Neck-and-neck

20 Jan

Atlantic Odyssey vs World Record: 1-0. So far, so good. Just having passed the half way mark, the crew has realized they have to do the same thing one more time: many 2hr shifts of battling exhaustion, waves and heat. Mark wrote in his blog that Ian fell asleep last night while rowing. Luckily there are enough caffeine tablets on board to get the guys through the night shifts.

With the weather conditions looking good for the next 10 days and after gaining 10 miles on the World Record today, the World Record is a more than realistic aim. Matt said the following this afternoon on the radio (14:50), “we are still head of the world record pace!  The crew are burning 12000 calories a day and eating about 6000, you can see it on the lads now, serious weight loss, the beards are up, the sun tans are on and the legs are getting really skinny, everyone is exhausted”.

Luckily they’ve also got a wicked sense of humour on board, tons of support and beautiful nature surrounding them.

And Aodhán is not only rowing rowing this enormous distance to break a World Record, he’s also hoping to raise funds and awareness for girls’ education in developing countries. Please donate HERE and do it NOW!

  • An educated girl is less likely to marry and to have children whilst she is still a child.
  • An educated girl is more likely to be literate, healthy and survive into adulthood, as are her children.
  • An educated girl is more likely to reinvest her income back into her family, community and country.
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Hagrid passing the half way mark

18 Jan

The crew passed the half way mark today! And after yesterday’s interview Aodhán sent an email and rang today. He feels much better and things are going well luckily. There is a good atmosphere on board and conditions have improved. This is what he wrote:

Just got myself on the computer for the first time in a few days. The messages of support have been amazing – its probably the only time on the trip that I feel emotional – the rest of the time its all business. Was cool to chat on radio and was worried as only 90 mins before I was suffering from massive sleep deprivation delirium and could barely say my own name. Cool about Chris – those poor kids in Canada are in for a tough time (I wouldn’t do it:-)…..

Just at the moment we got off the phone the sun came up on the horizon and a pod of about 6 or 8 dolphins gave us a dawn escort for about half an hour – was amazing. Starting to feel the calorie deficit now and am constantly hungry – a bit of weight is really disappearing now – so in 2 weeks I will prob be a lightweight ( a trim 90 kgs maybe) haha. The crew here call me Hagrid as my nickname – the giant from Harry Potter – funny!

We are neck and neck with the World Record at the moment – will need to put in a really hard week to try and get ourselves ahead of it. The 30 days plan won’t happen – we needed good weather for the whole trip to pull it off but we just didn’t get it – think its a massive testament to the crew that we have gone so fast without much weather assistance – need some luck for the last two weeks now!

The moon’s phase means that we have no light at night time at the moment – which makes it difficult when the waves are big but on moments like last night with calm seas you can see the whole milky way – its spectacular!

This boat is made of tough stuff – we had what they call a knock down 2days ago in the morning during my shift – thats when the boat is knocked to 90 degrees or more into the water (a capsize would be 180 degrees so upside down) – we were all fine – some of the lads asleep found themselves on the ceiling for a moment – we lost one of our water jerry cans which is a pain as I now have to refil the one we have left over and over again.

Most importantly – thank you all for your support, I’ve read everything I got sent and it is of great help here in the middle of nowhere!

Radio interview with Aodhán

17 Jan

Aodhán is feeling really tired and that’s what he told the two radio DJs at Heart FM this morning during his live radio début. They directly told him of all the support back home in Dublin and tweets sent to them by Aodhán’s dad John for support. I luckily had a chance to suprise him and perk him up during the interview. It was great talking to Aodhán and bizarre to be sharing some of my soppy feelings with randomers here in the UK. Aodhán also spoke about many little technical issues that were continually being solved by skipper Matt. Please click HERE to listen to the radio interview yourself. John, Anna and Roisin have been able to listen to the broadcast by logging in with a UK post code. John – can you leave a comment to explain how you did that?

Also very interesting was Mark’s 20th pod cast, in which he has to admit they have had a very rough night and were blown into the wrong direction. They are now officially not ahead of World Record pace any longer, but some good trade winds can turn this around again. Go Atlantic Odyssey Go!! We believe in you all. Click on the following link to listen to the 20th pod cast: http://embed.ipadio.com/embed/v1/embed-352×200.swf?callInView=97667&channelInView=&phlogId=41329&phonecastId=122337.

