The end is near! Nearly less than 300 miles to go and the race continues! 🚣🏼♂️
After a strong battle with Atlantic Discovery we managed to break away from them during a low pressure system. With no wind assistance and just our Yorkshire grit to rely on we rowed relentlessly day and night. Now, 38.2 NM separates us and our sights are firmly set on Mad4Waves who are 23.5 NM ahead. They are already putting on a huge push to the finish with less than 300 miles to go so the relentless race to the finish continues. The race order isn’t certain and anything could change.
One thing is certain, that beer at the end is going to taste bloody good!
With roughly 4 days to go until we reach Antigua things are starting to get quite Spartan onboard Victory. We are having to ration out the ‘good’ rations that we all like. We’re allowed 2 good meals a day and the rest of our meals have to be from the remaining mixture of unwanted leftovers from previous meal pace. We’re also having to ration out the last of our baby wipes (5 wipes per man per day). We’re also now down to our last 7 packs of Built On Beef Biltong so that’s being carefully rationed out too such a precious commodity 🤤.
We’ve cleaned our hull for the last time now. We managed to get in, get it cleaned and back onboard rowing within 16 mins. It was like something from a formula 1 pit stop. With the theory of marginal gains ever present in our minds it’s these things, as well as quick and efficient shift change overs that help and allow us to make consistent and strong daily progress towards the Caribbean.
We have seen a couple of HUGE ships in the last 5 days. One was a cargo ship measuring over 200m long and was over 3 miles away. We radioed her on our VHF and had a quick chat which was nice to have outside contact. Like 4 big kids we tentatively asked if the captain would toot his horn. With a slightly confused reply he said yes and sounded the deep billowing horn which was truly awesome! So much fun! The other ship we saw wasn’t such a welcome experience. It was at night and on the horizon we saw it’s bow light ...With no sign of it on the AIS (Automatic Identification System) we tried to contact her via our VHF. She didn’t respond and yet came ever closer. She must have been over 300m long and was coming to pass within 50m. We frantically kept trying to raise her on the VHF and were one step away from reaching for emergency flares A collision with a ship this size, at night would be catastrophic. She wouldn’t even know that she’d hit us To our relief she eventually responded via VHF, the guy on watch sounded Russian, said very little and slowly the big floating building of a ship ebbed eerily away.
The sun surprises us every day. We think it can’t get any hotter but every day the sun likes to prove us wrong. It goes from nice warm temperature, the sun rises, 10 mins later it’s blistering heat pounds the boat, the sun changes angle through the day, intensifies some more then 12 hours after rising it sets. The whole time beating down on us and making every stroke on the oars a real effort. Resting in the cabins is nothing short of being sat in an uncomfortable, rocking sauna. We row longing for nightfall and peace and tranquillity that it brings.
We’ve had so many awesome messages of support coming through encouraging us and helping to keep morale high. We thoroughly appreciate every message and well wish. Thank you. We’re giving it 100% effort and will continue to do so until the finish siren sounds in English Harbour. We are determined to do our charities and Yorkshire proud!
If you can then please donate to our chosen charities; The Royal British Legion and Soldier On. Every donation makes a big difference. You can donate through our website or by texting 70070 with the code ROWV59 followed by the amount. Many thanks in advance for all of your support for our amazing charities.
Royal British Legion "Soldier On!"
Here we will be keeping you up to date with all our musings pre, during and post competing in the Atlantic Challenge race that started 12th December 2018.