Leg 2, Day 12 – Our Daily Routine…

Lizanne Van Vuuren By

I’ve never been in a situation where 3 other people know exactly where I am or what I’m doing, 24/7, for an extended period of time. There isn’t anywhere to hide on Doris! Like Laura said in her last blogpost, our little bubble on the Pacific feels a bit like the Hunger Games.. Or slightly less death defying; Big Brother…

I have now had a few days rowing with each of the girls to help the integration process to speed along. I was with Nats first, and I fear that due to my sea sickness my personality was about as colourful as a baked potato. So I am now on shift with Nat again, feeling dandy. To give you an idea of our routine at the moment it is as follows… 06-08:00 Nats and Liz sleep, Ems and Laura row

08-10:00 Ems and Laura sleep, Nats and Liz row 10-12:00 Nats and Liz awake shift, Ems and Laura row

12-14:00 Ems and Laura awake shift, Nats and Liz row

14-16:00 Nats and Liz awake shift, Ems and Laura row 16-18:00 Ems and Laura awake shift, Nats and Liz row

18-20:00 Nats and Liz sleep, Ems and Laura row

20-22:00 Ems and Laura sleep, Nats and Liz rowing 22-00:00 Nats and Liz sleep, Ems and Laura row

00-02:00 Ems and Laura sleep, Nats and Liz sleep

02-04:00 Nats and Liz sleep, Ems and Laura row

04-06:00 Ems and Laura sleep, Nats and Liz row

…..and then we repeat.

05:50- this is the David Attenborough moment that Izzy spoke of earlier in the blog. The rowers look straight into the cabin, so when the alarm goes off after their 90min sleep the light goes on and two rowers slowly get themselves ready for their rowing shift. The weather has been less favorible over the past couple of days so they prepare as best they can for a soaking on the oars. Emma has by far the most descriptive facial expressions, especially visible straight after her nap.

Meanwhile it’s “Danger Zone” for Nats and Liz as the last 10minutes of every shift there is generally one wave that soaks you before heading into the cabin. More often than not its Nat. There are a few things that causes a lot of laughter on the boat, the main one being and getting splashed by a big wave.

08:00- the routine of getting from the cabin and onto the oars is a meticulous one. As well as freeze dried meals, we also have snack packs which helps us ticking over. The snack packs get passed from outside to inside, and inside to outside to the respective rowers seat. The person who is rowing at the back (they’re at front of the boat actually as we row backwards) goes out first; life vest, clipped onto a leash (our lifeline to the boat) and heads out. The back rower has by now also started making their way to the front. Seeing as the water is so unstable and choppy, this often either happens as a crawl, or leaning on the front rower for support. While rowing we also have an ankle leash on.

14:05- Ems and Laura lather up on sunscreen and cover up from the mid day sun. Nats and Liz prepare their lunch during this session. This requires taking a food pack from the hatches and just adding hot water. Shepherds pie, spag bol, oriental chicken, beef curry to name a few. In this shift, or the one prior we might also do some washing; clothes and body.

18:00- whoever is blogging this day might do “bedtime story” here, reading their blog to the others. Nats will also usually spend the majority of this shift talking to the birds following Doris around. We names two Friggits today- Freddy and Clyde.

00:15- Ems and Laura turn off the light. The moon hasn’t risen yet so it is pitch black on the oars.  This shift is usually spent talking or having an up beat playlist on.

05:00- this is my worst…. Graveyard shift. No matter what I do I just can’t help but drift off every now and then during this shift. Nat has started doing the Dawn Dance with me which helps an awful lot! On land I usually started every day with a coffee… Now I will just start every nigh with a coffee 🙂

Lizanne x



  1. Simon TY says:

    Lizzy, is it all beginning to make sense ? The rambling thoughts of the first two months: it cannot really be like that ? no one could do that ? It cAnnot be that bad ?

    Now you know. The fifth initiated into the Doris Masonic guild ? The fifth what happens in the boat stays in the boat. The fifth able to verify that UFO or Blue Whale.

    PS Friggit is what you say when you drop a snack bar overboard. The Frigate birds Freddie and Clyde might be upset being called that !!!

    Well done, onwards and backwards xxx

  2. JG says:

    Thats a complicated routine and keeping up with it must make the time pass by almost unnoticed. I can see the benefit of the two hourly shift in that.So glad the malde mer has passed – you have certainly perked up. Friggit is what you say to a bird that has just crapped on your solar panels! I have seen people rowing dinghys facing the way they are going with a push instead of a pull. Don’t suppose that is practical in your situation. Keep safe, have fun.

    • Barney says:

      I am going to give Lizanne the credit for having seen both Freddy and Clyde fouling the solar panels and quite legitimately calling them Friggits!!

  3. Lizanne, dink aan jou! Jy maak ons baie trots. Hou so aan!! Love you lots xx

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