Seablog: Reeling in the nauties

And we’re back in the room. Radio silence caused by a couple of things: 1) Accidentally deleting the modem settings on the PDA (tiny little palm top computer) and having to liaise with the suppliers in the USA for the details. (Yes, they’re now scribbled on the cabin wall in case it happens again- ‘Connect’ and ‘Delete’ being so close together in the menu, it isn’t hard to poke the wrong option); 2) Yesterday I’m afraid I was too tiredy and headachey to fight the need to sleep, so instead of blogging I took to the bean bag for an early night, having first thrown lavender oil about the place and munched some paracetamol. It goes without saying that I had already donned happy socks. On that note -glad that happy socks are so international. Maybe we could have a Fan Club with International Conventions. Or even better, an Annual Jamboree – I love that word. It is a word, isn’t it? Not just some Outey-invented-ism that arrived in my head somewhere between Perth and here?

All 1300 + miles from Perth, I’ll have you know. 44 days from Perth, if like me you prefer the scenic, (some might say sadistic), wind-in-your-hair, carbon friendly route. So here we are again – about to get going with another sunny blue sky sort of day on our merry adventures. This may well be the last surfing day as the wind is dropping, so tomorrow will likely be a hot and still. That said, after all the wind blowing us along this week, there will probably be a good rolling swell left over for another day or so.

We’ve had a brilliant few days since Monday when the wind arrived in style, helping us clock some major distances. Major being over 150 nauties in three days, and over 200 in five. (A nautie being nothing more untoward than a nautical mile). One of those days led to our 24 hour record being well and truly smashed – seeing it rise from a previous 54 nautical miles to a massive 58. Fifty eight nautical miles – that’s nearly a whole degree of longitude. Super happy days. We are about five miles from making the 90th degree, too, so another goal ticked off – hopefully we’ll be on the Mauritian side of it tomorrow sometime. Next goal is the 80th parallel, and I want to be as close to it as I can by my birthday on the 26th.

Ah, yes, party. Just to let you know we’ll be having a party that evening – if someone could bring a cake (or twelve) that would be ace (I ate the only cakes on board about a month ago). From 1900 till late – all time zones welcome – that way it’ll be staggered and won’t get too crowded. Theme is ‘wild-looking-ocean-explorer-who-has-been-at-sea-for-56-days’ ; that way you won’t feel overdressed and out of place. Parking shouldn’t be an issue – plenty of space out the back – but I’ll warn you, the water comes up quite high sometimes. Anyway, hope you can make it. I’ll tie balloons (or blown up ziplock bags) on the door so you know where to find us.

Once again, Dippers, the little racing demon that she is, has loved every minute of our surf fest this week so next time we shall give you all a quick lesson in surfing to Mauritius. It’ll just be a theory lesson this time so don’t worry about what to wear – though for future reference, lycra is the best way forward. At least for comfort, if not for style.

Until then my possoms,
Cheerio,
S x

PS
Grandma Barb – To be honest I’m more scared of sticking my fingers together with superglue or crossing a road back home than of anything in the ocean taking a limb for their supper. It is too wonderful not to swim on a hot day-I love it.
Marcel – I think we need something nautical or Mauritian on the music front. Pirates of the Caribbean ?!
Kitty – I love bagpipes! Remember Anna bringing pictures of that holiday into school for Show & Tell. My friend and I were boarders and lacking such an exciting topic we talked about the boarding house – instead of photos we brought in our laundry bags and shoe cleaning kits to show everyone!Do you remember Warwick Castle too?I think you had the most boisterous and errant group ever invented. Tehe. Yep, book is in the pipeline .
Lina & Gerard – Oh how I would love a chocolate rain shower…
Xtina – Spoke to Andy the other day- he said they were regretting the no chocolate. I said I’ll share mine when they overtake me – but they better be quick or I might have eaten it all!
Margot – Does your Mum do shortbread by airmail? To the ocean?!
Barry – Indeed no kites allowed. Still, she surfs like a dream.

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21 Responses to Seablog: Reeling in the nauties

  1. Barry Gumbert says:

    I’ll make Italian Cream Cake for your B-day. I’d love to send you one but I don’t suppose the FED X guy makes deliveries to the Indian Ocean. Besides you shouldn’t eat things sent by crazy Americans… You did just remind me of something I should take with me to Alaska and that is a Jack Daniels Cake. They are Chocolate soaked in Jack Daniels Whiskey. YUMMM.

    Too Bad about the Kite thing. I’m glad Dippers is a good surfer. Forward not Sideways I hope.

    I spent the day transplanting tomato plants. Drop by this summer and I’ll make you a salad. Poof! You’re a salad.

  2. Mary Paton says:

    Hi Sarah! My husband Ian shares your birthday – born some decades earlier though. He also shares your love of rowing and is quite envious of your freedom and youth (we went to have a peep at Dippers while you were still in Fremantle). He had made his own wooden Dory a few years ago – similar size to Dippers and with a sliding seat an’ all. Named it ‘Nintai Maru’ (my not quite accurate translation is “going slowly and we hope it will come back” but the original correct meaning of the name was more romantic and I can never remember it. Nintai only gets to go on the Swan River as a rule but does well on the sea when she gets a chance. We accept the invitation to your party – thanks! Best wishes and many happy returns, Mary

  3. Pete says:

    Hi Sarah
    I’ve been following you (not literally!) since I heard about your journey on Radcliffe and Maconie. I showed my daughter where you were on the tracker and she said “The green line is like the one at the hospital. (to guide you to the different departments) she should stick to it!”

