostly, but it is most definitely not a solo effort. Without the belief and commitment of so many people, we would never have even made it to Tower Bridge for the start of London2London. To the Japan Coast Guard and Falmouth Coast Guard for their efficiency, professionalism and support; to my Tokyo pals who looked after me and my Team Choshi friends for coming up to welcome me ashore; to my team and my family and friends; to sponsors and supporters and charities, schools and everyone following and joining in: thank you.

The next goal after getting back to normal and catching up with friends and family and sponsors, will be to plan how to continue the London2London journey in some form, staying true to the spirit and ideals which we set out with 14 months ago. I am determined that this is not the end of the journey, but will become a chapter in the story.

So for now, watch this space.

 Until next time,

 Sarah and, in his absence, Gulliver x

PS There is hope for Gulliver yet – I have had various notes from schoolchildren both at home and abroad saying they will look for him on the beach. They have also said I should never give up. Which is good, because it’s not in my nature to do so.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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    71 Responses to Post-ocean hello

    1. S Oliver says:

      Goodness me Sarah! So gad you are safe and sound! Back in Rutland eh? Next time you are Cambridge bound us know!!

    2. Tracey M says:

      Wow Sarah, i read your blog with tears in my eyes, i felt i was there in Gulliver with you! I love your spirit and that of the schoolchildren who are keeping the faith that the two of you will be re-united, never say never. I admire your spirit and mental toughness hugely, the thought of an undertaking like that is not for the faint-hearted, but it’s also testament to your level-headedness that you knew when to call for help. Good to have you back and safe, and plotting your next journey, it’s fantastic to see that spirit hasn’t been dented, and i wish you all the luck in the world for your next adventure and for a reunion with Gulliver. :) x

    3. Christine & Kathleen says:

      Hello Sarah

      We are so glad to hear that you are back home safe and sound with your Mum and brothers plus your beloved dogs. What you have been through is unbelivable and despite the sadness of not having Gulliver back at the moment we know you will carry on with your dream when you are able to.

      We shall certainly look forward to reading your next book like we did your previous one.

      You have certainly got a wonderful team of good folks behind you and many supporter’s who hopefully will lift you and be with you when the time comes to start again.

      You are such an incredible person, words can’t really describe you at the moment. Perhaps while you are home you may be able to get your Mum to get her hat and have that long awaited trip to London to collect your mars bar eater award.

      Just take care and love to your Mum

      C & K

    4. Blimey. I don’t know whether you are mad or … um, well clearly you’re extraordinary. That makes for thrilling raeding at this distance, but you must have been terrified. Very sorry that the journey has halted in such a way, but look on the bright side: you’re in Rutland at a time when it’s looking absolutely beautiful! Like most of the county, I’ll wait to hear what you do next. Best wishes, Jane

    5. Have just read this with tears in my eyes – am sooooooooooo relieved that you are safe and sound and back home in Rutland, and so sad that Gulliver is adventuring on his own. No doubt Helen is spoiling you – she must be pretty happy to have you back home!! Take it easy for a while, you Bonkers Girl!!
      Much love, Gx

    6. Carolyn Bowditch( grew up with Gillian and went to Welshpool High!) says:

      Hi Sarah, Gillian (Chibbett) has just called me and told me to read your latest message. so glad to hear you are home and safe! I am a teacher in Birmingham and the children at my school have been following your journey so they will be very pleased to hear your news! We have admired you so much for embarking upon such a long and challenging journey and followed your blog with interest. I feel certain that you will be back with Hercules before too long and we look forward to following the next steps of your amazing adventure! Take a well earned rest for now Carolyn.

    7. Maureen says:

      I actually breathed a sigh of relief knowing you were back in the UK Sarah. I was in Victoria BC when news came in about you and your battle with Rosie, felt so near and yet so far! I am sad about Gulliver, but he will turn up one day for sure, maybe keep an eye on where Blossom is. Could help. How is Charlie btw? Have you heard anything of him?

      Take your rest, but hold onto who you are Sarah, Mother Nature decided to throw a strop – and won this time! Next time she shoul be kinder to you. Take care, with love to you and your Mum,

      Maureen, Sheffield.

    8. Linda, Cambridge says:

      As one of your ‘followers’, I’ve just read your latest blog, and feel a huge sense of relief that you are at home and that your spirit is undiminished, and sadness that Gulliver is lost – at least for now. What you went through sounds just mind-blowingly terrifying. What reserves of strength you do have! I’ll most definitely keep watching this space…………

      Linda

    9. Justine says:

      Matey, that sounds terrifying. No headwinds or opposing currents will ever phase you and Nelson again! Looking forward to some kayaking R & R!

