Seablog: Yes, we rather like the 70s. And do you like my hat?

I mentioned my Olympic hat in a despatch some time ago and now I thought I’d tell you about it…. I have many hats on board – the fleecey ‘warmer upper’ for wet windy days, the ‘bush’ hats, the one that makes me look like Lawrence of Arabia, various Buffs and more besides. But my favourite is my bright red (now very salty and less red) Team Canada baseball cap.

It was part of a Canadian Olympic ‘stash’ bundle donated to a charity Auction I organised a couple of years ago by Buffy Williams, ex-coach and team mate from St Hugh’s, my Oxford college, and veteran (she’ll love that!) Olympic rower. Another friend bought it all up and I was kindly given the hat and a shirt. The power of that hat is unbelievable – I put it on and I have the power of champions running through my veins. I can do anything with it on – scare away any Scaredy Imps making riotous noises in my head as we face off a towering wall of water…. Row on for another hour when it’s cold and wet and exhaustion has already settled down for a ride…. Become cheered up when frustrated and incarcerated on a Cabin Day.I am so glad I wasn’t wearing it for The Wash the other day – it might have become Fish Food. Gulp.

Buffy taught me a great deal as coach and team mate – not just about the technicalities of skinny boat rowing but also how to face up big challenges,competition, attitude and approach to life. She is the sort of woman who shaved her head for charity, greeted every single pre-dawn training session with a massive smile, who was out coaching us just days after the birth of her beautiful son and was to be spotted racing down the bankside during one of our campaigns, pushing him in his ‘stroller’. Dedication, optimism and 300% effort every time. That’s how you become an Olympian, I guess. Top top woman and very excited to have a part of that spirit on board. Buffy, if you’re reading this, thank you my friend, for all that you taught me.

The sun was out today and naturally I was to be seen singing and rowing my way Westerly in said Canada hat. Thankfully the sea was a bit less crazed too after its rioting the last few days. So not only could I relax into the rowing a bit more after the nervousness since The Wash, but I could also do some washing and leave the waterproofs to one side – the latter doing wonders for the rehabilitation of my derrière.

Yes, I think we like what we’ve seen of the 70s so far. We’re about three nauties from jumping over into the next degree after a cracking 50 miler this last 24 hours. Happy happy days.

S, D & my Olympic hat x x


War and Peace – Wonderful wonderful wonderful. I cried!
Maggie & Dick – Nothing tame about the Yukon-it’s on my list of things to do. Good luck!
Geoff – David Dicks 360’d in his boat?! Amazing.
Cousin J, George & Monsters- Can you premonitionise some more choc too ? And I still need a shark and a sea turtle? Juicy steak which magically lands in my boat?
Chris & Trevor- Happy 60th & enjoy the bus pass!
Barry Gumbert – I love Monty Python, great offering.
Charlie Chase – Mars bars always welcome.
Dominic Carrington – The ‘How do I hit Mauritius ‘ question. Time will tell.

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17 Responses to Seablog: Yes, we rather like the 70s. And do you like my hat?

  1. Helen ( Sarah's Mum) says:

    So pleased you are now in the 70’s !!……………….I remember them well!
    Keep at it, soon be there!!!

  2. Marcel says:

    Hi Helen.
    We could organise an old time (not that old) 70’s dance when you are in Mauritius whilst Sarah downs her Rum Punches.

  3. Sharon says:

    I have a hat that is like your Canada hat. It has magical powers. I love reading your blog and have been following you since you were on dry land preparing for your row. You are an inspiration! Good luck with the 70s.

  4. Geraldine says:

    rowrowrow Sweetie! you go girl…
    God Bless, Sarah (from a trans-Atlantic rower’s mum in Moscow).

  5. Chris & Trevor says:

    Christine was chuffed with message, but not sure the bus pass includes taking kayaks on the roof so not much use. Well done today fantastic effort after the dunking, you will soon be smelling the rum punch.
    Happy rowing
    Christine and Trevor

  6. clare holt says:

    given your feelings about the puddings on board, i was wondering what your favourite puddings whilst not ocean-rowing are? do you find yourself fantasising about lemon meringue or apple crumble? or are you more of a sorbet and fruit salad kind of a girl? I am currently faced with a glut of red currants, black currants and goosegogs so will be attempting my first ever summer pudding in the next few days. meanwhile the purple carrots have suffered an unfortunate setback(forgot they were there whilst weeding and decimated half the row in one fell swoop). The others are battling on, and may be slightly closer to finishing their journey than you are, but who knows? I shall leave them there for another week or three…
    good news about the conditions….

