The Boat

A team unites!!

x Just a quick thank you x

Well….what can we say…

An amazing day surrounded by wonderful people, great energy, cocktails, raffle prizes, sunshine and laughter!

A HUGE thank  you to everyone that came to share a momentous moment when the 6 Coxless Crew were together for the FIRST TIME ever!! Doris was also there in person to allow everyone an opportunity to meet her and see our home.
Interesting how some people commented that she was so much smaller than they thought she would be and others said she was bigger!?!

Pink ladies

There were welcome drinks by the wonderful Albion Racing Club a great hog roast lunch outside on the balcony and plenty of friends, family and supporters.


lunch time!

Super exciting to finally meet Jim Andrews and Simon TY who, as you all know, commented on our blogs every day whilst we were out on the ocean showing us so much invaluable support.
We love the way they instantly felt like old friends on our first face to face meeting. Thank you once again for all the encouragement and for keeping us rowing…
(JG and Barney you were missed but were there in spirit!)

We did a brief chat about some of our highlights and lowlights and then opened the floor up to a Q&A. Incredible to have the ever fabulous Sarah Osborne and Ceri from Breast Cancer Care there and Kate McKeand from Walking With The Wounded representing our charities and helping the event run smoothly. A big thank you!

the room

Pink ladies and family

We could not have done this without you ALL.
Old friend and new friends. It’s all about a team united and that is what Sunday’s event was all about.
A wonderful sense of community and connection.

A sincere THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts for all your endless support, encouragement and patience.

Thanks to all the photographers especially Carlos and more photos to come soon.
We’re off to Cornwall this weekend…so we’ll keep you all updated on the shenanigans!! x





I love being home

This last week at home has been very special. Spending it with my family & friends who have been there for me from the start. A time to say thank you in person for all the support I’ve received and to share with those that have been so influential to me wanting to make it home to Cornwall.

It has been so lovely to spend quality time this week with my parents. They have sat on the sidelines, gone through the emotional roller coaster & many times put on a brave face to support me when it was the last thing they ever wanted to see me do. I love my folks very much and will forever be in debt to the love they have always given to me. Now it’s my time to spoil them!


I got to see a lot of my family this week, which was amazing. Although makes me want zto start up a regular family gathering that’s not just at christmas.


My best friends too were all together for the first time in an age! It was so much fun catching up with them, although after a morning in a soft play with Michelle’s two kids and Sarah’s one, I can safely say that rowing an ocean is less hard work than juggling having 2 children (Michelle you’re my hero!). Meanwhile I got to meet my best friends baby who is called Max & only 3 weeks old you can already see he’ll be fighting the girls off!

So amongst the socialising, eating and drinking, I got to catch up on some X Factor, Greys Anatomy plus watch the beating the Italians got from England Rugby. ‘Twas a perfect week!


Doris heads home


This morning we all made our way down to Cairns Cruising Yacht Sqadron to say farewell to Doris. CCYS and in particular Steve Johnson (Commodore) have been absolutely amazing. We can’t thank them enough for helping us take Doris off the water, clean her and help tuck her safely into her container for some R&R.

image1 (1)

She’s heading back to the UK and we will be reunited with her in between 6-8 weeks time when she arrives back home. LP felt a little emotional as it seemed to finally sink in that the journey is over, whereas Natalia, Ems and Meg were devoid of any emotion.



It’s strange. There is a kind of numbness for most of us at the moment. We need some time to assess how we’re feeling, reflect on what has just happened and re-adjust to being back on land and away from our usual oceanic environment.  There are sounds, smells, people and so much visual stimulation everywhere here on land. Our heads feel heavy with tiredness, our legs are stiff and painful as they are getting used to a walking motion again, our callused hands feel hard and rough and all our salt sores are itchy as they begin drying out.

Luckily we had a visit from the amazing Aaron Darrell this afternoon who is a freelance masseuse based out of Rusty’s Markets in Cairns and he helped us to relax and begin to wind down. It was pure bliss and after the foot, hand, face and neck massage we floated away feeling fantastic.

We will all be spending a few days quality time with our respective families and then re-uniting as a team before flying back to the UK.