    10. I’m glad you made it without injury. Thanks for sharing the experience. And yep, we’ll follow and soon you’ll be back with something, no doubt about. Best of luck !

    11. Tony F says:

      Blimey.

    12. Jeff Piper says:

      Wow. That was some experience and one I’m sure you would not go through again. It is great that you made it safely back. I do hope Gulliver turns up again and I look forwards to the continuing journey of Sarah.

    13. christina watts says:

      Oh WoW Sarah
      Sooooooooooo pleased to hear you and that you are having a break back in dear old Rutland … this chapter has been amazing for everyone and we are all very happy you are safe and still writing to us about those last few days where we knew it was pretty awful for you and Gulliver … sad too that Gulliver and you have had to part … I can imagine how tough that is for you right now … but moving forwards, which you always do so well we await the new chapter !!!
      Love to Helen and your brothers xxx

      Sending you many hugs
      and lots of love
      xtina

    14. Jon Denny says:

      Sarah ,we are proud of you.
      Jon

    15. Brian Hickman says:

      Hi Sarah,
      Glad to hear your now safe and sound, so sorry you had to abandon your boat but in the circumstances you knew in your heart it was inevitable.
      The boat done its job, It let you survive, and reading your blogs and other comments from people that actually know you! MK 2 will already be on the books.
      I suggest to you that a way of pumping out manually any water be installed, and a deeper heavier keel be part of the upgrade!
      I say this not in a bad way!
      And now you have been through the worst water ever!
      YOU should be in the lead seat at the designing stage.
      Sorry if I prattle on just a very old man glad to see your safe all the best for the future girl.

    16. Graeme Joy says:

      Wow Sarah, that was a serious epic. So good to see you survived with not too much personal injury. Bad luck about Gulliver – but as you realise – you can always get another boat. Good luck for the ongoing recovery. Very informative & well written blog. Cheers.

    17. Lisa Schell says:

      Epic indeed! So glad you are safe and thinking about how to continue on! Sad to hear of Gulliver’s fate, here’s hoping he is recovered. You are truly an inspiration.

    18. June Bibby says:

      My dear Sarah,

      So glad you knew when to call for help. That you are safe and well is the main thing at the moment.
      I am sure you are getting lots of tlc from your Mum and family. Look forward to what comes next –
      when you are fully recovered from your ordeal.
      May God Bless You,
      June

    19. JETWAKE says:

      Ever considered flying solo around the world? Contact Sir Richard Branson and Sir Paul McCartney for advice and sponsorship. So happy to hear that you are well. Press on regardless and never give up. You have so much to share with the world. The young school children need to hear you speak, in person, all over the world, of your great resolve and adventures!

    20. Bonnie Whisler says:

      Sarah, is it possible to attempt the crossing of the ocean by sail boat instead of rowing?
      I was growing concerned when we didn’t hear from you for so long..
      Glad you are home safe.
      Bonnie

    21. frank says:

      Hi Sarah,
      health is the most important thing, everything else may be replaced (although with tears in the eyes).
      I’m sure you’ll try again, even more experienced now.
      I’ll read you!
      Frank

    22. Joao Paulo Diniz says:

      Dear Sarah, I very much regret what happened; but the most important thing is that you are alive and recovering from those terrible moments. Everybody knows that sooner or later you will restart your journey. Am I wrong? Best regards from Lisbon, Portugal.
      JP Diniz

    23. Mel, Neil, Daisy, Paddy and little Leo says:

      Hi Sarah – oh my gosh, you have me in tears reading this. Well done for making it so far; we’re so so sorry that you and Gulliver didn’t make it back together and I really really hope he turns up soon. You’re such an incredible trooper I know your supporters will continue to help you make dreams. xxxxx

    24. Mary Ann Barton says:

      So you are safe and sound and completely battered, bodily, mentally I know you are strong, however, don’t forget the reason you are doing this, is in memory of you Dad, what would he do ? He would want you in your Mum’s life, she wants you in her life, you have achieved enormous mountains. Keep safe

    25. lynne says:

      you did well girl. dont regret the could have beens, look forward. il certainly look out for what you do next. but take your time to recover. and spoil your mum.
      gulliver is a loss but hes on a solo journey now. he did a great job and kept you alive.

      and thank you, your spirit of adventure is an inspiration.

