Posted by: Helena Smalman-Smith | February 6, 2012

Day 64: Yet another day at the oars

We have an iPod on the boat which has music, podcasts, and audiobooks for both of us on it. One of R’s music tracks that keeps coming up on shuffle, somehow, has the lyrics “I don’t like Mondays” (don’t ask H who this is by, but I’m sure most of you will know), and it has to be said that today has had few redeeming features out here at sea, other than the conditions enabled another 40nm or so day. But it’s been rough, difficult to steer with confused seas, and no wildlife. We’ve had a bit of sargassum weed come past, much of it marching in lines like oceanic ants, but even the novelty of that has worn off – after all, it’s just mustard-coloured weed!

So it amused us that a friend (who will remain nameless in the interests of not compromising her professional integrity) messaged us today describing her working day, and saying that she’d gladly swap with us for a shift on the oars. In contrast, we’d put up with what she had to do at work today if it meant we could go back to a nice clean, large bed to sleep after! The cabin IS becoming rather yukky, and as it gets hotter the further south we go, it really is rather sweaty at night.

Anyway, enough of this – and on to the many questions and riddles we’ve been set today.

Clint – what is weightless but can be seen, and when put in a bucket makes it lighter – a hole?

Baz – I am getting nowhere on your anagrams for US Authors. Are they first name and last name? If so, can you give me the number of letters in each as a clue?

Beccy – “je suis ce que je suis. Que suis-je?” No idea unless it’s a pronoun. Can we have that clue you offered?

JV – Why should you not throw Finns in the sea? In case they are turned into a shark’s Finn Soup???

Emily Orviss – brilliant to hear from you and I’m really glad that your present got to you – a helpful “albatross” called Dan helped get it to you!

Sheena – we love that you have clearly constructed a detailed algorithm to calculate our arrival date, and then changed it anyway to match your son’s birthday (which is a much more attractive answer…)

Rory – fab to hear from you and to hear that you’ve been following. Strangely, you had a walk-on role in a dream of H’s last night, wearing a Hampton School blazer and claiming it was a Kingston Grammar rowing blazer. Very odd! But H was SO touched that you remembered she once said that “everything is a race” (before a city walls run in York?) and MANY thanks for your donation to the Huntington’s Disease Association as a result (H’s chosen charity’s total is slightly behind R’s).

Also MASSIVE thanks to E (sorry, we THINK this is Elizabeth W rather than Eric or Elisabeth G…) who has offered to double their charity donation if we get in by the 20th (can that be midnight at the end of the 20th?!).

Also thanks for messages from Rachel E, the MacLachlans, Biff and Naomi (this is a 2.5k course not a 2k one, and so having 500 to go is a lot closer than the last 50, if you see what I mean. You HAVE got another cox for the 8 this year, haven’t you?

Mel – we are knackered, so may, sadly, not make it to 500 before Patience get to the line – 509 to go for us should be 40nm in the last 24 hrs, and we’ll probably pull in the oars at that point (it is QUITE dangerous rowing in the dark – credit to those that do, but we’re playing it safe). Wish we COULD be a little closer when they finish though!

Lisa – we know we need to go South, but as we get closer, Aurora, the support yacht will come out to look after us and we’ll formulate a plan with them if we’re not pointing enough at the right 1-nm long line.


  1. Well done, both…still going strong. All quiet and smooth on the Kingston – Hampton Court stretch tonight, much better than Saturday when we had a frozen pitch. It was COLD. Hopefully that’s the worst of winter and it’ll be Spring when you return. I can recommend She Stoops To Conquer at the National Theatre. Best wishes for good conditions through to the finish. John O’Driscoll, Walbrook RC.

  2. Q. Why not throw a Finn into the sea?
    A. Because Helsinki.

    Q. Have you heard I’m off to Seoul?

  3. Hahaha! Read ‘sargassum’ weed as ‘sarcasm’ weed! Made me chuckle.
    Definitely on the homeward sprint. Will think of you as I slog away on the erg this morning in a chilly erg room! Go Tigers! Karon

  4. Im off to seoul because its a good korea move.

    And what did the french say when I tried to buy a french town?

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