Rowing NW across a SW swell and wind is not up there on my list of favourite things to do. When I say row NW, what I mean to say is try to row NW, for actually it’s fairly impossible. You’ll see that my current track is NNE or at best (and fairly rarely) due North.
Someone asked a little while ago what are the hardest things about this trip. Well, going backwards for more than a day gets a little unfunny and the boredom of cabin days can be tough, too. At least I am rowing at the moment. Boredom factor of a cabin day increases when you’ve slept all you can without morphing into a sloth, read all that you can from the limited onboard library, and are finally left with the ‘I wish I knew how to magic headphones back to life’ thought. (Headphones broken Day 10, spares apparently not aboard). Besides the going backwards and cabin incarceration, (which are thankfully still in the minority of days at sea), the other big challenge is food. I really have to talk myself into eating some of the dehydrated meals and have thrown overboard about 99.9% of the ‘puddings’ as I can’t eat them. I hope my palete is less discerning if food becomes an issue later on. The tiredness and pain factor of rowing all day long and being out here for 70 days sits way below these and is generally inconsequential – they are the triumvirate of baddies.
In a bid to combat any negative feelings which may threaten to bubble up from the murky depths there are plenty of little tricks I employ to crank up the smileometer.Herewith a few.
My favourite is literally to smile, laugh out loud and call to mind a funny incident or story. Laughter is an instant feel gooder. Others include reciting ‘If’, by Rudyard Kipling; pulling out the chart and looking at how far we’ve already rowed; song n’ dance therapy and listing all the good things about the day. It used to be finding a treat from one of the hatches,too, but I am useless at rationing them so they are in fairly limited supply now and their guzzling more infrequent.
Still, yesterday I found a large bar of delicious Green & Black’s 85% cocoa dark chocolate. So bitter and pure and delicious that even I can’t eat it all at once and have to savour it in little nibbles. An unheard of occurrence that chocolate has lasted more than a few minutes on the good ship Dippers. Triumph on Day 69!
And so back to our Travelator experience…. Remember the Travelator from Gladiators? Running up a descending conveyor belt. Similar to running up a sand dune.
Incidentally, if anyone has a hand in ocean weather, if you could put in a good word for some ‘Take-me-to-Mauritius’ SE winds before Saturday, it would be appreciated.
S & D x
Charlie Martell – Intrigued, lets meet for a beer when we’re both back in Blighty. She is a super boat. One careful lady owner. Decent mileage etc etc.
-Phil Cheek – Awesome tally. Basking shark soup! Yum, Silurian mid-morning second breakfasts. Where did you go?
-Robert Nixon – Was just going back to see if the whale was still there…
-Barry Gumbert – Call me Ishmael. I love that book. Something from Kipling’s poetry stash would be great – I only have ‘If’ out here, by him.
-Hazel Rozetti – Ironically, some sciencey tomes and papers would be perfect, I have perfect concentration out here. Indeed, complete fascination for anything written on a page. Would be a good place for finalists. Nothing to do but row and think.
-Jamie & Emily – Yum…curry and naan and poppadums. Can’t wait to visit. Dippers will be glad to see you again, too.
-Em- Glad you’re back safe and sound. Not long and I’ll be in London for mojito o’clock!