Leg 3, Day 69 – 3rd leg Meg

Meg Dyos By

Day 69 – 3rd leg Meg

From April 19th 2015 my role within the Coxless Crew physically began. Having met Nats and Ems twice, Izz once and Laura a handful of times, I had become third leg Meg, and had committed to undertaking the challenge of rowing the third leg of the journey from Samoa to Cairns as a part of a team I barely knew. The leg where the girls would be the most tired, the leg where they would have been at sea the longest and the leg that took these girls to the finish line. It was daunting, and as they rowed out of San Fran, I felt physically sick, sitting at work on my laptop, and watching the pink dot begin to move, knowing that when I next saw them, it would be my turn to row out of a marina with them.

On land, I ran the info@coxlesscrew.com email answering questions that people asked, from ‘what oars are you using’ to hearing stories of people who had been affected by breast cancer. To say the least, I felt overwhelmed. I hadn’t even seen Doris’s oars, let alone know what they were made of! As leg one progressed, and the girls on the ocean faced the waves and the hardships that ocean life had to offer, myself and Lizanne faced training for a challenge I’m not sure either of us knew the extent of what was fully involved – through sports psych with Keith we tried to prepare our heads for the ocean, yet the realisation of what we had signed up for could only be fully appreciated when we saw land disappear out of sight and we were on the ocean.

I managed to Skype the girls in each of the stop offs. With words escaping me of all of the questions I had prepared to ask, I was constantly worried that they might not think I would be a good member of the team, and instead general chitchat and laughter unrelated to what the ocean would hold for me occurred. The girls encouraged me to ask them questions, but I had thousands! Wary of asking the same questions as everyone else, I laughed to myself as there were no words that could sum up the emotions I felt. Excited, scared and completely in awe of these women. How could I be a part of this team?! I very much worked on the mindset that I would take everything in my stride. Learning about the ins and outs of Doris, and rowing a part of the Pacific Ocean would be a process – for now I needed patience and to focus on training my mind and my body.

15.11.1LSOS-SAMOA02

Upon Lizanne’s departure onto Doris, and Izz’s arrival onto land; seeing Lizanne enter the world of the ocean, and hearing from Izz that it was ‘awesome’, I felt closer to a member of the team who had spent weeks at sea with LP, Nats and Ems. This gave me a huge insight into what life was like on Doris. Yet in all honesty you have to see it to believe it!

Integrating into a team, that has just spent 6 months together at sea on a 29 foot rowing boat is a daunting task! It wasn’t one that could fail, as I would be getting on a boat with three of them within the next 10 days. In my mind I so wanted to jump up and down, organise a party and dance the funky chicken in excitement for the girls arrival into Samoa. Yet Keith had advised me to stay calm and go easy for the first few days as the girls were going to be tired and might want space. I felt a member of the team because of the work that I had done on land, but upon seeing the girls row into the marina, I couldn’t have even began to visualise that I would ever feel the way Lizanne looked with the girls on Doris, a fully fledged member of the team. Yet here I am, day 69 feeling as if I have been here for a lifetime. It has been a learning journey, and the girls couldn’t have made me feel more at home. They have shared in my emotions from being scared at big waves, to moaning at my sore bottom despite the fact that these are feelings that they first experienced many moons ago. I feel extremely lucky in this leg to have felt a small bit of what each of the legs have had to offer, different hardships to different joys. All I know, is that when I look up at the roof of the aft cabin and see the Coxless crew logo, it takes me back to my original application for the row. I didn’t for one second ever think that I would be in this cabin right now, writing this blog, and rowing a part of the Pacific on Doris! My love for each of these girls cannot be described in words and the idea of reaching land is a fifty fifty split of excitement versus not wanting this bubble to pop.

Update: what an evening we had! On our sunset shift, me and LP saw a family of what we thought were reef sharks coming up to the stern of the boat. At the same time in the sky on one side of Doris there were upto thirty boobies dive bombing into the water, different sizes and colours, all fishing for a feast, and twelve frigates above us also searching for their supper! In addition we have also seen a sea snake in the water. Let’s hope the abundance of wildlife continues into the Great Barrier Reef.

Oh, and by the way, we have just hit 199 miles! Cairns we’re a coming!

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5 Comments

  1. Christine says:

    Dont sell yourself short Meg, I think you have been just the tonic the girls have needed! You are all amazing. You must be close because I have stepped up my daily checking up on you from once to at least three times! Will you have a video clip for your arrival like when you arrived in Hawaii- hope so.
    I spent the evening with two young mum Breast Cancer survivors last night- all I could think about was you rowing your hearts out for them and so many others and for those of the future. Keep Smiling. With love, Christine

  2. JG says:

    Dear Meg,

    Great post and nice pic. You radiate confidence, humour and reliability

    It is very clear to me, an outsider looking in, that there are no passengers on Doris and never have been. The crew selection process has been so efficient and so accurate that the joiners have slotted in perfectly and been absorbed into the bosom of support and understanding .

    Naturally there has been apprehension about learning the routines and ropes but every intelligent person facing the unknown goes through that whether it is a new job, moving house, getting married or facing a momentous challenge. To use a modern expression – you have ‘nailed it’ – in a big way.

    Take care Keep smiling and keep safe.

  3. Jim Andrews says:

    Great read, Meg. Easy to understand your aprehension and pre Doris nerves, replacing someone is always a nervy experience, where you question yourself and fear you aren’t up to the task. No worries there, for the replacement cogs in the machinery, you all have meshed together superbly. Initially I would have thought, that a crew of 4 would be the better option, regards bonding and routine. Retrospectively, though. it makes perfect sense to inject new blood at each rest point, for the existing crew a fresh face, a new routine, bringing a different dynamic to the adventure.
    I too love the photograph, if it truly projects your personality, you are a fun loving mischievous achiever. You have impressed from day one with your “fight the fear” attitude and are a fully fledged member of the Coxless Crew. Enjoy what remains of this epic journey and thank you all for sharing your lives with us. Stay safe. XX

  4. Simon TY says:

    Meg you are a legend. Amazing ability to fit in with three lunatics, and then become one yrself and apparently enjoy it. You really want to stop the bubble bursting as you slave away, salt crusted at less than a knot. Truly a bit barking, and therefore a perfect crew member.

    Less than 200nm, looks like a few land based birds, probably new species of shark. How exciting. You are about the encounter a new predator…..the Australian man.

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