Day 14 – Time

Isabel Burnham By

Time works strangely aboard Doris.

2 hours on the oars can fly by when you’re listening to music and watching the sunset, or chatting with one of the other girls and rowing into the night under the stars. Or 2 hours can feel like forever, dragging out minute by minute, when you are battling against a strong wind with the water heavy on your blades, or are struggling to keep your eyes open in a night shift.

Sometimes 2 hours off feels like a decent break and you have time to eat, check the sat phone, wash and rest. Other times you go to sleep at night only to wake up what feels like 10 minutes later, but it’s time to go again.

As the day is broken down into 12 two hour shifts, we each have 3 daytime and 3 nighttime rowing shifts and 3 daytime and 3 nighttime rest shifts. When all of the shifts are put together, they seem to race by. Every day comes to an end and I can’t believe how fast the sunset shift has come around again. The rest shifts during the night are swallowed up with sleep and I am always surprised how quickly the dawn shift comes and the next day has arrived. Today we have reached the 2 week marker and it feels like a lot less.

I’m enjoying the simplicity of it all. Nothing to focus on but our little boat. At the same time, it is so lovely to receive messages of support and news from home. I spoke to my parents on Sunday on our sat phone and have been enjoying getting all the updates and messages from friends from home via email. Thank you so much for sending them through.

The last 36 hours has finally brought calmer and drier conditions. Although we still don’t have the easterly winds we need, we are making steady progress west and have had a chance to dry out our kit. The change has brought renewed enthusiasm in the team. We’re looking forward to a bit of social time when we next swap pairs and we’re making plans for fancy dress Friday.



  1. Karan says:

    As we go about our day and sleep thorough the night. It’s hard to imagine you out at sea somewhere. Keep positive and keep rowing. Thinking of you Isabel and the others big hug xxx

  2. Jim Andrews says:

    You are making progress and the weather is improving……slowly. So everything is good! 😉
    Keep smiling, humouring each other and above all else, rowing. Your support is staying strong. XX.

  3. Linda Mead says:

    Hi all-great to hear you sounding so positive. Keep up the brilliant work. Our swimmers at dolphin swim school are swimming hard to support you with their sponsored swim. X

  4. Simon TY says:

    Fancy dress Friday. The mind boggles. How can you improvise ? Or all just pretend to be mermaids ? Well done, you are making real progress across the bloomin Pacific !! I can hear our Barn Owls screeching outside my window. No turtles or albatross however

  5. JG says:

    Great progress – best 24 hrs so far. Another day like that and you will be well into the 125 Easting. Great stuff Crew. When you get into calmer waters with following winds etc would you consider shifts of single rowers periodically thus giving the Crew 6 hours rest each ?

  6. Esther B says:

    Another great update – thanks for using some of your precious rest time to let us know how you are doing. Fancy dress Friday sounds fun; I am picturing the two rowers dressed as a pantomime horse….. Lots of love and positive thoughts to you all. Esther x

  7. Johnnie says:

    Speedy and in the right direction – brilliant. Maybe the wind and the current are finally loosening their grip. I’m sure like us you divide the miles per day into the total to work out the number of days left – do you have enough food? Also as you eat more food does Doris become lighter and does that help?
    Some things don’t change – I’m watching my 16 year old daughter and 18 year old son fighting in the kitchen (literally!) rather than revise for their exams.
    Murray doing OK at the French Open – playing round 2 and has won the first set.

  8. Isobel great to be able to follow your progress and read your philosophical blog. Your recall of movie and musical facts is an impressive twist to whiling away the hours of muscle burn. Keep it up. Love Dianne and Nigel

  9. Hi Laura and crew,
    So glad to hear things are going better for you all now. You sound very positive. You are doing a wonderful job. From here it is difficult to imagine the scenario that you are living in daily. I’m sure your mind training is proving as important, if not more so, than your physical training. Take care all of you, love from Carole and family XX

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