Leg 3, Day 63 – Emotions

Natalia Cohen By

Day 63 – Emotions

As we inch slowly, stroke by stroke towards our goal, it’s only natural that we will all now begin to reflect on our journey and our emotions will run high.

As different as each of us is in personality, the way we deal with our emotions is equally as variable. Some of us wear our heart on our sleeves and no emotion can be hidden where others have spent years building an emotional wall and find it difficult to openly express how they are feeling. In whatever form an emotion gets expressed on the boat, however, there is no hiding it.

The first thing we do when we enter the world is cry. This simple act symbolises the first breath of life and good health for the baby which in turn provokes happiness and relief for the mother. For something that in its simplest form is such a positive emotion, it is interesting that as time goes on and we get older this gesture can develop negative connotations synonymous with weakness and vulnerability.

Quite frankly I think that there is nothing better than a good cry. It’s a great form of release and once the tears have fallen, you are more clear headed and focussed. There’s no denying that it’s cathartic. I would say that when starting this challenge, I was definitely the most emotionally open of the team. I’ve always been happy to use crying as a tool for dealing with stress, frustration and happiness, so generally speaking, tears fall easily and often for me. When I found myself surrounded by 5 fairly emotionally guarded women, I decided to make it a personal mission to get them all to embrace their feelings on the boat and share them.

I basically wanted to make them all cry!

As we enter the final stage of our odyssey, I like to think that I have been successful in not only creating a safe and accepting environment for all of us to allow our emotions to arise freely and be expressed, but also for that shared emotional experience to be one that has strengthened and united the team.

Onboard Doris there has been many a tear shed. Tears of laughter, joy, happiness, frustration, exhaustion, pain, sadness and nostalgia. We’ve cried alone in the back rowing position with no one witnessing except the ocean and we’ve shared tears of empathy and compassion in pairs and in a group.

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It always amazes me what random things can cause people to cry and that there are many people who actually find it very difficult to cry. Out of the 6 of us, all of us have cried tears of laughter during our adventure and all of us have cried over something very random. Sleep deprivation may have a little something to with it.
Ems – when she couldn’t single handedly control the 1 tonne Doris
LP – when her favourite pink bikini top went overboard in a Doris tragedy
Nats – when I realised that Eduardo the shark was not coming back to see us
Meg – when her iPod broke ;(
LV – when she realised that she couldn’t just get up and go for a walk
Izz – when reading her blog about LP, Ems and I (she welled up more than cried)


I would say the person who I still need to do some work on is Izz, as although she has definitely opened up more emotionally during the row, is still yet to show me a satisfactory cry!

Emotions fascinate me. The way they arise so suddenly in your body as a subtle sensation and then grow and manifest before revealing themselves properly to you and others. Learning how to recognise them before they develop and then with a balanced mind, deciding how to deal with them. If only it was that easy!

In a way, everything that happens in life, and indeed out here on the almighty Pacific, triggers one emotion or another. These mix of emotions are what makes all experiences worthwhile, memorable and real.

We’ve all been through a plethora of emotions on this boat that’s for sure…but none of them will come close to the overwhelming feeling we are sure to experience as we step off Doris for the final time in Australia. I have no doubt many tears will fall x

As you know we still have an ambitious target of 100k followers that we would like to reach. One stroke at a time, I know, but if we could get our Facebook followers up to 10k by the time we get to Oz, I think that may even make Izz cry tears of joy!!
Spread the word far and wide everyone as it’s not long now. We need your help! x



  1. JG says:

    Strange how the positive emotions are spontaneously shared but the negative ones tend to be ‘bottled up’. I am afraid that I am an emotional desert to all outward appearances. Inside – just the same as everyone else.
    My life of military and police service and, I suppose, driving instruction has instilled in me the need to always appear unruffled, unfazed, unflappable. Bit of a cold fish you might say .
    My pupils used to tell me that it inspired confidence in them as opposed to many of their parents who, quite understandably, were given to panicking, shouting, gripping the coachwork or the handbrake.
    As a leader I had to suppress emotion so that a clear head was kept to benefit others. Some say that it is a bad thing to suppress emotions – I find that it simplifies my life, as in family bereavements, where others need my support irrespective of what I feel.
    We’re all different but what is unusual in the Crew’s relationships with one another is that underlying support for each other that has united six different characters into a solid unit.
    Without doubt being cooped up together in a tiny boat with a common purpose for 8 months has created a unique bond of trust and friendship.
    You will miss that when it’s all done and dusted.

    Take care and keep safe.

  2. Jim Andrews says:

    Another interesting and enlightening blog Natalia. Just shows how much I know!I To separate the woman from the athlete. My perception. 6 very fit, focussed individuals, toughened by this incredible row. Having to keep everything together for team and self, putting emotions on hold, then there’s you, making everyone cry! 🙂
    I think I understand, you are a better team, knowing what makes each other tick.
    I personally am an open book when it comes to emotion. That was not always the case, I would like to think that maturity teaches one to not bottle any joy or pain, it helps to share both. Geraldine will often pass me a tissue during a sad movie, or even a happy one. My Army life was not one, where emotional outbursts would have been beneficial, maybe I am making up for lost time.
    Sadly, we lost David Bowie today, to cancer. There is an international outpouring of appreciation and grief. I would not describe myself as an ardent fan but I enjoyed a lot of his stuff.
    I would have loved to be in a situation where I could have flown to Cairns to applaud your arrival, alas, I shall just have to watch it on the telly. Every update now, brings you so much closer to your goal. My heroes of 2015. Stay safe XX

  3. keep rowing rain flooding at home could do with your boat mind those aussies ashore

  4. Hey Natalia, love reading each and every blog, I can only imagine just how overwhelming this will all waves you’ve all had to roll with, and new waves of jubilation and happiness to arrive in Cairns so honoured to be someone who has gotten to know you.

    Yet as Tony said in his blog the journey doesn’t really end, but another page in each persons book turns to a new chapter…

  5. John Mayne says:

    I would imagine one of the biggest emotions you will have is when you “See sight of shore” as you advance on to Cairns. I didn’t know of this expedition until you left Hawaii but since then I have logged in regularly to keep an eye on your progress. I wish all the crew a very safe return and hope your homecoming will also be something for you all to remember for a while to come. John.

  6. I cry all the time and find it soothing and a great stress relief. Tears of joy are one of lifes great pleasures. I think tears of you might be a little taste of what enlightenment feels like. With you all the way girls. Daunting for you all that this part of your adventure is coming to a close but have no doubt that there will be more to follow. Lots of love to you all, stay safe. Tor xxx

  7. Hello to you wonderful, awesome, brave, gutsy ladies!
    I have just stumbled across your journey (bit late – sorry) but I must say, the journey you are all embarking on sounds like madness *lol!
    The courage you all show to keep going and to endure whatever comes your way (whether you like it or not) must be as big as the pacific itself. I would have cried quite a few oceans of tears by now, being a very emotional/weepy person myself. I cry at every emotion but especially when I’m stressed; it’s a physical response I have almost no control over.
    So I say CRY IT OUT ladies, ’cause you’ve earned it!
    Feeling stressed, happy, sad, scared, confused, etc., cry it out!!!

    Will be watching the last leg with my best wishes and thoughts going your way xoxo

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