Leg 3, Day 1 – Back into the blue

Natalia Cohen By

Day 1 – Back into the blue

We’re off again!!

It felt familiar and good to step back on Doris and know that we are heading back out into the almighty Pacific. I’ve missed her. I found that wherever I was on the island I was drawn towards her. Her colour was different close to the shore and although the green was beautiful, I longed for that deep blue once again.

Samoa was everything and more for me. It is the only destination on this voyage that I had never been to before and I felt that it would hold experiences that would be a really special part of our journey. My instinct was right.

The last week on this incredible island has been perfect. We had an emotional welcome, got the work/rest balance just right, had some pampering, managed to see a few sights, all had a day off and time alone, helped Lizanne get some form of closure, integrated Meg, did some leg 2 reflections, spoke to family, did our interviews with Sarah, ate fresh food, drank cocktails, were on local TV, touched based with all our incredible support team back in the UK, got Doris prepared, had fun, took some deep breaths and were thoroughly spoilt by the spectacular people of Samoa.

Sylvia and her team at Riverside B&B made us the greatest breakfast this morning with eggs, bacon, fresh fruit, cereal and toast. We then headed to the boat for last minute packing and photos. The Samoan Voyaging Society crew were at the boat in our signed Coxless Crew shirts and gave us some farewell flower garlands. Zita had hand picked flowers from her forest and came to give us a traditional blessing that she does before getting onto her longboat and each time she travels. Nicola, Sonja, Wendy, Ian, and some local media were amazingly all there to see us off. Sylvia got us all to stand in a circle before we stepped onto the boat and said the most beautiful and heartfelt prayer for our departure. It was all very magical.

How am I feeling? A little overwhelmed. This is the last time we step on Doris and the final leg of our odyssey. I hope that by the time we get to land again we will have all realised exactly what this journey means to us and the huge impact it has had not only on the charities and us as a team, but also others.

Right now all we are concentrating on is getting back into the moment and taking things shift by shift and mile by mile again. So far we’ve travelled 4.2 miles….only about 2500 to go!

The first shift on the oars with LP was weird. Rowing felt strange for us; almost as if we were doing it for the first time. The 2 hours flew by and with the sun shining, the island in the background, music playing on the Fusion radio and all the time in the world stretching ahead of us again…I was overcome with happiness.

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I’m excited, motivated and intrigued to see what this part of the adventure will bring x



  1. Sara says:

    Lovely blog to start the last leg of your epic journey Nat. I wish you speed and good waters and can’t wait to see you all in Aus xxx

  2. Jim Andrews says:

    Samoa and Samoans sound wonderful. You sound revitalised and well up for the challenges ahead. Missing the deep ocean while in Samoa was maybe your way of preparing for the final thrust to the finish line. I hope you don’t feel the same longing in Cairns, I couldn’t cope with the stress of you rowing all the way back again! 😉
    My best wishes are with you on this last leg of your monumental journey of courage and adventure. Stay safe. XX

  3. Simon TY says:

    That sounds like a great Send off and a good start. Be gentle with yourselves ( and. Doris) to start with, look after and protect Meg. And be safe xx

  4. Ray & Babs says:

    What a way to start this your final leg, next stop Cairns. As Sara said we can’t wait to see you girls row into the harbour. Now back to normal routine, I just woke up Babs having come back from walking our dog Lloyd and the first thing she says is not “morning” it’s “how fast are they going”!! Love to you all xxxx

  5. Jac Callan says:

    All the best on your final leg girls. I have been reading your blog every day since you left London Nat and thought it was about time I let you know how much I enjoy your daily updates. Looking forward to reading about all the adventures on your final leg!
    Love from Belfast!
    Jac Callan (was Jac McPherson when you started this monumental journey!)

  6. Leanda says:

    and you’re off again! That week seems to have gone by so quickly! It sounds like you are at peace with the water Natalia. I hope you all enjoy this last leg we will be cheering you all the way xx the Daddows x

  7. Anna says:

    With every stroke be aware that you are being gently pushed forward by all the love and admiration of thousands. Be safe and proud! Hugs

  8. Michael says:

    Please carry on rowing safely, my prayers are with you all.
    Look forward to blogs.

