Leg 3, Day 71 – Our last ocean SitRep


Day 71 – Our last ocean SitRep

Our SitRep (situation report) is something we complete weekly on the boat. We discuss the answers as a team and then email the report to Keith (our sports psychologist)
Each section is marked out of 10.
1 equates to poor and 10 to excellent with a sliding scale between the two.

Please find the 19th of Jan sitrep below:


Physically 9 – body very heavy and tired but no other issues or injuries
Mentally 9 – can’t decide whether I am excited to finally reach Cairns or sad that this incredible journey is almost over but trying to stay in the moment and enjoy the time we have left on Doris
Medically 9 – pressure sores on the bum and some rashes on my skin from the salt and sweating
Health 10
Sea Sickness 10
Group 10 – these amazing women have made this journey what it has been and am proud to be part of such a strong and joyful team
Boat & Equipment 8.5 – we have managed to fully charge one of our batteries but since we are working off only this battery and are prioritising charging of camera equipment we are still having to hand pump water for a shift each per day as we don’t have the power to run our electric water maker
Sleepiness 9 – struggle to sleep in our first sleep shift as it is so hot and takes me about 10-15min to become awake but once on the oars I can stay awake and alert
Boat routines 8.5 – always room for improvement but generally all on time for shift changeovers just need to keep an eye on hatch checking and keeping the autopilot shelf under control
Keeping you up at night: Hoping we arrive into Cairns before my mum’s flight home so that she doesn’t have to change it.
How prepared are you for land: Have been thinking about and discussing what I/ we want our last few days aboard Doris to look like and what we envision our arrival to be. Bit overwhelmed that at the moment our feet touch land as we step off Doris together that means we have completed our challenge together. Looking forward to seeing our families and also having some time before flying home to properly reflect on what we have achieved and what I have learned along the way.


Physically – 10
Mentally 9 – amazed that this journey’s end is so close. It’s been an incredible 9 months and now is the time that I will begin to reflect on what lessons have been learnt and what positives I’ll take with with me back onto land.
Medically 8 – still have my blistered lip (hasn’t healed for 3 months!), 2 pressure sores (one on each bum cheek), palms of my hands still peeling, unbelievably itchy rash on both forearms.
Health 10
Sea Sickness 10
Group 10 – after clearing the air with LP and Ems, I feel like we are a fiercely united team once again and can’t wait to row into Cairns with these 3 fantabulous women!
Boat & Equipment 9 – batteries doing much better but having been used to certain charging ease of camera equipment and personal music devices etc, it’s a shame to end the journey working off one battery and not two.
Sleepiness 9 – generally speaking I’m feeling alert and awake during row shifts. Sleeping well in the cabin despite the extreme heat.
Boat routines 8.5
Keeping you up at night: Hoping we arrive in time (by the 25th) so my parents don’t have to change their flights.
How prepared are you for land: I’m still focussing on taking it shift by shift as anything can still happen, but I’ve started reflections on the journey and projections for our arrival. Seeing my parents and the relief our arrival will give them and then thinking about how I may feel. Overwhelmed is definitely the overriding emotion that I sense I will experience.



Physically 6 – currently I have issues with a couple of ribs, my left hip and left side of my lower back but anti inflammatories, stretching and directing some treatment from the other girls, is helping. My hands are also in bits!
Mentally 8 – starting to feel quite overwhelmed with the realisation of arriving into Cairns and to not have to step back on to Doris again.
Medically 7 – The skin on my hands is shredding off and causing salt sores where there’s cuts.
Health 8 – the condition of my skin and nails is poor, looking forward to some fresh food and rest to allow things to heal.
Sea Sickness 10
Group 9.5 – there’s been lots of sharing this week and awareness that everyone is in a different head space so openly discussing it has helped to provide awareness of how we respond to one another.
Boat & Equipment 8 – battery 2 is fully charged back up now but reluctant to charge up battery 1 without having to return to rationing usage of equipment. With just a few days left, decided to stick with working off the full battery as it has plenty of capacity for our needs. In the meantime we will continue to handpump once a day to reduce the load on the electric water maker.
Sleepiness 8 – really frustrating at night time as gobbledegook has been on a high this week in at least one session per night. Otherwise bright eyed and bushy tailed in the daytime regardless of having just 3-4hrs.
Boat routines 9 – team are working well together and focussing on their roles, but changeovers at night time and keeping the boat moving is an ongoing improvement.
Keeping you up at night: the overwhelming feelings of emotion when we reach land, see our families and get a sense of what we’ve just achieved.
How prepared are you for land: I’ve been thinking of reaching land since I stepped on in April, so I’m ready but I’m preparing myself for the onslaught of emotion. I have prepared my diary plan for the coming day/month/ 6 months post arrival to aid in my transition back to work and the reintegration to focus on the next goal of Rio in August.

