Leg 2, Day 77 – Noodles

Laura Penhaul By

Day 77 – Noodles

Many of you have asked whether the impression we give off that team dynamic on the boat is harmonious, is a facade and actually behind the scenes we really hate each other. Well sorry to disappoint, but our dynamic is stronger than ever. However, this is not to say that we haven’t had a disagreement or difference of opinion, I don’t think we would be normal to undergo the conditions and challenges we’re facing without an argument or two ; the sleep deprivation, the heat, battling the currents and the winds, the torrential rain storms, recently the lack of music and the finishing of snack packs. The difference with this team, is that we deal with it there and then and most importantly MOVE ON. Nothing is left unsaid and often it is reflected on afterwards and finished with a hug. That being said, Nat and I have decided to share with you a recent disagreement we had, it was over something hugely important. The most relevant points to highlight to you, is that the outcome of the debate would clearly affect the speed of the boat and the dynamic of the team, so of course it was indeed a very necessary discussion to have. The heated argument we had…….was about……. noodles! Noodles come in as a close third behind Oreo’s and fruit pots as a luxury item, so when Lizanne and I found an extra 7 on the boat, it was a disagreement as to how the noodles were distributed. So here’s the debate……


LP: I asked Nats how many noodles she had stashed from her previous snack packs and she’d saved 3 packets. The rest of us had none as we’d previously eaten whatever we had at the time. To note that not every snack pack had noodles previously & we had an extras bag where we’d helped ourselves, so some may have had more than others but there was no way of telling exact numbers. Therefore I thought it was fair for the team to have equal share going forwards, so I gave Lizanne, Ems and I, 2 packets each and suggested the other packet goes into the spare bag for whoever needs it first. I truly, honestly believe that this was the fairest way, as we now don’t have any snack packs and food is precious. It was not in any way meant to be unfair or to alienate Nats, as far as I was concerned she still had an extra bag to the rest of us so I figured it made us all even.

” I saw a zip lock bag of at least 5 packets of noodles enter the aft cabin as I was just about to exit to begin my row shift. Being ‘hawk eyes’, I made a mental note and then as I began rowing asked where the extra noodles had come from. LP replied that she had found them and was going to distribute them between the team excluding me as I already had a stash of noodles. I was gobsmacked. The fact that I had taken it upon myself to keep some noodles for a rainy day was my prerogative and had absolutely nothing to do with how extra noodles that had just been found should be distributed, in my mind. That’s how I felt and so that’s what I said.

LP has consistently eaten a large number of noodles during this leg and the reasoning behind not giving me any made no sense at all. Why should everyone else get 2 packets and I get none!!?? Everyone has collected stashes of various food stuffs over the last few weeks and what they have managed to save is theirs. The fact that they saved sweets or cereal bars over noodles, again, is their choice. When LP was about to exit for the row changeover, she asked ‘Are we ok?’ to which I replied, ‘As long as I’ve got a packet of noodles, I’m fine’

LP and I have always had a really passionate relationship as we are we are both strong, confident and expressive women who are not afraid to share our opinions with each other. I love this about us and although there have been a handful of disagreements over the last 18 months (they happen on land too), we have a deep, mutual respect and understanding about who we are what makes each other tick. ”

As this ended up being a pointless argument where neither of us agreed with the other person’s viewpoint, I could see how Nat was seeing it I just didn’t agree. Also as it was a topic that didn’t influence the speed at which we travelled or our performance, I gave her the extra packet of noodles in order to keep the peace. It took 24hrs later for me to swap our pairs so that Nat and I were on shifts together, we hugged and made up and found we could laugh about it even though we still disagreed. Nat and I are particularly open and honest with each other and not scared to be confrontational if needed. The majority of the time we get on like a house on fire, bouncing off each other with ideas, laughter and support, and only rarely has it occurred that our opinions clash. Considering the length of time we’ve been at sea, Nat and I had one disagreement on leg 1 and have had 2 on this leg, which I think is pretty good going, hopefully it won’t be 3 times on the final leg!

There are certainly ways to approach things which takes the heat out of a debate or point of view, but I think the way we handle disagreements on the boat, I hope I will take forwards with work and relationships etc. in the future.

Today was the hottest day we’ve had yet. Over 110 degrees out on deck and about 100 degrees inside the cabin. We’re literally melting together!



  1. JG says:

    You are all highly intelligent people and it comes as no surprise to me that you solve conflicts on the spot and allow nothing to fester. You all like and respect one another and are all pulling your weight. You all know yourselves and each other and have a complete understanding of how the group meshes and that is the most important factor in making sure that the cogs do not fracture. It often requires personal compromise and self discipline – all of which you guys possess in spades. Further evidence of the impeccable manner in which this project has been set up and is running. Keep safe the Crew.

  2. Simon TY says:

    The great Noodle wars. If that is all you can argue about amazing. Though, in the heat of the non-Oreo moment, pretty tricky.

    Not really been looking today. Hope Doris gliding over the waves, the heat bearable and Samoa slowly getting closer


  3. Barney says:

    From the facts stated I am with Nats but well done on moving on from what could have been a major crab in the proverbial row. One on leg 1, two on leg 2, looking like a no brainier for leg 3! It all makes for good entertainment when the film premiers!

  4. Jim Andrews says:

    Well done on agreeing to disagree, which is often the best way to walk away with dignity. I personally (which counts for nothing) think you both have a valid point. Laura, taking in the whole picture, treating the find as a morale booster divides up the treasure between all team members. Natalia, on the other hand feels robbed of her pre planned bonus treat. At the time and under those conditions, an uncomfortable though brief, disagreement. In a couple of years time it will take up a few pages of your autobiography and create a few smiles. I have to say you both look scary in the photograph. Anyway now fuelled by some bonus noodles, I would expect the NMPH to increase, markedly. By the time you read this response you will be sub 500 miles from Samoa! Stay Safe. XX

  5. […] I absolutely fell in love with each one of them. They are such incredible and strong women, and believe it or not there was only ONE disagreement during the entire three-month trip (see blog post about it here). […]

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