Day 21 – A day in the life…

Natalia Cohen By

Day 21 – A day in the life…

Shift 1 (5.15-7.15) – sunrise/day break Nothing quite like watching the moon set and the sun rise. We were treated to a magical show this morning. So far this shift is my favourite. It’s a pretty special way to start the day.

Rest (7.15-9.15)
Straight into the aft cabin. A quick update of the log book and then into the seeping bag for some shut eye (aim for 1 hour 15 mins sleep)

Shift 2 (9.15-11.15) – Early morning This morning we decided to have Chicane playing. The wind had picked up and it was great rowing in some bigger swell again after the flat calm we have had. Personally I like and need variety in general, so it’s good when the sea state changes. The regular soakings are another story however…

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Rest (11.15-13.15)
Food time! I had a mild curry beef (doesn’t really taste of curry at all but more of a savoury beef) and rice (LP had a Mediterranean pasta)
I then did a quick wash using the wash bucket (brief splash of water and soap over myself), checked the hatches in the aft cabin (we have daily checks that we run through) and lay down to have a little bit of chill time.

Shift 3 (13.15-15.15) – lunch shift LP and I had decided it was time to do a ‘row dance’.
We put my ‘row power songs’ playlist on and worked out what song we were going to choose and what the choreography was going to be. Had a great shift in the sun practicing moves and time passed quickly.

Rest (15.15-17.15)f
I decided to have another main expedition meal. I went for Spaghetti Bolognese. It’s good and filling so will hopefully help me steer clear of the habitual snacking on the oars!
LP had a wash and a nap and I did my weekly job of downloading all the footage we have taken on the GoPro and Sony, onto hard drives. I then made sure all memory cards were cleared, all batteries in cameras good to go and stored everything back in its appropriate place.
Before I knew it the 2 hours was drawing to an end. It’s crazy how quickly this rest time passes.

Shift 4 (17.15-19.15) – just before sunset shift We got Izz to film us on the Sony doing the ‘row dance’ and decided to go for matching purple tops and headbands!! It was hysterical.
I think we can safely say that we are probably the only ocean rowers to have choreographed and danced whilst rowing – but anyone out there who can disprove me – please let us know!
Video to follow as soon as we can coordinate to send video (probably in Hawaii).

Rest (19.15-21.15)
Straight into the aft cabin. A quick update of the log book and then into the seeping bag for some shut eye (aim for 1 hour 15 mins sleep)

Shift 5 (21.15-23.15) – night time shift 1
We did the shift with no navigation light on (we’d checked that there were no boats in the area) as the moon was nearly full and bright. The wind had eased slightly and the sea looked calm. It was quite magical with the moonlight glittering a pathway on the water and so light that we could see clearly unaided by head torches.
After hearing noises out in the starboard side of the boat, I spotted a couple of dolphins making their way wherever it is they were going by moonlight. Aaaahhhh…the sight of a dolphin will always excite me…

Rest (23.15-1.15) Straight into the aft cabin. A quick update of the log book and then into the seeping bag for some shut eye (aim for 1 hour 15 mins sleep)

Shift 6 (1.15-3.15) – night time shift 2
This shift can be a challenging one as we’re normally pretty tired.
The moon was still lighting our way on the Pacific.
I went for my salsa playlist to keep me alert and watched with interest when Laura began her night time randomness.
This time she started taking her oar out of its gate for no apparent reason (!!??) and then later on was about to go into the food hatch.
When I asked her what she was doing she said “I’m getting a meal for you”.
“Oh, that’s nice” I said with amusement, “did I ask you to do that?”
She realised I had not and we laughed at her random thoughts and actions that go on on a sleep deprived state.

Rest (3.15-5.15)
Straight into the aft cabin. A quick update of the log book and then into the seeping bag for some shut eye (aim for 1 hour 15 mins sleep)

…and then a new day begins… x



  1. A fascinating read. You are all amazing to be able to inject so much humour into such testing conditions. Great that you had dolphins for company!

  2. Babs Penhaul says:

    So great reading your positive blogs daily, and great to think the winds will me more favourable very soon. More and more people are following you girls, admiring your strength in many ways. So proud x

  3. Jim Andrews says:

    Wow, I am exhausted after reading that. That is a pretty full 24 hours isn’t it. I really feel for you on those rest periods, because they aren’t really rest periods are they? More like admin periods where hopefully you can get some rest. Just adds to the enormity of the challenge and the exceptional strength of you ladies. I am still curious, as to the quantity of fresh water and dry supplies you can carry in Doris?
    Stay lucky healthy, dry and warm. XX

    • Robert says:

      Lack of sleep is not funny Natalia, unless you get at least 6 hours off watch for such a long voyage you are likely to suffer compromised immune systems for life & other health complications. You can vary your rowing intensity for the 6 hours on watch & have short rests as required. Let the wind help you, don’t fight it! Rowers don’t try to row West through the Azores high from the Canary Islands to the Caribbean, they row SSW and follow the Trade Winds around to Barbados or wherever … Do your own research, think for yourselves, it’s your lives that are on the line!

  4. Hi Ladies

    WOW WOW WOW… honestly lovely to hear how you are doing but exhausting all the same! On Saturday night we had an event called ride the night – 2000 women set off at 10pm to ride 100k into London and back. It was cold and rainy but didn’t dampen spirits too much. The team and I stayed up through the whole night cheering them on (the first time I have done that without the help of white wine!) . At midnight we choreographed a dance routine to stay awake – sounds like we are on the same wavelength as you !!! But it also reminded us all how hard sleep deprivation is just what you are all going through. So we just wanted to send our love and tell you we think you are amazing! lots of love Claire and the team at Breast Cancer Care xxx

  5. Eleanor says:

    Natster!! You saw dolphins! I’m loving all the updates and can totally picture you making everyone dance and wear matching outfits. Sounds like those rainbows have followed you into the Pacific…
    Sending huge love and big hugs. xxx

  6. Mary burton says:

    Amazing stuff, ladies! So impressed and so proud of what the human spirit can achieve. Keep going.

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