is one week today since I arrived on the island of La Gomera in
the Canaries 24 miles off Tenerife in San Sabastien where the Ocean
Rowing Society Atlantic Rowing Regatta will start in a weeks time.
absolutely worn out when I eventually got here after a long trip
ticket said the plane left at 10.50 in fact it was 10.10 so we only
just made it.
we got to Tenerife one of the bags was missing but fortunately they
were aware of this fact and said it would be delivered the following
day, which it was!
the Sea Cat ferry from Los Christianos to San Sabastien and was
met by one of the other competitors Louis Ginglo who I have got
to know quite well over the past few months as I have helped him
with his boat in the UK.
are sharing an apartment until his wife comes over next weekend
to save money and then I will repair to the boat for the final few
days before the start.
I arrived my boat had not yet been delivered, nor had several others
which had been held up in the port of Santa Cruz due to the long
Christmas and new year holidays.
last of the boats have taken until today to
arrive with three on the ferry which is arriving in about 5 minutes!
came a few days ago and I have been sorting my gear out ever since.
her out on the water for the first time yesterday and it was good
to be able to give her a good test run although you have to be a
bit careful not to get in the way of the fairly frequent ferry services
in and out of the port.
of all the hassle with the boats we did not have our first team
meeting until Saturday morning but this eventually took place and
although there are still a couple of people missing the atmosphere
was good and it felt like we had started to make headway.
rest of the crews are an interesting mixture of people and we are
all very determined to get across and succeed in what we have set
out to do.
task ahead of us is of course a daunting one but there are a number
of veteran ocean rowers turning up over the next few days to give
help support and advice and Stein and Diana Hoff are already here
hosting lunch on their catermaran which will be acting as a support
vessel for the first part of the race.
have both completed solo crossing of the Atlantic and Stein has
also done it as a double crew in 1997.
are of great support both with hospitality and huge practical knowledge
and skill which we are all benefiting from.
have helped to create a really good atmoshere amongst us all.
Stein gave a lecture on watermakers, a vital piece of equipment
that converts sea water into fresh, many people had experienced
problems with theirs but these are being sorted out with great relief
next week will see further meetings on all aspects of the race include
a psychologist for elite athletes coming from Bangor University
to give us some help in the area that will be by far the greatest
challenge ie keeping our heads together for what is such a relatively
my little 7m by 2m boat will soon become my home for two or three
months during which time I am unlikely to see very many other human
no doubt will carry on as usual for most of you but spare a thought
for me far out in the Atlantic.