From full foul weather gear to just a pair of shorts within 4 hours.
After a brief spell yesterday of rowing in the direction of the waves and wind before it became too difficult (with our broken rudder) we put the rudder in full lock again into the waves and then rowed one oar each on the port side again all night, getting blindsided by the waves on the port side again. It was windy aswell, 18 knots at 6pm-9pm. This meant the waves were breaking and getting us very wet.
Little did we know at the time but this morning at 9:35am Team 02 in the TWAC had pulled their EPIRB and later being rescued by a cargo ship. Team Tenzing would later capsize and suffer a battery fire and total loss of power having to pull their EPIRB and also be rescued by a cargo ship. Serious stuff! Just glad to hear that they are all safe and well!
Everyone’s lower backs and shoulders are aching from rowing 42 out of 48 hours on one oar.
After our sunrise shift Chris made me breakfast while I got my daily washing/ admin ritual underway.
When we went out for our next shift 10am-12pm the Ocean was totally flat. Not one drop of wind. It was amazing. 4 hours before we were pulling on our full foul weather gear and now we were in nothing but shorts and applying suncream. Crazy!
It was an absolute pleasure rowing through the afternoon in the calm waters. Everyone’s morale lifted. We were also able to row on our desired bearing as the wind and waves were perfect. We were averaging 3 knots which is awesome for a boat with a broken rudder! Such an awesome feeling after being hammered by the conditions for 5 days.
The night shifts were still hard going. Conditions were still good but the wind and wave direction weren’t aligned so we would line ourselves up on the waves and then the wind would blow us of our bearing. Conversely we’d line up with the wind and then face the constant battle against the waves as they tried to knock us off course. Again, with a broken rudder this was very hard. It reminded me of rowing on the Concept2 as you had to give 100% attention to the monitor and react instantly when the values moved out of your desired range.
At the start of one of the night shifts I was sat on my rowing seat waiting for Chris to get sorted. The other watch were just sorting their admin out before getting some well earned sleep. Next thing I see is something sail straight past my face, narrowly missing me by what must have been mm’s. I look down to my left in the drainage channel on the boat and i see what looks like a wet wipe. Just then I felt a faint ripple on the right side of my face, there was a second wet wipe stuck to me neck and cheek!! I quickly slapped it off, made a loud noise along the lines of ‘uurrggghhhhhh’ I turn around and Danny is in the bow cabin, bent over cleaning his bum sores. He had thrown his wet wipe out of the cabin into the wind (not realising the boat had turned 180 during the shift change over) so the wet wipes curled like a free kick from David Beckham, straight out of his hand, over the port side of the boat then back in perfectly landing on my neck and face. It was hilarious, we all laughed harder than at any point on the Expedition so far. It was unfortunate it was at my expense but funny nonetheless. For the rest of the shift I kept remembering it and shuddering.
~ Duncan @rowingroy