Rockin’ the rollercoaster Atlantic!

16 Jan

Two weeks into the adventure some things have changed and others remained the same. The trade winds have really kicked in, which is visible on the Live Updates, but the ocean is not becoming any calmer. Check out this photo which shows the height of the swells the guys are rowing on – impressive:

Mark spoke about the trade winds, the extra speed, the exhaustion and aiming for the World Records in the 19th pod cast, have a listen yourself: http://embed.ipadio.com/embed/v1/embed-352×200.swf?callInView=97574&channelInView=&phlogId=41329&phonecastId=122232.

Call from Aodhán: he’s buzzing

15 Jan

Aodhán just called and it was great to hear his voice and learn more about how he’s experiencing the whole expedition. The last few days have been tough on him, but this morning he woke up buzzing and with renewed energy. The sea was a bit mad last night with 3metre swells, but the East to West trade winds have finally kicked in and are predicted to stay around for a week. Aodhán said he was really happy with this, as the rowing has become a bit easier which is good. They are aiming to row 100 nautical miles a day.

Aodhán said he’s been keeping a log of everything that happens on a waterproof notebook his sister Roisin gave him for Christmas. Each day is a roller coaster of highs and lows. Some shifts are seriously tough and some fly by while he’s staring at the wide oceans and living in the moment.  And last but not least, thank you all for your great support, it makes the difference when the rowing and conditions are tough!

Check out the Live Updates to see that the pace really picked up and to see where exactly they have crossed the position where last year’s World Record holders passed as well, but Atlantic Odyssey is faster.

Also, make sure to listen to Matt about confused seas, broken laptops, high spirits and strong winds: http://embed.ipadio.com/embed/v1/embed-352×200.swf?callInView=97428&channelInView=&phlogId=41329&phonecastId=122080.

1,000 miles! Boom!

14 Jan

To start this Saturday’s message: the crew has passed the 1,000 mile mark!! And rowing over 1,000 miles has never looked this great:

Listening to Mark’s latest pod cast, it’s clear that the guys did have a bout of trade winds to back them up last night. Wahoo! But unfortunately today’s conditions weren’t that amazing. The forecasts are good and those winds are really needed for the crew to consolidate their fast pace. They are still on course to break the World Record after all, so let’s just  all believe the forecasts for a change.

Mark also spoke of the highs and lows the crew are experiencing: the beautiful night skies filled with stars, seeing some of nature’s intriguing wild life, the magic of being in a big empty space alone with your thoughts and seeing sunsets on endless horizons. Not bad hey? You’d think…..but then on the other hand he did add that everyone is on dialy pain killers and cooking in the heat. Click here to listen to Mark yourself: http://embed.ipadio.com/embed/v1/embed-352×200.swf?callInView=97264&channelInView=&phlogId=41329&phonecastId=121899

 

Thanks for all the support!!

13 Jan

First things first, all the comments are amazing! They are all being sent to Aodhán as text messages to his sat phone and as emails to their communal email address. Aodhán gets a chance to check his email once every three days and his texts around once a day – all depending on how he feels, how the ocean behaves and how it generally goes. Everytime his parents, sister and I get a chance to chat to him he always says how good it is to get all this support. Thank you all!

Good news, when you check Atlantic Odyssey’s live updates at the moment it is clear that the speed is increasing. Which potentially means that the elusive trade winds have started to kick in. YAY! Fingers crossed this is the right analysis.

Today is the twelfth day and for the crew the days seem to merge into one another. It is so monotones that Ian thinks he’s seeing bats fly, plays cheese alphabet games with Mark and the crew gets insanely excited about air planes flying over. Please listen to Ian’s & Mark’s pod cast to hear more: http://embed.ipadio.com/embed/v1/embed-352×200.swf?callInView=97132&channelInView=&phlogId=41329&phonecastId=121751.

Also check out the comments which friends, family, MPs and Alumni officers are posting below each post and click HERE for a wee article on Aodhán on the alumni website of NUI Maynooth where he studied.

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