Day 9

Morale low.

We were expecting flat seas and calm winds from now until Sunday giving us the best opportunity to head directly to the canaries and hopefully make it in around 4 days. 

Unfortunately we woke to the evident rough seas and strong winds meaning we would have to row with what we had.

As it is now over a week since we set off from Portugal we performed our first shift changeover. Chris switched with Neal and was now rowing with me on the 2 man watch. Danny, Neal and Ralph making the 3 man watch. I moved up to stroke so a nice change around keeping things fresh.

We rowed all day perpendicular to the waves as we would get pushed west if we sat drifting like yesterday. Had we rowed with the waves we’d have gone south west. We needed to row south or south east to hit the most northerly island, Lanzarote.

So we started our 2 hour shift rotation again at 10am getting hit by waves on our port side. Some big waves too, some crashing in over the side and soaking us. We rowed all day and all night just using the port side oar!

By putting the rudder on full lock into the waves and rowing with one oar each on port side it sort of gave us a makeshift autopilot. It was a hard day and night both physically and mentally.  

After even one shift of rowing hard on only one oar, it ruins your lower back. As you can imagine it creates a huge imbalance in your whole technique and is far from ideal for 12 hours of rowing per day.

~ Duncan @rowingroy