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NOMAN and The Sea: 29/07

29 Jul 2014

The last 96 hours have been testing to say the least with the winds picking up and creating some very difficult conditions especially at night. My note on the bow cabin wall for day 42 read “worst 24 hours yet. Body really starting to ache. Slow progress. Finish line cannot come soon enough.” We saw the biggest waves since our opening 2 weeks and once again found ourselves wrapped in our foul weather gear, life jackets and harnessed on for safety. However such is the rollercoaster of this challenge, things are once again looking up and I am sat with the cabin door open eating my mexican style rice and chicken, with a renewed sense of optimism about the final approaches.

Physically, everybody is holding on. Bums are still sore but don’t seem to be getting any worse, mainly due to Chris’s crackdown on cleanliness and the introduction of daily washing – you don’t want any more details on that one…. The temperature in the cabins during the day is sweltering and I’d bet dehydration is as much down to the the time we spend in there in between shifts as it is down to the rowing. Sometimes it feels like there is no real rest and often we prefer to be out on deck rowing than in the cabins. On the tanning front, Mark is somehow finding a way to return to land paler than when he left.

One thing we’ve learnt out here is that you have to be careful what you say on the Pacific. Complain about too much wind and you’ll get none, complain about too little and you’ll find yourself negotiating 30ft waves for the next few days. Our constant complaint that there seems to be absolutely no wildlife in the Pacific seems to have been answered with a plague of flying fish. Although this may seem like a magical “life of Pi” esque scenario, I assure you that rowing in pitch black whilst being pelted in the face by fish is not fun! 2 nights ago i was lying in my cabin after a 3 hour shift trying to doze off when one of the little buggers managed to flop its way through the 1 inch gap in the door and proceeded to flap around on my legs. As you can imagine, 3 NOMEN found this funny, one did not. Just to give you an idea of how serious this plague currently is. Our electric bilge pump (system used to bail water on deck) stopped working the other day. Mark spent the next 20 minutes picking a total of 93 dead fish from the bilge area that had been blocking the system. That was just from on evening, on one part of the boat.

Finally, just another big thank you for all the messages of support from back on land. It’s been so helpful hearing from people we have never met and especially people who have had experiences with HPV-related illness. These messages have really inspired us at times when our task has seemed insurmountable. We hope that people will take note of why we have put ourselves forward for this challenge and help support this worthiest of causes.

Really looking forward to seeing everybody back home and  everything else normal life has in store for us. Just the small matter of the final bit of rowing to negotiate first.

Jack and the boys



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