We have been blown away by the friendliness of everyone we have come across and the endless support we have received since we arrived x

We would also just like to say A HUGE thank you to:

Ferne and Pete Kemp at Cairns Queens Court for very kindly hosting our stay here in Cairns and looking after our families so well too! It’s been wonderful to be so central and to have such amazing beds to sleep in!!

John and Megg Kennedy (Motoryacht ‘Sanrod’) who were incredible with their help and support. They had a few early starts when they came out about 60 miles to film us with Sarah before our arrival and also helped escort us back to Cairns.

Marlin Marina did a wonderful job of hosting our arrival and it was the perfect place to step foot on land in Cairns. Their hospitality was very much appreciated.

The Cairns Yacht Club and in particular Trish Chalmers – thank you so much for your support and we are honoured to have received your burgee.

The attending officers of Cairns Border Control and The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources for their compassion, efficiency and professionalism in conducting our arrival clearance formalities.

The Salt House in particular Vincent and Leila for providing the incredible platter of fresh fruit and our first food on arrival (burger and chips for most of us).

Paul and Sue Nash (managers at The Villas Palm Cove) – offering discounted accommodation for some family members and providing accommodation and use of a vehicle to Tony.

…Last but by no means least is the fantastic Mayor of Cairns, Bob Manning OAM. What a welcome we received and the most beautiful arrival gifts of a traditional necklace and bracelet and stunning silk scarf. You managed to make us feel like ladies again! Thank you.

Coxless Crew with Mayor Manning


Leg 3, Day 72 – In the beginning

Emma Mitchell By

Day 72 – In the beginning

As we (very slowly today) approach Cairns and our final miles aboard our beautiful Doris who has been our protector and our home for the last 9 months, I was reminiscing about the first time that she touched the water and began her adventures. At the time we were reluctant to share the full details of this exciting day as we didn’t want current or potential sponsors to doubt our boat handling abilities but since we have now navigated our way across almost 8,500nm of the worlds largest ocean I think there can no longer be any questions about our ocean rowing skills and therefore I wanted to share where it all began.


It was mid December 2013 and three aspiring ocean rowers arrived at Rossiters boat yard in Christchurch to take their first oar strokes in their beautiful pink ocean rowing boat Doris. I had been a part of the Coxless Crew for almost four months and had seen Doris go from being a pink hull sitting on blocks in the shed to becoming a fully fledged ocean going boat with hatches on her cabins, a rowing setup on her deck and the start of her electrics box in the aft cabin. During the week we had finally heard from Cris Rossiter that he would be putting Doris on the water for us ready for the weekend so that we could go for our first paddle. It was a breezy day but after assessing the conditions we decided that it was nothing we couldn’t cope with. Laura, myself and Natalie Miles who at the time was part of the team were excited and after getting everything organised we set off with Natalie and myself on the oars and Laura stood on the deck in front of us navigating. In all the excitement of our first few strokes Laura got a little carried away taking photos and by the time she looked up we were very close to a very shiny and expensive looking boat as we tried to make it round the first corner. Fortunately we pushed off with our hands and got away without causing any damage. As we emerged from the narrow channel of the boat yard there was another 90 degree corner to navigate. It was at approximately this point that it occurred to us that we had no ballast on board. We also had no dagger board. We were effectively rowing a 29ft lilo out into Christchurch bay on a breezy Saturday. Needless to say we ended up wedged between a tree and a signpost as we rounded the corner. As we attempted to free ourselves a dragon boat came round the corner with its whole crew wearing Santa hats and as they waved and wished us merry Christmas we tried to nonchalantly look like we were deliberately taking a short break near the bank. Finally free, we continued out into the bay with only a couple of close encounters with the well known mud flats of Christchurch.


Laura and I were on the oars and making good progress but as we reached the more open area we could feel the wind picking up. We were enjoying ourselves so much that maybe we waited for slightly too long before deciding that it would probably be best to turn around and head back to more sheltered waters. When we went to turn the boat we just couldn’t do it. Despite rowing as hard as we could and even getting two of us on one set of oars we still couldn’t get Doris to move past 90 degrees as the wind blew us rapidly towards the breakwater. Not wanting to get swept out to sea it was time to put our backup plan into action. Our options were basically to call the Coastguards or to call a lovely guy called Mark who we had met the previous week at Christchurch Rowing Club. We decided that on balance it would be less embarrassing to call Mark than the Coastguards so LP gave him a call from the aft cabin. Cue a hilarious conversation where LP started a chat about how we were taking Doris out for our first paddle and how we were wondering if he was around at the rowing club just in case and finished with asking him for a tow. Fortunately he arrived in the rowing club’s coaching launch before we were swept out to sea and we threw him a rope so he could help us turn around. Once we reached the more sheltered part of the bay we thought we would be ok and so Mark threw us the rope and we started to row. However within about 30 seconds we were stuck in the mud and LP had to get out and try to push us off the bank. After getting pretty wet we decided to admit defeat and accept a tow all the way back to the boat yard. With Doris safely moored up again we could reflect on the lessons learnt from our first rowing experience and ensure that the next time LP and I took Doris for a paddle it would be a far more successful exercise.

