Seablog: Sunshine,vine leaves, baked beans & abottle of fizz…

What more could you need for a happy birthday? Apart from someone to row the boat while I snooze off the fizz, nothing at all. Pleased to say this is a wonderful day – we are going in the right direction; the sun is out and the sea a beautiful blue; I’ve got cards all over the cabin and both a birthday badge and a new pair of happy socks. They are the only ‘land clean’ item of clothing on the boat now (‘boat clean’ is an oxymoron-there are just different levels of smelliness) and have come at a perfect point because the other pair of happy socks was last washed in Australia!

I even have a cake out here. Though I can’t actually eat it, for it is more photo than eggs, flour etc. A genius friend cut out a photo of a cake I was given by one of my rowing crews two years ago. It says ‘Oarsome Outen’ on it. Quite appropriate what with this rowing lark and at least I have the satisfaction of knowing that I did eat it once upon a time.

I have just enjoyed my birthday lunch of stuffed vine leaves, butter beans in a delicious sauce and a bottle of fizz. Since being at sea my stomach has shrunk and I have become a complete lightweight – feel happily tipsy and only managed half a tin of each delicacy. May have had something to do with the mars bar entrée ten minutes prior to the main course… Dinner will therefore be the same, only with a tin of peaches as well.

Not only am I both surprised and very happy to have made it to the grand old age of 2.4 decades, I am ecstatic at my ability to resist temptation. Many a night have I dreamed of those peaches and when I magically woke at the cusp of midnight last night/this morning I spent ten minutes convincing myself to wait until today and not have a sticky midnight feast. How about that for resolve?

Don’t forget, everyone is welcome to my party later 1930 onwards – whatever time zone suits. Just come quietly if you’re West of us and coming late – I don’t want an angry shark knocking on my door tomorrow saying we woke the kids.

2000-2200 BST BBC Radio 2 for my date with the lovely Radcliffe & Maconie.

Thanks everyone for the cards, messages, donations etc. Mum was away all weekend so I had a weekend’s worth emailed last night and they really made me smile after a long and tiring day chasing back miles we had lost the day before. They have helped make a super happy birthday.

S x

Patti – Phone only ever on if I’m using it or expecting a call-so you’d be lucky to catch me! Please contact Amy at Whisper (see media page) to get my boat email address.

George, J & Monsters – Intrigued by sheep fayre! Don’t tell Mum or she’ll be knitting socks straight off their backs.

Julian & Co – Great to hear from you! Hope all well with you all. Did your folks enjoy Mauritius?

Marcel – Please ask your shipping buddy to tell all tankers I am not to be squashed!

Hazel Rossetti – I have the photo of your lucky scarf in the cabin!

Flick – Great card my friend – first turtle. Maybe a real one will show up soon. Happy memories of my 19th in Mexico! Quesadillas, beers and lots of bricks in the lagoon…

Amy B – Thought of our Eights escapades as ’tis the season! Thanks for text – don’t know if my reply made it?

Malcolm Scriven – Genius U6. Sounds like fun!

Grandma Barb – Only flying things this far out are fish and birds.

David in Telluride – Great film, watched it before I came out. Tragic ending.

Geoff & Janet – Thank goodness you’re back; I’ve been growing tired of this patch. Didn’t want you to miss anything, you see. I can’t stand those meals – they are worse than the ones from England!! I have stashed most in a locker, hopefully never going to need them…

Mrs S – Camera only. Boat too splashy/wobbly for decent sketching, especially on albie days. They need lots of wind.

Vixatus – Marvellous card & badge m’dear. Chuckled out loud . Happy birthday for the 5th!

Caroline & Roger – Happy memories of my first dip in the ocean. And that delicious lunch – any chance of a takeaway?! Roger – its Summer Eights this week in Ox. We never did catch Exeter…

Brian & Jules – Sadly the only cake is a photo of one! Your planisphere is great for learning the stars, thank you. Say hello to Jack for me.

Vicky Toon, Jay and those with arthritis – Keep truckin’ my friends, I know only something of your battles and have the utmost respect. The memory of Dad’s fight keeps me going out here.

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33 Responses to Seablog: Sunshine,vine leaves, baked beans & abottle of fizz…

  1. Amanda B says:

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY SARAH! Will be along later for the party – just got to find a dress that goes with the socks…
    Enjoy your day and the peaches, Amanda x

  2. Mike says:

    Happy birthday Sarah.
    Pleased to see you are back heading in the right direction.

  3. Lizzie and Jane and Judith says:

    Happy Birthday, Sarah. We are so enjoying following your progress and are full of huge admiration. Lots of luck for the remaining miles. xxxxx

  4. Charlie Chase says:

    Your virtual Present is on it’s way to Justgiving.
    I shall be listening to the Richard and Maconie Show tonight.
    I shall toast you with a tot of rum at the same time, and I hope to hear you on the BBC World Service too. Have a great birthday
    from Charlie – ex-R.N. and ex-HMS Mauritius (on the island), at Vacoas, 1974

  5. Kate Llewelyn says:

    Happy happy birthday Sarah. I’m looking forward to the party later on! Kate xx

  6. Elaine says:

    Hi Sarah
    Happy Birthday!!! Lots of love and best wishes from all of us at Ash Cottage…it’s great to follow your fantastic journey-keep it up!!

