If you ever feel like giving up….

One of the most amazing rowing races ever and epitomises never giving up, it’s not over until it’s over.

So, next time you feel like it’s all over and want to stop because you’ll never get there, just remember GB rowers Jonny and Greg Searle (plus Garry the cox of course!), and their will to just keep going to the line.

If you’ve not seen this before GB are in the blue and white boat – they win gold….

 

 

December 14 – what were you doing?

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What were you doing on December 14th – can you even remember? It was a Wednesday, 96 days ago.

On that day Daryl Farmer left La Gomera in the Canary Islands as part of the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Rowing Race and later today, maybe in the very early hours of tomorrow, he will have finally crossed the ocean – alone, aboard his solo boat.

This is an incredible achievement – personally, from quite early on, I doubted he would make it simply because he would not have enough food on board – yet he has stuck at it, despite a broken rudder and has shown just what extra-ordinary things people can do.

To have a qualified crossing you have to get across 61 degrees west but apparently Daryl plans to properly finish the job by rowing into the harbour – what a hero!

It is difficult to overstate what Daryl has done here – that 96 days since the 14 December – it is worth thinking back to what you were doing on that day and everything you have done each day since – in the knowledge that Daryl was at sea, alone, fighting the conditions, battling his boat failures and yet finding a way every day to get on the oars and just keep going. Amazing.

His motivation? To do this for his mum who he lost to mis-diagnosed kidney cancer in 2012. Check out his website by clicking here, and maybe stick a few ££s in the kitty – like every stroke out at sea, every £ counts.

Image result for daryl farmer

 

 

 

Inspiring places..

I spoke at an International Summit here for C-level executives – an amazing place to go to for a first visit to Ireland.

The summit seminars and meetings were all held in the main hotel and the dinner I was speaking at was in the country house building you will see – a pic below too.

The video about the hotel and grounds is well worth a watch, such a beautiful place and definitely going back there one day!

The wind is blowing on the ocean too….the wrong way

The Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge is slowly but surely edging towards its conclusion – two boats remain, the Americans aboard 32 Degrees have 378 miles to go but in the last 24 hours made only 15 nautical miles and are showing 0.9 knots boat speed.

Daryl Farmer amazingly continues to make progress and has now got ‘just’ 840 nautical miles to go – he made 13 nautical miles in the last 24 hours but spare a thought for this – rather than any particular progress towards the finish line the weather on the ocean has blown him north around 50 nautical miles. That must be horrible!

The weather map shows the reason why with winds blowing at between 10 and 20 knots due north and where the wind blows is where you will go. In a weeks time the story will be transformed in theory with fast conditions on the cards and winds possibly in excess of 20 knots blowing exactly in the right direction.

The seas look like they will follow suit so there will be some very fast – but very tricky conditions on the horizon – and a possible blast into the finish. Having said that the weather is a cruel mistress and we had so many days of being promised by our weatherman that the ‘magic carpet’ was on its way ‘tomorrow’ and we all know when tomorrow comes!

The Talisker boats carry water ballast so are less prone to capsize – we never added ballast as we were so focussed on the speed record; despite this a number of the Talisker boats have still capsized and that potential is always there – the next week will be very testing if the weather sticks and with the boats much lighter with so much food consumed by now all the safety protocols will be at the top of the list. Not least, keep the bl##dy hatches shut!

Big seas and big winds scheduled in a week….

 

Going north….whether you like it or not.

Shark!!! Oh no, my mistake…there aren’t any.

Imagine looking down underwater when you are swimming in the sea and you see this below you. Then imagine you are 540 miles offshore…that’s when the theme tune for ‘Jaws’ starts playing in your head…

When we capsized and went into the water I had no thought about what might be in there with us. It was only a while later after we had the liferaft sorted and I went back into the water to dive under the boat to find our water bottles that I thought we might not be alone. A question often asked about when we were at sea is ‘Did we see any sharks?’ The answer is with some relief particularly with our self-inflicted swimming episode – ‘No, we didn’t.’

I had a clear dread when I opened my eyes under the water to try and see the water bottles that I might also see an image similar to that above. On our Sea Survival course we were told that in a liferaft situation we should all ‘do our business’ whilst still in the water so we did not have to in the raft – I suspect that if I had seen a sight like that above I would have involuntarily ‘done my business’ regardless!

I say we never saw a shark – we did see this – but I convinced myself it was a lonely dolphin…..not so sure now looking back…

Fortunately, from my point of view we never saw a shark and that prompted me to look into that a little more when we were back when I’d seen occasional news snippets on ocean populations or even shark attacks on people.

When you look into the global shark population decline it is easy to see why we did not….most large shark species have declined by 90% or more and whether that is a product of over fishing, shark fin fishing, pollution or whatever – it puts into stark contrast just what a mess we are making of our home.

Check out the grpahics below for some facts and figures – beware the image of a hammerhead stripped of its fins – the horror of that is immense – and maybe have a read of the National Geographic article here that gives some ideas of what we can do to make a change.

 

Image result for shark fin fishing

Image result for shark fin fishing

Image result for shark fin fishing

Image result for shark fin fishing

 
 

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