A little thank you to Hawaii Yacht Club

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For those of you that may recall, we had an awesome moment when out at sea, when we got contacted on VHF by a nearby container ship the Mokihana. Finally today, we got to meet them in person. Katie (2nd Mate), Tom (Captain) & Ethan came to meet us, to see Doris up close and to kindly give to us a gift from the Mokihana. Captain Tom was also shown the Echomax that Tony had fitted, so he can sleep soundly that his advice was heeded and we now have a Radar transmitter aboard.

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This evening we had the pleasure of being invited to the Hawaii Yacht Club’s notorius Friday night dinner, live music and dance. image2It was an opportunity for us to present to the room a message of huge thank you to the Hawaii Yacht Club, along with a special thanks to our wonderful host families, Donna and John (seen here having a wonderful dance together) and Loretta who got accosted by my dad!

 

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….. I think it was my dad that got whisked off his feet and in the process got out danced by an 85 year old who’s still got it!
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Steve (Vice Commodore) and Steve (General Manager) seen here with the signed shirt we gave them as a thank you.

However, slight hiccup as the evening drew to a close and I handed over the keys of the hire car to Tony as we left. 5 mins later he was back and couldn’t find the car. My initial thoughts were that he’d left his glasses at home and then I realised the car was definitely not where I’d parked it. Of course it was then that I noticed I’d parked in the only 2 ‘permit holder only’ spaces – doh! The car had been towed! So after tony had thought he’d get an early night, I put a stop to that and we were off to the pound to pick up the car. Ooopsie daisy! x

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Hawaii- not just a paradise

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Current temperature: 27 *C

Hawaii is fast becoming a favorite on our travel list, and believe it or not, it’s not just because this place is paradise. The people in Hawaii are perhaps the kindest and most generous people on the entire planet!
Hawaii Yacht Club: So our gorgeous Doris has needed a bit of pampering and a mild face-lift since arriving in Hawaii. We have been doing all of this at the Hawaii Yacht Club and there have been people helping, suggesting, giving and lending! Anything Doris needs, she gets! The workers melting in the Hawaiian sun lifting, packing, cleaning and drilling away (that’s Tony and us!) have also been looked after incredibly well with fresh fruit salads delivered to us from the kitchen and ice cool drinks to put an extra spring in our collective steps! All about the team work!
I also know our little pink Doris might LOOK small, but she is Mary Poppins when it comes to storage. It can be known that we will be taking a lot more content than you could think possible.
We have at times completely dominated the floor space and occupied almost all of the tables packing our fruit and nut packets and loading off all of the contents we bought from Costco! The Yacht Club have been so patient with us, and we are truly grateful for that.
Our host families: Oh my goodness… In your lifetime I hope you all get to meet inspirational characters like these. They are in their early 80’s and still full of beans… Beans so full they’re overflowing! On the 35th floor, towering over Honolulu, we get to wake up to an incredible view every morning. We will introduce them properly in a follow-up blog.
We appreciate everyones patience and caring natures as we hurry around trying to get everything sorted on Doris.
By the way, we had the most incredible breakfast today at Coco Head Cafe. This is certainly one meal we will be re-living on the boat. We will imagine the colours and flavors popping in our mouthes as we eat our freeze dried food! Thanks to Sarah Moshman for organising! And just to let you know, she is getting some fab footage for her documentary… soooo watch this space!
Coco Head Cafe
And on a parting note, Izzy has safely made it back to the UK and we are missing her lists already!
ALOHA xx

 

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A farewell and a new era…

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Today was another productive day ticking things off the list of things to do.

Shopping, photo downloading, oar trimming, fan installing (!!!), snack pack prepping amongst other things and most of the day spent down at the Hawaii Yacht Club again.

We all went for a wonderful dinner with our utterly fabulous host families (Donna and John and Loretta) and ate until we couldn’t eat no more…

The meal was in fact a last supper, as today was the day we had to say a sad farewell to Izz. It was very bizarre seeing her off at the airport and knowing that she would be flying home and not getting back on the boat. This will be the first time in 3 months that we have not spent 24 hours together and to be honest the enormity of that fact will probably not sink in until we get back on the boat and she is not physically there. Without a doubt, however, Izz will be everywhere in spirit. She’ll pop up in the wet weather hatch (her favourite) or on a dark, slow moving night shift when one of her stories comes into our mind. She’ll be there whenever we eat her favourite foods or when one of ‘her’ songs gets played.

