Posted by: Helena Smalman-Smith | January 27, 2012

Day 54: Turn left a bit

We were shocked to find a NE wind this morning! (In case you’re not quite certain, this means one coming FROM the NE, which is how winds are named). We’ve been asking for this since the first day of Christmas, but Santa’s been somewhat late delivering. Actually, it has been more like NNE, which is unusual, and hence our route today. This will lead to rubbish DMG for the day at noon tomorrow, as we only need to go about 1 mile S for each mile W we still need to go, but as the forecast is for the wind to veer to the E for the next few days, no harm in grabbing the S opportunity whilst we can (and Lisa, you are an amazing mind reader as we got your text on this subject literally minutes after we had been discussing the approach for the day – thanks to Chris for later, more detailed back up re route).

Frustrating not getting to 900 to go today, but we definitely will tomorrow!

What’s brown and sticky?

A. A stick.
B. Treacle pudding.
C. Us in the cabin.
D. All of the above.

Yup, you got it, D… So, you want to know what it’s like rowing an ocean? As promised, here’s how you can visualise the cabin. NB These descriptions are by H who is 5’4″ – if you are taller, adjust accordingly.

Lie on your back on the floor.
Stretch your arms out to the sides of you. That’s how wide it is at the widest end. Tapers to about half that at the stern.
Now reach your arms up in the air vertically above you. That’s how high it is at the high-end. Again, tapers towards the stern.
The mattresses are pretty good quality (trust Rog!) for this kind of thing, but SilentNight interior sprung they are not, and it doesn’t take long before one’s back is crying out for that “neutral spine” position.
We have a fleece blanket spread over the mattresses like a sort of sheet. We even took it out today and shook the crumbs out of it. Yuk. It’s a bit piled and scratchy now.
H has a small beanfilled cushtie as a pillow. This is good, but it has a tiny hole in it so tiny beans keep escaping and sticking to us along with the crumbs.
R uses a rolled up sleeping bag in its bag as his pillow.
OK, so you’ve got the basic dimensions and the soft furnishings.

Now add your partner…….

We have the bag of life jackets under our feet (they have to go somewhere).
Up by H’s head we have the sat phone in its hard “Peli” case, which has corners that try to attack from time to time.
We also have wash bags, a bag of “body creams” (nappy cream, surgical spirit, Lotil moisturiser, sun cream), cameras, hats and glasses in current usage. And the laptop.

Honestly, it’s beyond even “compact and bijou”. So stretch out wherever you are, and enjoy!

Other stuff:
Pat – sorry that Tash has probably said “You’re at least the 3rd person to tell me that and I knew already”. Hope you’re recovering from your stag night injuries. Is Andy’s bro the best man, by the way?

Charlotte, I have got the puzzle! (this is also for Rachel E’s benefit) – the following:

resolves to (answer given at (1) at the bottom of this message for those that want to work it out for themselves).

And for keen puzzlers, can you help me with an anagram from Rog?
Cross check emotive steer wussy
Clue: Some say this is the road to s_____s.

Rachel E, we probably won’t write a book as it will all be up online, but might expand and add pics!

Many thanks to Dan “the albatross” for the birthday card delivery to Helena’s Dad! Father – hope you saw more wildlife at Cotswold Park than we did today. What sort of stuff do they have? We DID get a decent visit from a tropic bird this morning who flew round 5-6 times so low I could easily see his “highwayman” markings round his eyes.

Chris – thanks for Sargasso info – the Sargasso Sea isn’t marked on our chart, where is it approx?

Eric & Lisa – I had worked out that date/average mileage, thank you for pointing it out to R who probably hadn’t!

In other news – H washed her hair for the 4th time this trip! Mmm.

Good to hear also from Adrian, Mary & Meriel, Kate Kelly, Heff, Cath, Mel, Baz and the other regulars, plus Simon Kenyon – keep em coming.

Oh, and good luck to those competing in, timing (Roger Hine) and otherwise organising Quintin Head tomorrow. Please could KGS coaches co-ordinate texting us results (so we get them, but don’t get them 5 times!)

(1). I under stand you under take to over throw my undertaking.

P.S. “Chicken yellow curry and rice” is yuk. Not surprising, I shouldn’t have trusted food that describes itself by its colour, really.


  1. Grest description of the cabin. I remember it well! And the dripping of condensation off the roof onto my head. Oh joy! Keep going going guys, you are doing fantastically. Tom

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