Posted by: Helena Smalman-Smith | February 1, 2012

Day 59: Sweet Ignorance

The start of today’s blog is largely for our good friends the Beech Boys, father and son team Norman and James Beech, who rowed the Atlantic together 2 years ago and kindly lent us their boat for a trial row on Coniston later that year. You can read their story in Norman’s excellent book “A Dad and a Lad: The Atlantic Job” available on Amazon (profits to Water Aid). I highly recommend it.

Anyway, their blog featured the developing romance between their bath toy (don’t ask) Joe the Swimmer and a yellow jelly baby called Bubbles. Having dug our first packet of jelly babies out yesterday as an “under 700 nm to go” treat, I realised for the first time that the back of the jelly baby packet lists all 6 colours/flavours with names for them each and the yellow one is called Bubbles. And I thought that this is what you’d named her, guys! It was a definite “Aha” moment. And glad that you didn’t give her this name yourselves – I always thought it rather odd I mean, you’re not the kind of folks who would, say, call their cat “Mrs Pretty Paws” which would be equivalent.

OK, back to the mainstream…

Today, it was… rough! But in the right direction, so that was good. Some weeks ago I explained that our French rowing friend Vincent had taught us that the French talk about “moutons” as the equivalent of our white horses. Well, if Nick Park did ocean rowing, the moutons we had today would be the kind he would use in a film “The return of the Were-Mouton” – i.e. giant ones! And then it got windier, and turned more into the scene you’d get if there were an explosion at a sheepskin factory. Spume and moutons everywhere. At this point we put a bight out the back in the vague attempt at keeping the boat pointing the right way (keeps the ropes further apart than the drogue bridle does), which helped a bit, but also slowed us down, hence lower mileage despite faster conditions.

The forecast is more of the same for the next 4 days, and may well be the same from here on in – probably best we only get the next 4-5 days at a time!

In other stuff – I had typed loads of things and then somehow half the email disappeared and wouldn’t come back with undo, and there isn’t enough battery left to try to redo it all. So thank you for your messages today and keep em coming.

Important stuff – Tonbridge, do we understand correctly that Mary SS and Elisabeth G are coming out to Barbados? What an exciting St Trinians adventure!

Also, Dan, have you had any joy with the car tax? We’re just anxious as we haven’t heard a dicky bird since Jack told us he’d dropped the DVLA letter off with you. As Dan may not be reading this, Baz (thanks for the jokes of usual quality), if you are, could you text him (Dan B) to ask him to message us with a status report? Thanks!

It’s getting too dark to type now – sorry tech gremlins have curtailed all the things we wanted to say to you individually, but stick with us!


  1. Emma has supplied the following jokes for me to share with you …
    1. What do you call a computer super hero?
    2. What game do tornados play?
    3. Why can’t Robin play cricket?
    4. What looses its head in the morning but gets it back at night?
    5. What di one wall say to the other?
    Answers to follow ….

  2. Now the answers …. but just to add to the fun I have mixed up the answers:
    1. Because he is not the Batman
    2. A pillow
    3. Meet you at the corner
    4. Twister
    5. Screen Saver

    Teacher: You should become an underwater photographer
    Student: Why?
    Teacher: Because all your grades are below C level!

    boom boom! Great news that you seem to at last be making great progress… we are all in awe – or should that be oar? Judy

  3. Just seen to 700 mark – yay! It seems to be clicking down quicker every day – just like a 2k erg test 🙂 OK – so a bit longer and rougher! Was out in my 1X yesterday – frozen, so did an erg today – also frozen – could have done with pogies on the erg handle! Enjoy the sunshine! Karon

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