Day 51 – Preparations for Hawaii

Laura Penhaul By

Day 51 – Preparations for Hawaii

Day 51, over 1600miles rowed and approximately only 725miles left to go to Hawaii – woohoo, finally! So with our arrival now looking in sight of 2-3weeks, thoughts have turned to preparing for the next steps back on land in Hawaii.
Normally around now, if you were rowing the Atlantic race or the New Ocean Wave race, you’d be getting pretty excited that it felt like the home straight to finishing. Although we are certainly excited to be getting to Hawaii, the emotions are mixed. For Izzy it’s the finish line, for Emma, Nat and I, it’s just the end of the first leg and we still have 2 more to go of equal lengths. So although we will be excited to reach land, we know that the celebrations will be short lived and after a good nights kip, it’ll be straight down to the boat to get us turned around and ready to leave for Samoa in less than a week. Don’t get me wrong though, looking ahead to making landfall in Australia there will be an unbelievable amount of celebrating without a doubt!

Over the last couple of weeks we’ve been closely liaising with Tony to arrange restock of certain kit or replacement kit from our sponsors back in the UK. They have all been amazingly supportive and without question have organised with Tony, delivery of equipment prior to his departure from the UK. So special thanks to:

  •  McMurdo who are sending us out additional S20’s which are personal AIS beacons (will give off a signal that can be picked up by the chart plotter if someone goes overboard) and also a replacement PLB as we dropped one over the side by accident at the beginning of the row.
  • Raymarine who have already sorted out a replacement fixed VHF for us after we broke one of the handles off by falling against it heavily.
  • RM Bearings who have turned around within 3weeks, a whole set of brand new ceramic bearings for Emma and Tony to fit when we arrive. Huge thanks to RM for this as it was technically our fault for having damaged some of the bearings due to our seat set up on the first leg part A.
  • Marlow Ropes who have kindly sent through some additional dyneema so we can adjust the steering rope, so thank you Marlow for being so efficient!

The list of boat maintenance is slowly extending and includes things like, replacement of the hand rails that have slackened in the heat, trimming back the oar handles to stop bashing of thumbs on the overlap, making new seat cushions, buying the food for our snack packs, making up approx. 300 snack packs, cleaning and re packing the boat… etc. etc. On reflection from San Francisco, I definitely want us to have at least 1 day off from the row to have a break and appreciate Hawaii, as we were hoping to do this in San Fran but things got so busy that it got overlooked and then departure was fairly rushed. With both my parents and Nat’s parents coming out to see us, we plan to have a day with them and then the other girls will have a day off too to chill out. Being out in the ocean certainly gives you a chance to reflect and realise the importance of family and I know I have fallen short before in being complacent that my parents are always there for me, so it would be great to spend some quality time when they’ve made such an effort to fly out and support us. Keith our Sport Psych has already been in touch to get the ball rolling on preparing us mentally with our expectations pre, during and post Hawaii. We’ve always said that getting back in the boat in Hawaii will be one of the toughest things we have to do, especially seeing Izzy leave and heading for the comforts of home. The bonus though is that we have Lizanne joining us, which we can’t wait for! Lizanne, bless her, I can only imagine what she must be feeling right now, mixed emotions of excitement, with worry and anxiety of the unknown. Blimey, I know how I felt leaving San Fran and I know the project inside out, so for Lizanne coming into it just a couple of months shy of our launch is an unbelievable test of character and true testament to both her and Meg (joining us from Samoa) for the trust they show in us and the row. We have allocated time to provide Lizanne with a handover and introduction to life on Doris as well as practice drills such as emergency procedures and para anchor deployment.
So Hawaii bound we finally are, with an estimated arrival looking around 19th July but you never know the weather (especially with us!). So all being well, we can’t wait to arrive at Honolulu Yacht Club and thank Steve Dixon for all his support. We look forward to receiving our lays, drinking a cocktail, eating a good few meals, having that first amazing shower and a solid nights sleep in a comfy bed…

Personal message:
Simon Taylor-Young – Simon I wanted to take a minute to say a huge thank you for your ongoing support, I’m truly humbled. We love hearing of your news and receiving your comments on our blogs. My apologies for not writing sooner, we weren’t able to receive the blog comments until recently so we’ve been playing catch up and absolutely love that we can now read them. Love to the family xx



  1. Jim Andrews says:

    Nice one Laura, This is such a huge team effort, including sponsors. Everyone should be so proud of their contribution to what is going to be an enormous record breaking achievement. The leaving of Honolulu is going to be tough, as you will be re-entering the known discomfort zone. I have total confidence in you all. Your modesty, sense of humour and acceptance of all that is tough during the past few weeks has been truly inspirational. Stay safe. XX

  2. Simon TY says:

    Darling Laura, OMG, I do hope you have not had to read through 60 odd days of my wittering. Have covered whales, albatross, my blistered hands, jokes and home news. Poor you.

    But first the news. Heather Watson, plucky GB no-hoper, takes Serena Williams to three sets, then just loses 6-2, 4-6, 7-5. David and Goliath. Nadal already out. BTW it is Wimbledon ! ( and Henley)( and the Ashes soon)( and celebrity Masterchef)

    But much more important, “G”, my darling Georgina, who has quite a big name on yr Wall, is staying with me for the first time in almost exactly a year. What is the system that allows a daughter to be kept from her Dad for a year ? ( she does live in Thailand); that a mother might do that ? Anyhow, joy and happiness, time with Max and Tilly, who she hardly knows, and off tomorrow to Norfolk with Mum and Dad: the very family togetherness you write about. Quite a bit of the Pacific is my past tears……….

    Last Johnnie Lloyd is moving to Australia. Probably stalking you. Might tell him to greet you in Cairns and bring out marmite and crumpets.

    Keep going, you are doing amazingly. Blow winds blow ( but not too hard). Are you going to practice your hula before you get to Hawaii. You cannot step off the boat and not hula down the beach ? I want video

    Lots of love. Courage, strength, endeavour, hardiness, stamina…………but enough about myself. Nearly there XX

  3. Jade says:

    Mate you Guys aré incredible!!! Can’t believe you are so close to Hawaii!! Row on team and I hope the weather is in your favour and gets you there fast.
    Keep your eyes on the present though and remember if you take care of the present moment the future will take care of itself 🙂 much love xxxx JP

  4. Johnnie says:

    Very exciting that the mileage is coming down and you are thinking about Hawaii. I think about all the hours and days that we have been continuing with our lives and you have been straining at the oars.

    You say you are humbled – can’t speak for anyone else but I am by your endeavour. The bravery, the energy, the sheer bloody minded will to ignore the fact that the wind was blowing you sideways, the waves breaking across you – it makes me weak to think about it.

    You all are an inspiration.
    Keep at it!

  5. Mike says:

    I think you mean Hawaii Yacht club….we do have a Honolulu Club but that’s a long way from the Marina and has nothing to do with boats. Your going to have a lot of company out there soon with 60 boats leaving mid-July on the Transpac 2015 race between Long Beach and Honolulu.

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