Seablog: The best blue

(NB This is a couple of days later than planned as a few blogs appear to have been lost in cyber space. Grrrr!)

How’s this for service? Postponing my lunch to come and blog about one of my best experiences yet. So excited and chuffed that I had to share it. No, not seen pirouetting dolphins or a Bengal tiger on a raft with a young boy. But I have just seen perhaps the most beautiful and pure blue ever invented. It’s a hot, fairly calm day. Wanting to take a photo of Tweedledum and Tweedledee I stuck my toes over the side and really rather liked it. Not at all chilly (Not for a Brit anyway-don’t know about the Aussies!!). So, wanting to conquer my niggling coward inside I decided to don mask and snorkel and have a swim. Last time I tried this on Day 9 I stood on the sidde deck for ten minutes bigging myself upto it, then having slipped in the water, put my face in and seen a tiny wee fishy looking up at me, squealed and leapt out. This time was beautiful, however. Tweedledum and Tweedledee were soon joined by their friends and I was surrounded by inquisitive stripey black and white fish. Surveying Dippers’ hull I realised a bit of spring cleaning was in order. While the antifoul seems to be doing a great job, there were a few patches where my second coat of paint in Freo had missed, around the cradle beams and the intake hole for the Gin Machine. So, wielding my
‘gooseneck barnacle eviction device’ (75p ice scraper from Wilco!) I jumped back in and asserted my authority as landlord. Thinking about it, I should have brought some up to look at more closely-I’ve never grown my own barnacles. Still, the Tweedle crowd seemed quite pleased for the free snack.

So, another happy day at sea! Remember : do something every day that scares you. Good for the soul.

S & D x

PS I was clipped onto the boat at all times (as I always am)

PPS The chart shows some 5324m of blue beneath me

PPPS Please will someone offer my Mum a stiff drink – think this blog may have freaked her out a bit!

PPPPS Note to self : must learn to dive in near future

PPPPPS Must now do some rowing

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23 Responses to Seablog: The best blue

  1. Geoff Holt says:

    Miss O – can’t believe you are more than a 1/3rd into your journey – Mmm, mid-Indian Ocean swim, bet that was cool, perhaps next time you could swim the Indian? Delighted to hear all is well – don’t feel guilty about catching and eating Tweedle Dee & Dum – I bet they would taste lovely – sushi and chocolate – great combo. Row safely. The Holts xx

  2. Remora says:

    Hopping over the side is a bit scary! You probably are not aware they exist Miss Sarah, but next time you head off rowing, take an electronic “Shark Sheild” with you. They are designed and made in Australia for divers, swimmers and surfers, etc, and are very compact and would be perfect to safegaurd you while you swim near the boat.

  3. Darren says:

    Hi Sarah, I was surfing the net a couple of days ago and came across your site, what an adventure. I sweep a couple of surf boat crews for Bondi surf life saving club, and find that quite daunting at times given the conditions the ocean can throw at you, and we are only 1km out to see at best. This is an amazing experience and I am astounded by your courage to battle the elements and power the boat under your own steam. I look forward to hearing more of your experiences soon. Stay safe and enjoy your trek. Fellow boatie Darren

  4. Cousin J, George and monsters says:

    Hi Sarah, what a treat getting 2 blogs so soon after each other. Loving the detail, feels like we are there. Great progress but even better that you have the time and physical/ mental strength to enjoy it so much. Keep it up and thinking of you as ever x

  5. Sarah Black says:

    Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful!!!!!! So glad you are enjoying this adventure!

  6. Robert Nixon says:

    Sarah, do take a scuba when you get back. I took a class last fall and my fears of the water have greatly diminished. Go for it. Anyway, good to hear that the hitch-hiking ocean residents have been mostly leaving you alone.

  7. Dominic Carrington says:

    What a fantastic spirit! Can’t think of anything more nerve racking or thrilling than snorkling unaccompanied in the middle of the Indian Ocean. Seems like eons ago when I was first introducted to your infectious smile in R100 off Rotto on you warm up lap! One hell of an inspiration! Keep it up. Flew over you on my way back to Perth on Monday but you proablay weren’t waving so I missed seeing Dippers!! lol!! Loads of infinite support. Dom.

  8. Your big Brother says:

    Sounds like your having fun. We should go and learn scuba when ur back? its something im desperate to learn!! keep up the good work, and it wont be long before your drinking cocktails on a beach in mauritius!! speak soon, big love xxx

  9. ian brocklebank says:

    hi sarah,glad you had such a great day,thanks for sharing!hope there are a few more opportunities ahead on this voyage for you to have some funyour kindness to the fishes regarding de barnacling will perhaps bring you some luck and perhaps a speedier passage.
    best wishes as always

  10. Ken says:

    If it was me I’d be having nightmares every night after a dip over the side. I’d be drifting away from the boat and see it floating further and further – uh oh, I need a cup of tea!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. Graham Hadley says:

    Skinny dippin again! Good to see (from google earth) that you are keeping astride of the game. Closest crew in the Indian Ocean race only 200 miles behind you now. You should be able to see them soon! Or at least talk to them on VHF.
    Diving (scuba) is great and you shold really make the effort to dive Rottnest and the surrounding marine Park.