    Kids!

    Best Wishes from a landlubber

  4. Spike says:

    Hi Sarah
    I guess it’s not calm enough today for you to take a comemmorative dip. Happy anniversary to Bob anyway.

    A little task for all readers today. Just stick your face in a bowl of water and hold your breath for 33 seconds. When you return, just rejoice in the simple pleasure of fresh air.

    If all that(and occasional references to Abersoch) mystify you, you have yet to read Geoff Holt’s book “Walking on Water” (you’ll find it easily on Google) which describes part of Sarah’s training workup for the Indian Ocean row.

    Great progress Outey. Do Happy Socks have the same physical qualities as other long-distance seaboot socks ? (When they stick to the bulkhead it is time for a wash)

  5. Shan Foster says:

    Thanks for the party invitation, I’ve put it in the diary, and will be with you by 19.30 GMT. Rather jealous of your warmer weather, our forecast is rain rain and more rain for the next 5 days, still it’s always good for the garden…I was wondering what you use to charge all your electronics? Are you solar or a little windmill perhaps?
    Best wishes for your speedy return Shan xx

  6. Anna says:

    Hei Sarah!

    It’s so wonderful to read your blog – you’re doing great!
    And those tangets of palm top computers are far too small really – have to be careful that the right person gets the email…

    This nurse salutes you from Helsinki, Finland.
    Anna

    With realization of one’s own potential and self-confidence in one’s ability, one can build a better world.
    His Holiness, The Dalai Lama

  7. Mum says:

    Hi there everybody…..Sarah’s Mum speaking here…….
    As it is her birthday on 26th May…..well, if you were able to send her a card it would cost about £1.50 to £2.00 with the cost of the card and the postage…SO…….wouldn’t it be nice to “send” £2 to Arthritis care via the Justgiving site as a “card” for Sarah. If everyone who reads the blogs did that, the charity total would have another boost……………………..just a thought.
    By the way, THANKS to one and all for their messages of support etc….she really appreciates them. I do too, just to know that there are so many people out there rooting for her…..Thanks, Helen

  8. Geoff says:

    Happy sox certainly are BIG. Peter Blake who skippered Steinlager II to win the Whitbread race round the world raised most of their funds by selling red sox to every man woman and child in New Zealand – bright red!I think that’s like 4 million pairs. Maybe you can launch Happy Sox for Arthritis Care in UK. Might not cure arthritis but they could always buy a boat.

    Now I’ve been trying to figure out what time it is with you. If there are 24hrs per day and 360 degrees of longitude, that’s one hour of time per 15degrees. So every 15 degrees east of Greenwich is an hour ahead. So at 90deg you’d be 6 hrs ahead of Greenwich. In fact Greenwich is taken as the middle of the time zone as this prevents people missing an hour if they cross the high street. So the 6hr zone would be 90dg plus or minus 7.5 degrees. So at 91 degrees you are still in the 6 hr zone. So you’ve rowed 2 hours from Fremantle.

    Next I’m trying to figure out what compass bearing the sun rises for you. It should be starting to pull some way north of east. Have you ventured into the Celestial Nav books yet?

  9. Geoff Holt says:

    Sarah. Today is the 14th May. Does that ring any bells? Two years ago today? Any ideas? No? Well, how about the start of our great “Round Britain” adventure. Do you remember how excited we all were? And then, with only 5 minutes gone, it went so horribly wrong. Yous Truly taking an unexpected dive into the Solent. I never realised a quadriplegic could hold their breath for so long. Boy, what a “downer” that was. But we picked ourselves up and got on with the job. And I put that down to 1 thing – Happy Socks. If you remember, I foolishly opted out of my own personal pair because, with such massive feet, I was worried it may deplete the world wool-mountain. Instead, your Mum kindly knitted a pair for Timothy – so they have a talismanic quality as well…!!

    You are almost half way – amazing.

    If / when someone speaks to Marinetrack, can you ask them to lessen the number of images on the tracker – there are well over a thousand now and it takes quite a while for the actual screen to load. Hope you don’t mind me mentioning.

    Keep up the great progress Outers, we are all routing for you – you have become my “famous friend” – I’ll be “bigging you up” in the House of Commons tomorrow, I’m doing a talk there for the Jubilee Sailing Trust – that’s if Parliament still exists after the revelations this week – I won’t bore you with the news, it will only make you want to stay out there longer.

    Love from the Holts.

  10. Remora says:

    The four girl rowing team (leading all the men in the Woodvale race) are now only 95 klms (65 UK miles) behind Sarah.

    See http://www.indianoceanrowingrace09.com/progress/ for progress details of the Woodvale race.

