Reaching the Halfway Point With a Barnacle-Free Bottom

Reaching the Halfway Point With a Barnacle-Free Bottom

The weather has finally picked up and is blowing us in the right direction. Happy days! We have clocked up some decent miles over the last few days and hope we can continue like this.

One of the main reasons we were falling down in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge rankings was because we hadn't been able to clean the barnacles off the bottom of the boat. It had been far too choppy to get in the water so we had to sit and wait, all the time knowing that the crews around us had cleaned their barnacles off and had gained half a knot of speed.

However, the time to clean Blue Steel's behind arrived on Friday at 6pm. My teammate Will jumped in and did the honours. I was on shark watch at the time but luckily Will was far too pongy to be a tasty snack. There were a huge amount of barnacles underneath and once we were back underway the difference was immense. We were definitely 0.5 of a knot quicker - maybe more. It's amazing how much this cheered us up and it's great that we will get to Antigua that little bit quicker. Those rum punches are calling us.

As for our own bottoms, I was on antibiotics but these haven't worked too well as I ideally need to stop rowing to allow time to heal, obviously not an option out here so I will have to keep going with the slight irritation; but in happier news, we are officially over halfway now which is a great feeling. We are closing in on 1,000 miles to go and then the real countdown to the end of the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge begins - exciting stuff! We are so happy to have made it this far. This is made so much better by the fact that it was my 29th birthday yesterday! I never thought I would be out in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean in a rowing boat for my birthday!

We are being constantly bombarded by flying fish, finding lots of dead ones on deck after a night shift. I heard a yelp from Will a couple of nights ago as he was hit square on the back of the head by one!

Thanks to anyone who gave us loads of music and audiobooks, they really help us get through the night shifts and even make them enjoyable!

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