    26. Valerie Hazan says:

      In many ways, i am sure that the next few weeks will be harder than those rowing in the ocean (pre-Rosie…) so I wish you and your whole team all the best for the next phase of this great adventure. I look forward to following your next exploits, be they on land, on sea or in the air. You continue to make those of us who follow you from the safety of our homes and offices aspire to living life to the full…that’s no mean feat.
      All the very best,
      Valerie

    27. Welcome home! Enjoy it!
      (You have done amazingly so far and are far harder than I will ever be!)

    28. Flick Rollings says:

      Wow, that blog makes some reading! I hope that you’re able to adjust back to life in Rutland okay and can take this time to regain your strength before deciding on your next steps! So sorry to hear about Gulliver. He’s a tough little fella though so I’ll have my fingers crossed that he makes it across to a beach in Alaska/Canada! Sending my best wishes your way and lots of love, from Flick xxx

    29. Poul Brix says:

      Holy Crap!
      So pleased you’re safe and it’s really cool you have not given up :-)
      Just goes to show what a strong person you are and a huge insoiration to us all.
      Recover, plan and keep moving.
      x

    30. Alan Thomas says:

      OMG!

      Sending you my Best Wishes
      Just reading this is making the tears flow
      stay POSITIVE (I know you will)

      Alan and Dawn (Wales)

    31. Tim Webb says:

      You are an inspirational giant, not just for me and my daughters, but for thousands of people. I’m with that Japanese coastguard and am sure you’ll find a way to fulfil your dreams and complete the adventure. I’ll be at Tower Bridge when you paddle back up the Thames.

    32. Terry says:

      Hey Sarah,

      Sorry to hear about what happened to Gulliver. I really love your boat, and totally understand your attachment to him. Being a touring cyclist, I, too, get attached to my bike after many miles together; through the sunny days, rainy ones, hard time up hill, and exhilarating downhill. I feel your pain.

      Looking ahead, I am still planning to bike across Canada and the US in the winter, from around November time (as that was the estimation of your arrival with Gulliver in Vancouver prior to the unfortunate incident). I really hope you’ll be able to continue this L2L journey. Just imagine, the Canadian Rockies, Banff, Chicago, New York (could potential spend NYE there)!! As you know, my schedule is pretty flexible, and am hoping that biking across is still on your to-do list, so that maybe we can line things up.

      :-D

    33. lesley says:

      Hi so glad my prayers were answered I would like to make a small suggestion Geraldton on the West coast of Australia is a great starting point to Maritius and I assure you would get a wonderful send off please stay in touch God Bless you and your poor mum and my dog Panda says woof to your dogs Lesley

    34. Charlotte and Simon Brown says:

      Hi Sarah,
      You are safe, thank goodness. The power of the sea, a true force.
      We will look out for Gulliver as we walk along the beach and shores here on Vancouver Island over the next year or so.
      Take Care, don`t give up,
      Charlotte and Simon Brown

    35. Robert Douglas says:

      Hi Sarah,

      The main thing is you’re safe and on the road to recovery. I understand the relief of being home is somewhat distilled by deep disappointment – but your characteristic urge to attempt it again is also prevalent. In the meantime, rest and relaxation is indeed the best course of medicine. I’m also sorry to hear about Gulliver; I can only imagine the bond you had with him. However, I can visualize somebody discovering him washed up somewhere, making their day, and yours too, hopefully, if they send word of his location.

      Your description of the turbulent storm made harrowing reading – I actually felt sea-sick when you mentioned how many times Gulliver was pitched over! It must have been truly terrifying. I winced when you ‘banged your head twice on the ceiling’ – ouch!

      Anyway, you’ve done most admirably and I’m frustrated for your valiant efforts being thwarted. Here’s to your swift recovery!

      Best Regards,
      Robert D.

    36. Ray Girard says:

      What an adventure you had. (Adventures are not always a positive experience.)
      Sounds to me like you made the right call, considering your description of events.
      Give your soul some room to recover, then a little more, ….then start planning again.
      Nature just wanted you to have a better ‘story’, that’s all.
      The result is still success. Not quitting ensures that.
      Your survival in this world is still far more important than any record, or any adventure.
      You are advancing the human race (and we badly need it).
      Love from Langley, BC.

      • Sarah says:

        Survival was (and still is!) Number #1 goal on this journey – and all of them!

        Head and heart on their way back to normal. It’s certainly a headspinner…

        All best,

        Sarah

    37. Gaw’d I did not even realise you were home Sarah.

      Never give up. Keep strong, Live strong Sarah.

      You’ll be back stronger & better following the experience without a shadow of a doubt!