UPDATE: We are currently headed slightly North towards our final waypoint before we hit the Great Barrier Reef. This is in anticipation of hitting a strong southerly current shortly before reaching the entrance to Grafton Passage which we will pass through to reach Cairns.
Last night a boobie landed on Nats’ head while she was rowing!


Last night in Hawaii


Wow, this week has both dragged on a bit and passed by ridiculously quickly.
The sun has now set on our last day on land and we are busy trying to wrap up our lives on shore and store it away nicely for the next few months.

Our delicious packs of freeze-dried food finally arrived today so we spent most of the day playing Tetris with Doris, trying to fit everything we need for 2 month survival out at sea. Doris is a little magical. It is rather phenomenal what can fit into that tiny gorgeous little boat.

Liz had a go at testing out the hatches… “See, loads of space!”


We promised ourselves a “last swim” in the Hawaiian waves before heading off, but in true fashion we only got home from a day of packing Doris at 10pm. So tomorrow morning first thing Liz and Laura will be putting goggles on for a proper stroke count.

Wrapping up our lives and trying to end it by tying on a bow, here are some things we’d like included in our “ideal last night”:

Natalia: A bubble bath and 8 hours sleep
Emma: Dinner with her gorgeous mum and enough sleep to be less tired when she departs Hawaii than when she arrived
Laura: Dinner with family
Lizanne: Watermelon and a long shower

Hawaii has treated us exceptionally well, and we are sad to say goodbye.
If anyone plans to row across the Pacific I highly recommend popping this place on the list!

We aim to leave tomorrow 28th July 11-12:00 midday Hawaiian time (22-23:00 UK time)

Tonight we will all spare a thought for our near-future selves and appreciate the comfort of a solid foundation.

Cheers Hawaii


Aloha xx


Social time with Sarah

Emma Mitchell By

Today we spent the morning packing our snack packs.  With the help of the Coxless Crew parents who worked like troopers we packed 264 bags of goodies to sustain us on our way to Samoa.  Entertainment was provided by the arrival of a couple of the Transpac yachts finishing the race and arriving at the Yacht club to celebrate. When the Hawaiians host somebody they certainly do it in style providing freshly barbequed food, drinks and music for their crews.  Fortunately the sailors couldn’t eat it all and we were invited to enjoy the leftovers.

snack packs

In the afternoon we ran through some of the routines on the boat with Lizanne and ran through the process for deploying the para anchor.  We also packed up some of the hatches on Doris so she is slowly getting ready to head back to the open ocean.  Our freeze dried food delivery has been delayed until Monday by customs and the FDA so we will now be leaving early doors on Tuesday.

This evening we had a well earning date night with the amazing Sarah Moshman.  Food, a hilariously funny rom com film at the cinema rounded off by frozen yoghurt.  It was fab to spend some time with her not behind a camera and reinforces how perfect a fit she is into our little team helping us tell our story.

train wreck yoghurt land

Finally our evening was completed with a Skype with the lovely Kirsten who keeps us connected with the real world while we are out at sea.  Over and out for another day!


A little thank you to Hawaii Yacht Club



For those of you that may recall, we had an awesome moment when out at sea, when we got contacted on VHF by a nearby container ship the Mokihana. Finally today, we got to meet them in person. Katie (2nd Mate), Tom (Captain) & Ethan came to meet us, to see Doris up close and to kindly give to us a gift from the Mokihana. Captain Tom was also shown the Echomax that Tony had fitted, so he can sleep soundly that his advice was heeded and we now have a Radar transmitter aboard.



