Friday 24th January 2014
We went through the three-quarter-way point on Monday and as I am writing this we have 499 miles to go. We have got to the point in the journey where every day brings some kind of milestone. However, we are aware we must not get complacent and are still a long way from land in a big and dangerous ocean, so we have been carrying out maintenance checks and trying to keep her ship shape for this final leg.
Having chosen to laugh about my getting slapped in the face by a flying fish in the dead of night, the same happened to Alex yesterday. I didn't stop chuckling about this for my whole next session, teaches him for being so smug. His bad luck with the fish doesn't end there; he has been fishing unsuccessfully throughout the entire journey. On Monday I spotted some very colorful Dorado swimming about under the boat and he was immediately in there with his rod. One bit the lure so soon after he had got the line in the water it felt like we were on a fish farm! It put up an almighty fight, leaping out of the water and tearing away from the boat, the reel squealing to let out the line fast enough. After 30+ minutes the maestro was pretty sure he had the better of the fish and I was drafted in to hold the rod whilst he gloved up and got his landing kit ready. He leant over the side and held it by the tail, causing it to thrash violently one last time and before I had understood what happened a very despondent Alex was nearly in tears. It had escaped. I am glad we are not reliant on his fishing skills!
In other news our friends the dolphins came back to play one evening for about 15 minutes and the whales reappeared. The latter however, we're as coy as last time hardly showing their huge bulk above the surface. They did race down the waves and under the boat however, and watching such bulk moving so elegantly was quite something. The weather has been mixed. When the sun is out it is seriously powerful and there are about 4 hours a day on the boat that are very quiet through the hottest period. The amount of rain has surprised me. It is not continuous like the stuff I hear about in the UK in recent weeks but showers lasting 10-30 minutes. When it arrives though it comes in style. The whole sky turns grey making it hard to tell sea from sky, the wind builds and it pours.
We are quite blown away by your support via email, blog, twitter etc. I can't tell you how important it has been to climb into the cabin once a day and have a private moment going through all the messages, everything from the mundane, truly outrageous and some questionable bits of advice about fighting sharks (we'll just try to avoid having to do that!). I would like to say a very special thanks to the men of Ridgemount (our boarding house in school days) who held a sponsored row raising £2836 for our charities. Floreat Salopia! Should you wish to donate please visit www.rowing4research.com... The total so far is £135,618.46
Our beards are coming along nicely (Alex's a little more successfully than mine), any remnant of excess fat is falling off us and we are honing our tans'. We will increase the frequency our tracker (www.rowing4research.com) updates in the days before we arrive so you can see us coming around Barbados to the final goal: port St Charles. Until next week when we will hopefully be very nearly there.
Harry & Alex
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