Leg 2, Day 88 – Miss it or diss it

Lizanne Van Vuuren By

A strange thing happens when you start to get close to your destination after a journey like this one; a bittersweet taste of excitement in reaching our goal, yet sadness for everything that will come to an end. My days on the Pacific are numbered as we draw ever closer to Samoa. In Samoa I will pass the baton onto Meg who will complete the circle and push the girls onto Cairns, Australia. A full reflection will be done closer to the finish line, but for now I will share with you things that I will miss, and the things I won’t miss.

I will miss…
– Swimming in the big blue!! This has been and always will be my highlight. Suspended in a gigantic body of water, with curious fish coming to say hello. (And by fish I don’t mean shark. Fernando has luckily been MIA recently) – Having a 360 degree view of an ever changing ocean, and no, surprisingly it doesn’t get boring at all. It’s like watching a bonfire; something so repetitive and intriguing you can’t keep your eyes off it

– No make-up. Getting ready in the morning takes 4 minutes. Plain Jane wins! – The simplicity of life out here. Our biggest decision for the day is what we’re going to have for lunch. This is becoming a little more distressing of late as our options are very limited now

– Our routine. So much so that I might incorporate a sneaky 2hr nap into my life when I get back

– Eating all my meals with a spork. Not sure I remember how to use a knife…

– The wildlife. It’s possible that we’ll never get as close to Dolphins and whales like we have on this trip


– Last but not least, the girls! I suspect there will be an empty void in my life for a while. On the other hand, it will be nice to see different faces and have different conversations. There’s a lot of repetition on the boat

I won’t miss…

– Attending to my bum every 2 hours with a Sudocreme or talc application. Don’t get me wrong, this strict routine has (quite literally) saved our derrières from turning into horror stories! Prevention is better than cure! During times where the winds are high, the waves constantly splashing us and the rain soaking us, we are especially attentive as these are prime conditions to cause ‘angry bum’ – Having only 2 shorts and 2 t-shirts to rotate in and out of. Yet again, not having to spend any time thinking “what am I going to wear today” has been a treat!

– Being able to lie next to someone without any part of your bodies touching… Especially when the cabins are ridiculously hot. This is usually helped by a piece of sleeping sheet used to create a gentle partition between you and team mate to prevent that layer of sweat forming between you

– Hearing or asking the question “is it gonna rain” before heading out on the oars. Looking forward to not even caring if it’s due to rain… Umbrella, a warm, dry living space and hot chocolate will do the trick

– Having food that resembles baby food consistency. We look forward to solid food, like Steak!!

– Moving faster than 2knots, which is pretty much strolling pace

– Informing someone of how hot you are by including the mention of a sweaty upper lip. “Oh my gosh I’m so hot I’ve got a sweaty tash!” It is certainly going to be an adjustment when I get back to my normal life…  Then again, will it ever be normal again?

UPDATE: after a night spent on the para-anchor we have been rowing hard today to try and keep a course over ground (COG) of 235*. LP and I slept in the Forecabin. Ems made our dinner and Nat came and delivered it right to our hatch door. LP and I proceeded to watch The Sound of Music on her iPad. It was magical.
It was my first Forecabin experience with two people in there, and yes, it was cosy, yet the worst nights sleep I’ve had in a while. Liz x



  1. Simon TY says:

    And there is something we will miss: You !!

    You have been an inspiration !!


  2. Jim Andrews says:

    I feel for you Lizanne, in that you have given your all and the end of your adventure is nigh, however, I also think the void will be shared. You will be missed by your friends and they have to, once again set off, to a now, familiar struggle, with a new crew member, who will have to discover for herself, the agonies of claw hand and angry bum! You have made an incredible contribution to the team effort and I think the girls will mourn your leaving. It is a team effort and you are a team member! Nuff sed! Stay safe. XX

  3. Jim Andrews says:

    Sorry, I feel the need to tell you, that the Allblacks beat the Springboks marginally, in the semi final. It was a fantastic game but the result felt kind of, inevitable. The boks were great but who can beat the kiwis? The Pumas, maybe? I feel that if you were able, you would be watching the championship. Hopefully you will be able to see the final in Samoa next Saturday. Stay safe. XX

  4. JG says:

    Lizanne, I shall miss your bright sparky input on here. I imagine that you have been a most amazing asset to the Crew and I salute your achievement Keep safe

  5. Barney says:

    We were not sure how you would fit in 80-odd days ago but you captured our hearts with your mal de mer ordeal and you have provided us with terrific blogs. I agree with Simon, and with no disrespect to Meg intended, we will miss your ray of sunshine. Looking forward to the “full reflection” you mention as I have been anticipating a conflict between hating to leave and yearning to escape the downsides of ocean rowing.

  6. Tori says:

    You girls are incredible! Lizanne, I so look forward to having you back at home and to hear all the stories. I have been following your posts and you all are truly incredible. Wow – how inspiring! Keep up the incredible work. We’ll have a delicious steak (!!) and nice chilled glass of SA wine here waiting for you darling x

  7. gus says:

    Listen if u miss the big blue sea too much and large swells we can always drop u off at Cape Point on a lilo to make u feel at home if struggle on your return 😉

  8. Beryl pocock says:

    Dear Lizanne
    You are doing remarkably well keep smiling not much longer I am so so proud to be able to say that I know you sending lots and lots of love xxx

  9. tashels says:

    My darling lizzle your posts and remarkable adventure have inspired so many people. You are one of those who inspire people around u normally…However having gone through this mission with u in the words of this blog, I can hear that you have had to dig deep and find that which makes you you. You and the girls will definitely miss each other and Doris but the reel of mental footage will always be there to nudge you and remind you of what you are capable of. And those of us who know you well, know your boundaries are endless. I can’t wait to climb a mountain or have a tea and discuss all you have discovered and all you have been challenged by and treated those eyes with. So much love to you and the girls on the last few days remaining. May mother nature be kind xxx

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