The first 100 miles.

Sarah is exhausted. She has been unable to point her boat in the right direction and even though the wind was there to help her get west and north, she has gone almost due south for the past 12h. Looking at the tracker, she put in a really good effort last night as she managed to get some good westing as soon as she pulled the sea anchor onboard. The instant change in her course is really quite amazing. But then, for reasons we don’t understand, she wasn’t able to keep going in that direction for the rest of the day. Today felt like 48h to Sarah, who sounded most confused and dazed mid afternoon when we spoke on the phone. I asked her very clear questions, like where the wind was from and what her course was, and she was frustrated and unable to provide the correct information. Of course I know exactly what the wind was doing and we can all see her course, but Sarah was too tired to figure it out and then told me that she was going to hang up and go to sleep a bit as she wasn’t quite sure what she was doing or in what direction she was rowing. Although tough for her it makes for interesting reading to us common mortals who can only imagine what this girl is going through.

She woke up 2 hours later and got rowing again. And again she is going too far south.

Some hope.

The wind is going to be very calm until the morning so this will give her reduced seas and a more peaceful environment to rest. Often at sea the noise of the wind and the boat moving through the water can be very hard to deal with, hour after hour. It is just so loud and repetitive sometimes. Tonight she won’t have that. It will be relaxing. She needs the good sleep, not just any old sleep!

Her messages today, uncorrected and with times for her part of the world;


Sarah is now very close to the western most sector of the Leeuwin Current, meaning that by this time tomorrow she should be able to be rowing in the direction that she wants. However she is still adapting. Things won’t always be like she wants simply because she still doesn’t know how. For example, earlier today she was saying that she found it hard to steer because the instruments moved a lot with the motion and there were no reference points around her. I asked her if she could pick a cloud and use one every 10mins or so and then as that one moves past to pick another. Its easier to look at something on the horizon or just above your boat than at a floating compass with small numbers. She said that at night she had done just that, but with stars. So it is my hope that when she wakes up in a bit, she will manage to pick her star yet again and put in another solid session of good rowing in the right direction.

When I last spoke to her, one thing that I was very clear on was how well she was doing. All things considered we just want her to point to Mauritius so that we can all go for a swim there with her as soon as possible! (Admit it!) So the big picture is that she is not being pushed backwards or around in circles. She is moving, sounding happy and funny when not too tired and totally focussed on getting the job done.

In the next hour or so, Sarah Outen will be exactly 100 miles away from her starting point. This doesn’t mean much as her onboard log is what really counts. But she will have travelled through the water close to double that. 100 miles is a nice round, reassuring number. Even the worst of storms would need over a day to blow her back onto the beach. And on a trip like this, every little milestone, or should I say, accomplishment, (really!) counts.

Well done Sarah!

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17 Responses to The first 100 miles.

  1. Susie Hewson says:

    Come on SISTER, pick out the stars and name them, sing a happy song and raise your human spirit. We can only aspire to have your courage and determination. Rest, eat and drink when you can to keep body and soul together. Truely inspirational Sarah, seen any marine life yet? Susie

  2. Hi Sarah! You are truely amazing, hang on in there, the first few days must have been tough, but you are tougher, and we are all thinking of you lots and lots! You can do it! I really hope you manage to get some sleep too… goodness your dad would be so proud! Big hugs and stay happy out there, Cordelia x

  3. Robert Nixon says:

    The current will release it’s grip on you soon enough, then you can get moving in the right direction. Get your rest, eat, drink, take care of yourself. One day at a time, put about 100 together and imagine where you can go.

  4. Theresa White says:

    Sounds like you found your sea legs! Adventures like this are only found in old books and have a man as the hero! Row, row, row Sarah. Twinkle Twinkle!

  5. Laura says:

    Hello my lovely! You are doing so so well! Thinking of you out there everyday! Ricardo is doing a fantastic job keeping all us avid followers updated, Thank you Ricardo.

    Keep plugging away, and you will be in Mauritius in no time at all, make sure you have a good snooze now and again, and plenty of ‘go-faster’ Mars bars!!

    Lots of Love

    Laura xxxxx

  6. Emilie Morris says:

    You rock sarah keep going!!

  7. Roger Clark says:

    just heard you on radio 2 . deep admiration loads of respect and buckets of good will. enjoy the experience and remember the great memories and good reasons. gods speed make landfall on or before schedule. love and hope Roger X X X X

  8. Mum says:

    Heard the interview. it was soooo good to hear you talking again. Hope the wind is settling and that the current isn’t to strong!!!! keep smiling, and ROWING of course. everyone is ROOTIN’ for you. I know I am and soo is Daddy!
    Tryto get some rest.
    Ricardo e-mailed me again, asking who is supposed to be updating the blog!!
    Amy says east Midalnds Today want to spk to me next week too.
    Love you lots, Mum xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  9. Zanah says:

    Hey Sarah, was playing my first netball match when you were on the radio,and missed it, but someone called me to let me know. I thought I was knackered, nothing compares, or inspires me more than to know you are out there. I think about you heaps, and tell the boys that they should look you up to say hi. I am still blown away by you. Keep going, you are an inspiration to us all. We all send you lots of love,

  10. paul hudson says:

    luv reading the updates u r an insperation to us all

  11. René Soobaroyen says:

    Hi Sarah,

    I am a mauritian photogapher working for European press photo agency.
    I am following your progress regularly. I am sure you’re going to make it to Mauritius. Please feel free to contact me for any info. I hope to see you arriving at the Caudan Waterfront, Port-Louis in early June.

    Yes you Can!


  12. Tim Lux says:

    Saw your boat on the jetty at the Royal Perth in Freo before you left, and couldn’t believe you were going to row something that small to Mauritius. I wouldn’t have attempted to row it to Rotto ! Best of luck from Freo.

  13. Byrant says:

    Sarah, You are remarkably courageous in doing this trip. Whilst we
    feel safe and sound on land you are coping with different compelling
    elements each minute. Good luck. We will be with you in thought aal
    the way.

  14. Michaelle says:

    You’ve got a planet full of people you’ve never met cheering you on! Keep your spirit up!

  15. Don G says:

    Come on Sarah –sing that song ‘Land of Hope and Glory’ a couple of time and beat this bloody problem–You ‘CAN’ do it girl–you really can

    Kindest regards Don

  16. rob bowditctch says:

    Keep it up Sara it is good reading all the comments you can do it young lady Me no way yo are a shining star take care you mad fool robxxxxxxxxxxxx

  17. June Bibby & Sue Crowe says:

    Chatted to you at St. Hugh’s, Oxford when visiting Anja Bibby in November last year. We admire you very much and are willing you to find the strength to complete your amazing venture, in memory of your Dad. Good Luck and Happy Landings. Keep going girl you are doing a grand job. June and Sue

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