Leg 3, Day 32 – Emma’s ice cream parlour

Emma Mitchell By

So ‘The Coxless Crew ‘have told us about their sad losses, mugs, sporks, Tupperware dishes and the like well, Emma, as a child, was well known for her ice cream parlour that collects all the kitchen bits that seem to have no home. Let me explain, as a little girl our first port of call when anything went missing was to ask Emma. It was always when she was washing up as a child that things disappeared they were never to be seen again so the family joke was that they were in her ice cream parlour. So girls, all your sad losses just ask Ems about her parlour!

So what is Ems really like? Well, quiet (except when in dispute with her siblings!) strong, thoughtful and always up for a challenge. Her idea of a gap year was to do a Three month Jungle survival course which included living in the jungle for three days alone. Her idea of a marathon was to do this up Mont Blanc or one being a lonely number, a double marathon in Berlin or triple in Pembrokeshire; She rowed with Marlow Rowing club but strived to be an Olympian, sadly her family genes were vertically challenged , you may have noticed she is on the short side for a rower! So we are often asked ‘were we shocked when Ems told you that she was going to row an ocean, the answer is simply No!. What about the Pacific Ocean, well still No!, It sounded just the sort of thing Ems would think was a good thing to do. Having rowed for England and been in the Cambridge boat race team, in one of the few years that they won, rowing across the Pacific was no surprise at all.

So what has this journey been like for us…Well there is the obsessional need to follow the pink dots. First thing in the morning no matter how early we get up we look to see, ‘where is Doris?’. Has Ems sent an email yet? And what is the weather like on The Pacific? I go to the stables both morning and night before and after work. I guess I feel closest to Ems at this time as when I watch the sunrise or sunset, see the moon and stars or clouds I often wonder what can the crew see now? Does it look the same from where they are? The evening is spent waiting for the blog to come in! Do we feel anxious, well yes every day and all day but the bright moment comes with cartoons from ‘The freaky wave’ (check these out on twitter) The humour given to every situation shared from Doris through their blogs cannot fail to amuse and make you laugh out loud! Another part of life that gives me both comfort but also never ceases to astound me is how many people ask after Doris and her very special and inspirational crew. I thought it was just me and the other Mums who look forward to reading the blogs but it seems there are so many people out there and you all do the same. We all live in the small town of Marlow on Thames and so many people are following this epic journey. I would like to say thank you, for supporting me and my family, but more so for supporting the team and their charities. This is a team who are so amazingly close and tight that even I feel left out when we are all together. They have an astounding bond linked by the passion to support, inspire and raise money to help their two charities, Breast Cancer Care and Walking with the Wounded, specifically the support of female soldiers who have been injured in war. I don’t think the Coxless Crew realise how amazing and inspiring they are to so many people who are watching their journey.

So my final thoughts are to share the huge pride that I feel, I have always felt for Ems. But to end this little glimpse of Ems and her family, Gramps would like to quote a poem from John Masefield:-

“I must down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull’s way and the whale’s way where the wind’s like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow ro(w)ver,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trip’s over”

Dry socks and fluffy towels would certainly help too!!!

UPDATE: We are finally less than 100nm to go to Vanuatu. The 
last two weeks has definitely been a case of stroke by stroke, mile by mile and shift by shift as we have made painfully slow progress. We are all getting excited though because tomorrow we will be decorating Doris for Christmas and breaking out the Christmas tunes for the first time.



  1. JG says:

    Well – as I’ve said before a lot of it is in the genes. This wonderful girl must have a great family behind her. Vanuatu! You will soon be in the Coral Sea and the last stage of your journey. Keep safe.

  2. Jim Andrews says:

    I love the pride and love that parents share with us. You have every right to be proud. Emma has been under the spotlight a little, since the revelation that her happy place has gone missing. It is still there, but might have to be visited retrospectively. Three of the six have been through the mill, that is taking nothing from the other three of the six. Just stating the obvious. Emma’s Ice cream parlour sounds like a treasure trove of childhood memories and lost cutlery? I love your “feeling close, when looking at the Sunrise, sunset, clouds moon and stars”. How many of us use, or have used these phenomena for exactly the same reasons? I love the way the Families are sharing their thoughts, and I love the blogs Laura has made describing her shipmates. All in all, this for me, is a warm and pleasant, but also caring experience, thank goodness my Pacific is limited to the keyboard. I hope that once past, Vanuatu your pace reverts to the same enjoyed on leaving Samoa. Stay safe our guardians of Doris. XX

  3. Babs says:

    Well Emma I knew you were one special person, but had not realised how much you have achieved in your lifetime, and all done with so much modesty. Marlow have supported these girls from the start, even supplying a well needed piece of equipment that was needed to be flown out with Emma’s Mum at the last minute. It has been a joy sharing this experience with your Mum and all the other parents along this journey, and can’t wait to be there on the pontoon in Cairns to welcome you back. Such proud parents together xx

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