  11. Amanda B says:

    Hi Sarah, thanks for the invitation to your birthday party, we’ll be there in our wonderful pink ‘Arthritis Care’ t-shirts! I met Richard Hoyland and Steve Coe and their boat ‘No Fear’ at the Cowpie Country Show (!) in Dorking last Sunday; they are going to row across the Atlantic later this year. They said they’d met you at the London Boat Show and were very envious of ‘Dippers’. I told them about your progress, they were thrilled and wished you all the best – hopefully they will be in touch. Stay happy – I reckon it’s you who makes the socks happy, not the other way round…! Amanda x

  12. Clare says:

    Hi Sarah
    I filmed you shortly before you left…just finished the edit and you’re fab even though I know you felt silly and got a bit giggly! Loving the blogs: keep ’em coming: it brightens up the (very dull) days back in rainy Oxon. Although having just planted a row of purple carrots, I shouldn’t complain about the rain….I wonder who will be finished first, the carrots, or you?

  13. Jane Spence says:

    Hi Sarah,

    Can’t believe you’re nearly on Mauritian time already.. just as if you’re trying to get to The Birthday early. Or break a record or something.

    Seen any good wildlife lately? A vet – sturgeon surgeon? – at London Zoo this week performed an operation to move a growth from a prickly leatherjacket triggerfish’s tail, so we’re not without our marine moments here in Metropolis.

    Hope you stay ahead of those chocolate hounds now chasing your own tail – they must be inspired by the ferocity of your pace and the perpendicularity of your surfing! They’ll savour the moment even more when you stop teasing and finally let them catch you up.

    Keep up the Maumentum! best Jane

  14. Kate Llewelyn says:

    Hey Sarah

    So you are a Gemini too are you? I’ll be three days (and a good few years) older than you son then! I’ll save some cake for you.

    Can’t believe how far you have got. Amazing work!

    Love from all at Arthritis Care
    Kte

  15. Graham Hadley says:

    I think Sarahs Mum is full of great ideas.
    I shall be sending Sarah a card, in the way of a donation to the charity…great idea, hope it catches on.
    Keep on rowin’ Sarah!
    All the best
    Graham

  16. Susie Hewson says:

    Sarah, we natracare SISTERS are holding a virtual birthday party for you and will ask all guests to donate a birthday gift to Arthritis care in honour of your great years (!) and great achievements to date. Expect organic and fair trade, virtual chocolate, cakes, gin & tonic and juice for those in training and wanting to keep a focus on the horizon for your approach into the Mauritian time zone.
    Sock it to em! Susie Hewson

  17. ian brocklebank says:

    hi sarah,count me in for the 26th,will get an ultra special cake and something rum based to toast you with!if the boating lake is still open i might go down and do a VERY pale impression of you foe a bit!jamboree is indeed a a word,think you ought to set this up when you get back,i wonder do you participate in international talk like a pirate day on september 19th?well worth it!love your mums idea about the card so will do that,hope everything is going well and that your headache has cleared up!yay for happy socks!
    cheers
    ian

  18. Marcel says:

    We’ll play our own exotic SEGA music complete with folkloric dancers.

    Spoke to Form 2 girls from Loretto Convent in Mahebourg today.We are organising a Follow Sarah project. It was on the occasion of the launch of a project on a little islet in Old Grand Port which was the first natural reserve of Mauritius. The Mauritius Wildlife Foundation did a marvellous job of removing all introduced fauna and flora species and reintroducing the endemic ones. Now they are getting the school children interested in carrying the flame into the next generation.

  19. Charly Sissons says:

    heya Sarah my b-day is on the 26th of June lol but no exams yay!!!
    and how about you try a couple of sailt on dippy and do some windsurfing rowing (it does exist lol ) hope all goes good WE ALL LOVE YOU charly XOX

  20. Grandma Barb says:

    Hi Sarah,
    You’ve made my day answering my email.When I get home from work, i check
    the computer to see how you,re doing. I have started a scrap book on
    that great adventure .What got me started on this there was a story in
    the Globe and Mail “Solo on the high seas” at the end of the story
    “follow Olly hicks on his blog virginglobalrow.com and so I did , he had to abort his plans .So here i am following you and loving every minute
    Take care
    Grandma Barb.

  21. Linda Morison says:

    Hey Sarah – I think you are amazing! I’ve only been following your progress for a few days and when there was no news for 2 days recently and I woke up wondering – Where’s Sarah???I hope she’s alright! When I was your age my parents, Louise and Jim, sailed their 32 ft boat from Perth to Mauritus. I was is Oregon at the time doing a Masters degree and worried myself sick, thinking how could they do this to me!I soon realised how self centred I was and came eventually to understand – you must do what you must do in this life. I am totally grateful that they did it. For themselves!! So good on you Sarah and best of luck.I am sending your letters by post to my folks who now live in Florida so they can follow your adventure too.They don’t have a computer or a TV but read everything they can get their hands on and always have been this way. After all at the end of our days we are not likely to say -Gee I wish I had watched more TV! We don’t have a TV either…and it’s so liberating.Take care and I hope you write a book about all this time you are having. Best Wishes Linda Morison

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