Leg 3, Day 58 – Doris’ journey

Natalia Cohen By

Day 58 – Doris’ journey

I can’t believe that this journey is nearly drawing to an end. It’s challenged and fulfilled me more than I ever knew it would. I never expected to be out here so long and I know that the 6 women travelling with me certainly didn’t plan for so many delays either. I’ve got to know each of them intimately. I’ve shared in their smiles, laughter and lighthearted fun and empathised with their frustrations, challenges, tears and pain. We’ve all been through a lot together and I like to hope that I’ve been successful in my job as protector and guide across the almighty Pacific as well as offering them the safest environment to be exactly who they needed to be, fight their demons, learn their lessons and rejoice in their own strengths.

They have worked so hard for this.

My journey has been a wonderful and educational one. It’s my first experience of crossing an ocean and I’ve learnt so much not only about Oceania, but also myself. I have had to adapt the way I move in different conditions, fight adverse currents, deal with extreme temperatures, thunderstorms, blindly navigate through pitch black nights and surf huge tumbling waves. One of these waves submerged half of my deck but I managed to right myself in time. It’s difficult to hit every wave at the perfect angle, especially when they sometimes come at you from all directions.

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I’ve had to find out about El Niño, the doldrums, the equator, atolls, archipelagos and now the Great Barrier Reef. This largest living structure on the planet stretching 2,300km, will be the final challenge for all of us before reaching our destination. Now more than ever is when we all need to remain completely focused. I’m confident in our ability and still carry all the blessings I received by kind people in Hawaii and Samoa. I feel their positive energy and others willing us safely to land.

It’s been a long and arduous 9 months and I’m feeling a little worse for wear. My hatches are getting emptier and hatch handles stiffer. I’ve lost weight and all my sponsor stickers are peeling off my oars and side. My bottom is covered in barnacles and the rest of my body squeaks and groans from time to time. No matter what, though, I’ll keep on going and with the help of my girls I’ll always have a smile on my face.

Through it all I’ve had great company and made some really special friends. The Mahi Mahi have been consistently by our side and always glide under and around me. Flying fish soar along side me and jump over and onto my deck. At different times during our voyage dolphins, whales and shoals of fish have escorted us and I’ve made good friends with two sharks, Fernando and Eduardo. They’ve been keeping their beady eyes on us as they know that there is always food near by and they are intrigued by our adventure.


The birds, especially the boobies, love soaring around me and they are fascinated by all of us. They glance inquisitively as they do a low fly-by and very often have chosen my aft or fore-cabin roof to spend the night. They are welcome visitors except for when they make a mess all over my solar panels!


I can’t wait to see the faces of my girls and their families when we reach land successfully and I hope that I can push them in the right direction as quickly as I know they want to go. I’m not going to lie though, there is a part of me that feels sad that our time out here is nearly over. I still feel like this incredible ocean is a place where I belong. I’ve enjoyed her beauty and her power and will take these memories with me forever, wherever it is that I end up.
Doris x

Today was an exciting day as LP delved into one of the Henderson hatches and found not one but FIVE bags full of chocolate. That combined with the extra hot chocolate, mug shots (cup a soup) and biscuits means that we’re probably going to arrive into Cairns on a sugar high!! x



  1. Jean Burnham says:

    Well done Doris. You are looking after your precious cargo very well. So pleased you are coming home to England afterwards. Looking forward to seeing you again.

  2. well done once again your almost home 2 weeks and you will be on dry land we are very proud of you all you have achieved a lot
    your had bad days and good days but you have never once wanted to give up well done stay safe and be careful

  3. Jim Andrews says:

    Typing this with one eye on the Telly. The Great Barrier Reef with David Attenborough. I love his coverage and enthusiasm. As I watch the programme I can’t help thinking that you are headed in his direction, I know the programme is recorded but time is irrelevant in this situation. The beautiful images on the screen, of the exceptional wildlife is breathtaking. To think that Doris will be gliding through these waters in just a few days is so poignant. Doris, you have done everything that you promised. You have kept these wonderful ladies safe and as comfortable as the conditions would allow. You even concealed some surprise chocolate rations to give morale a little boost as you enter the final phase of your journey. One day you will be welcomed home to Great Britain and justifiably be hailed a hero. Small children will read of your adventure and hardened seafarers will marvel at the exploits of a little pink boat that crossed the mighty Pacific. I will visit you too, watch out for me Stay safe. XX

