Richard has found his trusty stead (or ocean rowing boat) Darien, here are some general facts about the boat and equipment:
Ocean waves can be extreme. Although, naturally, we hope that Richard’s journey is calm and he manages to stay upright, his boat will need to self-right quickly should he get flipped.
There are two design features which help to keep the boat the right-way-up and will turn it the right-way-up should it capsize. Firstly there is ballast in the bottom of the boat, mainly in the form of water (this can be drunk if the water-maker fails). Secondly, the boat has fore and aft cabins with watertight hatches and, as long as those are kept closed, if the boat turns over they act like like a flotation aid and turn the boat up the right way.
Water, water everywhere but not a drop o drink? Fear not, Richard’s ocean rowing boat will have a water maker to ensure he can drink the recommended 10 litres of water every day of his trip.
Without any landmarks to guide his progress, Richard will need to take GPS navigation equipment to keep him on track. Setting checkpoints every few hundred miles means that he will be able to stay roughly on course.
Primarily for the water maker and satellite phone, solar panels are absolutely essential to the row. Having a source of power will also allow Richard a few small comforts, like hot water.
Although Richard certainly won’t be tucking into a hearty Christmas dinner, he will at least get the right nutritional balance of carbohydrates, proteins and fats through freeze-dried provisions. Topping up with powdered dietary supplements means his body should remain strong enough to complete the challenge.
We can’t really gloss over the fact that rowing 3000 miles alone across the ocean comes with risks. Richard will be carrying a well-stocked kit of emergency supplies just in case he runs into trouble. This essential equipment includes flares, flashlights, a life-jacket, a life raft, personal locator beacon and plenty of water and glucose tablets.
Due to the heat his body will produce and the warm temperatures across the Atlantic, only minimal clothing is advised to complete the crossing. For when the weather is particularly rough, Richard will be taking waterproof clothing designed especially for sports such as rowing and kayaking as it will allow the level of movement he needs.
Spare oars kit
Ever taken a rowing boat onto a lake and lost an oar? Imagine how terrible that would be on an ocean! Richard will be taking at least one spare sets of oars for each of the boat’s rowing positions, possibly two if he can afford it.