      Your an amazing person Sarah & we will all be supporting you whne it happens :)

    38. Pete Casey says:

      Gutted for you and all your L2L team.
      Looks like Gulliver gave his life to save yours Sarah -the ultimate sacrifice from such a true and loyal friend eh!
      But you never know, I recon he could be fighting his way back to the coast of Japan right now eager to reunite for another attempt as I’m sure you are :-)
                    Good luck with all your plans.

    39. Ron says:

      Quite a story. You did the only wise thing there was to do, when you called in for help. Don’t see it as quiting, see it as a tactical withdraw. As for the boat, I understand your feelings, but it is off course much more important, that you made it out alive and in one piece.
      As you said yourself, in time, it will be part of the whole story. And the coastgard man was also right: never give up on your dreams.
      Hope you get well soon.

      Best regards!
      Ron

    40. Fiona Harris says:

      Sarah – I feel gutted for you and I know what it’s like to be back from an expedition so unexpectedly:(
      It’s all part of the journey – London 2 London (via Rutland) is just another part of the adventure – the unexpected happens occasionally – we just adapt and find a new route.
      Good luck with whatever you decide to do.
      All the best
      Fiona

    41. Frankie Owens says:

      So glad you are back safely!! It must have been terrifying out there in that storm. We were so relieved when we heard you had been rescued.
      Anyway have a rest now while you decide on what the next plan is. I am sure there will be a next plan with you !!
      Love
      Frankie

    42. Scott Lockwood says:

      Sarah,
      I have been following your journey daily since you left London. I have been mesmerized by the audacity of your spirit and looked forward daily for more insightful; and exciting stories from the road. When I read your last post, the clarity of the sheer pandemonium and terror you must have endured was gut wrenching. I am so relieved you are now safe and in the process of re-grouping. Since I live in the northern Rockies of the US I am still hopeful your future travels will take you through our part of the World. It would be brilliant to meet you. In the meantime, Cheers!
      Scott Lockwood

      • Robert Douglas says:

        Hi Scott,

        I read your post with some interest. Hopefully, once she’s recovered, Sarah will manage to traverse the vast, unpredictable Pacific Ocean – or perhaps concentrate on a completely different tour across or around the US? I hope you’ll still be able to meet Sarah in her future travels :)

        Best Regards,
        Robert.

      • Sarah says:

        Watch out for next month’s revelation of the plan Scott. I too am keen to continue and make it to your part of the world.

        All best,

        Sarah

    43. Kiffy Mitchell says:

      You are absolutely right that this is another chapter for you in your story, not the end of it – thank goodness you are home to write the sequel, whatever that may be. It will still be inspiring, wonderful and worth reading even if it isn’t what you expected. Cookies/banana cake for you when we have the chance to see you again in Stamford x

      • Sarah says:

        Kiffy and the Mitchells, hello!

        I am about to head away for a couple of weeks but will be round for cookies and banana cakes and a catch up on my return. Hoping the whole clan is really well and that you are still purple as ever.

        Scooter x

        • Kiffy says:

          So pleased to hear from you! We are away until 25th July and Molly the banana-cake maker is out in Patagonia until 6th August; Rosie and Tommy are home from their travels around 13th Aug – we would all LOVE to see you! Call/email when you are back from the sea – I can rustle up some choc or biscuits anytime! Kiffy (still very pink and purple)

    44. Sarah Clarke says:

      Dearest Sarah,
      You truly are my heroine. Thank all that is good that you’re now safe & sound. Had no doubt whatsoever that you wouldn’t give up. Just think, it took a full-blown storm to stop you, but only temporarily! What an awesome powerhouse you are, and such a great role model, especially for young people. All the best to you & your mum. Make the most of your well-deserved rest, and come back out of it fighting-fit, and ready for whatever comes next..!

    45. John Globemasterone says:

      OH GULLIVER….WHERE ARE YOU NOW?

      Your “situation” Gulliver seems remarkably like a story I just happened to be reading yesterday about a “message in a bottle” that was dropped in the Atlantic at the equator during the Velux 5 Oceans race around the world. I can only wonder if YOU Gulliver are going to be like that bottle and laze about with Sarah’s new found “friends of the deep” enjoying the easy life “out there” or are you going to hightail it to our western Canadian shores? We are anxious to meet you….hero that you are!

      And brave Sarah….Welcome Home. Here’s hoping for a speedy recovery and a reunion with your good friend Gulliver in due time.

