Leg 1, Day 22 – ‘Sometimes the journey is more important than the destination.’

Emma Mitchell By

Day 22 – ‘Sometimes the journey is more important than the destination.’

Last night the sunset was incredible with the sky burning red between the moody black clouds and the reflections turning the rest of the sky shades of pastel pink and purple. We took a moment as a team to stop and appreciate where we were, sitting out together on the deck and admiring the view. All four of us totally in the moment enjoying the beauty of our surroundings and each other’s company. Shortly after Lizanne and I started rowing again she asked me where I would want to be if I could be anywhere in the world right now? I couldn’t think of any better answer than right now.

This morning the sky was grey, the sea was mauve, the waves were choppy and the fore cabin was too hot to sleep. I sat on the oars in our first day time session and I was definitely not in the moment. I was missing home, wanting to see my friends and family, wanting a long sleep in a bed that doesn’t move and the space to stretch out all my limbs without touching anyone else. I could have thought of about a hundred places I’d rather be. Fortunately the joy of living your life in 2 hour chunks means that nothing lasts for long and by the end of the shift I had rowed out of my negative head space and was back in, if not the moment then at least the boat.

Leg1 14

When I was 17 I bought a t shirt at a regatta. On the back was a rower in the distance at the end of a line of puddles made by her oars. Under the picture was the quote ‘sometimes the journey is more important than the destination’. Lizanne and I started discussing this last night and I pondered on it as I rowed today. Although Cairns is our destination and our expedition will not be a success until we reach there, it is the experience of getting there that is important. My grandad has offered on a couple of occasions to buy me a plane ticket to Cairns to save us the effort of rowing there, but he knows this isn’t the point. We wanted to take on this challenge to give ourselves a taste of adversity and to see how we respond. The women supported by our two charities Breast Cancer Care and Walking With The Wounded don’t get a choice or a timeline for their biggest challenges and so when we are having a tough time like I was this morning then we can use them as an inspiration. It is supposed to be hard, it is supposed to be pushing us to our limits and it is supposed to be a challenge. If it was easy then everyone would be rowing oceans and it wouldn’t be teaching us anything. In Hawaii, Sarah Moshman asked each of us in her interviews for the documentary she is creating about our journey, what we had learnt about ourselves as people so far. I think she was disappointed with our answers. I think it is too early to say if this journey will change us or teach us lessons we didn’t already know but for me it has definitely already highlighted a few things. The strength there is in a team who share and live by their values, the importance of family and friends, the importance of living in the moment and the majestic beauty of Mother Nature. The journey so far has also involved the acquisition of many new skills, many new friends and many entertaining adventures. I don’t know what the next few thousand nautical miles have in store but I am sure that Oceania has plenty more tricks up her sleeve for us and that the journey is indeed going to be the important thing.

UPDATE: Today’s hilarious Doris moment is brought to you by listening to Lizanne try to teach Nats and Laura to beat box. Today’s weather has been brought to you by precipitation. Today’s happy moment was brought to you by Laura’s discovery of 4 chocolate pots in the breakfast and desert hatch.



  1. Simon TY says:

    It must be unbelievably difficult at some times. We sit with our cold beers ( sorry) and imagine that a decent sunset and a giggle over chocolate pots can uplift and sustain you. Yet it must be 90% slog, backwards and forwards slog. And the slightest change of position, joke, chatter can bring such relief from the slog ? Or, what do I know ? None of us can generalise like that.

    Hoping that occasional messages break the tedium, lift spirits slightly ? Max age 3; what’s wobbly and flies ? A Jellycopter.

  2. Ray Penhaul says:

    As Laura’s father I’m bound to say I’m a proud parent, I just didn’t realise how proud I would be, not just of Laura but all the girls, how they manage to keep writing such interesting blogs amazes me. I’ve sat in the cabin fitting one of the fans when Doris was moored against the pontoon in Honolulu and cursed everytime someone came into the harbour creating a wave, mind you as the girls will confirm I not good on boats!!!. Ray age 65; what’s wobbly and fries, me in a cabin on Doris fitting a fan!

    • simon ty says:

      What they are doing is extraordinary. 100+ days at sea, not a murmer of discontent, not a hint of Mutiny, no diversion to Pitcairm Island. Absoltely amazing. I am in complete awe

  3. Esther B says:

    Another insightful blog – amazing! You are inspired by your charities and we in turn are inspired by you. Well done girls xxx

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