There was no need for this to be a sad farewell really….as Izz is still travelling with us.

The end of one era…only means the beginning of a new one. Although it will be strange to see Izz leave, we are so excited to have Lizanne continue the adventure. The transition has been a quick and wonderful one as it feels as if she has already been hanging out with us for months.

The change in team dynamic will be interesting and ‘a change is as good as a rest’…as they say…so bring on Leg 2, with another great combination of varied personalities and character strengths x

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A productive day in Honolulu

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Today was a productive day on the beautiful island of Honolulu.  This morning Nat, Izzy, Tony and Ems headed to the Hawaii Yacht Club to get started on our boat maintenance to do list.  We audited the remaining food, added new footstraps to the boat, replaced the seat bearings with all new ceramic bearings kindly sent out by RM Bearings and got on with a whole lot of other DIY jobs. Ems has become the resident boat DIY queen and had a great day wielding  a drill and a spanner.

While we were doing that, Lizanne and Laura were off at Costco and Walmart buying the food to go in our snack packs.  They arrived back with a car full of dried fruit, nuts, cereal bars and porridge oats and then we set the parents to work dividing them up in to individual portions.

snackpacks

This afternoon we also had our most exciting media commitment yet involving hair, makeup and an entertaining photo shoot.  Watch this space to see where we end up in October.

This evening we finally have a bit of a rest.  Our amazing host families from the yacht club are looking after us like their own and Donna has made Cornish pasties especially for Laura, and Loretta made delicious chicken and rice. Yum! The hospitality we have received by these incredible women has been mind blowing and we really can’t thank them enough. It is making our brief experience here so much richer!

We are generally so amazed by the reception we have had on the island and the generosity and helpfulness of everyone we have met that it will make it very hard to say goodbye at the weekend!

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Aloha Hawaii

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We’ve arrived!!

We apologise for the delay in writing this blog, but since arriving at 19:30 last night, it has been a whirlwind of events.

Hawaii Arrival

We were overwhelmed (understandment!) by the reception we received at the Hawaii Yacht Club yesterday. We were expecting to be greeted by our parents and a couple of local friends, but as we rounded the corner into the yacht club, we suddenly heard the hum of cheers from many people along the dockside. It was amazing!

Hawaii

We promised ourselves that we would step off the boat as a team and in one go and so that we did, followed quickly with being showered in leis and handed a glass of beautiful, bubbly, ice cold champagne. It was an emotional greeting for Laura with her parents and Natalia’s parents too, alongside the wonderful Sarah Moshman the Director of Losing Sight of Shore (our documentary).

Hawaii

The evening proceeded with many celebrations along with an interview with the wonderful Sara Cox on BBC Radio 2. (http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0628vs7 – 2 hours 9 minutes in)

We have been overwhelmed and in awe of the support we have received, not just here in Hawaii but also back home seeing all the amazing messages on facebook and twitter etc. After today we plan to reply to as many messages as we can whilst we’re on land, but please take our heartfelt thank you for your support, it really means the world to us.

 

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Land Ahoy!!

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Land ahoy!

Last night, towards the end of a lovely sunset shift for Nats and Izzy, the first stars began to appear. Ems and Laura took over and once it was fully dark and they were rowing under a beautiful starry sky, they spotted some small white lights low on the horizon to Doris’s port side. Land!

We are rowing Northwest of the Hawaiian chain of islands towards Honolulu on the island of Oahu. This morning at dawn, the silhouette of the nearest island to us became visible and as the sun rose it unveiled a magnificent, green, mountainous island about 8 nautical miles south of us. The hills have steep cliffs and ridges stretching down to the water like enormous buttresses. There is no sign of habitation. It looks like a magical, prehistoric land, right out of Jurassic Park!

The little blue bubble that we have been rowing in for the last 67 days is no more and we have something new to look at beyond the sea. We have had a wonderful day rowing past land and watching the wildlife, including seeing a magnificent frigate bird dive, catch, and swallow whole an enormous flying fish.

The next island that we will see is Oahu. We are currently 40 nautical miles from the waypoint where we will rendezvous with Tony and Sarah Moshman. Dry land and a shower is tantalizingly close, but we have learnt not to become complacent. Nearing land presents its own hazards for us. We expect to see some other boats and to experience mixed currents and winds before our final touch down. We are focussing on arriving safely at Hawaii Yacht Club and enjoying the final row in. So close now!