      BY THE WAY….. the bottle was found nine months later….some 2250 miles away in St. Maarten on a small secluded beach by a seven year old boy visiting from Poland. Just maybe one of your “school children” friends WILL find Gulliver. Keep looking!
      Best regards,
      john

    46. Peter Karwacki says:

      Glad to hear you are all right. This business of crossing the Pacific is rough. There is a list of “supposes” including colliding with objects during a storm, which in this case did not happen. We’re lucky you’re alive to try again. Good luck with your future plans. Obviously you cannot be dissuaded. Que Sera Sera.

    47. Stace says:

      Words can’t express the admiration and respect I have for you Sarah.
      You are an inspiration
      Thank you

    48. Tom Allen says:

      So glad to hear that you are OK, Sarah. All the best for the continuing journey – if you’re determined for this to be but a chapter, I am sure that it will end up being so…

    49. Martin says:

      Been following your blog since you left Japan. That word ‘Respect’ has turned into a bit of a cliche, but if anyone deserved the real meaning of that epithet, its you. Can’t wait for you to continue your adventure and thrill us all with your courage and daring doing those things most of us would be too frightened to even contemplate.

    50. Guy S says:

      I’m so glad that you’re safe, and hope that you and Gulliver will be reuinited -
      these things do happen – Dom Mee’s boat, Little Murka was found at Malin Head. 11 months after his ordeal in the Atlantic.

      • Sarah says:

        That would be so wonderful if he does wash up on the other side. There are some very sentimental things on board still, besides the fact that it would be great to see Gulliver himself again and get him on another row.

        All best,

        Sarah

    51. 3K From Manor School says:

      Hello Sarah,

      Our value of the month is Hope. We have written some acrostic poems about Hope. This one is for you.
      H: Hopefully Wish
      O: Over the boat turns
      P: Please find Gullivor
      E: Exciting Stuff

      See you soon, I HOPE you can get back onto London2London soon.

      Love 3K

      • Sarah says:

        Mr Kirkland and 3K – what a lovely poem for Gulliver. Thank you from him and me! Let’s hope it works and he turns up safely one day.

    52. Sarah says:

      Thanks for all the lovely messages folks.

      It would be wonderful to see Gulliver again if he does wash up somewhere, someday, but I am trying to get my head fully around the idea that we probably won’t. There are some very special items on board – including Patrick’s little wooden boat – so I hope he survives the Pacific and beats me across!

      All best,

      Sarah x

    53. Martin Horton says:

      Phenomenal Sarah, you and the situation you’ve survived. I can’t imagine the bravery and determination you have to take on such challenges. Wishing you well for your future endeavours.

    54. Naoko says:

      I am happy you came back safe, that’s the most important. Hope to hear London2London again.

    55. Sarah says:

      Folks, plans are coming together for a continuation of the L2L journey. I hope to reveal the details next month.

      For now, to holidays and kayaking…

      Thanks for the lovely messages and support – and here’s hoping July is adventurous, wherever you are in the world.

      Best,

      Sarah

    56. Tony F says:

      Hi Sarah!

      July has been wet. But at least, so far, we have not been capsized.
      As it is said: No battle plan ever survives first contact with the enemy, the best you can do is to plan for the most likely outcome, and wing it!

      Happy holidays!

      Tony F and Co

    57. Александр says:

      Сара! Здравствуйте!!! Я очень рад Вы остались живы после такого безумно сложного и тяжёлого путешествия. Буду молить Бога, чтобы у Вас в дальнейшей судьбе сложилось все хорошо.
      Вы должны знать, что Вы самая лучшая, самая смелая, самая мужественная путешественница на всей Земле!!! Вы номер ОДИН!!! Я преклоняюсь перед Вами. Спасибо, что Вы есть!!!
      С большим уважением и большой человеческой любовью к Вам. Александр.

    58. Peter Karwacki says:

      Pacific Ocean 2, Rowers 0.

      Rematch anyone?

    59. Sarah says:

      Exciting developments this week folks – news next week. Promise!

      • Robert Douglas says:

        HOORAY!!

        Nice to see things are getting back on track for you Sarah :) I think everybody came together to share in your frustration at the setback. But setbacks aren’t the end, are they? If anything, they teach us that the world is an unpredictable thing, at times also harsh, so people must come together – in spirit, if nothing else. At least you know you’re not on your own. In turn, you inspire all those who follow your exciting adventures!

        Intrigued by – and looking forward to – the mysterious good news next week :)

        One suggestion: it would be great if you could have man-powered mini-submarine to ride beneath the stormy waves!

    60. I am a tough, 76 year old male, very good friend of Dave Cornthwaite, I never cry — but, I must admit – this one broke me down.

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