Doris heads home


This morning we all made our way down to Cairns Cruising Yacht Sqadron to say farewell to Doris. CCYS and in particular Steve Johnson (Commodore) have been absolutely amazing. We can’t thank them enough for helping us take Doris off the water, clean her and help tuck her safely into her container for some R&R.

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She’s heading back to the UK and we will be reunited with her in between 6-8 weeks time when she arrives back home. LP felt a little emotional as it seemed to finally sink in that the journey is over, whereas Natalia, Ems and Meg were devoid of any emotion.



It’s strange. There is a kind of numbness for most of us at the moment. We need some time to assess how we’re feeling, reflect on what has just happened and re-adjust to being back on land and away from our usual oceanic environment.  There are sounds, smells, people and so much visual stimulation everywhere here on land. Our heads feel heavy with tiredness, our legs are stiff and painful as they are getting used to a walking motion again, our callused hands feel hard and rough and all our salt sores are itchy as they begin drying out.

Luckily we had a visit from the amazing Aaron Darrell this afternoon who is a freelance masseuse based out of Rusty’s Markets in Cairns and he helped us to relax and begin to wind down. It was pure bliss and after the foot, hand, face and neck massage we floated away feeling fantastic.

We will all be spending a few days quality time with our respective families and then re-uniting as a team before flying back to the UK.

We have been blown away by the friendliness of everyone we have come across and the endless support we have received since we arrived x

We would also just like to say A HUGE thank you to:

Ferne and Pete Kemp at Cairns Queens Court for very kindly hosting our stay here in Cairns and looking after our families so well too! It’s been wonderful to be so central and to have such amazing beds to sleep in!!

John and Megg Kennedy (Motoryacht ‘Sanrod’) who were incredible with their help and support. They had a few early starts when they came out about 60 miles to film us with Sarah before our arrival and also helped escort us back to Cairns.

Marlin Marina did a wonderful job of hosting our arrival and it was the perfect place to step foot on land in Cairns. Their hospitality was very much appreciated.

The Cairns Yacht Club and in particular Trish Chalmers – thank you so much for your support and we are honoured to have received your burgee.

The attending officers of Cairns Border Control and The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources for their compassion, efficiency and professionalism in conducting our arrival clearance formalities.

The Salt House in particular Vincent and Leila for providing the incredible platter of fresh fruit and our first food on arrival (burger and chips for most of us).

Paul and Sue Nash (managers at The Villas Palm Cove) – offering discounted accommodation for some family members and providing accommodation and use of a vehicle to Tony.

…Last but by no means least is the fantastic Mayor of Cairns, Bob Manning OAM. What a welcome we received and the most beautiful arrival gifts of a traditional necklace and bracelet and stunning silk scarf. You managed to make us feel like ladies again! Thank you.

Coxless Crew with Mayor Manning



  1. Jim Andrews says:

    Fabulous update, thank you. I fully understand the overload you must be feeling. You have been living in a bubble for 9 months, 75 days for Meg but still a big adjustment to make. Izzy and Lizanne have obviously already coped with that period of re-adjustment but for you three mega rowers it is going to be so much harder. Poor old Doris, all scrubbed up and put to bed for a couple of months, before she enjoys stardom and immortality. I feel guilty for looking forward to updates, because you should now be enjoying being adored by your loved ones and pampered by the experts who can remove 9 months wear and tear from your bodies and minds. So get on with your recovery and enjoy all that your amazing achievements might repay you. XX

  2. it’s been my honour to meet these four amazing ladies of the Coxless Crew, as well as meeting and talking to the families, support team and the documentary team, everyone has been so amazing!

    Considering the fact that we as the public have followed them all the way from San Francisco to Cairns as just a tiny little boat on a map, followed their journey through their eyes with those amazing blogs, that time has flown by, the perception of time changes for everyone, reading these blog posts does make me realise in some small way how it must feel for the Coxless Crew to be back.

    When they arrived they have been surrounded by cheering crowds, well wishes, love, hugs, praise, food, drink, people, press, interviews, I’m in awe at how well they are coping, always with smiles it must be a little overwhelming but they deserve every second of the recognition because they’ve done something that simply put no-one on this planet has done before, they are all quite simply amazing!

    I do realise once one journey ends another begins, but these ladies aren’t shying away from any of it, they show a dedication, determination to achieving their goals, they did it as a team on sea, now they will do so on land.

    Their energy and spirit has shone as brightly as the stars they saw out on the ocean.

    I hope this is not cliche, but I realised there are six stars on the Australian flag and there are six members of this Coxless Crew, you are brilliant!!

    Of my total respect and admiration, I can only do that quintessentially British thing of humbly tipping my hat to each and everyone of the Coxless Crew.