    Stuart, Elaine, Doreen and “The Boys” xx

  7. Sir Walter Bar-Arse III says:

    Been out a year already eh! Well top show that. Happy anniversary and all.

    There’s a couple on committee were very skeptical of your chances and it made for quite a show last evening to see their faces when the vote was put for an official communique from everyone here at the Royal wishing you a jolly happy anniversary and all that. So there you are. Must be proud as punch of yourself – and deservedly so.

    Not mentioning names mind, but a certain member has rather fallen out with the Ladies Auxiliary over your achievements. They’ve been following your progress with great enthusiasm (they’ve a chart of the Indian Ocean pasted over the honor roll near the bar with little pins marking your daily position) and when you crossed the 90th they seemed somehow empowered and even put in for a new urn for the parlor. Got up it did too, which has left Upton-Smyth in rather a lather because he’s still hoping for a ‘T’ head to be agreed on Lagonda’s Child’s finger jetty so he can still keep her tender near the Club wharf once the goodly ‘Dippers’is made right at home. Not that funds are short here at the Royal but he’s naturally put out at having to go ‘on notice’ when the urn was approved ‘impromptu’.

    Of course he maintained a brave front later on at sherry, but he excused himself early and I think everyone ‘knew’, eh, know what I mean!

    So there you have it; things are moving along just nicely. Of course we might just string him out a few more meetings, environmental impact study, that sort of thing, but he’s obvioulsy coming around to the idea of Dippers arrival on the main jetty – and rightly so.

    Anyhow, sure you’re too busy with celebrations to be worrying about such travails. Who knows, by the time you arrive, Upton Smyth will probably have wrangled his way to firing the welcoming cannon. So jolly good show out there. Think I’ll pop a pin in the chart myself today – being special and all.

    Jolly good then,

    Sir Walter Bard-Arse III
    Magazine Editor
    Royal Mega Club (and sailing)
    The Fort
    Cowes, England.

  8. Amy Bryant says:

    Happy boaty birthday!!!
    Enjoy your special day. Don’t Eights seem a world away…? You deserve a pasta party to beat all pasta parties on your return!!
    Lots of love, Amz xxx

  9. Louise R says:

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY Sarah, have been following your progress online (am currently in a rather sunny Sydney) and it’s all looking rather exciting, keep up the effort, hope the weather is good to you

  10. Glo Pringle says:

    Cor, you got a birthday badge! Nice one!!!

  11. Cousin J, George & Monsters says:

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!! so glad the weather is behaving for you, best pressie you could have wished for (other than happy socks obviously).

    The Sheep & wool fayre consisted of lots of sheep shearing, spinning wool and felt making along with the annual sheep race back to the paddock. Helen would have loved it!

    Enjoy your birthday xx

  12. John t says:

    Having just done a mental recap of all that has happend in the last 55 days (& a wistfull return to wher and what i was doing @ 24) i can only offer envy and large lumps of Happy Birthdays..Keep it up ,legs arms,legs arms..
    John T Perth

  13. Anita says:

    Happy Birthday, Sarah – we would have sung to you in assembly but we’re all on holiday!!
    Lars has now joined the happy sock brigade and is well chuffed!
    Lots of love to you,
    Anita, Lars, Will and Jonny xxxx

  14. Rosie says:

    Happy Birthday!

    Enjoy & I look forward to celebrating in style when you get back! Summer 8’s about to start tomorrow – I’ll be watching & drinking the odd pimms for you (& me)!

    R xx

  15. Lina says:

    Hi Sarah, Hope your birthday was a happy one,and had a great party. Great to see that the weather has been good to you..Well it will be my last comment for a while, as I am going to hospital tomorrow to have surgery on my shoulder. But i will still be following your tracker, only I will not be able to type for a while. All the very very best for the coming week.

  16. terry bradley says:

    Hi Sarah . Happy to hear you have had a wonderful birthday ,best wishes for today , great to the weather has been nice for your day ,at last past 90 ,great your well on your way to acheivment keep it up ,love your jovial humor & spirit ,you are well away from us in Aussie now but will keep following to you acheive your goal .Have a great party Cheerio TERRY.

  17. Lakpa Bhotia says:

    Hi Sarah
    Charlie Martell, who is in Nepal right now, told me what you are doing and today is your Birthday! I’m a retired Gurkha Officer of the British Army currently working with Charlie in Nepal. I wish you many happy returns of the day and all the best. I’m really very proud of you of what you are doing and all the best. I would like to hear from you from the finish line. God bless you.

