***At last these updates are working from the boat so I am retrospectively posting the last month of entries***
Before we began the row I thought that I was looking forward to rowing at night. A full sky, strewn with stars. A crescent moon, rising surprisingly swiftly. Peering round to look out for the green and red lights of distant ships passing on their way to exotic, imagined destinations. The exciting swoosh and roll of surfing down black unseen waves, their occasional breaking surf gleaming in the boat’s sidelights. The waves are blacker than the sky, so looking around you see an undulating contrast between sea and sky. All these things I was looking forward to. And I was right – night rowing is wonderful. For about 10 minutes. After that the shooting stars lose their appeal and the long countdown to the end of your shift begins. Two hours rowing is a long time when you have only had two hours sleep (which is a short time). Sometimes we row in determined silence. Sometimes we talk rubbish – asking Simon what his favourite cheese was killed* an easy 20 minutes. I suspect that night rowing will be like much of this experience: gruelling at the time, but which will turn to golden memories once this whole thing is over.
* – a good strong Cheddar