  3. AN says:

    I too feel guilty for looking forward to updates like Jim. So glad that your tired bodies are being pampered and you are getting some well earned rest and enjoying time with family. Nice to know Doris has also had a ‘facial’ before her trip back home.
    Land must seem a very noisy and colourful place after so long at sea. I am sure you will adjust accordingly and reflect on your marvellous achievement. Enjoy the remainder of your time in Cairns. Very wet weather in the UK at the moment. x

  4. sara says:

    Watching Doris being prepared an loaded into her container for the long journey home was very emotional. It signified the real end to the journey on the Pacific. Getting Doris secured safely took a time with Ems, Laura, steve and Ray under Uncle Tones supervision finally made her safe before the girls gave her a final farewell before the door closed and Doris was put on the lorry and driven away. Ems was sad as it marked the end of the adventure but for me it was a surge of relief. It will be lovely to now having to a few days with ems Happy days

  5. Antonia says:

    Well done fabulous ladies. I admit I cried when I watched you on the news! We have been travelling with you in spirit so it is over for all of us. Much has happened in my life too and so I feel we have come ashore together.
    Of course you will feel very strange, detached and like it’s happening to someone else. Don’t worry, your mindfulness practice will come in handy as you check in with your bodies and let them start to feel ‘normal’ again, and let your mind be in the moment with the sound of birds and traffic and weird landlubberish noises in the background!
    Your minds (souls perhaps?) may never make it back to the same place- I think you will be changed forever- but for the good! When you feel like you may be a bit nuts, treat yourselves like you would each other, with kindness and love. You have gone through what the vast majority of us never will, you deserve your happy-ever-after lives! Enough talk from me- I know you are able to access the experts, but know that we mere mortals are in your corner too, and all of us would offer you a cuppa and a pat on the back if ever you should be in our part of the world. XX

  6. Ray Penhaul says:

    Poor old Doris did look the worst for wear, tattered logos, barnacles and faded paintwork but she did her job well.
    So as she’s now on her way home all I can say is
    “Way to go girl”, well done.

  7. After living in a bubble for so long you have now moved into another bubble but one with lots of noise and people around. All very strange. Hopefully the time with your families will give you much needed rest and time to catch up with all that has happened around them whilst you were away. Enjoy this special time but be kind to yourselves as you will have a lot of readjustments to make.
    Doris has kept you all safe whilst you lived on her and so your feelings about her will be akin to a 7th member of your team. When Alan was working he travelled 30k miles plus yearly in his Passat. It was his office, transport and he had a very special feeling about her as she kept him safe and didn’t ever let him down; just like Doris.
    Enjoy the time with your families before you all head back to the UK & probably another bubble! xxxx

  8. Barney says:

    As Doris settles down for her trip home let us recognise the achievement of Rossiters Boat Yard team who engineered and manufactured a boat that travelled further than any other Rossiter row boat had ever travelled (as acknowledged by Charlie a few blogs ago) and that caused our Coxlesscrew no structural or leakage concerns worthy of blogging about. Well done all at Rossiters. I imagine that Rossiter row boats have survived 40′ waves many times before but how much is known about fibreglass fatigue? I can voice these thoughts now they are safe in Cairns!

  9. When I returned from a trip to the supermarket on Monday, Leonie was very excited. (This was strange as my arriving home never usually excites her.) Ray had rung from Cairns and Leonie said that she had also spoken to a “celebrity”. (Clearly not Ray.) On Tuesday we bought all the national papers and sure enough there was “Miss Penhaul” (and her fellow rowers) in ALL of them. Hopefully, the much deserved publicity, and celebrity status, will bring in a few bob for your charities. Well done girls. We are now looking forward to celebrating your return to Cornwall – hopefully, with a drink and one of Aunt Marie’s pasties.

  10. Mike S. says:

    I would also like to thank Rossiters Boat People for their skills in producing ‘ Doris ‘ a more than capable safe boat to look after our amazing girls through 8446 unbelievable miles.

  11. Allen says:

    Hi Ladies,

    Very happy to have you all safely on firm ground and glad that the press attention has been so good. You made a big splash in the U.K. and I look forward to seeing more of your exploits on the T.V.
    Many best wishes to all 6 of you.
    Please enjoy some well earned rest.
    Best wishes.
    P.S. Glad that Doris is coming home.

  12. Peter says:

    A fantastic achievement ladies, many congratulations!

    Being from Cornwall, it would be brilliant if Doris could become part of the wonderful exhibition at the National Maritime Museum in Falmouth. I hope they can raise the funds for her.

    Doris would be a star attraction.

  13. From the west coast of the US, I watched the daily progression of the girls across the mighty Pacific, Well done ladies. Has there been any update on Doris? I would have thought she would have been home around the first of Apr.

    Again well done ladies

    With Great admiration


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