Things are hotting up out here. It’s nearly time to go.
In two weeks time Mum arrives. It will have been a full year since we gripped each other tightly on the wharf of HMS President and I grinned my way under Tower Bridge. A week with Mum will be followed by the same with the lovely Kris and Maren Hallenga, friends and founders of CoppaFeel!, one of my very fab supported charities.
On April 12th we will pack Gulliver for his ride to Choshi, Chiba up the coast; I shall say goodbye to my ‘family’ in Sajima and head up towards the airport. As the twins fly home, Justine – one of my team mates – will fly in to help me in my final week of preparations. We aim to go on standby from April 20th. As soon as the weather is good, I shall go. For those in Japan wishing to come and wave me off, we hope to post details online three days before departure.
I have recognised the swinging emotions and adrenaline which characterised the final build up to my previous big departures – across the Indian ocean in 2009 and April 1st last year at the start of this one. I try and make the adrenaline my friend – letting fears have their voice, nagging noises do their bit – and letting the excitement drive me on.
Preparations are trucking along in the way that preparations for these things do. Little hurdles and conundrums pop up here and there (e.g. a sprained back joint a few weeks ago) and red tape puzzles and frustrates us from time to time. But, with persistence, creativity and plenty of time out to play, my team at home and my friends and supporters out here in Japan are getting there. Onwards, onwards, onwards.
Meanwhile, Gulliver continues to look and feel more like a home/office/rowing pod. The collection of trinkets woven into the cabin netting are steadily growing, tool boxes are being filled and equipment stowed in cubby holes and lockers, gadgets are tested and retested and the To Do List shortens and regrows accordingly.
I slept in him for the first time the other week and am happy to report it all went smoothly, though I had forgotten how tiny a little rowing cabin can feel. The jury is still out on which way round I will sleep – head amidships (in the middle) and enjoying the headroom or head at the stern (back) of the cabin and enjoying the stars.
Outside of boaty tinkering, I am training and feeding in readiness for the journey ahead and now just have a final couple of talks to give. Within the team we have been working hard to plan the overhaul of the website (due to go live in the next couple of weeks) and have also bringing our shiny new Media Manager Jenny Ellery up to speed.
All in all, busy but happy and focussed times in this final run in to the very final run before the ocean.
Sarah and Gulliver x
I have newly increased admiration for your trip, and also newly decreased envy!
What an incredible journey. Godspeed!
Gulliver looks huge in that picture, must be the lens. What are those black, red-rimmed shapes on either side? Lids to storage compartments?
Your departure seemed so far off, I can’t believe the day is creeping up so quickly!
Youre right – he doesn`t feel so big in real life1 It:s taken on my GoPro lens which is very wide angle. Yep – those red and black lids are the hatches on deck. Below will be lots of water ballast, food and kit. Cheers,
Ditto the last comment and a thousand best wishes for the final bits of prep. PS I’d sleep to see the stars 🙂
I think you are really amazing!
Great to hear things are moving along towards THE day whenever as we all know you can’t always follow a definite time and day – weather permitting etc – but I know how all the emotions will be buzzing inside you and I want you to know I am thinking of you and all of that lots – will be so exciting for you to have Helen there for the build up and of course the twins …
Keep in touch Sarah
hugs and kisses to you right now.
Hi Sarah. Have not answered your blog for a while as I have been away. I bet you are really looking forward to seeing and hugging your mum again. Glad Gulliver arrived Ok. You will get a good send off when the day arrives. I wish you all the very best on your pacific crossing. Take care and God Bless.Peter Nottingham.
When you find you have a moment to do absolutely nothing, ….do it well!
You accomplish huge things, by doing tiny things, one after another. What an inspiration you are to those who are lost by the huge thing.
Fantastic excitement for all of us following your every move Sarah. Such tremendous spirit and courage you have, we love hearing about your preparations and feel the adrenalin flowing across the network.
I find myself anticipating the next stretch of your trip. I enjoyed reading about your travels with Hercules so very much and eagerly look forward to the travels with Gulliver stories as you paddle your way eastwards across the Pacific. You go girl! So many of us respect your courage and your tenacity in working for your goals. Thank you for being you… makes me feel like the world is in good hands with young people like yourself.
What a handsome boy Gulliver is!
Star-sleeping when they’re viewable…extra headroom when they’re not gets my vote!
Delighted to hear the next leg is approaching… will continue to follow you with admiration.
Looks like things are well underway for the next part of your amazing adventure.
As always looking forward to following your journey.
Good to hear things are moving forward and it won’t be long before your Mum arrives, she will be just as excited as you, also Kris and Maren, do please give them our regards and love and we hope we may meet them at one of the DTR reunion. We are glad you ghave got a build up growing before you leave.
As before we shall follow you every step of the way, you are such an inspiration to us all, what you have achieved so far is unbelievable.
Just take care and enjoy all the coming days.
K & C
Wow, so much preperation, and you will so soon be at sea again, and with such a wide ocean to cross! I’ve got all my fingers crossed for a sucessful voyage. I look forward to readings your posts from sea. All the best. Are you feeling butterflys in the belly yet ?
Oh yes indeed! An army of them…. All good though. Thanks for the good wishes. S
Sarah, what an amazing journey you have had, and I have been following you since you set off, and I just can’t believe what you incredible signts you have seen and experienced. I enjoy the new places visited, or people you have met and it’s so wonderful. What you have achieved is sensational and I wish you all the best for the next leg of your journey, travel safe.
Love ashika x
We wish you all the best and success in your training and preparation for your next ocean rowing journey. Whether its Gulliver or our James Robert Hanssen, our ocean rowboats are our shelter, haven, and tool to realize dreams. We’re with you as you realize yours!
Happy days! Always good to hear from kindred spirits. Go well out there lads. Sarah