Day 9 – David Attenborough and spotty bums

Natalia Cohen By

Day 9 – David Attenborough and spotty bums

After another partner swap, LP and I are back rowing together.
We had a couple of hard night shifts, rowing only on the right side and battling to get Doris in a favourable position to the wind, waves and current. We refused to let the very slow progress made, cold and regular soakings get us down and instead entertained ourselves by creating a voice over of a new David Attenborough episode about the “primates of Doris”. We watched Izz and Ems wake and ready themselves for their shift and narrated the whole process.

Please read the below in 100% David Attenborough style:

“As we can see with this special species, the change from the warmth of their safe burrow and into the harsh conditions outside is always a laborious one. They silently move around their cramped living area busying themselves with ritual preparation. These primates follow a watch system where there is always at least 2 members of the pack outside the burrow. Their transition outside is always where they are at their most vulnerable. These creatures are not the steadiest on their feet and the changeable conditions outside the burrow determine the effectiveness of the watch change. They often slip, slide, waver and crawl into place before settling into their positions” Etc etc… You get the point.

This was a 4.30am shift and LP and I were in absolute hysterics – Izz and Ems were sleepy, confused and had no idea what was going on.

The other developments aboard the good ship Doris are uncomfortable rashes that are developing on some of our bottoms! Hardly avoidable as we are sitting down for pretty much 24 hours of every day. We get wet and then remain damp, layered in thermals and wet weather gear and although we take every opportunity to air, these are few and far between.
Also, as the salt water dries, it leaves small salt crystals that are abrasive to the skin. We manage the situation by cleaning and applying nappy cream/sudocrem (thanks to Green People) and then talc’ing wherever possible.

I’ve taken to calling the way things are looking at the moment for most of us as ‘angry bum’!
I have to be honest though…I’m not really looking forward to finding out what the next stage after angry bum will be…

Johnson’s baby powder has now become one of my favourite things. Great for helping to dry the feet (and bum) and smells amazing compared to all the other smells we have in the cabin!!

The one thing we have all still maintained so far during the randomness of our personal interactions, vast and beautiful surroundings, incredibly unusual living conditions, sleep deprived state and highly routined existence is…a sense of humour x



  1. Helen Outen says:

    Hello ladies.
    I’ve just been speaking with Sarah Outen ( my daughter) and she is well, just about to take up the para-anchor and do some rowing…….she sends her love and best wishes to you.
    hope the angry bums resume good humour soon…..not good to have an angry bum, especially when you have to sit upon your “sit-upon” for long stretches of time.
    Helen x

  2. Andy says:

    You need to order Merino wool boxers for against your skin, by far the best material for damp wet conditions. Good makes are Icebreaker or Vulpine. I’m sure you can arrange for a box load to be ready for collection in Hawaii

  3. Katie Lucas says:

    Hooray for the sense of humour! Keep up the amazing work and hope those angry bums turn into peace-loving happy bums again very soon!! Xx

  4. A cupful of desalinated water to wash the affected skin and remove the salt followed by powder and cream after each rowing shift should ease the discomfort and allow the skin to recover a little before the next soaking. The cream should provide a barrier against the saline too. But you have probably tried all that anyway. Tradewind zone getting nearer and I hope life will become easier for you all.

  5. Anne says:

    I do feel for you, but the advice from Andy sounds good – do look into it. In the meantime, you and all the crew keep us amused and do so enjoy the updates – this is my early morning fix everyday – I am addicted to those pink dots!! I dare not complain about he grey skies that we see daily, here in Manchester. I pray for the weather to change for you and wish lovely sunny blue skies and good winds ahead.

  6. Simon says:

    Sure those bums will be as gnarled, hard and cracked as yr hands soon !! re David Attenborough…….sounds like you going a bit hysterical !!

  7. Jim Andrews says:

    No advice available from me girls, I have no comprehension of the discomfort that “angry bum” must create, though your description has gone a long way in deromanticising my vision of a ladies bottom. I hope the weather improves and helps dry things out, at least some nice dry clothes will help. You are headed in the right direction and though progress is slow, it is progress. It will get better, I am sure. Our thoughts and best wishes are with you at all times. XX

  8. Antonia says:

    I’m living it with you ladies, thank you for sharing your adventure with us. I think you are all completely nuts, but hey, the world needs more nuts! Keep seeing the funny side of things and more David Attenborough please….

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