If you read my last post (here) you will know the journey I've been on to get to where I am with this row. It's been a long bumpy road, but 2018 started with a full crew and the determination to make this year AMAZING. I already feel like I'm winning at life and that for the first time I've truly stepped far outside my comfort zone to push myself mentally and physically and prove what I'm capable of. I'm 99% sure that I bore most people I meet with details of ocean rowing, and many find it hard to comprehend exactly what we are doing, or why. The reality is rowing an ocean is really quite selfish. Myself and my crew-mates are the only ones who will ever appreciate and understand the journey we will embark on. We will be the only ones to watch the sun set and rise over the horizon, witness wildlife up close, and experience the Pacific in all its glory and ferocity. But we have been given the chance to do something amazing, something that very few people have the privilege to even try...
We have the chance to set a world first, which in this day and age is becoming much harder to do, as travel and exploration becomes cheaper and more accessible. When I wrote the last blog post, we were a crew of four. As has been the way since day one in this journey, there have been many twists and turns and mountains to climb to get to the start line, and a few weeks ago we decided to continue this journey as a crew of three. No crew of three has ever rowed the Pacific Ocean, let alone three females. We are stoked to give this a go before a male team has even attempted it and will be rowing for two new Guinness World Records:
1) The first crew of three (male or female) to row the Pacific Ocean
2) The youngest crew of three females to row any ocean in the world.
So what does this mean in terms of the adventure itself? We will still be using the same boat we were always using - 'Danielle', our trusty little orange row boat who is currently the fastest boat to ever cross the Pacific. With three crew instead of four it means we will have a bit more space (big win!), but it means we have one less person to help row her across to Hawaii (there's always a negative to every positive!). Previously we would have rowed in two hour shifts in pairs, but as a three man crew we will have to be slightly more inventive with our shift patterns. The key is to ensure the boat is always moving, edging ever closer to Hawaii. We've had a lot of discussions around the shift pattern recently, and we are slowly figuring out what is going to work out best for us. It means we will all row by ourselves at times (including at night), and there will be times when we may row 14 hours in a day rather than 12, so mentally our strategy is a little different to what it was a few months ago, however the basis is still the same.
In terms of the time spent at sea, we are still aiming for the 50 days, 19 hours and 14 minutes record. We always knew that record was breakable - our weather router confirmed this to us and we've been putting in the hours on the ergs and in the gym to make sure we are fit enough to break it. Whether it is breakable as a three-man crew (we will set our own new record, but if we did break it we could become the fastest female crew to row the Pacific!) who knows, but we will give it a darn good try!!
Training is still the same, we spent a few days out on our boat in the Solent the other week and started to tick off our compulsory hours required to start the race in California. The three of us rowed an overnight training session, covering 43nm in 13-hours, which quite frankly surprised us all - even Chris who was acting as our safety cover, so things are looking good and we are certainly heading in the right direction. The bucket was tested (it is as un-glamorous as it sounds!), we got up close and personal to a few solent bouys and witnessed a stunning sunrise as we were all getting slightly delirious from lack of sleep.
The only downside to rowing as a three is that the cost stays almost identical as if we were rowing as a four. Therefore, more than ever, we are looking for companies who want to become part of our historic row and help us get to the start line. Our sponsor pack can be viewed here with a whole range of benefits we can offer for your support. For any individuals who wish to support this record attempt, you can sponsor us on our website through Stripe here or on our Go Fund Me page here. Any donation, however big or small, is really gratefully received by the crew, with every donation of £25 sponsoring one Pacific Terrific Ocean Mile (and a shout out as we row your mile(s) out in the Pacific), and every donation over £100 gets your name on our actual boat to cross the Pacific with us! Of course, we are doing this row primarily to raise money for Mind, and raise awareness of the plastic pollution in our oceans. All money raised above the cost of getting to the start line will go directly to charity.
We can't wait to make history, and we can't wait to take you all on this adventure with us! Keep a look out for some more exciting news being announced soon!