Seablog: Zippedy doo da, Zippedy Zen

Yes, we are still going backwards.
But I have now reached a happy state of indifference,Zen perhaps, with respect to the miles we have lost this last week. In fact it rather amuses me that we have scooted back to see what life is like on the Australian side of 86°East. Especially when I consider that we can make the distance back up in a day or two of rowing with the beautiful SE winds which are due in the next 18 hours. We will literally repeat a whole degree of longitude! Now I can consider myself thrice lucky – not many people even get to see this 60 mile stretch of the ocean. I shall have seen it three times in my shuttle-rowing (there-back-there again). If ever there’s anything you need to know about this little patch of blue, I am on my way to being an expert. Questions on a postcard.

I spoke to Andy and Guy earlier, aboard Flying Ferkins, also (would you believe it?!) rowing to Mauritius. They are a few hundred miles South and a couple of degrees East. We all agreed that this game is all about the weather – with the right winds we make mincemeat of the miles; with the wrong winds, they try and make mincemeat of us. But, as the lovely Mel Gibson roared in the also lovely Scottish glens, ‘ THEY MAY TAKE OUR MILES, BUT THEY’LL NEVER TAKE OUR HAPPY SOCKS!’ Or something like that, I forget the exact phrase. Nor shall they take our Tweedles, our sunsets, our sunrises, our moonbows, our chats with Orion, our deep blue swims and our absolute peace and happiness at being out here. Yes, I may have grumbled a bit but I am essentially super super happy. The main worry at the moment is what do I do with my hair in a bid to prevent matting, potential birds nesting or major visual impairment. I rarely use a comb at home, why would I have thought to bring one out here?!

Meanwhile, Bob is out keeping the peace and I am having a lovely day doing nothing in the sunshine. I have cleaned and sharpened my Leatherman knife, made myself a bracelet, had a long Tweedle Observation & Research session, mapped out various career plans and sat out on deck reading poetry. All very bohemian and a perfect way to prepare for the new Red Carpet. How many people can say they have had such an idyllic day and washed it down with a surprise can of Sprite, found nestled in the bows? Feel super lucky indeed and promise never to grumble again.

S, D & Bob x x


Alan & Dawn Thomas – Chocolate farms exist?!! I might amend my career plan now I know that. Was thinking of you both the other day and our last bash in Southampton. Great news about Hilary – I hope she’s having better luck with the winds than I am.

Charly Sissons – Shouldn’t you be revising?!

David B – I would really like a plankton net, ID guide, magnifier and pickling bottles. Biscuits et al very welcome too.

Ron in Vancouver – Ah, now I know this, maybe I should do some more loops. Tehe!

Grandma Barb – Absolutely no idea about stroke number, mind cringes at the thought of all the zeroes. Can’t pick a single moment but here are some of the best: Albatrosses….plankton….the blue of a 5000m deep swim…. Storm clouds…sunsets…sunrises….starry nights…cloudless skies….big towering waves…

Nick H – It seems all the more bizarre for me reading comments etc out here on my own! 72 days without seeing another person. Love to your kids, from one who knows- keep truckin’.

Barry Gumbert – Excellent choice from Mr Kipling. Thank you!

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18 Responses to Seablog: Zippedy doo da, Zippedy Zen

  1. Diana says:

    Hi Sarah,
    A newbie following your blog- I was at St Hugh’s a hundred years ago so this is how I heard of your trip.
    I remember once on an Indonesian beach trailing my hands in the water and realising I was instantly connected to all the other lands that touch the ocean and so not really so far away from people and places special to me. Hope your day goes well and the winds start to be fair for you. Lovely day here in the Cotswolds in Gloucestershire- I was in the allotment at 6 am thrushes and blackbirds calling and eveything growing and realised it’s a fabulous planet we have. best wishes Diana Ray

  2. Tom Talbot says:

    I am lost for words so wont say any following your progress every day all the best keep smiling Tom

  3. Mark Powell says:

    Cut it off and then no real issues apart from Sun burn as I can bear testimony too, but judging by the current state of play not a MAJOR WORRY!! Keep up the cleaning, you will never know what you might find next?? So pleased your spirits are so high keep it up and love all your missives.