  7. Roger Hayward says:

    The pupils of St Brigid’s school in North Wales have come within a whisker of raising £400 for you on our charity day. The cheque will be in the post soon.

  8. Godfolkes says:

    We met your Father in the 70s and things have never been the same since!!??? A good decade me thinks. Hope its not too long before you reach the 60s but we will deny remembering those days!! Our love.

  9. Barry Gumbert says:

    I thought the “Crunchy Frog” might help keep your mind off Chocolate.

    Your warm-up lap reminded me of the foot race for people with no sense of direction.

    When you reach land you’ll be doing the “silly walk” until you become a land lubber again.

  10. Janis Hatlestad says:


    Congrats on the “cracking 50”! WooHoo! May the squiggles continue to be left far behind in your wake. Trackin’ progress is great.

    Glad you were tethered for the tumble. Hoping you, Dippers and Tweedles maintain a close dance as you fly along to M! Think “disco” for 70s dancing, like “The Hustle”. (No more head banging Moshing Punk will be allowed!) Good theme dance for the 60s may be a line dance, like Locomotion, just don’t get too crazy! Then, coax Dippers into a smooth Bossa Nova as you cruise on in for the Rum Punch.

    Bless you and Godspeed,

    Woodland Hills, CA

  11. John Skevington says:

    You are going well Sarah.
    As Sir Winston Churchil said, “Never, never, never give up”.
    Are you wearing two safety harnesses so that if you unclip one to move it, you are still attached with the other one?
    And do you have a knife attached to your calf so that if you go overboard and are tangled in ropes, you can cut yourself free?
    John (from RPYC)

  12. xtina says:

    “So pleased you are now in the 70’s” me too remember’s them well.

    Sarah you are North of where Guy and Andy are ~ virtually on the same long’
    They have been missing chocolate sooooo much, am bringing out lots, have packed some for you too.
    Spoke to Guy briefly, yesterday ~ he has asked for Minstrels and Haribo Star Mix.You are all STARS!!!!
    Hope your wrist is better now?
    How are the Tweedles? maybe they don’t like the 70’s
    Take care
    lv xT

  13. Tom Talbot says:

    Have just been looking at a wounderfull straight line west keep it up all the best Tom

  14. ian says:

    hi sarah,glad things are going well again after “the wash”might uncross some stuff after all.
    i was struck by your comments regarding buffy williams,it is a source of joy to me that people such as yourself undertaking a titanic effort with focus and drive providing huge inspiration day to day also have people you look up to,it is a triumph of human spirit that that there is always someone/something for us all to strive to,brilliant…………
    between an olympic hat and happy socks hopefully you are weel set up for the next bit!
    here’s to the 60’s…..

    best regards to you and dippers

  15. Jackie says:

    Sarah! I just wanted to say Hi and to cheer you on as it were..we have been watching your progress since the first time you left Perth and are truly amazed at your sheer bravery.When the weather is really rough and the waves are huge we think “Oh My Goodness poor Sarah being stuck out in THAT, and in the DARK too !!!!!”
    We are actually Poms but have migrated to WA in 2007..heard about you via the local radio station Hot FM, do you remember you spoke to Chippy and Nay one morning? Just wanted to send you our admiration and encouragement..keep going! What happens when you get to Mauritius? You aren’t gonna row back again I take it?!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    love and Hugs from Dry Land,
    Jackie, Vic and Heidi xo

  16. The Roomes says:

    Sarah Hi!!! We are all together this w/e i.e Will is home for 36 hours from Sandhurst and we have been talking about you a lot. Hope all is going well for you now after your recent escapades with rolls, whales and winds in the wrong direction! Wishing you speedy progress west, and hope that the ice does not melt in the rum punch before you get there!! Love from us all, Peter Carol and Will

  17. Canada eh! Seems you have some Canadian ties there Sarah…Your Natracare SISTER is here too, just west of Toronto by about 75km FAR, FAR, FAR from the ocean, but close via the internet! Congrats on reaching the 70’s!

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