Day 23 – I would row 500 miles…

Laura Penhaul By

Day 23 – I would row 500 miles…

So it’s day 23 since we left Santa Barbara on leg 1 part B, but I realised yesterday, that it’s day 46 since we left San Fran. Thanks to Keith our Sport Psych who sends us a daily quote with the number of days passed, ever since we left San Francisco. Dare I say it, but I realised that we were technically due to be arriving into Hawaii within the next week. This realisation is not a useful one considering we are approx. 4-5 weeks off now depending on if the weather improves to be more in our favour. But hey ho, we can only control the controllables and on a good note, we passed our 500nm marker yesterday- happy days! This means we are approx. quarter of the way to Hawaii! Woohoo!
The last 3 days the weather has been fairly rough again, thankfully we have however still been able to plod along in a westerly direction. Currently the winds are North- North East and picking up to 18-21knots today. With this obviously comes swell and we have been facing a similar sea state today as that of our first week out of San Fran. However we are now more confident in understanding what Doris can handle so we are tackling the waves more aggressively in order to keep moving Westerly. As per usual, we have been getting an absolute soaking over the last 2-3 days and are back into our constant soggy state. As much as we hate it, it is also the source of much of our amusement. When you’re on the oars random waves in a cross direction will catch you off guard, when these break on the beam of Doris, they tend to slap the side which throws the water up and then it dumps down onto the deck of the boat, absolutely drenching anyone sitting underneath it. I was literally crying with laughter when Nats was singing away in front of me and I was in the bow seat, three consecutive times the waves hit the side of the boat but drenched only Nats whilst I remained crisp, dry and sat back as a viewer. I’m sure I’ll get my fair share in due course, but right now that image of Nat as a drowned rat was priceless! I’d like to add that she too found it highly amusing when she saw how dry I was and she said ‘you just wait Penhaul, your time will come!’.

Personal messages:
Liz Rose – oh my god so lovely to hear from you Liz! Can’t believe you’ve got a little one now, as you said how times have changed since Verbier days, but we’re never too old for a jaeger bomb!

Dan Howie – Any Given Sunday (top 5 fav film), S/S/M I refuse to comment, can’t believe who you picked! & your stag do sounds epic albeit very un- PC but I would expect nothing less. We’re loving your emails and the girls look forward to putting a face to the name on return.
Simon Mansfield – lovely to hear from you and it would be an absolute pleasure to return to Queens when we get back. Feel free to email me on when I return. Thank you for your continued support & have a great Summer of tennis!
Charlie Martell – thanks Charlie for your message, glad to hear I’m not the only one that has random ramblings in the midnight hours! Huge good luck to Ben Hooper #bonkersben in training for swimming the Atlantic



  1. Jim Andrews says:

    Laura, I feel sure that your time will come re the soaking, while someone else does the spectating 🙂 Progress is looking good. Well done all of you. Wont it be sad when this all becomes history. The now, is fantastic. Keep smiling, stay safe (and dryish) XX

  2. Robert says:

    If the wind is NNE you row SSW +- 37 degrees. If that doesn’t compute deploy parachute drogue. You need at least 6 hours OFF watch. Vary your rowing cadence and power during your 6 hour on watch & take short rests. Try rowing as a pair instead of a double scull, only 1 blade to worry about & twice the power to that blade. Move button down sleeve to move handle inboard. Keep back straight as both hands will be close together on short handle. Turn you stiff upper lips into smiles, bitching about the Velcro is a good start, break free …

  3. Robert says:

    Lubricate ceramic wheel bearings with a mixture of detergent & water. As well as your water bottle keep a closed 2 litre plastic bottle beside you filled with water & a squirt of detergent. Splash some on your wheels as needed to keep them rolling smoothly. (Check with the manufacturer of your wheels)

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