  4. Simon ty says:

    I like to think of a new star entering the pantheon of great names: Kon Tiki, Ra, James Caird, Gypsy Moth, the Golden Hind, Argo, Gloriana, Endeavour…….and Doris.

    Exalted art though, arise Doris.


  5. Three cheers for Dame Doris.

  6. Cathey says:

    You guys are so amazing! Thank you for your inspiration. Also for the amazing stories, observations and photos along the way. While I have yet to meet you, I feel connected to you all. After seeing you take on this challenge, I can’t wait to see what you do once you get back on land!!

  7. JG says:

    Well done Doris. Performing your task perfectly. Clever design throughout from hull shape to cunning electronics keeping your crew safe and secure. Hope the barnacles are keeping away – we don’t want your crew in the sharky water. Glad you are going home afterwards; being carried restfully on a large cargo boat. You really are a star and people will marvel at how you supported four plucky rowers in your tiny frame for so long and such a distance – halfway around the globe.
    I have also been watching David Attenborough on the Barrier Reef and visualised you, The Crew, gliding across it in one of the many channels that Tony will be guiding you into.
    The weather site l look at shows a forecasted SW wind soon which, hopefully, will be helpful and give you a push in the right direction. Still following you with an anxious heart but filled with admiration at your courage, attitude and persistence. Take care and keep safe.

  8. Anna C says:

    Well done, Doris – great blog!
    While you are still getting wet, the ‘dry resolution’ is holding in our house for now, and I am glad to see that a couple of your other followers are doing the same for a mini-challenge that will remind us of you until we get to shore.
    Great news on the chocolate front! Makes me less guilty that we didn’t give that up too.
    Good luck and stay safe.
    Anna C and Marius

  9. There’s only #1 Doris!!

  10. Rob Baker says:

    Now, why did I go and get all misty eyed on that particular blog? Nicely done!!

  11. Barry says:

    Well well Doris, you really have been the foundation for an epic journey across the world’s largest ocean. Your strength has matched all that the mighty Pacific has thrown at you. You have persevered through very challenging conditions and always passed the test. Your crew have never doubted your integrity and have carefully tended you with the tender loving care that you deserve. As the extremes of weather conditions have tossed you atop crashing waves your resilience has softened the landing. Your charges have found inspiration from your form and beauty. Doris, your crew and followers have put our trust in you to help us conquer our ‘Pacific’ and to guide us safely to our goal. Take care Doris, you are cherished by all.

  12. Mike S. says:

    Great blog. When she arrives home I hopefully can visit her & marvel in her structure & the way she has kept you safe. All mariners are devoted to the boats they sail on – Sarah Outen being no exception she is re-uniting with an undamaged ‘Happy Socks’ rescued off the coast of Ireland. Chocolate Umh bags of it, never found anyone that dislikes Chocolate.

  13. Esther B says:

    Congratulations Doris! You have been wonderful and kept the girls safe and sound on your long journey together. I for one will definitely be coming to visit you when you are back in the UK to say thank you in person.

    And how clever of you to keep that chocolate hidden until just the right minute!

    Much love xxx

  14. sara says:

    Well Doris no one could be more delighted than me, apart from 6 other parents that I know, that you have worked so hard and well to keep your special cargo safe and well. I cannot wait to see you come over the horizon bringing my ‘little girl’ home to me and the other special members of your team. Great blog Doris, brought a tear to my eye!
    Hurry across that last bit of water, enjoy the beauty of the barrier rife but don’t slow down we are waiting for you.
    Oh and I agree with Esther, how clever to have kept that chocolate hidden till now
    Go Doris Go xxx

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