  4. Sarah, Dippers & Bob greetings to you all. Jamie and I are still loving your blogs especially the one from ‘Msr.Tweedle le Grand’ – awesome, made us laugh so much (definitely a great idea for a book….watch this space). We are thinking of you always, especially at night time when the stars come out – I bet Orion enjoys your chats too! Keep positive and smiling (which we know you are) and give Dippers a pat from us. Love Emily & Jamie x

  5. Rosie says:

    Sarah, I know you enjoy challenges & obviously at some point you decided that rowing across the Indian Ocean once wasn’t challenging enough, so you thought you would do it twice! D’oh! Keep enjoying & I’ll keep drinking the pimm’s for you until you get back (that’s a challenge enough for me at the mo)! R xx

  6. Hair? Take advice from a practical chemist(who might also have “forgotten” her comb). What’s a newly-sharpened Leatherman for, if not for frustrating broody seabirds? Use any glossy surface as mirror. By all means grumble, but only if you share it. More advice: career plan – bracelet-making. All the best, Hazel.

  7. David B. says:

    I realize that your appitite knows no bounds, but pickled plankton sounds discusting!

  8. David B. says:

    disgusting too.

  9. Roger Rooney - Geraldton says:

    Sarah, complain all you want – it helps to keep the heebie-jeebies away. You’re doing marvellously well (and I reckon heading north is the right direction, for what its worth). You have a veritable army of your friends and other people following you from the comfort of their homes and wishing you well; what else can we do? And who needs hair? We’d all like to see you make Mauritius, and I’m sure we’d all love to be there to greet you when you arrive, as arrive you will.
    You’ve been out there on the ocean longer than any of those in the Indian Ocean race. Just keep going and smile and shout as much as you can. All the very best to you.

  10. xtina says:

    Sarah: so pleased to hear you have chatted with Guy and Andy. “You are all in the same boat” dare I say it!!!

    You are all shuttle rowing!!!
    and i am knowing
    that ~
    Being as positive as you all are

    Eddie will go steady,
    As soon as he’s ready,
    For you all to go flying West.

    Happy days and Happy socks
    no worries about your locks.


  11. BPC and Albie says:

    Hey Outey!
    You do manage to make your day sound most appealing indeed, sun, sea, reading, relaxing! But do post ‘moaning’ blogs as well – I want to share it all with you! At staff meeting this week they mentioned taking the children to the Southampton Boat Show in Sept, so I piped up and shared your story. I’m taking in info on you tomorrow to share at our inset day. Ooh, i could wear your T-shirt!!
    Send my love to Orion, I’m going to sleep when it’s still light these days! xxx

  12. Sarah Black says:

    Hey Sarah, are close to completing our own voyage, having just arrived in the Clyde after 10 days sailing north from Southampton. Very happy to be here, only 9 days till our wedding now so plenty of sailing and relaxing to be done before the big day.

    Still following your progress and delighted to see the humour and happiness have stayed with you all the way.

    Lots of love


  13. Sarah, you could catch a fish, eat it, then make a comb by drying out the back bone. Just a thought!

    Now your laughing!

  14. Barry Gumbert says:


    I must down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
    And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,
    And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s
    And a grey mist on the sea’s face, and a grey dawn breaking.

    I must down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
    Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
    And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
    And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

    I must down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
    To the gull’s way and the whale’s way where the wind’s like a
    whetted knife;
    And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover
    And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.

    By John Masefield (1878-1967).
    (English Poet Laureate, 1930-1967.)

  15. Tracey Mason says:

    HAIR IDEA: plait (or is it plat??) your hair. lots of lovely little plaits/plats all over your head will do the trick. multi tasking as well;
    the plaits/plats will stay in for days so no maintenance needed.

    It gives you something to so whilst waiting for the winds to drop,

    and the natural oils will do it the world of good.

    Or you can just finger comb it or chop it off.

    But I think a good head of hair should be saved (that’s saved, not shaved)

  16. Robert Nixon says:

    Only 17 nmiles to the Tropic of Capricorn… sounds like another reason to have a sea party 😉

  17. Grandma Barb says:

    Hello Sarah,
    I know it’s getting a little difficult for you right now,but i envy you
    being able to experience nature at it’s best. however this is a morning
    poem you might want think about.
    Every morning when you rise
    Sing some merry song;
    The one that is the cheeriest
    And brightens up the dawn.
    Make a smile that’s happy
    With eyes that ever gleam
    And always keep your spirit
    Prepared for every dream
    By Joan Stephen
    Take care and be careful.
    Geandma Barb

  18. Sue Wigram says:

    Hi Sarah,
    I’m still so impressed by your blogs……….how you are all doing this I’m not quite sure. The weather sounds to have been so awful for you all, but hopefully you will all now have a good run. My Tom on R4P sounds to be surviving, but there’s various aches and sores, and they have obviously all been fairly down, but not too long now before Mauritius. Keep going and I hope you have some more beautiful sunsets, and sunrises to enjoy. Happy rowing.

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