Dawn goes overboard
14th January 2019
Up and on the oars at 06.30 again as usual; feeling cold and demoralised. All that hard work and I’m now further back than yesterday lunchtime.
No point feeling sorry for myself, get on with it. Hunched up and head down I begin the familiar movements legs, arms, arms legs driving the oars through the water with each push of the legs. It’s not even a head wind yet, that beauty is for later!!
I look up at my wind vein which is all I ever seem to look at. It tells me everything I need to know about the weather! I have a similar weather prediction device at work in the rear yard – we call it the windy tree!
This morning I decided to play some music through my speaker via an iPod lent to me. I don’t know what’s on it so I put it on shuffle and hope for the best. It really cheers me up, one minute Christmas music then heavy metal then zen whale music!!
Then something amazing happens, this morning’s sunrise seems to be like a solar panel for my motivation. Once the sun is fully in the sky I feel invincible, combined with a cheesy 80’s power rock ballad on high volume I am on top of the world. Nothing can stop me!!! I am enjoying every minute of this row today no matter what direction the wind takes.
I have a few aches and pains by now, but nothing that a good stretch won’t sort out. My hands are intact and generally all together I am in pretty good shape.
As usual I set myself small goals through the day with small treats. Today’s treat is to go for a swim and clean the bottom of the boat!!! Oh no, I have been dreading this part!
At 3pm armed with goggles a go pro and a scraper I get myself ready to take the plunge. I have a good scout round the boat checking for any unwanted visitors, the coast looks clear so in I go.
It’s blooming freezing. Head under and have another look round. There is nothing but blue as far as you can see, so I crack on scrubbing the bottom. I want to get this over and done with as soon as possible. Every time my safety line touches my leg I shout “what the hell was that?!” And put my head back under for another look. I kept talking to myself and laughing at how stupid I must sound. Soon as humanly possible I was back on the boat getting dried and ready for some more rowing.
After a couple of hours rowing guess what I see? Yes a shark!!! It only looked about 5ft long but big enough to take your leg off. Everything else I have seen out here I gasp with excitement, the sight of a shark made me stop and gulp! I hope I never have to get back in that water.
Throughout the day the wind has gradually tracked round all the points of the compass, starting south then west (my head wind) then north by sunset. Hopefully overnight it will come round to the north east where I should be able to start making up some ground.
At 9pm I was writing this blog inside my cabin when I heard what sounded like heavy breathing coming from outside. As I went out I could see the moonlight shimmering off the backs of two dolphin as they surfaced to breathe. WOW!! It’s an absolutely magical moment. There is no noise from wind or waves just the sound of dolphin which have a reassuringly human quality to the noise they make, like when you come up for breath after diving in the sea on holiday. I could see one of them swim under the boat silhouetted by the moonlight. Amazing moment.
Maybe it’s a sign of good things to come over the following weeks.