Leg 2, Day 6 – How is it only day 6?!

Emma Mitchell By

How is it only day 6!?

I am exhausted already. Every shift on the oars getting soaked by huge waves and battling in the wind wipes me out and every shift in the cabin I can barely force myself to do the essentials like washing or eating before falling asleep. I am more tired after a week on dry land where we managed to get less sleep than we do on Doris than I was after 68 straight days at sea. The mighty Pacific has been throwing everything she has at us with big swell and strong winds. We spend all day and night crusty wih salt from the waves breaking over our heads which makes the skin sting and the scalp itch. I am too scared to attempt getting a brush through my matted and salty hair. When we’re in the cabins the exertion of eating or trying to wash off the salt leads to profuse sweating. I can’t believe we’ve only been out here for 6 days and haven’t even covered 200nm yet!

However despite all of this the ocean seems to know when we need a pick me up too. Last night’s sunset shift was one of my favourites ever. Nats and I were on the oars together. We had Nat’s chill out playlist on the speakers, there was the least splashing that had happened all day and the sunset lit up the sky in orange and fluorescent pink. The colours reflect off the water turning the ocean more colours than you would think possible. We spent most of the 2 hour shift with grins on our faces and I fell in love with ocean rowing all over again.

For now we are still pushing South trying to get free of a westerly current in the hope we will pick up some more speed once we are out of it. Samoa still seems a long way off so we return to our trusty chunking routine taking each day one shift at a time and trying to stay in the moment and appreciate as much as we can of our time at one with the beautiful Pacific!



  1. Simon Ty says:

    Chins up, straight back, drive the legs.

    Oh no, Emma, sounds like a miserable day. Sure the shrinks have said you will go through a wave of elation, new enthusiasm, realisation of what you are doing, exhaustion and depression. I am sure the experts would say in a slightly different order !!

    What do you mean only 200nm. Compared to the awful San Francisco start, you are positively racing across the screen ( or at least the pink dots are).

    Sure you will never be able to describe the sunsets/rises ( lots of, no, you must be exaggerating, they never could be that colour). And the stars ? Have not really had any feedback on the stars. I remember reading a desert book: describing the absolute clarity of sky and being able to watch stars rise and fall below the horizon. Here we have light pollution so you never see a star rise….it just fades out into the haze. But you will see them rise and climb what appears to be incredibly quickly ( with the horizon reference point). Anyhow, I am rambling.

    Keep strong, keep safe, support each other.


    • Barney says:

      Simon is right, and compared with the 2nd attempt to leave USA you are still doing better, 168 nm in the first 5 days compared with 126 naughty miles.

  2. JG says:

    It’s tough – especially the sleep thing. I feel people should have made you all rest on land. Keep chunking Crew. How is Lizanne coping – must be hard for her too?

  3. Jim Andrews says:

    Oh dear sounds uncomfortable and maybe a bit scary. The routine you are putting yourselves through is truly gruelling even if the weather was fair. So I cannot begin to imagine the levels of fatigue and discomfort you describe. I hope some words of support from your new found fan base, help to keep your morale in the right area. Every one of you a hero. Stay safe. XX

  4. Carla says:

    How about sharing your music playlists? Is there a way to do this. Sure it will make for interesting listening.

  5. Vir2 Mobile says:

    You took I think nearly 10 days to get as far on pt2 of your first leg. It may not feel like it, but you’re going really well. You’re getting more text donations for your charities each time you ask too. Well done keep it going.

  6. Tara says:

    I’ve been thinking about you a lot after reading this day’s blog. The images of you rowing in those high seas and in that heat are phenomenal. I can’t even begin to understand how you change positions at the end of your shift. What do you do when you’re so seasick? Do you still have to row, or do you get a pass? Do you row 24/7? It’s mind boggling.
    I’ve been reading a book called The Elephant Whisperer about a reserve in South Africa who was offered a herd of 9 unruly, wild elephants and the journey the owners took to earn their trust. In many ways it keeps reminding me of you women. There are hours of the mundane and then moments of pure exhilaration and awe. In their case it might be an eye to eye connection with the matriarch, and in your case it might be a moment when the waves are stilled for a sunset… all of it profound.
    Even though I don’t want to be rowing on your little boat I envy your experiences of interaction with nature that it is in its purist, most unadulterated form.
    I am sending you prayers of calmer seas and hope that the sweltering sun backs her temps down even just a wee bit.
    You are a marvel!

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