Leg 2, Day 86 – Doris’ Law

Emma Mitchell By

Day 86 – Doris’ Laws

Out on the Pacific we find that life on board Doris is governed by a number of annoying but reliably true laws. The things that seem set to annoy you or make life difficult but you can’t help but laugh at how true they are. Inspired by Murphy’s Law here are Doris’ Laws.

– If you are struggling to hold a good course over ground for a whole session it will suddenly get much easier in the final 10 mins just in time for the next pair to have a good session.

– If you get excited about fast progress in the right direction be prepared for poor currents and adverse winds to turn up.

– If you write in a blog that we are going fast and in the right direction, by the time the blog is posted the wind and currents will have changed.

– If you turn on the camera to get some good footage of the big waves crashing over our heads the seas will calm down. When you turn the camera off because you aren’t getting any exciting footage it takes only 1 minute after returning to your rowing position before one or both rowers will receive an air dump.

– Regardless of the conditions, in the last 10 minutes of any session you will get splashed. We call this the 10 minute danger zone.

– On a hot day rain clouds will appear all around you but Doris will pass through the middle without a raindrop landing on her deck. On a cold day or at night a single rain cloud on the horizon will always head straight for the pink boat.

– If you plan a social, time to take video footage or sponsor photos as a team because conditions are good, by the time the planned hour approaches the wind will pick up, the waves will splash or the rain will come.

– She who likes the cold water least will get the most waves to the head (usually me!).

– The closer you get to your destination, the slower time will pass.

– If you wash something which you need to be dry by night time to wear on the oars then as soon as you hang it to dry on the grab rails either rain clouds will appear or the sea will get splashy.

– If at the end of a splashy shift you rinse yourself off with fresh water before entering the cabin a wave will catch you between your rowing position and the hatch.

UPDATE: We are still battling against strong south easterly winds and struggling to make any progress South. We are trying to slow our progress west as much as possible to prevent overshooting Samoa. Another soggy night has passed. The early night shifts aren’t so bad with the light of the moon allowing you to see the approaching waves but once the moon sets there is no warning as walls of water wipe out the deck with no warning. Last night both LP and myself got wiped off our seats by big deck washing waves and ended the shift feeling like we’d been playing a rugby match. With similar conditions in the forecast for the next 10 days it looks like our dry land dreams will have to wait a little longer. So near and yet so far! However we do have a new friend who has been following us for the last few days. A little dark fish with white lips and some flappy fins who we have called Harvey has been swimming alongside our oars.



  1. Jim Andrews says:

    Oh dear Emma, it sounds like nature is testing your resolve to the limits. You will be inside the 300 mile zone by the weekend, so lets hope the forecasters have made an error and you get to see some improved conditions. Sounds to me like you should bring your shift handover forward by 10 minutes? Thereby avoiding most of those “Doris Laws” šŸ™‚
    The weather here in Liverpool is glorious for the time of year, the Autumn colours are starting to look lovely, we are enjoying pleasant sunny days and cooler evenings. I’m not sure if I should have mentioned that. I am putting lots of wish energy into trying to wish you more speed and great conditions, it’s all I can do. Stay safe. XX

  2. Sara says:

    I know we shouldn’t laugh at others misfortune but the thought of Doris always being in the wrong place wrong time is very funny – great blog thanks forsaking us laugh at the end of our day. Wishing you better weather to get you quickly to Samoa xxx

  3. JG says:

    Murphy’s law is the antidote to pleasure and progress. No amount of preplanning, training or natural instinct will avoid the effects of Murphy’s law. The only way to stay safe from it is to do nothing but even then it will turn up and give you cramp or bedsores. You guys are involved in so much day to day that the law has a field day. Clearly your sense of humour sees you through it. You are on the doorstep of Samoa hang in there – I’m praying for a fair wind for you. Keep safe – eat the fish!

  4. Simon TY says:

    Other Doris Laws:
    Law 1) whatever adversity is thrown at Doris, you will all be good humoured and upbeat
    Law 2) however rubbish the sea and current, an extraordinary blog will appear
    Law 3) while you do all the work, a few like Harvey and us will always be circling the boat
    Law 4) I feel guilty now at eating anything: but I cannot drive myself onto a beef curry diet
    Law 5) there is no rule 5

    • AvV says:

      No blog is complete without Simon TY’s positive and good humoured comments. Thank You. Message to the girls – see you very soon Send your wish lists x

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