The ocean within…

Natalia Cohen By

Nat free

As humans, we truly are incredible creatures. So resilient and adaptable it’s quite unbelievable. I fell back instantly into a monophasic sleeping pattern and have been dealing with what is essentially the culture shock of being back on land and surrounded by so many sounds, colours, sights, smells and people. It’s amazing to eat fresh produce but I’m not feeling overly inspired by other food. My body and my mind feel really tired and all I want to do right now is watch box sets and chill!

Every minute of every day was filled with one clear goal out on the ocean and now I am disorientated. It strangely feels as if the last 9 months was a dream.

Did it really happen?

I’m used to the sensation of eras feeling like a memory soon after they happen, but I have to be honest I never expected this one to disappear into the depths as quickly as this. I have felt detached and as if everything that has happened over the last couple of weeks has happened to someone else. Not to me. It’s really bizarre.

Now, with family and slowly beginning to see friends, I am finding that I do not really want to talk about the row. I want to hear about the lives of others and what their news is that they can share. I find the perception that others have of me odd and as I have not really had the opportunity to fully appreciate or reflect on the enormity of what has just been achieved, I am struggling to understand why people are so in awe of us.

All I know is that on a personal level I wanted to gain a deeper understanding of the strength of human spirit and the power of the mind that we all have access to. Collectively we wanted to create awareness and raise funds for the women supported by our two charities Breast Cancer Care and Walking With The Wounded and make a difference (however small). What I never imagined is how our expedition would impact so many other people. How by sharing our story and experiences, others would be inspired to take on their own challenges and find the belief in themselves to follow these through.


This has been unexpected and amazingly humbling.

Our work is far from over. We still have a long way to go with the fundraising and that is what our efforts need to be concentrated on right now.

As soon as I can make sense of how I am feeling, I really hope that I will gain a better insight into the impact we have had and what we have actually done. In the meantime all I know for sure is that the ocean has penetrated deeply into my soul. I feel in many ways that I am a part of her. I’ve been breathing and moving with her for the last 9 months, feeling her anger, her calm, her frustration, her overwhelming power, her flow of life and ever changing nature. For the brief times of hardship, there were countless moments of such breathtaking beauty and freedom out in the ocean and I know that what ever happens next, I will forever carry her and her lessons within me and always feel the pull to be near her. x

Ocean Beauty



  1. Liz says:

    What a beautiful blog Natalia. You girls have no idea how many people you have inspired in their daily lives. Whenever I thought I couldn’t do something I quickly rethought it through and realised if the Coxless crrew could do what they did suffering such deprivation then I could manage to conquer my small challenge. You have been inspirational on so many levels and I for one will always be grateful to you for it. Xx

  2. The things you’ve done, the things you’ve seen, may take up your whole life to truly understand them in their entirety, but it’s so refreshing to see things through your eyes and experiences, it wakes me up to the sounds of what nature is on an ocean so vast, if it’s not too silly to say, it feels like you’ve carried the spirituality of this within you for 9-months, now the reality of it just brings another series of feelings, I’m amazed still how you’ve done all of this, it can’t be easy being back, perhaps the rhythm of the ocean, is still being heard, it will settle, like music, it will always touch your heart.

    For every day you worked, for every moment each unique and humbling, for every penny your journey is making will undoubtedly save a life, I do believe that, what you did is such an achievement, I hope that wherever you’re recognised that your thanked for what you’ve done, because it’s your recognition to know that what you did has made a difference and will continue to make a difference to people’s lives.

    I can’t truly understand how things have been, it must still be overwhelming to be back, but you’ll notice how fast things move being back, how cold it is too!!

    But strange as it is, perhaps what’s needed now is a holiday 🙂

  3. Mike S. says:

    Nats that was such a wonderful & inspiring read. The Pacific experience has touched you very deeply. I hope you can feel very proud of what you have all have achieved because you will have changed peoples lives with your inspiration & charities.

  4. Hi Natalie, breathtakingly beautiful sunset photos, you had the best seat!
    I am now helping project manage a Water Supply project for the Maasai village near Arusha, of one of the guys I met after meeting you. He was based at the Zanzibari hotel in the security team.
    I am putting a website together to enable this. It is listed above

Leave A Reply