Annie’s Blog - Monday 22nd February 2010: The Doldrums
Well this is not what it said in the sales pitch of ocean rowing I can tell you. - “Once you get south enough and start heading west towards Antigua, your pick up the trade winds and be zooming along at 25 knots“.
Erm well we’re here, so where are these allusive trade winds? Woodhousen described the sea as “a big watery desert” and Pete the skipper of Ocean Planet our support yacht says in all his years of sailing (and judging by the look of him, that quite a lot) he has never seen this part of the Atlantic so calm. Well that’s just great. This calm is predicted to stay with us for practically a week, and who knows after that. We are managing to get 2 knots out of Explore at best but only with the non-existent wind behind us. We might as well be trying to row through freeze dried porridge! And the temperatures are scorching, and with no wind to cool us down we are slowly being spit roasted here.
We have done all we can to think of how to boost our progress from redistributing the weight in the hatches, to rowing with a longer lighter set of oars more suitable to these conditions.
Mentally though we are fairly positive and determined to make the best of what we’ve got even though we do have a few crews overtaking us, which is not good but they are young-ish male pairs and to be honest they should overtake us and if they didn’t over take two old broads like us they ought to be d be ashamed of themselves!
Anyway all this plodding gives you a lot of time to reflect and concentrate on other things, such as pain in Mel’s case - she most definitely wins the biggest pain in the arse award. Mine is fairing considerably well, no doubt in thanks to Margaret and Maureen. A peeling nose is my biggest complaint at the moment, so life is pretty good it has to be said.
Obviously these arduous conditions seriously threaten our UK record attempt, but if we can still bag the UK record at the end of all of this we should be jolly proud of ourselves.
We celebrated 1000 miles to go a couple of days ago with some miniature bottles of champagne. Once the lovely contents were consumed (which took approx 30 seconds) I wrote a message and threw mine overboard. What’s the betting that bottle gets to Antigua before us?