Day 1

Official start time of Atlantic Allies World Record Attempt: 12:46 GMT 12 Dec 2017.

Ralph, Chris and Danny took the first shift out of the Marina, with myself and Neal switching in momentarily so Ralph could call The Association of Ocean Rowers to notify them of our start time and so Chris could get some photos and videos.

Neal and I took the first full shift from 2pm-4pm. It was an amazing feeling to finally be underway. Months of preparation had come to that moment and it felt surreal to be actually starting the expedition.

As we rowed away from Portimao, Portugal and the buildings became smaller and the mountains came in to view we were greeted by an Albatross. I’ve never seen an Albatross before. Around half an hour later we were welcomed by a pod of dolphins. I’ve never seen wild dolphins before. What a way to start the adventure! 

Ralph, Chris and Danny rowed us on 4pm-6pm during which the conditions changed a lot. From nice northerly winds and following seas averaging 3knots to continual waves from the west making it hard to make progress between been rocked from side to side. Ralph made the call to switch our bearing to take advantage of the new conditions which made it a bit easier going.

During the first night myself and Danny (2nd night Neal joined us) were all sick. Ironically I think we’re the only ones using Sea sickness medication! After being sick I felt much better and slowly could reintroduce food. 

The first night was tough. Getting acclimatised to being in the ocean, rowing 2 hours on and 2 hours off, finding a routine, sleeping in an ocean rowing boat, moving around the boat during choppy water is all difficult. Putting them all together for the first time is hard. 

We all coped well with the demands of the first night and no one missed any rowing despite being ill which was awesome!

~ Duncan @rowingroy