Leg 3, Day 60 – Meggy Moo

Laura Penhaul By

I have previously described how Ems, Izz and Lizanne got involved in the row and so today’s light is shone on Megs aka. Meggy moo, Megsy, who’s involvement has been paramount in this final leg of the journey. 

Meg Dyos had applied to be part of the row at the same time as Izz, Lizanne and Nats, having seen the article on Escape The City’s website. What drew me to Meg’s application was how her personality shone through in her answers. At the age of 24 she had achieved more than most have in a lifetime and showed a wealth of experience and enthusiasm about charity fundraising. Megs had previously shaved her own head in front of her school to raise money, she slept rough on the streets to understand what life was like, she’s climbed Kili, been to Peru, worked in Nepal and travelled through India and Africa. As Nats has previously alluded to in a blog, age is just a number and without a doubt Megs is so much more worldly wise and well travelled than I ever was at that age. 

The first time we met was at Waterloo station, where after chatting on the phone we’d arranged for a trip down to Christchurch so that Megs could be introduced to Doris. Spending the day together with no distractions, gave me a great insight into a relationship with Meg and I knew instantly that she would be perfect for the team. Her bubbly, enthusiastic and positive character was exactly what any team would need. After being part of the Bisham selection day, Meg was definitely short listed for the next review with Fieri on the Breacon Beacons. Unfortunately though Meg couldn’t make it to the Breacons and at that point had decided that too many things in her life were unsettled and that going on the row at that point wouldn’t have been sensible. We stayed in touch occasionally on text or phone, so when I got a text in January 2015 from Megs saying ‘don’t forget that I would still love to be involved, so if there’s anything I can do please let me know…’ I jumped at it! It came right after Izzy had come to the difficult decision to be there for her family and would only be able to complete the first leg. Timing is everything and I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason, so when I received Meg’s text there was no hesitation to give her a call. 

Standing on a platform at Clapham junction has never been so exciting as I phoned Meg in response to her text. The first five minutes were the usual pleasantries of catch up before cutting to the chase ‘So Meg, you mentioned you were still keen to be part of the row, does this mean you would be up for being considered to row a leg, say from Samoa to Australia?’ I think the response was ‘oh my god, yes! Flippin’ heck, but I’ve never rowed?!’ After having some time to think about it, Meg still came back to me enthusiastic about joining the team and life for her had settled, so timing was perfection. For Meg, this was the time the Coxless Crew journey began…. I wonder how much she regrets that now?! 

Meg and LP

As soon as Megs got involved she was dedicated to the cause, running her own fundraising events back home, rallying her family and friends (who have played as big a role in supporting us as Meg has), she got stuck into following her strength programme and having meetings with Alex, plus her favourite time was spent focussing on the psych aspect with Keith. I recall a heads up from Keith that Megs favourite phrase was ‘I’m fine!’ Not a phrase good enough or detailed enough for any psych to be content with and so a love hate relationship for Megs began.  

Seeing Meg’s beautiful smiling face when we arrived in Samoa was such a comfort to see. She knew everyone and was busy helping and coordinating support for us where she could. The difficulty was getting her to realise that she was part of the row team now and not support team. I hope to think that now after 60 days at sea that she finally feels just as part of this team as anyone of us as she has played a crucial role. On Doris Meg has without a doubt been a ray of sunshine during a leg that for the 3 of us, could very well have become mentally one of the most challenging. I for one have found I’m more reflective and getting more easily frustrated at slow progress with the draw of land forever closer, but Meg just brings a great sense of humour to the boat at the best times. I have upmost respect for Megs in that she knows who she is, she doesn’t worry easily about what people think of her and she epitomises our values especially integrity. I love her true openness and honesty that she has shared from day one of meeting, it is so refreshing, she’s not scared to vocalise when she’s fearful of something, or to celebrate in the small things. You know where you stand with Meg and although her strong left field opinions are often based on a Google search rather than anything of solid substance, she does love a good debate on random subjects which makes a 2hr row session fly by. 