  9. Tania B says:

    Wow, that was a quick week! Great to read about your time in Samoa. Sounds like you got a good balance and much needed refresh and re-energize.
    Bon Voyage! Hope you have a fabulous journey for the final leg. I look forward, with my usual eager anticipation, to following your progress with the daily blogs.
    Safe travels x

  10. Esther B says:

    And they’re off!! Sounds like you had a wonderful week in Samoa, I have now added it to my “places to visit” list. It sounded like a truly relaxing week too and you are now raring to go. All the best to you all for the final leg; looking forward to reading Meg’s first blog and get a new perspective on the challenge ahead.

    Wishing you a safe and speedy trip to Cairns xxx

  11. Jim Andrews says:

    My OCD kicked in and I decided to work out some stats. Sorry!
    To Arrival at Apia you had rowed 179 days. 2148 shifts.
    You rowed 5397.1 Nm, of which, sadly 1055Nm was extra, due to the Santa Barbara excursion (507.3Nm) and wind and currents.
    Your average daily speed was 31.15 NM
    Your best day was just over 60Nm and your worst was just over 6Nm.
    I guess what I am trying to say is. WOW!
    if ever there was a gold medal earned, you ladies have have earned it, and then some! I am sure you get statiscal updates from your support team that are far more accurate but I wanted to see the bigger picture. I hope you can repeat the 60Nm per day many times over in the coming weeks. You are 6 of the most amazing people I have admired in my lifetime and I wish you top speed and continued safety. XX

  12. Andy Sloan says:

    Good luck from the team at Walking With The Wounded.


    Wishing you kind currents and fair winds to speed you to the finish line.

    All the very best

  13. Mike S. says:

    Here’s hoping this leg is everything you wish for. Look forward to your blogs as we try to visualise your descriptions of weather, seas & wildlife and above all your emotions. Keep Safe you gladiators.

  14. JG says:

    Setting a great pace – soon to be out of sight of land. As you make your way past Fiji and the islands around Vanuatu I wonder if you will see more boat/ship activity. It looks as if the winds around half way should be blowing in the right direction so fingers crossed for the wind and currents to be favourable throughout. Thinking about Meg especially and wishing her well. Keep safe

  15. Sam Fletcher says:

    I read that blog with such a huge smile, that you’re happy to be back on Doris with the mighty Pacific and all that she delivers ahead! Your enthusiasm has never failed to amaze me. I look forward to reading your updates, Lets hope the last leg is as interesting as the previous ones! Good luck ladies. X

  16. Wishing you a speedy, safe last leg of your journey. Look forward to reading your blogs again and hearing all your news. Good luck and keep safe.

  17. Simon TY says:

    Is it more or the girls away like greyhounds ? Or Dolphins, or the equivalent. Seem to have got round the island, through the middle, and out to sea faster than you could say ” there are steaks on the Barbie”. Hope new energy and a good rest means you can eat up some miles in the first week or so xx

  18. So glad you have had such a great time in Samoa- you truly deserved it. As Ray says back to normality which for me is reading the blog every night before bed, but now that I have discovered the ultra zoom in button I can see the hourly progress which has shown your great start in detail. As Jim says above lets hope for more 60 nm days. Welcome Meg.
    Stay safe xx

  19. Wishing you all a safe, trouble-free and enjoyable journey home. I have every confidence that Meg will prove to be a tower of strength to the rest of the team on the final leg and help to bring you back in double-quick time. You are all Superheroes; amazing role models for women and an inspiration to all those facing adversity. You have my complete respect and admiration. xxxx

  20. Talofa ! We are delighted to see that all has started out well on your final leg, go Meg !! Samoa really misses your inspiring energy. How lucky we were to have you all here. The pugs are sending you special snorts, they are still wearing their pink ribbons in your honour. We will be following your journey closely. Be safe and well.

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