Day 65

Emma Mitchell By

As I lie back in our sweat pit of a cabin to write this blog we are 151nm from Honolulu. So near and yet so far! For Izzy this is the end of the journey and for Lizanne it will be the beginning but for Laura, Nats and I it is only a short stop off as we are only a third of the way through our row. We always said that getting back in the boat in Hawaii would be the hardest part of our journey and it is at this point that what we are doing is so different to any other ocean row. Most ocean rowers as they approach land will be excited for celebrations of their success whereas we have a week to unpack, clean, repair and repack Doris before setting off for another at least 60 days at sea. And even after that we won’t be finished! I can’t speak for the other two but for me not getting back on board is not even an option as we haven’t completed what we set out to do yet but that doesn’t mean that we don’t have a busy and challenging week on land ahead. Although reaching Hawaii is a big milestone, celebrations will be short lived as we have so much to do to get Doris and ourselves ship shape for the Samoa leg. As part of our weekly sit rep for Keith yesterday he had us include our hopes and fears for our time in Hawaii so I thought i’d share mine with you.

I hope that we take the time in Hawaii to celebrate what we have achieved as a team so far. We are going to miss Izzy. She sings us songs, tells us endless stories, is always there with a comforting word when you’re having a bad day and has the best dawn dance of all of us. Besides who is going to teach me poems or eat Nutella with a spoon straight from the jar with me (Lizanne I have you pencilled in for this role!) Importantly we also have to integrate Lizanne into the team and get her up to speed with everything she needs to know before we set off. The four of us have spent a lot of time together getting this project to the start line whereas Lizanne has spent minimal time with us and all of our recent contact has been via Skype. This will be both a challenge and a joy. Familiarity with each other and how we react to things is important however spending every waking and sleeping minute together will soon sort this out. We are all excited to have someone on the boat who hasn’t already heard all our stories and who hasn’t already told us all of theirs.

I also hope that we are able to use the time on land to share our story further. We are aiming to raise £250k for our two inspiring charities Breast Cancer Care and Walking With The Wounded and there is still a long way to go so we hope our arrival on solid ground will kickstart our fundraising. Another way we will tell our story is through the amazing Sarah Moshman, director/ producer of a documentary about our journey called ‘Losing sight of shore’. Sarah is coming out on a boat with the ever helpful Steve Dixon from the Hawaii Yacht Club to meet us about 5nm from our destination to capture some footage of our arrival. We can’t wait to see you Sarah!

I hope that we have time to recover and regroup both physically and mentally. For the last 65 days we have been rowing for 12 hours in every day and living with three other people in a space shorter than the men’s long jump world record where there is no space to stand up of stretch out without being pressed against another sweaty rower. We all have niggles and aches and pains. I feel lucky that physically I feel ok but after 16 days at sea walking on solid ground in Santa Barbara made me ache and I felt drunk and wobbly the whole week so I’m a little scared what I’ll be like now it’s been 65 days and counting. Hopefully a week will be long enough to heal and fix us up ready for the next leg.

I fear that we have so much to get done whilst on land that we will not take the time to have some rest and time to ourselves. My family won’t be out in Hawaii but I will want to spend time on Skype with them getting to have a conversation longer than 10mins on the sat phone. Laura and Nat’s parents will be there and it is important that they get to spend some time with them. We could all do with a bit of personal space after being cramped together for what has already been 81 days at sea. We also need to thank all the many people who have been sending us funny, motivational and inspiring messages while we’ve been out here. With another at least two months at sea before we reach landfall again there is also a lot of personal admin to get done.

So we are counting down our miles left to go and hoping to arrive on Sunday but we can’t relax too much as for the three of us rowing the full Pacific Ocean we mustn’t get too used to the comforts of land remembering that our beautiful 29ft pink boat Doris is still our home for at least another few months.



  1. JG says:

    Thank you Emma for a great post. Clearly you girls have your feet firmly planted and know exactly what you have to do and watch out for. Competence of the highest order. That picture of you and Isabel just shows what powerful women you are. The way you hold yourselves and your permanent smiles shows us that. Enjoy Hawaii and I hope all your your repairs and adjustments will be just what you wanted for both Doris and yourselves. Onwards and Upwards !

  2. Jim Andrews says:

    Lots of emotion there Emma. As you rightly say, Hawaii is only a pit stop, end of lap 1 on a three lap race, but those laps are life sapping in terms of energy and spirit. That’s what makes you so awesome in the eyes of your loyal followers. Honolulu, will quickly become a distant memory, the time in that little paradise will zip by because of your commitment to each other and your Doris. Enjoy every second of your short reprieve. Your courage in every sense of the word is inspirational. Stay safe. XX

  3. Jules says:

    Great positive blog Em….
    Reading through it the point that jumped out was that Lizanne is joining an established team and routine which must be very challenging for you all, but esp for her.
    All three of you all have your own ideas and points you want to get across to her about how you and Doris work together day in day out…..don’t bombard her with everything at once. Maybe between you come up with 10 points that are really important and let the rest fall into place…..
    Enjoy your time on land, awesome job so far . X

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