Day 31 – A dull day on Doris

Laura Penhaul By

Day 31 – A dull day on Doris

Being British women, we’re used to days of drizzol (drizzle) & permanent overcast, cloudy skies, however out here it certainly makes everything look particularly dull. Combine this with a rocky sea state that regularly soaks us each shift, plus waves that grab the oars that either jab the handles into your stomach to wind you, or smash your thumbs till they bleed or scrape your shins to leave cracking bruises, for most I can imagine this would begin to develop a negative mentality and woe is me. However, some how we’ve developed a psychological reversal and when it would be an automatic outcry we seem to have exchanged this for hysterical laughter or just bad banter between us. A number of people have asked what we do to keep ourselves amused during these times, we have a few ways that we entertain ourselves in order to distract us from the monotony and dullness and here are just a few….

1) FOOD – without a doubt comes no.1 for interest, what we look forward to eating is a topic of conversation whilst out on the oars, particularly what we are going to add as a special treat if we’d had a particularly tough shift, often a few spoonfuls of Nutella for dessert is a winner.

2) MUSIC – as you know, we’ve been fortunate to have the charging capacity to consistently use our speakers in the daytime. This has meant solo sing alongs, duets, rap sections are all nailed depending on what partner you have and their particular expertise. On a dull day though, I’m not too scared to admit, that I love singing my heart out to a bit of Backstreet Boys, you gotta love it.

3) HUMMDINGER – this is a game we play where rower 1 hums the song and rower 2 has to guess the tune.

4) POLO MINT GAME – how long can you keep a polo mint in your mouth for without it breaking, winner gets something from the losers snack pack. This is much the same as the Jaffa cake challenge which I proudly would admit to holding a 1hr54 record, although Tim Maynard apparently got 1’hr56 but that’s debatable!

5) STORY NARRATION – Izzy is the queen of this but we’ve all jumped on the band wagon to try it out and entertain our team mate. Last night I educated Emma with the rom com of Hitch and tonight she has the amazing Top Gun avec tunes too, to keep her amused.

6) ALPHABET GAME – where you have to remember what the person before you had said for that letter and then you add something for the next letter and continue to repeat through the whole alphabet. Apparently it becomes amusing playing it with someone like me during the dawn shift for when I start to drift off & talk nonsense!

7) NAMES OF BODY PARTS – thanks to Kirsten for this as it has brought hours of amusement (Dan Howie I have a feeling you’d be akin to this game?!)

8) STORY BY SENTENCE – you start telling story in a sentence and your team mate takes the next sentence and so on….

9) PERSONAL LIFE STORIES- I honestly thought that having got to know each other well up to a year prior to launching the row, that we’d run out of our personal stories to share within the first 2 weeks of rowing together. To my surprise, we’re still going with new ones! One of the perks of all being over 30 I guess?

10 ) Riddles – many friends have kindly sent in some riddles for us to crack, unfortunately I tend to be absolutely useless at them so I leave it to the more Lateral thinkers of the group.

Thank you all for your continued support and following, it means a lot to us and is providing a great motivation each day. xxx



  1. Kathy butler says:

    Hi really enjoying reading your blog. Got nothing but admiration for you all.
    Keep going girls
    From sunny Cornwall x

  2. pat mitchell says:

    Glad you are mentally doing well. I would already have jumped overboard. Did you ever see that movie “overboard” Kirt Douglas and Goldie Haun. One of my favorites.

  3. pat mitchell says:

    No it was Kurt Russell sorry been a while

  4. Johnnie says:

    You say you like our posts – not half as much as we like yours. I love all the small details of food, conversations, loo procedure. Sat comfortably on our worlds here it makes it jerks you into your world with a bang.

    Really good progress recently – I love it when you do 33 miles a day or more as that divides into 100 easily and the total comes down nice and quickly.

    I wonder how you are changing physically – tanned, big muscles, losing weight? I guess blisters are now a thing of the past but it would be good to hear how you deal with all the niggles that you must face physically.

    Keep going – you all are amazing.

  5. Jim Andrews says:

    Inspirational Ladies. What affect will this have on your bodies? I imagine you will be considerably lighter at the conclusion of your adventure? You all obviously put in some serious preparational training, how tough are you finding it? I can only imagine that you are all fitter than butchers dogs, your abs and arms will be like steel. Continued best wishes, stay safe. XX

  6. Allen says:

    Hi Ladies,
    I hope that you are doing well. The continuous rowing is getting you there bit by bit. I’m glad that you are making the best of some of the more miserable of moments. Your optimism and hope are inspiring.
    The ladies from Pink Champagne spent two days on the Thames, paddling from Marlow to Runnymede, accompanying the Royal barge Gloriana carrying a replica of the Magna Carta for a re- enactment of the signing. It was amazing paddling alongside hundreds of other oared and paddled craft, from Celtic longboats, to whalers, gigs to paddle steamers and skiffs to gondolas!
    We had a great reception everywhere we went.
    We even managed to find a quiet 10 minutes, to hold a flower ceremony to remember friends and family lost to cancer.
    Many thanks for all your updates. We look forward to hearing your safe arrival in Hawaii. Keep your spirits up and enjoy every moment.. even the more uncomfortable ones! Best wishes. Allen.

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