  12. Ken says:

    Skinny dipping for the world to see? It is amazing what you can see on Google Earth, isnt it? I was wondering Sarah, is that a birthmark on your, er, on your um?

  13. Mum says:

    Thankfully Sarah is ALWAYS attached to the boat if she’s “over the side”…….at least that’s what she tells ME!
    It’s so good to read everyone’s comments on her blogs…she enjoys them too.
    I have it on good authority…that yesterday she ate three Mars bars and then was overjoyed later to “find” her bottle of knobbly mustard…great to add flavour to her dehydrated meals!!…. I secreted several little “foodie” surprises amongst her daily rations…just to add a bit of variety.
    Thanks again for your continuing support…PLEASE spread the word around and get people to “DIP into pockets ” and give donations to Arthritis Care…..they work so hard to empower arthritis sufferers…its such a devastating disease….

  14. Marcel says:

    So you have experienced “Le Grand Bleu”.
    When you are in Mauritius I’ll take you for a ride on ScubaDoo which is run by a mate of mine. His Operations Manager is a Level 5 PADI Instructor who also trains people in Traditional Diving with bottles etc. He will be pleased to give you diving lessons.
    Check “”

  15. susie Hewson says:

    Sarah, a stiff drink for your Mum, wow, and I am worried about my son trekking to Everest Base Camp in June… Sarah’s Mum, how do you do it??? Sarah, I hope you are sketching out the chapters of your solo book too, your descriptions are so vivid, I feel as if I am there with you – that would be me hiding behind the sofa in your cabin, that’s metaphorical of course. Inspiring. Go to it Girl. Susie

  16. Have you never seen the movie Open Water!! Sarah, what are you thinking girl? Whilst the great big blue (that is VERY deep isn’t it!) could seem tempting (espeically for someone like yourself who is obviously drawn to danger and the unknown) it might not be the best thing! Wait until you have learnt to scuba dive and you are with buddies! As all the divers out there will tell you, the beauty beneath is breath taking (no pun intended, sorry!)but for now, keep rowing, rowing, rowing.

  17. Sarah (stitch girl!) says:

    Hellooo Otter! I’ve just been reading your blogs in complete awe and fascination, when’s the book out?? I’ll definitely be in the queue to get a signed copy!
    You sound like you’re having an amazing adventure, i often think about you being out there and being so adventurous and it just makes me smile that you’ve done all this and got to where you are (literally!), your determination and eternal cheery-ness are an inspiration. Take care and happy rowing! lots of love, Sarahx

  18. Felicity Rollings says:

    Hi Sarah! I’m so glad you enjoyed swimming with the Indian Ocean marine life! Have you seen any turtles yet on your travels?! The progress you’re making on your tracker is amazing – keep up with all the hard work, you’re doing really well! I’m glad to hear you’re enjoying yourself, even if there is the odd moment when waves give you a rude awakening early in the morning! Thanks so much for all the blogs – they’re great fun for us to read whilst sitting in cold, grey England! All the best chickadee! Love Flick xxx

  19. James Hickerson says:

    Your posts and phone messages are great. Don’t listen to the nervous Nellies. Keep up the swimming, the singing, the dancing…… all of it. If courage was the issue, you wouldn’t be where you are. Help us all feel what is like to truly be alive in world that is not of our own making. You go girl!

  20. xtina says:

    Your description of joining the “barnacles and below” amazing to read ~ you must feel happy to have stretched your body for awhile.As you say “doing something that scares you IS good for the soul” so true!!!

    Keep enjoying and tell us more …
    take care

  21. Lina says:

    Hi Sarah! have not come to chat for a couple of days….I just read your blog, how refreshing the way you describe your ” alentours” and how unbelievable your little adventure in the great ocean…. but I can feel that you are enjoying every minute of it…..well Sarah I am so happy that you are making so much progress and getting closer to Mauritius!!! and to get stuck into that Rum and Coconut punch drink…not long now, Keep rowing! keep going! you are doing great!

  22. Amanda B says:

    Swoosh – that’s the noise my tum made as it did a dip’n’ dive reading about you snorkelling around with all that water beneath you! Loved the description of the fish – they are so inquisitive, probably made their day, I doubt they see two-legged fish that often…! Keep up the good work and carry on enjoying it. Amanda x

  23. Anna W says:

    Sarah O you are bonkers, i was on a cross channel ferry the other day and it scared me enough looking down and out and not seeing land!Luckily though i thought to myself – at least i could swim to the nearerst huge marker buoy guiding us into Dover and wave if i ever found myself bobbing around!Well it sounds like you are having a lovely time out there with tweedle dee and tweedle dum – keep it up. Ps if you fancy it, Louise, Em and I are booked onto the Windsor Half Marathon in September??
    Anna x

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