Blog 25 – Annie: Tears and Horror
Well. The first boat tears have been shed and they were mine!
Originally we were meant to start this race on 6th December last year (I can hardly remember that far back), but due to all the various delays, we didn’t actually get going until January 4th this year. Various people had given us presents to be opened at Christmas time but obviously that didn’t happen. Mel and I decided that instead we would have several parties on board to give us an excuse to make merry. We had a party yesterday to celebrate the first huge milestone – getting the distance to finish under 2000 miles. We will have another party every 500 miles!
The guest list was very exclusive, but everyone on it turned up on time. We wore our Santa hats and dived into a Christmas stocking each... I am now in possession of a green cow shaped toothbrush holder and some red nail varnish and lipstick (so I can look my best when arriving in Antigua apparently!)(And finally catch all those boys that we’ve been chasing for weeks!!) (Thanks Wendy! X). We toasted the momentous occasion with 2 miniature bottles of Damson wine thoughtfully supplied by my jolly fine friend, Toni. Mel even spent her night watch rowing in a flashing Santa hat (still no sign of those pirates funnily enough...)
My best present of yesterday was however from my brother, Andy, who had got loads of family members to send him a Christmas message of support for me. He printed up each one individually and scrolled them all into a transparent bauble which has been hanging in the cabin ever since we left land. By the time I’d read them all, I was in floods! There were messages from England, France, Poland, Canada AND even Milton Keynes!! My parent’s cat even managed to muster up the un-cat-like courtesy of wishing me a Happy Christmas... His apparently, has been ruined due to the appearance of some vile dog (hiss, spit, scratch, hackles up at the mere mention of the ‘D’ word). So thanks for making me cry Andy! I listened to a double album of Meatloaf in your honour last night to say thanks! – All this family stuff did make me think though... How about JanFest 2010 in Antigua??
To stop ourselves going stir crazy (perhaps a little late for me), Mel and I end up discussing the most bizarre things.... Like the scariest scenario to find yourself in whilst rowing the Atlantic... Picture the scene if you will:
At night one person is rowing in the pitch black with only occasional moonlight for illumination purposes. They are rowing backwards (ridiculous sport, I know!) with a bow cabin behind them which is approximately the size of a coffin (note my use of the word coffin for added drama!). About 6ft directly in front of them is the stern cabin where the other person is sleeping. The door to this cabin is tinted Perspex.
Scary scenario No 1
There you are happily rowing away when you feel a bony finger tap you on the shoulder...
Scary scenario No 2
You are happily rowing away until you yell at your crew mate saying that it’s time for watch change over. The response you hear from the cabin is a low growl that is most definitely not human...
Scary scenario No 3
You are happily rowing away when out of the black water; an arm reaches up and grabs the side of the boat, soon to be followed by another...
Scary scenario No 4
You are happily sleeping away and realise it’s time for you to get on the oars. You crew mate is no longer on board, but the oars are still paddling away on their own...
Scary scenario No 5
You are happily rowing away when you notice a ship alongside you that hasn’t shown up on your radar equipment. You can see through this ship and all the crew on board are floating skeletons...
You can comment on these blogs should you so desire, so see if you can think of anything scarier! Mel and I will offer a prize to the scariest!
To top it all... I was rowing last night and a fish leapt onboard and hit my cleavage (must have very good eyesight). I jumped out of my skin and spent the next ten minutes frantically searching my clothing for the offending critter. I found him on the deck in the morning. All of 2 inches and not very scary at all. I will attempt to toughen up over the next few weeks and stop being such a pathetic wimp!