Physically 10
Mentally 9 – beginning to get very reflective, and thinking about the experience that I have had on Doris. I also am apprehensive and excited for our return to the UK, and where my life will take me next.
Medically – 8.5 – pressure sores on each bum cheek. Salt sores on under thigh, bum cheeks and bum crack. Think that these have flared up again from constant sweating, also the two days when we couldn’t wash due to a lack of fresh water. Rash on both inner elbows, again potentially from salt. Hands, especially fingers and thumbs claw handing.
Health – 10
Sea Sickness 10
Group – 10 – I can’t imagine not sharing my waking (and sleeping) moments with these girls when we are back on land.
Boat & Equipment – 8 – due to our battery issues, we have not been able to charge all of our devices, email and also phone people.
Sleepiness – 6 – falling asleep on the oars is no longer a rarity! This morning LP caught it on camera!
Boat routines – 10
Keeping you up at night: Nothing! I can’t stay awake at night!
How prepared are you for land: I’m currently doing lots of visualisations of what our arrival into cairns is going to look like, and feel excited to see my family. However I am trying to stay in the moment and enjoy these final experiences as the things we are seeing now, we might not see again. I also know that crossing the Great Barrier Reef is going to be one of the toughest challenges so I am focusing on the mental preparation for that.

– We saw a boat last night and Nats spoke to them on the handheld VHF radio…in a Scottish accent. It was highly amusing.
– We currently have 130 miles to go!
– Nats spoke to the Universe two days ago and asked very nicely for 48 hours of good speed. The Universe took her very literally and on the 49th hour, our speed seems to have dropped.
– Megs faced one of her biggest fears…and got her legs waxed in the aft cabin by a very happily pain inflicting LP.
– Ems is a water pumping machine.

The team x




  1. Simon TY says:

    Laura, my dear, just a few days to go. Then rest, beer, clean sheets and never have to row again. It is a stupid stupid sport, lugging a lump of oar back and forth, going slowly, and actually going backwards. You need never row again, and never put yrself through this again ( please don’t tell me you are going to pogo stick to Rio, or roller skate up Everest).

    A few Physical “6” will turn into a 10 faster than you can say GoodDayHowAreYouDoingMate on the Esplanade in Cairns. A Cold Carton Of Carlton Light Cannies and you will be a new woman.

    So, indulge yrself, appreciate what you have done, the bloody stubborn driving force, recruiter, fundraiser, boat builder, snack pack stuffer, planner, encourager and NeverGivingUpper.

    Hope the passage through the Reef is as safe as can be. Are there any plans for boat, yacht or other to come out and pilot you ? They could keep close and join yr singalongs, while diving on the reef as they go. Or do you feel it will be easier to see no one until you reach the jetty ?

    Even ten days ago 500 miles seemed an impossible distance. We tried to encourage you with 95% finished. So, as fast as the last 370nm has gone, in a third of the time, Cairns will be there

    Take care, be safe

    Lots of love S xxxx ( and one for Doris x)

  2. Liz says:

    You poor girls we feel your pain but know your determination will see you complete your epic journey. Keep focussed on arriving in Cairns where your families are eagerly waiting to greet you. Next week this time the aches and discomforts will be a distant memory. Xx

  3. Girls be so proud of yourselves as we your followers are: reading now about your persistent sores, rashes and aches and pains only again reinforce what you have endured and we salute you.

    My sister Adrienne and I have followed you avidly, our conversations have been “have you read the blog yet? what must they be feeling like, can you imagine it etc etc.
    We know your mum and dad Laura, along with Auntie Marie so following a “Cornish girl” has been a “must”

    Selfishly, as others have written, in some respects we do not want you to arrive in Cairns as then “we” will lose you.
    What are we all going to read now? talk and think about ?
    Jim and others have become our “regulars” and we would worry if no blog had been submitted by them, thank you to you guys and others who have kept us entertained.