I could continue writing oodles of great things about Megs, but as with the rest of the girls, she has made a place in our hearts to be a true friend for life, a solid Coxless Crew member that brings some ‘Fogle’ to the mix and without question has made this last final leg a memorable and enjoyable experience that without her it wouldn’t be the same. We love you Megs and thanks for being you! 

Memorable moment with Megs : dancing on New Years Day
Memorable tune : Faithless Insomnia 

Update: Today Megs had her debut on the VHF radio where she spoke at length with Jovo Ligud Baliao, Captain of the Nona Butler Cargo ship. I think this made her week or even month as Jovo may have competed with my Harry obsession, there’s obviously something about a nice voice over the radio waves. I’m sure if she wasn’t in love with Will back home that Will you may have had some competition on your hands! Otherwise another hot and sticky day in the Pacific but hopefully from tonight the winds should be picking back up in our favour, here’s hoping and wishing on all the shooting stars we see!

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9 Comments

  1. Simon TY says:

    Yay, under 500nm. Awesome. You must almost be able to smell the barbies. Cold stubbies are in the Eskie and chook is on the coals.

    Meg seems to have fitted in immediately. Again, an amazing tribute to her, and you all. I always worried what it would be like for Lizanne, then Megs to slot in when the three of you were old hands. But both seem to have moved seamlessly into their seats.

    Hope you having a good day. The pink dot says 1.6kn which is faster than the last few days. So hope you are powering towards Cairns as I write.

    Xx

  2. Wow such a cool blog to read and I’m in awe at how much Meg has done at 24 blimey!

    You ladies rock!!

  3. Elaina James says:

    Meg is lovely, brilliant personality X and don’t forget my sand Meg xx all my love Elaina and Dolphin swim school x

  4. JG says:

    Great blog Laura.
    Meg is without doubt a special person in a team of special people
    Clearly your routine, with its regular changes of partners and periods of hardly seeing the other half , has been a brilliant concept.
    That it works so well bringing essential variety into your confined existences is testament to the strength of character of you all and how well you gel with each other . As a reader on the outside the message comes across to me of a formidable and unstoppable force that has got you from San Francisco to the Coral Sea Islands through everything that you have had to face.
    I would say that what you have achieved is probably unique in the history of human group endeavour. A team effort par excellence from inception to completion.
    The web shows some good winds directly into Cairns coming up for you over the next few days and Ula seems to be heading south taking it’s disruption of the weather.patterns with it.
    Take care & keep safe.

  5. Jim Andrews says:

    Whoever was responsible for building Doris’s engine, knew their stuff. An engine built not for speed but endurance, economical, smooth and efficient. Four major cogs were needed and they had to mesh perfectly, the three main cogs had to be super strong as they had to go the full 8500 miles. The three replacement cogs that made up the fourth, had to be machined to perfection because when replacing the previous, had to blend in with the part worn cogs, seamlessly. The data recovered from the engine on a daily basis has been more than satisfactory and though the schedule has been unpredictable, that engine has never faltered. There have been worries about fuel shortage at the end of leg two and again at the finish, but this superb machine can adapt to run lean in times of shortage. There is still outstanding data to be collected at the conclusion of the journey, we have much to learn regarding emissions etc but all in all, I think the builders will be pleased with their build. Stay safe. XX

  6. Can’t wait to meet Meg in Cairns, she is obviously as great a character as the rest of the crew. ! Cases all packed and ready.
    Looking forward to meeting up with Ray and Babs in Sydney next week, then on to Cairns, it’s been a long time coming ! Seems ages since we watched that little light disappear in SF.
    Snow is forecast in Toronto on Sunday night, hopefully not enough to delay flights out on Monday morning.

  7. Ray and Babs had a lovely interview on ITV last night. Well done both! xx

  8. Paula says:

    Well done Meg! We spoke before you left – Choose your Attitude and all that :). Well done all of you, you are rowing yourselves into adventure heroism!

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