Leg 3, Day 49 – Water water everywhere…

Natalia Cohen By

Day 49 – Water water everywhere…

***In a 100-year period, a water molecule spends 98 years in the ocean, 20 months as ice, about 2 weeks in lakes and rivers, and less than a week in the atmosphere.***

Water makes up about 66% of the human body, 70% of the human brain, regulates the Earth’s temperature and is also the most common substance found on Earth.

Without a doubt, water is one of the main topics of conversation on Doris. We have been surrounded by it for nearly 9 months, it’s all we’ve drunk and it forms part of the main and only view we have. We discuss the sea state, how splashy the waves are, how much water we have drunk, how damp our sleeping sheet or towel is, how much condensation there is in the cabin, whether it’s going to rain or not, if there is enough water outside for the rowers to drink/wash with…the list really goes on.


We make 34 litres of desalinated water a day (it takes just over an hour), ideally drink 9 litres, probably sweat on average 0.8 litres an hour, use 2 litres each to wash clothes, 2 litres to wash our selves and boil about 0.6 litres of water in our jetboil twice a day for food.

Water is really quite incredible. It’s a huge source of life yet it’s also one of the worlds biggest killers. It is said that unsafe water kills 200 children every hour and it is known that 80% of all illness in the developing world is water related.

I’m a water baby. I’m a pisces. I have always loved being in, around and near water and this was definitely a big reason why I was drawn initially to this project. However, I have to say, I have never spent quite so long consistently staring out into an infinite expanse of water as we do out here 12 hours of every day, for 229 days (so far). During this journey I have been totally transfixed by the almighty Pacific Ocean. It’s the biggest ocean on earth and covers more than 30% of the earth’s surface. With a surface of close to 66 million square miles, she provides almost half of the Earth’s water area and connects and unites us all.

The choreography of Oceania’s dance is a beautiful and complicated one. Through the intricate movements of the water, this seething expanse that mirrors life so perfectly, amazes me. She ebbs and flows, rises and falls, has changing faces for different occasions and holds many secrets in her depths. So little is really known or has been chartered and some of her mysteries within may never be solved.

Through her we have experienced the roller coaster ride of life, the uncertainty of what will be thrown our way next, the understanding of turbulence and the enjoyment of absolute calm. She can be perfectly still and at peace with the world yet she can also throw tantrums and remind us of her sheer power, determination and strength.


She always seems to be moving in one main direction and although we can fight all we want against her flow or adverse current, we often struggle to find the strength to fight against her. Sometimes we just have to surrender to this flow, embrace it and let it take us in a different direction for a while. There will always be a reason for this and soon enough we will find ourselves back on the right path.

A drop in the ocean has a ripple effect on everything it touches and I suppose in a small way we hope that Doris, our journey and what it represents, is that drop. Creating an awareness and instilling a belief that when molecules come together, a trickle becomes a stream, becomes a river, that will increase with energy and power as it flows effortlessly into the sea.

A sea of hope, a sea of trust and a sea of pure SPIRIT x



  1. Babs says:

    Very clever and interesting blog Natalia, it never ceases to amaze me how you girls can write such informative blogs, when you all must be feeling totally exhausted. If anyone asked me to write a blog about water, I would be hard pressed to write 1 paragraph, congratulations . Hoping that water and current will help to take you safely to Cairns very very soon, where we all will be waiting with open arms.

  2. JG says:

    Another mental stimulant from Natalia. Amazing that you can write this sort of blogpost when you are being thrown about like laundry in a tumbledrier. I find it hard enough to do at my desk in the study !

    Water in it’s purest form, of course, is rain water that falls in remote areas such as over the middle of the ocean like where you are. Dangerous water is created by human intervention. Rain falling elsewhere picks up air pollution as in acid rain killing the trees in Sweden that we got blamed for. Water flowing near human habitation picks up the pathogens that humans create and much of the water flowing in over 70 countries carries bilharzia from water snails. Human hosts transfer the pathogens into the invironment This kills an estimated 200,000 people per year. Clean water and waste disposal programmes are essential for the survival of the third world. I envy you in your safe and healthy environment. We in the UK take our water for granted – we should it as the valuable commodity that it is.

    I think it is marvellous that you have been able to produce 34 litres of life giving water every day on your expedition. That must be one of the most significant contributory factors to your success.

    Not far now! Keep safe – take care.

  3. Jim Andrews says:

    “Water water everywhere” that is certainly the case in Northern England at the moment. Unprecedented flooding in Yorkshire, Lancashire and Cumbria. Some really frightening images being broadcast on our News Bulletins. We have just been forecast 2 dry(ish) days so hopefully the poor souls worst effected will get some respite.The Worlds weather is becoming truly unpredictable.
    I join the others in marvelling at the energy you exceptional ladies have, in using your precious downtime to compose these excellent reports. Always interesting always informative, often humorous, never dull. I agree with one of your other contributors, that life after the Coxless Crew is going to be challenging, without the daily fix Stay safe. XX

  4. EstherB says:

    How do you do it girls?! Another fabulous blog to make us all think and appreciate what we have. Every time I log on you are edging closer to Cairns and the finishing line. I will miss my daily fix of Coxless Crew updates but I am so looking forward to you getting on to dry land and being with your families and friends and really appreciating what you have done for your charities and how you have inspired so many people. We are so proud of all 6 of you, and Doris of course!

    Keeeeeeeep rowing!!!! Xxx

  5. Impressive to write such messages, and whilst I read on the train home I know that 4 ladies in a boat called Doris are in the middle of the ocean just how technology has changed our abilities to remain connected, but equally how much energy you must have to write these to us a distant audience.

    Awesome just awesome

  6. Impressive to write such messages, and whilst I humbly read this on the train home I know that 4 ladies in a boat called Doris are in the middle of the ocean right now just blows my mind!

  7. pete mewton says:

    Thank you for an informative, poignant, philosophical and
    thought provoking blog. The parallels you draw between, and the lessons that you’ve learned from, the powerful quietude of the natural (oceanic) world, and your great endeavour, with it’s power to inspire, are seemingly coincidental but in fact visionary. I have always looked for and found guidance from the example of nature’s behaviour for the way I conduct my life. Your great rowing adventure has broadened that knowledge and confirmed its universality.
    Thank you Coxless Crew.
    Stay safe.

  8. Jules says:

    Such s beautifully written peace. You ladies are truly inspirational and teasing your blood makes me feel like I’m there, seeing what you are seeing and escaping for a moment from the grey that is London. Please keep them coming. Good speed and have fun x

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