This evening we had the pleasure of being invited to the Hawaii Yacht Club’s notorius Friday night dinner, live music and dance. image2It was an opportunity for us to present to the room a message of huge thank you to the Hawaii Yacht Club, along with a special thanks to our wonderful host families, Donna and John (seen here having a wonderful dance together) and Loretta who got accosted by my dad!



….. I think it was my dad that got whisked off his feet and in the process got out danced by an 85 year old who’s still got it!

Steve (Vice Commodore) and Steve (General Manager) seen here with the signed shirt we gave them as a thank you.

However, slight hiccup as the evening drew to a close and I handed over the keys of the hire car to Tony as we left. 5 mins later he was back and couldn’t find the car. My initial thoughts were that he’d left his glasses at home and then I realised the car was definitely not where I’d parked it. Of course it was then that I noticed I’d parked in the only 2 ‘permit holder only’ spaces – doh! The car had been towed! So after tony had thought he’d get an early night, I put a stop to that and we were off to the pound to pick up the car. Ooopsie daisy! x



Hawaii- not just a paradise


Current temperature: 27 *C

Hawaii is fast becoming a favorite on our travel list, and believe it or not, it’s not just because this place is paradise. The people in Hawaii are perhaps the kindest and most generous people on the entire planet!
Hawaii Yacht Club: So our gorgeous Doris has needed a bit of pampering and a mild face-lift since arriving in Hawaii. We have been doing all of this at the Hawaii Yacht Club and there have been people helping, suggesting, giving and lending! Anything Doris needs, she gets! The workers melting in the Hawaiian sun lifting, packing, cleaning and drilling away (that’s Tony and us!) have also been looked after incredibly well with fresh fruit salads delivered to us from the kitchen and ice cool drinks to put an extra spring in our collective steps! All about the team work!
I also know our little pink Doris might LOOK small, but she is Mary Poppins when it comes to storage. It can be known that we will be taking a lot more content than you could think possible.
We have at times completely dominated the floor space and occupied almost all of the tables packing our fruit and nut packets and loading off all of the contents we bought from Costco! The Yacht Club have been so patient with us, and we are truly grateful for that.
Our host families: Oh my goodness… In your lifetime I hope you all get to meet inspirational characters like these. They are in their early 80’s and still full of beans… Beans so full they’re overflowing! On the 35th floor, towering over Honolulu, we get to wake up to an incredible view every morning. We will introduce them properly in a follow-up blog.
We appreciate everyones patience and caring natures as we hurry around trying to get everything sorted on Doris.
By the way, we had the most incredible breakfast today at Coco Head Cafe. This is certainly one meal we will be re-living on the boat. We will imagine the colours and flavors popping in our mouthes as we eat our freeze dried food! Thanks to Sarah Moshman for organising! And just to let you know, she is getting some fab footage for her documentary… soooo watch this space!
Coco Head Cafe
And on a parting note, Izzy has safely made it back to the UK and we are missing her lists already!



A farewell and a new era…


Today was another productive day ticking things off the list of things to do.

Shopping, photo downloading, oar trimming, fan installing (!!!), snack pack prepping amongst other things and most of the day spent down at the Hawaii Yacht Club again.

We all went for a wonderful dinner with our utterly fabulous host families (Donna and John and Loretta) and ate until we couldn’t eat no more…

The meal was in fact a last supper, as today was the day we had to say a sad farewell to Izz. It was very bizarre seeing her off at the airport and knowing that she would be flying home and not getting back on the boat. This will be the first time in 3 months that we have not spent 24 hours together and to be honest the enormity of that fact will probably not sink in until we get back on the boat and she is not physically there. Without a doubt, however, Izz will be everywhere in spirit. She’ll pop up in the wet weather hatch (her favourite) or on a dark, slow moving night shift when one of her stories comes into our mind. She’ll be there whenever we eat her favourite foods or when one of ‘her’ songs gets played.

There was no need for this to be a sad farewell really….as Izz is still travelling with us.

The end of one era…only means the beginning of a new one. Although it will be strange to see Izz leave, we are so excited to have Lizanne continue the adventure. The transition has been a quick and wonderful one as it feels as if she has already been hanging out with us for months.

The change in team dynamic will be interesting and ‘a change is as good as a rest’…as they say…so bring on Leg 2, with another great combination of varied personalities and character strengths x