It’s all in the action

With the boat safely tucked away in London for the winter we’re starting to look at other pieces of kit and how best to deploy them.

One of the most important items is a throw line. It’s not much to look at, 15-25 metres of weighted 8mm rope in a bag. In an ideal world it would sit quietly in the boat for the whole crossing and never be needed.

Should one of us have the misfortune to go overboard, however, the throw line might just save our lives. A good and accurate throw will enable the person overboard to grab on and be dragged back to the safety of the boat.

It’s something we’ve been practising a good deal on dry land and will do a lot more of once we take the boat back out on the water in the spring. We need to get the rope high enough to miss the waves, low enough to not be caught too much by the wind and upwind enough to drift in to the overboard rower.

There’s clearly a lot of fun to be had while trying to ‘rescue’ a rower lying on some tarmac about 20 metres from you, but there is a serious point to all this. As Skipper Toby says. “You might only have one chance to get it right.”

Brian, you have a lot to answer for

One of the features of our rowing training (and indeed almost all of our outside events) has been that the weather has been consistently poor.

Last Saturday, however, it surpassed itself by bringing Storm Brian to our base in Christchurch. While big waves and winds might well be a feature of the crossing, on the Atlantic you’ll generally have plenty of room for manoeuvre. In Christchurch Harbour and Southampton Water there are a number of expensive boats and sharp rocks in the immediate vicinity, and given that an ocean rowing boat is not the most nimble of craft, we thought it best to stay on dry land.

So instead we went to a cafe and continued our extensive planning for 2018. At the time of writing our adventure is only 414 days away, and while we’re in a good place, there is still a huge amount to be done in terms of kit, boat prep and rowing training.

The boat is now in London, where we can spend the winter making it pretty much race ready, before taking it back out on to the water in the spring.