    We so wish you a safe passage to Cairns where your families are eagerly awaiting your return and breathing a sigh of relief also that it is “now over”.
    We will be watching you with baited breath with a feeling of joy and pride that you girls have done it.
    We hope Doris will visit Falmouth so that we can go and salute her for looking after you all so well.
    Here’s to the last few days of your journey and wonderful blogs.
    Do continue to take care xx

  4. Jim Andrews says:

    I think there were at least a couple of modest appraisals of health and well being in there. You have put your body’s and minds through a torturous regime. I try to imagine the discomfort and pain each time you take up the oars for the start of each shift, aching muscles and addled brains from too little sleep, hands and bums in bits. You are so courageous to not dwell on these issues in your blogs or to highlight them in your sitrep. Fortunately in three days your healing will start, I am certain that your relieved families will swamp you with TLC, that and the euphoria of arrival will wash away those months of hardship. Until then you have to hold on to that focus that you have displayed so far. I have no idea how difficult it is to navigate the GBR but I know that Doris is in good hands and she will protect you for those last few miles. As this wonderful adventure draws to it’s conclusion, I am now keen for you to get over the finish line and get the rest and adulation you have earned. Stay focussed and safe. XX

  5. PeteMewton says:

    Sitreps another v informative and eyeopening blog. Thankyou all. Thought scores maybe higher than descriptions suggest (had I been doing the scoring!). An example of all of yours positivity and stoicism.
    Feel for you Laura youve endured such a lot. I know your incredible strength will get you through. So in awe of you all.
    What an arrival in Cairns its going to be.! I think all of your followers, like me, will have mixed feelings- so relieved you made it and can rest recover and basque in the glory- but a bit sad that the added excitement your challenge has given to our lives will be over. So thankyou thankyou thankyou all. Fair winds on this last 130nm. May your sores subside as your spirits soar. Keep on keeping on being yourselves.
    Take care over The Gt Barrier Reef and be sure to dive it before you leave. Best love.

  6. JG says:

    ‘Diffderent head space and sharing’. Symptomatic of the beginning of the rehabilitation process that you will be going through after leaving the Pacific Ocean behind you for good.
    You are already anticipating the withdrawal symptoms that you will experience at the removal of the incredibly close relationships that you have shared for nine long months. Some of it you will be pleased about, a lot of it you will miss – especially the sharing. For a long time you will feel restless and miss the adrenaline rush of challenge. I have found that in me it never goes away.
    You all seem to be in incredibly good shape and a picture of good health but no doubt you will each be having a medical check up for the record and the furtherance of research and development and to help others plan their own challenges. There is no doubt that you have pioneered uncharted territory and your sponsors will want to know how their equipment and advice performed so that they can improve and develop it.
    You have all made a major contribution in so many ways.
    I hope that your current rate of progress will see you in Cairns in 3 to 4 days as the wind and waves seem to be in your favour – currents I am not sure about. One benefit of El Nino of course is the delay of the hurricane season in the area. You’ll be in and safe before anything like that I expect.

    Keep safe,Crew keep smiling and take care.

  7. Allen says:

    Hi Ladies,

    You are almost there. Keep on rowing and do your best to finish in good style. For every one person on the dockside in Cairns, there will be a few thousand around the World cheering you in.
    You have accomplished a magnificent feat.. Just the last few miles to tick off!
    Have a great time, continue to bond together and unite. We are all very proud of you.
    Best wishes.

  8. Nancy says:

    You’re all amazing! As a sailor who’s been offshore in our old schooner, your accomplishments and schedule continue to impress and awe me.
    What have you been finding to eat since the main meals ran out?
    Nancy wishes, and cheering you onward!

  9. Simon TY says:

    I feel like shouting out 137, 136, 135, 134……..

    Others seem to be able to work out the distance to go from the map ? Is there someone cleverer than me who can set up a Countdown clock ? Maybe on Facebook though here makes more sense. Or Tweet the distance left every couple of hours ?

    An email says 130 but that was 8pm last night, so am I shouting 120, 119, 118 ?

    • JG says:

      Simon, If you left click on the pink boat and copy the position you can then paste that into the search box on google earth.Save the pin position and click OK. You can then use the ruler function to measure the distances in nms or miles or whatever you want. My last check at 20,0800(Z) showed Doris with just 109 nms to go! They are of course rowing in the night now.
      Hope that helps

      • Only 101 miles to go!

        Simon. If you google “excel latitude longitude distance” this will produce a very long, complex formula that you can cut and paste into a spreadsheet. The formula calculates the distance between two Latitude and Longitude references. Cairns is -16.93, 145.78. The current position of Doris can be obtained from the website. Good luck!

  10. When I first heard of this quest last year I was in awe (pardon the pun) of these women, followed them on twitter but then pushed them to the back of mind just reading their tweets. However once I realised that they were under 1000 miles to Cairns I became intrigued by their blogs. These women are an inspiration. I am thousands of miles away in the UK and I wish them well on the last 137 miles. I will be there in spirit when you land in Cairns. You will have done more for your charities than just raise essential funds. You have shown immense courage. Thank you for sharing your.journey.

  11. Only 97 Nautical Miles to go!

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