It’s been a busy few weeks and things are really starting to hot up.
I have given a few presentations on my plans over the past couple of weeks including PROBUS of Scunthorpe, the Rotary Club of Scunthorpe and the Rotary Club of Market Rasen (who I have now gratefully received a very generous donation from).
I also did a presentation at Caistor Grammar School to year 8 and 9 students. It was great fun and the students had loads of really good questions. A few had a look around Darien (my boat) afterwards. Thanks to Mrs Ellerby for organising it and to the students for being such a brilliant audience.
My mentor, Chris Martin, and I had intended to take Darien out on the North Sea last week but the weather turned against us, so we’re now planning for March 18th. Chris Martin is an experienced ocean rower and organises The Great Pacific Race. Over the next 18 months he will guide me through my training and preparation and help me organise transport of my boat to Gran Canaria and its return from the West Indies. When I’m actually out on the Atlantic he will be my daily support via satellite phone giving me updates on weather and the best route to take. If things go wrong out on the ocean he will provide technical advice.
I’ve also started the long and tedious job of taking all the old stickers off Darien, but that is best in slightly warmer weather than we’re having at the moment. I’ve been through all the kit I purchased with the boat from Damian Browne (retired Irish International rugby player) and I’m delighted that most of it will be perfect for my crossing. The all-in-one wet weather suits are a bit big (Damian is huge compared to me!) so I’ll have to put on a bit of muscle for next year.
Damian is very keen and knowledgeable about fitness and physical training. He has been advising me on diet and exercise and I’ve recently started taking a supplement called Complete Mass from Bulk Powders.
Most people who have rowed an ocean, knowing what a huge challenge it is, are only too happy to help with advice and sharing their own experiences. I’ve had conversations with successful ocean rowers such as Roz Savage, Rachel Smith and Sarah Outen. It’s a small community!
My training is going OK so far but I’m only up to 2 hours on the rowing machine each evening. That needs to be at least 8 hours a day by next summer so I’ve got a lot of work to do.