Leg 2, Day 38 – Bucket lists

Emma Mitchell By

Day 38 – Bucket lists

A bucket list is a list of things you want to do, be it before you’re 30, before you retire, before you die. It’s a list of dreams, of ambitions, of the things that scare us and the things that excite us. It can be challenges we wish to take, places we want to visit, people we want to meet and dreams we want to fulfil. When I was in Belize sat around our camp fire at night talking and thinking about the things we’d like to do when we got home I was inspired to write my bucket list. Believe it or not rowing an ocean was on that list! Sometimes you find yourself in exactly the right place at exactly the right time, and a week after returning to the UK I found out about the row and the rest is history. Now not quite everything on my list is quite at the level of this row but all of the things I wrote down, be they big or small share some characteristics. They are all things which will challenge me and which are outside of my comfort zone and my normal life as it is now.

A few weeks ago a friend sent me a beautiful email which got me thinking. Andy runs outdoor adventurous activity residential trips for young people in Wales, and his email talked about how the young people he works with are building strong foundations by pushing beyond their comfort zones during their stays. He likened it to a building site, and in particular to a guy he watched in the Himalayas building, at around 4000m, a huge system of trenches, reinforcing his future family’s home from beneath the ground. He explained that though the work was hard, with his broken handled spade and pick axe whose handle had long left this world, it was worth it to ensure that the house could stand the test of time, the freeze, thaw, earthquakes, landslides and avalanches. People will face their own metaphorical earthquakes, landslides and so on in life and it is only those with strong foundations that can rise up again and carry on looking forward. He went on to explain his strong belief that accepting challenge and getting used to the feeling of fear builds a person strong foundations. By introducing young people to challenges, to fear, and to new experiences they can widen their comfort zones and realise that fear only exists in the unknown and therefore with experience it disappears. Both the man on the high, hot and rocky mountainside and the young people he works with are after the same outcome…. foundations that are strong enough to carry them through all that life has to throw at them.

I believe that we can all strengthen our foundations, young or old by taking on the things that scare us, that challenge and excite us. By taking on our own bucket lists. The women supported by Walking With The Wounded and Breast Cancer Care must rely on their strong foundations when life throws injury or illness at them and use this strength to carry on. One of the things we wanted to achieve by taking on the row was an appreciation of what it takes to dig down into our reserves and see what it takes to keep going under our own taste of Pacific flavoured adversity. We hope to see how our foundations stand up to the test.

So I challenge you all to write your own bucket lists. Include the big things and the small. Rowing oceans is rightly so not for everyone. Include all the things that you secretly wish you could do ignoring whether you feel right now that you could. After all I was involved in the row for 2 years before we made it to the start line after a lot of hard work, planning, training and gaining of new skills and even then didn’t really feel ready when we set off under the Golden Gate Bridge. Then share your list, with your family, your friends or even just reading it aloud to yourself. As Nat is always telling us, if you put something out to the universe then you are telling it you want it to happen. Then pick something, it can be the smallest thing, and start making it happen. Challenge yourself, face fear head on, and start to strengthen those foundation.
UPDATE: Today is overcast and muggy with beautiful moody clouds in all shades of grey across the sky. A large sea turtle visited this afternoon. We named him Tommy and he did a few laps of the boat lifting his head up to say hello and check us out before swimming off to get on with his day. I think he must have spread the word about the odd pink boat out in the middle of the Pacific because a couple of hours later, after a small detour off our track to investigate a large piece of debris, we were visited by three sharks and a huge shoal of two different kinds of fish who hung out around the boat for about half an hour. Lizanne has put our fishing line out in the hope of catching us some dinner.



  1. Simon TY says:

    At last Tommy the turtle. !! and Bruce the shark. OR are only Australian sharks called Bruce ? Silly question, but how you going to cook the fish ? Or just poach it in hot water ? Or sushi ? Freshest sushi in the world. If, heaven forbid, you do catch a fish, watch out for the dorsal fins. A frightening array of fish have poisous dorsal fins.

    Hope u having a good day. Just settling downb to watch last couple of episodes of House of Cards


  2. Doug says:

    what kind of fish do you catch, if any?

    Bucket list is a good idea.
    Time is flying by and without plans you just get old.

  3. JG says:

    Not sure what cooking accessories you have with your JetBoil but you could fry fillets of any fish caught badding any condiments you may have whilst frying. Fish cooks very quickly when fried. At my age all bucket lists previously set are complete and my final list is simply to enjoy my grandchildren and pray that life will be as good to them as it has been to me. I worry about the way the world is going but I hope that in some way I can help prepare them to deal with it and survive. That is the biggest challenge of all.

  4. Robert says:

    Marine life around Doris probably think Doris is a FAD, Fish Aggregation Device which in Hawaiian waters attract: skipjack tuna (aku)
    yellowfin tuna (ahi)
    bigeye tuna (ahi)
    dolphin fish (mahimahi)
    wahoo (ono)
    blue marlin (au)
    striped marlin (nairagi)
    mako sharks
    silky sharks
    oceanic whitetip sharks
    galapagos sharks
    mackerel (opelu)
    bonito (kawakawa)
    most popular fishing method around FADs is trolling which generally accounts for 80% of the catch.

  5. Sorry this will come to late for your problems, which I hope will have gone by now!

    “If you are prone to feeling queasy when you step aboard a boat, you will know there is very little you can do about it.

    Well, all that may change within a decade, thanks to a device that scientists say can ward off sea sickness.

    A mild electric shock to the scalp makes the feelings of nausea go away, according to experts at Imperial College London.

    They are now developing a device that will plug into a mobile phone and deliver a short shock to the head via a set of electrodes.

    They hope that the gadget will be sold in pharmacies within five to ten years. ”

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-3222412/Anti-seasickness-gadget-cure-nausea-delivering-shock-head.html#ixzz3l2ATPsv1
    Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

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