We have been busy gobbling up the nautical miles - and they tasted good! The end now feels like it's in sight, as the first crew has crossed the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge finish line to win the race in 41 days, two hours and 38 minutes. Huge congratulations to Locura Rows the Atlantic!
This last week has seen some pretty hairy conditions and we have been on high alert at the possibility of another capsize. We had to row nearly broadside on to the waves and wind to maintain our ground and not get pushed south. I dreaded every night shift as you just couldn't see where the waves were coming from and a capsize at 3am would not be funny!
Still, we got through it and made some really good ground on the crews in front. Blue Steel has been flying and we are so pleased to have such a brilliant little boat. She is holding strong and so far no issues to report.
Yesterday we had strong northerly winds (25 knots) trying to push us south which was frustrating as it meant slow rowing. However, we are now less than 720 miles from the finish (less than Land's End to John O'Groats) and we're ticking off each 100 mile block with great happiness. Maybe, just maybe, we will get there.
We are still hand pumping water everyday in our breaks and also foot steering (we have done this since week two) and we're constantly low on solar power. It's satisfying to know we have pretty much foot steered the whole way though and it feels like we have rowed the Atlantic Ocean the hard way. We are however trying to put as much juice in the batteries as possible so that if a sprint finish is required then we can try and fire up the dodgy autopilot to help us steer straighter and know we have the juice in the tanks to operate it. We will see.
Snack packs. A few people have emailed asking what we have in our daily snack packs. They vary slightly but if you hit the jackpot and pull out the best then you are looking at the following bag of goodies:
Ultra fuel (powder meal to help you recover - delish)
Fizzy cola bottles
Boost chocolate bar (could also be a Dairy Milk, Lion Bar or Fruit and Nut!)
Mini jelly baby bag
We have enough snack packs on board for 90 days. This is awesome as it means we can have two packs a day each given that we are likely to finish in two weeks' time (hopefully).
It's now two to one on the flying fish count. Will got smacked on the back of the head a few weeks ago and last night on the shoulder. I also got hit in face last night, well beard actually, by a very small fish. My whiskers must be really offensive by now!
It's now extremely hot over here and it really saps your energy. Being in the cabin during the day is miserable and very much like a sauna so we try and stay on deck as much as possible and put the world to rights.