Leg 3, Day 47 – Dreams

Emma Mitchell By
I have always had very vivid dreams and there are often nights in Doris where during our all too short sleep shifts I will fall into a dream and wake up not knowing where I am or what I’m doing. My dreams on the boat often involve my teammates but we are rarely on board Doris. We have been on snowy mountains, grassy hills, on ferry boats and in school and awaking from these adventures to a small cabin squashed against another person is not always a nice surprise. Sometimes friends from home will turn up on Doris in my dreams and confuse me completely.

Rowing the Pacific also provides plenty of opportunities for daydreams. Whilst on the oars (and ideally not whilst responsible for steering in big seas) and staring out across the ever changing ocean it is easy to allow the kind to wander. Thoughts of returning home and what I’m going to do for work, the friends I’m going to see and the future adventures I might have fill my head and I can take these imaginings in any direction I choose and live out my dreams in my head in practice for doing it for real.

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There are some days on Doris which feel like a dream. When the ocean is mirror flat and stretched out around our boat like an endless infinity pool, when a haze over this mirror means you can’t tell where the water ends and the sky begins or when we row along the glittering path of the moon. Even when the swell is huge and the waves are crashing I still get moments where it seems so ridiculous that we are out in the middle of the Pacific and have spent 228 days and counting in our two hours on, two hours off routine. So ridiculous that maybe I’m dreaming.

However there are other days where dry land feels like a dream. Doris feels like our home and rowing for 12 hours a day feels normal. Our departure and stopovers feel like they happened in a different life and I think our return to reality when we finally hit Cairns is going to happen with a fairly large bump.

UPDATE: At the end of an amazing Christmas Day the rain started to fall and it fell fairly torrentially for the whole night. Flashbacks to leg one where we spent many a night being freezing cold and soaking wet and waking up to put on soaking wet kit every two hours. Fortunately every night has its end and as the morning arrived the rain stopped. We are now hoping that the sun puts in an appearance so that we can dry some of our wet things before tonight. A 180m cargo ship called Newlead Albion passed within a mile of us this morning. We spoke with Captain Son and Carlos and to raise our spirits we asked them to blow their horn for us. They obliged and we cheered in response.



  1. Annie Jones says:

    Great blog Emma , I was thinking of you all yesterday and thinking of your mum and how proud she is of you
    I know she left for Australia yesterday and is so looking forward to seeing you in caines I’ve really enjoyed following your adventure look forward to the next update from Doris. Xx

  2. Jim Andrews says:

    A strange occurrence. My inbox states
    Day 47 – Dreams by Lizanne Van Vuuren?
    Tiredness creates weird dreams, there can be no doubt that you must be very tired. Even though you have adapted to your crushing routine of two hourly rotations, your bodys and minds must crave normality. I don’t particularly like dreams, they are very often unpleasant and very real, so much so that they can determine your mood the following day. You should now be in the sub 800 miles to go zone, you will soon be on the home straight. Stay safe XX

  3. JG says:

    As I write this around 17oo UK time JB has just 10 nms to go and is scheduled to arive at around 10oo tomorrow. According to my plot on Google earth you only have around 790 nms to go – the end is near!! Although it has been very hard I am certain you will miss many aspects of your time on the ocean and your rehabilitation will have it’s ups and downs I am sure. It will all be outshone by the spotlight of your successful expedition. It looks as if you may have a large welcoming flotilla as you approach the final miles into Cairns. Not long now take care and keep safe.

    • JG says:

      JB arrived at 10.00 today and as I write is having a shower and then a rest. No arrival pivtures yet as there appears to be an internet problem. Your turn next hopefully in daylight as well so that we can all see the festivities. Keep safe all eyes on you now Take care.

    • Debra says:

      I can’t hear antyihng over the sound of how awesome this article is.

  4. Simon TY says:

    That made me laugh. A hoot from a passing ship is the highlight of yr day !!! You are collecting quite a collection of “sailors in every port”. Does poor Harry know about Carlos ?

    The miles are really clocking down now. It must be very dangerous to work out the sums in yr head all the time, but 800nm divided by 40nm per day ( and you have been doing more than that) feels quite close now, really close. Presumably parents/friends/support are trying to work out the best day to arrive ? Must be dusting off the passports right now.

    Dreams. I can dream within a 20second nap. I nod off and the children are suddenly “Daddy, are you falling asleep?” And I know I have just dropped my head for seconds…..and yet have had a dream, often complicated. I wonder what recurring dreams you have ? ( Laura, I frequently had a knackered knee dream, when I can hardly walk, and have to drag myself forward…..not doing yr programme…..sorry). I wonder whether potentially six bouts of sleep or dozing pre day means you dream more ? And you have an audience, yr co rower, who is stuck listening to your dreams ? Presumably repeating them immediately makes them stick ?

    Anyhow, happy Boxing Day, for you actually already presumably awake on Sunday morning ?

    Xxxxx STY

  5. Susan Ormrod says:

    Your tales end where my dreams begin, and sometimes I mix them up.
    However, you are doing what has never been done before and your dreams have no boundaries.
    What will you find to conquer next?
    Because eventually you will need another challenge to top this one!
    So very proud of you – go girls – go Doris!

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