A weekend on Doris

Natalia Cohen By

This weekend saw us road tripping down to Christchurch to spend a little time on Doris. After a quick stopover in Bath to meet up with Keith (our sports psychologist), we went through some results from a recent psychometric test and grabbed dinner at a great local pub.

A fundamental part of the row is obviously the mental preparation that the team will have to undergo. A portion of this will involve an in-depth analysis of personality traits and how each individual’s character and behavioural patterns will affect not only their reactions to certain situations, but also team dynamics. This is going to be a fascinating process that will affect the row itself as well as getting the boat to the start line. We will cover this in more depth in a later post.

We arrived into Christchurch late and decided to head straight to bed in preparation for the day of rowing ahead. Izzy and Natalia slept head to toe in close quarters in Doris’ aft cabin, and Laura in the fore-cabin.

In the Aft cabin

In the Aft cabin

To simulate a night on the ocean in a storm scenario (minus the movement), we decided to keep all hatches closed and see how much condensation build up there was and humidity and temperature increase.

We were up bright and early, eating our expedition food (freeze dried) and preparing for our row around Christchurch Bay. It was great to get out for a few hours in the windy conditions with the tail end of hurricane Bertha about to blow through, and giving us the chance to work on some of our boat manoeuvres.

Izzy and Natalia on the oars

Izzy and Natalia on the oars

We would have loved to have gotten further out to sea and played around more in rougher conditions but to do that safely on our next outing, we require a support boat to get us well away from the shoreline.

Even though we were back in port earlier than expected, we made use of the remaining time productively by familiarising ourselves more with Doris, sharpening our rope skills and sampling more expedition food. We’re beginning to rate the meals so we can decide which we want to take with us!

We spent another night all cosy inside Doris while the wind howled and rain lashed the outside. Sunday morning saw another sampling of expedition food breakfast before we said farewell to Doris and headed back to London.
A great weekend had by all!

A blustery morning on Doris

A blustery morning on Doris



  1. Anne says:

    Things are getting interesting!!!!!!

  2. Tim Treagust says:

    I was talking to Roy Davey today who is the uncle of Laura Penhaul and he told me about this expedition. When are you actually going to start out? The interview with Breakfast TV stated it would be in 2014. Has it been postponed? Good luck for when you do and I shall contribute to the sponsorship.

    • Natalia Cohen Natalia Cohen says:

      Hey there Tim,

      Thanks for getting in touch.
      We are now leaving in April 2015 as there has been a change of team.
      We would love your support and will be updating our website regularly now with news of events, team building and mental and physical training that we will under take in the run up to getting the boat to the start line next year.
      We look forward to hearing from you.

      The Coxless Crew Team x

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