Leg 2, Day 8 – It’s all going swimmingly

Lizanne Van Vuuren By

Leg 2, Day 8 – It’s all going swimmingly

At the moment the negatives I can mention about life on the ocean are pretty minimal. Ems and I have thankfully now overcome our sea sickness and the weather over the past week has been mostly good to us (barring the westerly current that caused us to go painfully slow and the soaking splashes that came with it).

Like most of you know, our shifts are 2 hours on the oars, 2 hours off. It’s amazing how you can maintain a normal level of physical and psychological function on this polyphasic sleeping pattern. I’ve always loved a nap though, and now I get to do it for 2 months straight!

In the first few days I had to sleep in all my “off” sessions; probably because I couldn’t keep any food down and therefore my energy levels suffered. I have however by now slotted nicely into the routine of being awake for 2 off sessions and during this time we do all the necessaries like wash, eat, blog… On a rocking, moving vessel. Rowing is the easy part!!

The sexy beachy-wavey-salty-hair look is sadly non existent due to the replacement being hat/hairband hair, but our tans are coming along swimmingly!

Now come the good bits….

The sunsets and sunrises have been magical, but what has totally caught my attention is the moon-rises. One night there was a slither of moon low across the horizon poking through the clouds and LP thought it was a UFO! Credit to her though it looked nothing like the moon, as it has been rising with a deep orange/pink/red colour before turning a silver beam light as it rises higher in the sky.

Before the moon rose last night, Ems and I were on the oars and it was pitch black. Every now and then you hear the sound of a fish jumping in the water or a wave breaking, but visibly you couldn’t even distinguish where on the horizon the night sky ended or the ocean began. This is where you see the magic though- alongside the cloudy Milky-Way it looked like someone took white paint and flicked it all over a black wall, with an occasional brief white smear appearing in the distance, and then you make a wish

Today has been my fav so far. I experienced the thing I was looking forward to most… Swimming in the big blue! Due to the calmer conditions we decided to take an hour out and have a proper deck shower. While Ems and Nat washed their hair and kept lookout, Laura and I went for a swim. The water was a shiney turquoise blue and the visibility was clear, beyond that though it just sort of disappeared. The enormity of our location actually made me laugh out loud; suspended in 64 million square MILES (!) of water around us… It totally exceeded my expectations. We also had a visit from some Mahi Mahi fish swimming around our boat.

Our day was the topped with a cherry on top by a funny and much needed group shower. We generally make sure we keep really clean anyway, as the salt will quickly let us know if we’re not, but the feeling of flowing fresh water is something I certainly missed.

I know it’s still early on, and there’s a while to go until we get to Samoa, but I have firmly fallen in love with the natural beauties presented to us out here.

On a personal note, thanks so much to everyone who have been in touch. It’s amazing to get a taste of home so far away from reality.

Over and out from me,

Love Lizanne x



  1. Simon Ty says:

    Not sure how deep it actually there…..but an awful lot of water below you. I have dived in really really deep water, and once below about 30m, the sky is just a glow and it is black black black left, right, centre and below. Makes you realise how deep it is.

    I have asked before: on the really dark nights have you seen any phosphoresence yet ? You will know if you have.

    Lizanne, you seem to have fitted in so quickly. The danger is this leg will fly by !!

  2. Jim Andrews says:

    Great report Lizanne, nice to hear spirits are high. I am envious of all the good bits like viewing the unpolluted night sky, swimming in the pacific (though I am a bit of a sharkaphobe), I am quite content, however, to let you amazing girls do the graft and endure those hard to imagine, 2 hour shifts. It will be difficult for you to imagine that this will one day soon, be a memory, all be it a lifetime achievement memory. So hold on to every moment and store it safely.
    Best wishes to all and stay safe. XX

  3. JG says:

    Great blogpost Lizanne just as I imagined you would. Fascinating to read. Yes saltwater is the most uncomfortable and unpleasant thing to dry on the skin and a splash of fresh water is a form of bliss. Great that things have settled down for you now and you are obviously enjoying everything immensely. I look forward to your next post.

  4. Barbara says:

    Hi Lizzy,awesome to hear about the beauty around,below and above you guys-enjoy the warm weather as its freezing in CT.Barbs

  5. Barney says:

    Great, now we know for sure that Lizanne is a perfect choice as a sub off the bench. Whoever is doing the personality assessments for crew selection is doing a great job. Well done you!

  6. Justine says:

    Jealous of your naps! So glad you’re feeling better! Go for it girl. YOLO xxxxxx

  7. Karen Davies says:

    Dear Lizanne, I am following your blog and have huge respect for what you are doing. Adventures like yours are such a privilege and experienced by only a few. Enjoy every moment and I pray that your trip continues to go swimmingly. Ooodles Karen

  8. Anja says:

    So good to hear you are enjoying it – your swim sounds amazing 🙂
    Keep going xx

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