Hello from the ocean – this is your rower calling… day 8 of the Atlantic and all is well. Day 8 I tell you, I think someone is playing tricks with days and dates because the days are flying by. This is by far the easiest settling in period of any of my rows so far – things feel surprisingly normal and happily free from the crippling nausea that I usually endure thanks to some additional meds from Doctor Dave on the Cape. The lack of fish feeding means I have been eating normally and have been in good shape to row as fast as possible away from land.
The weather scene has been set – it is going to be a changeable crossing with lots of cold and lots of wet… I’ve spent already 3 days cabin bound – either tied to a lobster pot or hanging off the sea anchor in adverse wind. This is has offered some great sleeping potential – much needed as the current rocks and sways Happy Socks is tiring and the adrenaline of my final week on land meant that I needed to play catch up even before that first row-through-the-night on leaving land.
I hope that the next few months follow up these days of wildlife too; I have seen wales and dolphins everyday and had 10s of birds wheeling and cruising by to survey Happy Socks or paddle patiently as though waiting for a guest appearance from something or someone.
It is reassuring and surprising to feel so at home out here so soon, land a distant memory of someone long ago. Launch day was magic and loud in energy and people. I grinned as I took it all in and soaked up the atmosphere of Chatham wishing me a fond farewell from the beach add the sun shone bright overhead. Having Lucy by my side until the last possible moment of pushing away from the dock made it all the more magic. I grinned and waved at the escort boats as they played around me and friends shouted to me, always returning to Lucy’s boat to soak up every last glimpse of her. I cried and cried when her boat turned to go, disappearing into a blip of white wake, which morphed into the land. I was alone.
And yet the beach turnout had just shown that I was not at all alone in spirit.
Thank you everyone who has journeyed and is journeying home with me. I am grateful.
From Happy Socks and me x
P.s Thanks to Jen Stello (Cape Photographs), Chris Seafurt (Mooncusser Films), Carol Penfield, Alan Cohen and Team Ryders Cove, Chatham Bars Inn, John Dickson, Mylene and Marysol, Team Allen, Chatham Coastguard, Chatham Harbour Master, for all their help in making Launch Day brilliant.