A Dose of Reality

7 Sep

A few weekends ago I got my second run-out in Sara G. This time the weather was on our side and we got a full 24 hours rowing done out on the Channel covering around 80 miles going westward along the coast and back.

We set off in the sunshine on Saturday morning and the banter was flowing. We also had the added entertainment of large yachts and powerboats trying to wash us out and an airshow taking place on the coast beside us. But as the evening drew in I started to get a better sense of what its going to be like out on the ocean – a relentless row sleep row sleep routine.

The 24 hours was spent practising the 2 hours rowing / 2 hours resting shift pattern that we will be maintaining the whole way across the Atlantic this January. Somewhere during the night after about 18 hours on the boat I really started to appreciate what I have signed myself up for. I was there rowing in the dark in complete silence as our early banter had long since died down with the greater need for rest between rowing shifts. Sitting the in stroke position in front of the other two rowers my direct line of vision went into the stern cabin where I had to spend each two hour shift watching the other guys sleeping – not a very motivating sight. By morning my hamstrings were starting to seize up and my back side wished it was anywhere but sitting on a rowing seat.

Rowing back into the harbour at Christchurch after 24 hours was made easier simply by knowing the fact that the rowing would end soon. If we are going to make our World Record target there will still be another 29 days to go of the same relentless work – a pretty humbling realistation. I am going to have to spend the next 4 months getting myself totally prepared both mentally and physically for launch day in Morocco this January!

Rowing back into harbour after 24 hours for a well deserved rest.

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