Posted by: Helena Smalman-Smith | February 5, 2012

Day 63: Another significant number

Today, the first digit of our longitude (West) clicked up to 5 (at the time of writing we’re at 50 degrees, 27 mins, 47 seconds) which is a bit exciting as this is the first digit of our destination’s longitude (admittedly, up the other end of the 50s at 59 degrees, 38 mins). Still, all in the right direction. Though, as I’ve said before, however you do the numbers, the answer is still that we yet have a long way to row (bearing in mind that a degree is 60 miles).

Today was as rough as R’s beard if it had sand sprinkled all over it. This was forecast. The forecast for tomorrow is the same. Not quite sure when the REALLY big gusts Chris forecast were due – maybe today (in which case, they were OK) or maybe tonight. And then for the following days as well. Fast, but tough to cope with.

The only other crew from our event – James and Bertie in Patience, look likely to finish on Tuesday morning, so for any of you who want to practice watching an arrival on the Port St Charles webcam, remember that there is a link down the bottom of the home page of our website and if you’re our nearest and dearest and can’t make this work, please ring the land team or a techy friend, and don’t ask us! Of course, Port St Charles is about 8 miles on from the actual finish line so it will take a boat a while to get there after officially finishing.

Other stuff:

Alison F – thank you!

Paul – thanks for Hampton Head results!

Di Binley – you seem to think that H has a CHOICE of which of the garments to which you refer she might wear. This is an incorrect assumption, as is the assumption that any such garments are on board…

Geoff Cooper (Corinthians Supporter) – welcome to the blog. Don’t worry, you are only suffering from OARS (Obsessive Atlantic Rowing Supporting) syndrome, and you will find many other sufferers here.

Tonbridge – you have asked for status reports on a number of things:
Hands – ok – stuff fingers bother R more than H, though both have to wriggle them a lot in the mornings to keep them going.
Knees – fine
Boompsidaises – a little polka-dotted, and again, R’s worse than H’s (but nothing like the pic of Cracknell’s in the book, owing to proactive and timely care having been taken of it)
Barnacles – don’t think we have many – a few on the new rudder where it had to have bits chopped out of it to fit our boat and therefore has surface without anti-foul. But it’s way too rough to do anything about them, so this is not even on our agenda.
And if you want an explanation of what velocity made good is (thought the Talisker site said, but maybe not this year), please ask the land team.

George S – your delegate Mr Potter is an ample replacement for your presence in January, so you are totally forgiven. Have also listened to all the Blackadders, of course, because I am a wise woman (and there are 2 things you must know about the wise woman…) which should answer your other question.

Tash – thank you for the shark jokes! Hope you’re having lots of fun in your last 10 days of being Miss Kefford.

Thanks also for messages to Roland, Sarah Searle, Michael Richardson (who informs us we are at the mile post on the Henley course, equivalently – keep us updated, we’re looking forward to being at the hole in the wall…), and Lisa Adams. Mel and Helen C, in addition to our land team, you are like the storm petrels – we can rely on you every day! Cath, can’t believe you couldn’t even get out at Weybridge! I bet the Valley went out and broke the ice, though?

K&D – MANY thanks for your latest donation.

Lisa F – R says thank you for adding the rugby score to that message you passed on!

Keep letting us know what you’re up to (and whether Britain manages to operate in the big freeze tomorrow at all!) – that’s all for today, folks, from the sweltering, and definitely melted Atlantic!


  1. a joke for today…Why should you never throw a finn in the sea?

  2. Email Sent by Vicky (leader of Sheffa Tigers) on Friday

    Hello Tigers All! The race is now ON! H and R have 619 nautical miles to go – we have similar in km (x by 1.8) They are going much better now
    – averaging between 35 and 40nm per day.

    Decisions made with Greens Indoor Tigers today (Sat 4th Feb) i) – next Sat (11th) we have ‘CAKES AND COFFEE AND REVEAL HOW MUCH SPONSORSHIP YOU’VE GOT SO FAR’ morning. Do feel free to come all Sheff Tigers, – whether you belong to Greens or not. – 11.00 in the cafe/ bar. If unable, please email me an approximation of monies expected or donations to be made. ii) on Sat 25th we will be hoping to be finishing the row and plan to do our last 50km in the more public bit of the gym with volunteers rattling tins. Perhaps Bedford Tigers could do s.
    thing similar? Apologies for not keeping up with messages as frequently as I intended. Let’s make a big effort over these last 3 weeks – to beat Tiger Team by a canvas, to raise as much cash as we can!

    Best Rowing Wishes, and so well done everyone! Vicky

  3. Vicky’s Blog to the land tigers Friday 3rd February 2012
    Dear Sheffa Tigers! …. The news you’ve been dreading! We are beset by vicious westerly winds! Due to broken drogue and para-anchor, we have drifted 739km EAST! Our present position is 16 degrees 38’42 mins N 48 degrees 02.17 mins West. We now have 1219km left to row – coincidentally exactly the same distance left as Helena and Richard, our intrepid Tiger Team!

    Tigers with kms to make up and thus more energy left than some of the rest of us need to crack on and take the lion’s share now!

    If you are suffering from ‘claw hand’, ‘Bum ‘Blisters or ‘Atlantic Back’ – PRESS ON THROUGH THE PAIN!! After this set back, we need to be averaging 400km a week now! We need to STEP UP! BARBADOS IS ALMOST CLOSE!!

    Here in Sheff we are about to organise a ‘Coffee and Cake How Much Sponsorship Have You Got’ morning! I have been lax on chivvying people and haven’t spurred myself into money grabbing mode yet. – Maybe this’ll help! We will discuss at Greens tomorrow and let you know our plan!

    So well done everyone – over 4000km rowed – such a shame about the wind!


    So pls finish it off H and R ;-), we need to get off these ergs soon Jv x

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