Leg 2, Day 64 – A blog about blogs

Laura Penhaul By

Day 64 – A blog about blogs

A number of you have kindly asked us questions in emails or in our blog comments, as to ‘when do we find the time to blog?’, ‘where do you get the inspiration about what to write?’, ‘when do you start thinking about your blog?’etc. so I thought I’d take inspiration from you all and use this time to answer your questions.

As you may now know, we rotate around the team writing a blog each day, so that we only need to write one every 4 days. Don’t get me wrong, there are times when we have no idea what to write about and it feels a little arduous, but truth be told, I think writing the blogs has been a blessing, as it creates a natural distraction from the monotony of row, eat, sleep, repeat. Sometimes we have the ‘planned blogs’ where we’ve thought of a number of subjects we want to write about and have 3 or 4 lined up before it gets to our turn. Other times it will be a ‘reflective blog’ where in the preceding 3 days it occupies some thinking time whilst on the oars and therefore helps a 2hr shift fly by.

Alternatively, there is the ‘wing it blog’, when literally in the last 2hr off shift you still have no idea what you’re going to write until you pick up the iPad and start typing. Finally, there’s the ‘event blogs’ when you’re lucky enough to have something significant happen on your blog day, whether that’s an animal sighting, a storm or a key milestone achieved.

With regards to the timing of writing our blogs, this comes down to our 2 awake shifts, giving us less than 4hrs to fit it in amongst the other chores. Thankfully, being a great team, we look out for each other and often the one that isn’t blogging, will make the food and run the water maker to save time. This leaves just eating, washing and reading our emails coming in, before we can settle in to writing our blog.

Once our blog is written, we tend to do ‘story time’ for the other team mates on the oars, which is usually during the sunset shift or before depending on timing. This entails propping one self up by the aft cabin so to face the rowers and also the team mate in the cabin can hear. The blog is then read out which also gives a chance for correction of any mistakes and/or additional comments to add from the rest of the team.

The iridium Go is then run so that we can send/receive emails for the second time that day, it would be our night time so equivalent of your early morning (approx. 7am UK time). Often the sending of the blog runs over into our first sleep shift, so once the routine of logbook, talcing and sudocreme application is complete, silk liners laid out and alarm set, the blogger will lay reclined and the light off so that the team mate can snooze. Then the blogger will lay out with an arm outstretched by the hatch so that the iridium go aerial can face up to the sky. If a picture is being sent, this can often take many attempts and up to an hour, leaving just 15-30mins of snooze time before being back on the oars.

The comments and emails we receive from you all is really humbling and running the iridium go to receive emails into our inbox is honestly what we look forward to each day. Our support team back home will post us a copy of your blog or Facebook comments and then in our row partners, one of us reads the messages aloud to the other. Simon TY, JG, Jim Andrews, Andrea Herr to name a few, thank you for your unrelenting support since day 1, your comments make us feel connected to you and closer to home than what we really are. Emails received from people we have yet to meet but send us regular updates, I.e. Mike Fenwick and Aunty Linda thank you. There are also those we may never meet but send us a fleeting email to let us know they are reading and following and have been influenced by what we’re doing, we are truly humbled to think we can touch anyone’s lives, so thank you for letting us know. What is strange and difficult for us, is to have this one way relationship with you all, receiving amazing emails and messages from afar but not having the ability to return our thanks. Please know we do appreciate every comment or email we receive and we hope that one day on land we can get back to you with a personal thank you.

UPDATE: Don’t say it too loud or it might come back but we seem to have had a let up in the strong westerly current over the last 24 hours and have been able to make progress South! Woop woop about time! We appear to be in sperm whale territory at the moment. The other night on the stroke of midnight Lizanne and Ems were visited by a large pod of sperm whales swimming all around close to the boat. It was magical to see them by the light of a full moon and a really special moment. Early this morning Laura and Ems saw another pod of these beautiful whales with their big stubby noses swimming past Doris. We also watched a group of masked boobies and frigate birds catching their breakfast. We have had the most beautiful couple of nights rowing under a clear sky with the horizon lit up by a huge bright moon. Sadly there was no sign of an eclipse over here and we think it must have been over before our night time.



  1. This is an interesting Blog, Laura. Your discipline is to be admired. I will think of you when I embark on the routine washing and ironing in future and won’t put it off to do at another time. Your followers would be deeply disappointed if you delayed your Blogs for a day or two so this is a lesson to us all! Stay safe and enjoy your downhill journey towards Samoa, xxxx

  2. PS Have you crossed the International Dateline (there seem to be two Day 63 Blogs) or are you just hallucinating again!! x

  3. I really enjoyed reading this Laura because I have often wondered how you find the energy or the time to write such interesting pieces in such an inspirational way. You put us mere mortals to shame!

  4. Jim Andrews says:

    Great post again Laura, You are all living such organised and disciplined lives. To put aside so much of your rest period, to tap away on the keyboard keeping us all informed, of the variety of events and emotions, you are experiencing, is to say the least, generous. Thank you so much, for your appreciation, I have and will continue to follow, as closely, as I am able, your progress through this amazing voyage. I have been blown away from day one by the various strengths, of each and every one of you. Another 3 weeks of good currents and fair winds should see you very close, if not in, Samoa. You so deserve another break and some well earned luxury. Stay Safe XX

  5. Liz Davey says:

    Delighted you all seem to be making real progress after such a frustrating time of things lately. Back home we have enjoyed a beautiful late summer and we are now preparing for Harvest Festival on Sunday after that it will be straight on to Christmas can you believe! I have to,pinch myself that you girls have been rowing since April the time has just flown. Anyway keep safe you are always in our thoughts and prayers. Xx

  6. Paul says:

    Each night i read your latest blog before drifting of. Adventure, excitement, amazing tales to tell your grandchildren. I have imagined myself if your shoes…but in reality…i’m too chicken! Full of admiration!!

  7. JG says:

    Once again it amazes me how the Crew not only manages to write anything at all whilst Doris bounces about like a demented kangaroo but goes on to produce such high quality blogposts. The power of the bond that binds you all together is awesome and I have massive respect for it. It is such a huge credit to each one of the team and sets a wonderful example for all of us in our tiny little worlds. So glad that the doldrums seem to be behind you now and the daily mileage building nicely again. I have been in Lamorna, Cornwall for a week now and the sun has shone all day every day. Being here makes me think of Laura and that wonderful Cornish name – Penhaul and I look out over the ocean and think of Doris heading away from here towards Samoa. Keep safe the Crew not long now.

  8. Robert says:

    Good move, I see your heading for a spot about 230nm East of Pago Pago. You will be rowing through a swathe of SE winds over 20 knots so having some miles East of Samoa up your sleeve is a nice idea:)

  9. barry says:

    Fascinating blogs, I eagerly await them every day and usually read them at 5am as that is the time our Tibetan terrier puppy Leo decides to do his no 1 and 2’s. You are a brave and determined crew, an inspiration to us all. The fishing failure would bug me tremendously, have you tried feathers or lures? Row strong, stay strong, find more and more dolphins to guide you home. Keeping blogging and good fishing.
    Best wishes

  10. Esther B says:

    Good to see the miles to Samoa getting less and less each day and glad to hear that you seem to have got a favourable current at last. Thank you all so much for spending your precious time keeping us all updated, informed and entertained – we all love reading the latest blog – it’s become part of my daily routine now too!! Lots of love to all xxx

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