    Lakpa Tshering Bhotia
    Kathmandu, Nepal

  18. Ange Wheatley says:

    Happy Birthday Sarah from the Wheatleys in Oakham! Enjoy your new pair of happy socks. Take care and enjoy your party tonight. Lots of love Terry and Ange x

  19. BPC and Albie says:

    Hope you’ve been continuing to enjoy your day! sounds like such a special one and i have so enjoyed thinking of you all day! have just made a donation. Hoping for plenty more happy rowing days, lots and lots of love, xxx

  20. Your big Brother says:

    Happy Birthday Sarah, Bet you’ll never forget this one!!! Big Love xxx

  21. Vanessa and Richard says:

    Dear Sarah

    Many happy returns from the Wishart family. 26th May has a special significance for us as well – so we will raise a glass tonight !!

    Bon Voyage

    Richard and Vanessa

  22. The Wroe's says:

    Many happy returnes its definatley a very different way of celebrating it!! Hope all is going well and that you are ok and on track. Hope to see you when you get back, good luck for rest of journey all our love xx

  23. Marcel says:

    No Super Tankers would dare quash you. We would blow them to high heavens.

    Joyeux Anniversaire Sarah.
    A bientôt à l’île Maurice.

    I raised (or should I say “downed”) some French Champagne in your honour last night. (A couple of bottles actually)

    Big Hug

  24. Luke H says:

    Sara H.

    Happy birthday! Where was I on my 24th birthday? Not half way accross the Indian Ocean, that’s for sure! Tremendous feat!

    Keep up your attitude! I’m pulling for you. (Yes, pun intended.)



    Boston, MA, USA

  25. Jane Spence says:

    Hi Sarah,
    Your birthday is going on in so many time zones I am not sure how old you are any more! Mike Foale (astronut, then only astrophysicist) used to explain to me exhaustively how he’d ‘get younger’ going into space but such Einsteinian niceties lost on me. Hope so much you’ve had a great time and managed to have chats with your many and faithful pals and, most importantly, with your wonderful Mum. Hope you are happy, centred, and in the groove. Will look forward to you on the radio – the timing isn’t good for you but maybe a short night will kick up your rate and pay off in the end.
    We just had bank hol and I/we spent it sailing. Got a boat down on the east coast. Fab after grey desert weeeks of London. Next week I’m on leave in Cornwall – hurrah.

    keep enjoying it – we’re all pushing you westwards…. Jane

  26. alex says:

    happy birthday have a wonderful day out in the ocean i think it will probably be your most memorable bday lots and lots of love alxxxxxxxxxxxx

  27. Charlotte Clarke says:

    Many happy returns! What an incredible way to celebrate your 24th birthday! I’ll be listening tonight…hope you enjoyed the peaches!
    Keep going strong girl!
    Charlotte x

  28. David B. says:

    Happy Birthday, Happy Socks !

  29. lauraine says:

    Dear Sarah, i only heard of you and heard your lively lovely voice for the first time tonight on R&M show, which i hear very intermittently and love. I especially love M’s view of celebrity – when he says you have done all this compared with celebrs who do virtually nothing. I totally agree.

    Happy Birthday Sarah. You are amazing, to be alone on the wide, wide sea as a young woman. Such tenacity, such bravery. I thought i had an idea of your boat. But i didn’t – it is so small. You are amazing. I love books on the sea which surrounds Britain. I especially loved Alex Jennings reading Charlie Connolly’s fabulous, funny book. I have never sailed, and kind of have the yearning even at my age… Maybe one day.

    But, one small thing i would like to say to you, and with some hesitation. How dangerous your life is at present. How much you must have loved your Dad, i guess. I lost my dear dad 3 years ago, and i loved him so much. I have just lost my mum, and again, love is so evident at these sad times. But we all have to die. And to live…

    Just to say, we can’t live our parents’ lives. We can only live our own life. Yours is so exciting at present. But also – is it lonely? it kind of seems so from your Birthday blog….From your website i kind of get an impression of a young woman who is very attractive, and has lots of friends and family but who takes herself away from them. When life is so short…

    Why deny yourself your own life and loves?

    I really do admire your tenacity and courage. And you’ve done 55 days !! Why not call it a day? Look after yourself. Be kind to yourself. (We can all do the denying bit). Take care anyway,


  30. Libby says:

    Happy Birthday to You,
    HB Dear Sarah
    Love from Libby, Philip, Meg and 7 puppies – any chance you could have them at night time? They would love to be sea dogs.

    Thinking of you everyday, but especially on your Birthday. I cannot believe you are that old already. Keep on rowing.

  31. Nick Hornsby says:

    Just heard your broadcast on Radio 2 with Stuart – I lost my dad when I was 16, now a very long time ago but it still hurts.
    I wish you all the best and will be following your progress via your web site and I hope you achieve all your ambitions and return home safe and sound.
    I have two teenage kids and I cannot think how worried I would be if they did a journey like yours when they “grew up” – Your mum must be well cool and I’m sure totally supportive.
    Kind regards
    Nick Hornsby
    (PS: I’m not the famous author – he has loads more money and talent (but less hair) I have the “s” in my surname !)

  32. Vicky H says:

    Happy Birthday Outey!!!!! Thinking about you all the time! The Harris clan send their love. Missing you like mad and love you so so much xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  33. Barry Gumbert says:

    Happy Birthday little one. I wrecked my knee again (could need surgery again) so we need you more than ever.

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