Day 50 – Comms down, so let’s show our support for his chosen charity instead

Mike is in good spirits, but unfortunately has damaged his comms. At 1030 this morning, whilst Mike was reaching for a mid-morning snack from his cabin, very unexpectedly two very large waves hit Storm Petrel broadside and a large volume of water entered the cabin. His sleeping bag is wet through, and the cabin he has worked so hard to keep dry over the last 4 weeks (since his last deluge) is now as wet as his rowing deck. Probably the biggest blow is that he has damaged his primary satellite phone which enables him to write his blogs and receive all your message of support. Unless he manages to get this dried out, then he will be without this source of support for the remaining 2 weeks of his crossing.

Fortunately, he is in the final 500 miles of his crossing and he has a second satellite phone which means he’s still able to make calls back to home.

Instead of sending messages of support, we are proposing that everyone donates to Macmillan an amount of money per mile that he manages to row in a 24 hour period between 0800 on Friday 3rd and 0800 on Saturday 4th. It should be a good mileage day for him, so there is plenty of incentive for him to pull hard on those oars. Feel free to pledge your amount per mile as a comment on his blog page and we can keep him updated by phone as to what the running total is likely to be per mile before he starts. To give you an idea, his biggest mileage day so far has been 60 miles which he achieved a month ago on the 31st January – 1st February. So please dig deep and cough up as much per mile as you can afford for this wonderful charity. (Della, since this was your idea, Mike feels that you should be donating a minimum of £2 a mile :-))

All donations that total £30 or more will also qualify to be entered into the competition to win a night in a suite at Applegarth in the Lake District – http://www.lakesapplegarth.co.uk

Mike is absolutely fine, but fed up that he’s lost his main source of comms. The additional salt in the cabin won’t help his salt sores much either!

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Comments 28.2.17

Penny – Really nice of you to send a message. Heard our mutts have grown a lot since I last saw them. Looking forward to getting re acquainted with them. Coffee comment noted as I believe in what goes around comes around!!
Helle – Sorry to hear that they lost again? I am not saying anything as I do not know the England result yet?? Anyone out there who does ??
Louise – You even have the poor lad cooking Sunday lunch. He should be sat in the pub having a few scoops.
Don – Stick to the small screen mate. I like to think I am closer than I really am. Looking at my chart plotter it currently shows 531 nm to go. Hoping for some really nice conditions so we can crack the miles in.
Steve – Not sure I am a tough man but be assured I am going to do my very best to arrive in to Antigua and then have a few beers. Thanks for the support.
Mike (wellie) – I will be having a quiet word with Jane about your drinking and lack of exercise when I get home.
He who laughs last ……
Derrick – Be assured I am doing my best to be Vssbyt!
Rob – Absolutely brilliant but this is axsrnt for folk ft
on the West Riding – fondly known as ‘ wessie bastards’ not us more gentile East Yorkshire folk. Thanks for taking the time on these. I will keep them for sure.

Day 49

Up at 04:55 and rowing by five past the hour. Slow cold and drizzling so not a good start.
Continued for about another 1.5 hours and decided to sack it and go back to kip for 45minutes. Just nodded off when I hear a clattering which I think is the oars. Have a look and all seems ok – back to me bunk. Clattering starts again so I take better look and find a good sized flying fish flapping around. I eventually grab him and throw him back but these fish really smell so I wash my hands in the sea and back to my bunk. Clatter clatter clatter – back out torch in hand only to find another good sized flying fish which subsequently gets thrown back in. I wash my hands again and am snuggling down when I realise I now have 10 minutes before I need to call Tom!!
Start rowing at 08:15 but whilst the forecast was similar to yesterday nothing else is. The going is slow but I plod on through the day eventually stopping at 20:00 with 25 miles logged. I will get up early tomorrow or through the night to finish off the other 5 miles.
My biggest problem today was holding a good course. What I would have paid for an auto helm??!!! When I steered the boat to close to South I got a good drenching from some short sharp waves still coming up from the SE and when I went to far north I was fully aware I was adding not detracting from our distance to finish.
In the end not a  bad day but hoping for better tomorrow!

Mike out

Comments 26.2.17

Paul – Not shaking hands with any one until I have had my first beer. Actually the fingernail bows don’t hurt at all strangely!
Tony – Would be nice if Currie co can make a donation. I am sure they can afford one and David is a big thatching man so maybe this will be of interest.
Flo – My pleasure to hear from you. I have been listening to quite a lot of Italian opera music during my row so I will need you to explain to me what the songs are about. It is only the very popular songs, nothing heavy.
David – Good luck with the run.
Elaine – No I didn’t get a picture sorry. It was about 06:30 am and I was pulling in the sea anchor when this fish decided to stick his head out and have a nosey about what was going on.
Richard – Greetings to you from the Atlantic. Not sure when I will arrive and as you say just taking it day by day. I still have about 600 miles to go. Passport is in hand. Thank you.

Day 48

I decided to continue rowing last night until 21:00 but still went to sleep very disheartened.
Got up and on the oars for 05:15 this morning, it felt good and by 08:00 I had completed about 8 miles.
Tom confirmed that the weather should be favourable and with that we were off. Just finished up for the day having completed a total of 38nm. Yeeehaaa!
Finally SGTR all the negative thoughts of the last few days we are up and running. Yesterday I felt weak tired and almost disinterested in finishing. Today really pulling on the oars  and not wanting to stop.
We have taken quite a few miles south today as we are expecting the wind to move from the E the ENE and then NE.
Not a lot else to report other than we are now under 600 miles to go and over three quarters of the route completed.
Planning to start again at 05:00 tomorrow as the temperature is just nice and if not cloudy I can enjoy the vista.

Comments 25.2.17

Dear compo and Nora.
Really nice to hear from you both and I trust all is well. Aunt igor is meeting me upon arrival for some private initiation ceremony. I will let you know how that plays out!!

Hellen. I might have forgotten the coffee but I did get the 6 cases of red wine loaded ok. Remember. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Just make sure you have the crucial stuff in hand.
Interestingly there is no peace and quiet on a row boat. The noise of the waves and water etc is always there and done how quite calming.

Day 47 – A tough day

Continued rowing until 22:00 hours with nice temp and good conditions.
Today
Different day same shxt. Was up and on the oars for 05:45 as I wanted a big milage day for numerous reasons. By 08:00 I had managed 2 miles which did not bode well for the rest of the day.
Spoke with Tom and was back rowing by 08:15 but still I have a swell coming from the SE and one from the E, net result is little distance covered. I am so frustrated I cannot put into words how I feel. It is as if the Atlantic does not want me arriving into Antigua any time soon. So I am going to stop at 20:00 tonight and will probably only start rowing again at 8 tomorrow morning.
Sick of driving myself to the limit and then not getting any results.
You guys must all think I am a moaning old bxstard which I am but these last few days have really hit home mentally.
Mike out