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Day 37 – Phone cast #2 from Doris

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Day 36 – Phone cast #2 from Doris

“Today has been a special landmark day as we have just hit 1000 nautical miles from Santa Barbara and we’ve had quite an incredible wildlife spotting day too….” Hear more…

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Day 25 – Bucket & chuck it, the glamorous life!

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Ok…it’s dirty business but it’s very much part of ocean rowing life and someone has to talk about it…
For most of you, ablutions are a quick and easy part of your day, yet for us, they are a talking point and integral part of our existence out here on Doris.
If you don’t know how it’s done, here’s a brief insight and if this is more information than you would have hoped for, I apologise in advance.
We have a couple of buckets (a red one and a black one) and then there is the over the side option favoured by some.
There is not much left to the imagination of how the ‘bucket and chuck it’ system works as it is fairly self explanatory. Care must always be taken when ‘chucking’ as splash back would not be ideal and neither would be losing the bucket over the side once you are cleaning it of its contents!

A No. 1
Whether we are drinking a lot of water or not, a No. 1 always seems to be part of the routine that begins as soon as one comes off from the 2 hour shift rowing or just before we begin a shift.
This happens in the red bucket.
The bucket is either placed in the footwell in the aft cabin on days when the sea state is rough and out on deck if the conditions are more favourable. Some may choose the over the side option if conditions allow.
Things to watch out for:
1. Ensure no items are near the bucket and can fall in if using the footwell (eg socks)
2. Ensure it is safe to quickly empty the contents of the bucket over the side without getting splashed by waves or allowing water into the aft cabin
3. Ensure you are drinking enough fluid as hydration is very distinguishable by the colour of the wee in the bucket.
4. When going over the side, chose your time wisely, especially in large swell. Not only could you get a bum splash but you could also get a proper soaking as you are in a venerable position that doesn’t afford much manoeuvrability.

A No. 2
A No. 2 on the other hand is a constant source of mystery now that we are on our strange diet of freeze dried food, protein and snack packs. This happens in the black bucket. An amount of sea water always needs to be placed in the bucket before proceedings begin. This helps with the cleaning process.
Due to the change in life rhythm and diet we have found there are a variety of No.2 options.
Types of No. 2:
1. The emergency No. 2 that comes on very suddenly and can result in a quick sit off the side of the boat if mid row.
2. The accidental No. 2 that is just that…accidental. Not expected and for that reason could prove to be a little problematic if on a bucket and no water has been added but fine if you’re hanging over the side.
3. The daily No. 2 (intermittent for some)
A normal bowel movement
Things to watch out for:
1. As this bucket is usually always used outside the biggest thing to watch is the wave splash.
2. Ensure that all paper does indeed go into the bucket and not fly back out to land on the deck of the boat or on a nearby rower for that matter.
3. If you do not alert other rowers to the fact that you are doing a No. 2 one of the rowers may well shout out to the other rower that they have spotted something nearby in the water. They would then observe closely to find out what their new unidentified spot was.

*The bonus of using the black bucket is that there is never any danger of blocking the toilet.

Farting
This is one of those taboo subjects that no one likes talking about but out here it is the source of great amusement.
Increased fart frequency (particularly on the oars) appears to be another side effect of the wonderful change of diet of expedition food and our snack pack contents including dried fruit. It’s just a part of life out here and we’ve been getting to know each other so well that we can distinguish each other by our farts. That is all of us expect Ems – you see Ems seems to be a secret farter!! So far no-one has heard the fart of Emma yet she assures us that she does in fact do it!?!

Types of fart of Doris:
1. Silent but deadly. Again fairly self explanatory. 2. All talk no action/smell. This is the very loud yet non smelling type.
Toilet paper needs to be rationed as running out would be highly disappointing yet is fairly probable if we keep travelling at this speed! This is a little distressing!

For all those that are wondering, we have a separate grey bucket for the purposes of washing ourselves and clothes.
I have seen some special and unique toilets in my time, but I have to say, 6/7 months of this is going to be an experience that will end up etched in my memories forever.
One thing I can say for sure is that this is a loo with a pretty spectacular view x

Nats x

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Hello from the Pacific! Day 23

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A very special update via the sat phone today from Izzy and Emma!!

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