Rowing across the Pacific requires an enormous amount of planning, organisation, and training. Many who have attempted similar challenges have said they would have thought twice had they known what was really involved. We now understand what they mean!
For over a year now we have battled to get this project off the ground and complete the seemingly endless tasks required to move it forward. The COVID crisis has made everything more difficult and increased the time and effort required to complete even the simplest tasks.
Our boat, which we thought might be ready for sea trials at the end of summer 2020, has only just been completed. Lockdown means we can’t get together to test it before it is shipped to the US in March. So, the first time we will climb aboard will be in Monterey harbour shortly before departure!
Physical training is something that starts a year before the row itself and gradually steps up as you near departure day. It is normal to pick up various minor injuries along the way as you ask your body to do more and more, but we’ve had more than our fair share of set-backs – a broken wrist, surgery on fingers, COVID x2 and now a hernia that will require surgery in March. As is usually the case with such challenges, we will all just be glad to make it to the start-line.
There is still a lot to do, especially raising the profile of the challenge so we can raise as much cash as possible for our chosen charities – St Elizabeth’s, Mathew’s Friends and the Marine Conservation Society. We had hoped to do publicity events with schools, charities, training, and our sponsors; but this has sadly proved impossible.
We will continue to work hard to pay back our families, friends, and sponsors for all their support. Our intended departure date from Monterey is still 1st June.
Until then, remembering that “The hardest times often lead to the greatest moments of your life” provides some reassurance that it will all be worth it in the end. Surely the row itself will be easier than preparing for it – right?