Comments 25.2.17

Aaron – Great to hear from you, doing my best to stay strong and generally feeling good. Muscles are not the  problem for me – more the bits of my body that are complaining such as my back side due to pressure salt sores. Would have thought your wife refereeing a game would have been challenged or did the other side rise?
Nick – Good to hear from you, this is a long slog I have to admit but none the less a real experience. Just need to get the last 650 miles knocked off. You will be as old as me if you wait for your kids to grow up before attempting the row again and for sure I am to old for doing this.
Becky – The sea anchor is like a parachute, the parachute opens in the sea as it fills with water and it is this that stops he boat from being driven by the wind / sea state, look up para anchor on the net.
Jeremy – We are moving again thank fully in the right direction so all is good. If he forecast comes good should have s good day today.
Sara – Welcome back and good to know you had some positive feedback on facebook.

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Day 46

Got up hoping for the off at 04:30 but within moments of popping my head out of the cabin it was obviously no go.
Got back up at 06:40 and things had improved so decided to get going. Just held a westerly course plodding along not making any speed but at least moving.
By 17:00 (10 hours later) I had made 14 miles. It crushes you mentally because of all the swear and effort to only make such a short distance. Once again an under current / cross swell to blame.
Keeping this short as I am going back out for a couple more hours to try and recover some of the last miles.
Other news
The nail on my pinky finger is becoming detached. Not sure why but it looks like I will loose it. The same is happening on my left hand, I hope both nails stay on until I get to land. Suspect it could be very sore!
Mike. Out

Comments 23.2.17

Georgina – Heard you guys in good old Blighty were having a bad storm and all trains out of York to London yesterday afternoon had been cancelled. Not so bad out here then at least it is warm!
David – So you are a fair weather runner hey?? Only joking heard it is quite bad back there.
Tony – If you are talking to Mark again be sure to have him put a good donation in from Currie Co for Macmillan. Not sure what the other matter is you bare talking about, can you please explain?

Day 45

I was up at 05:00 and had the sea anchor back on board and I was rowing by 05:25. Really nice big fish had been under SP and as I hauled the lines in he came to see what was happening. No idea what kind but would have looked good on a plate in a posh French restaurant. Certainly enough to feed a family!
Really nice sky with loads of stars, a happy Mike Burton.
By 09:00 the SE wind was picking up and making it difficult to maintain our westerly course so slowly but surely we kept loosing a little bit more each hour to the North. By mid afternoon there was a stream of alto cumulus clouds (I think that is the correct name – huge towering clouds looking like cotton wool) which whizzed by but at the same time generated an even stronger wind that pushed even more northerly. By 17:00 I decided enough was enough and stored one oar in prep of putting the anchor out and then at the last minute changed my mind and continued rowing. My left arm had been working over time nearly all day in an effort to keep a westerly course and was aching like hell.
It was an hour later the anchor went out so I can have a break / make some tea and water etc.
Assuming the wind and to a lesser degree the sea state calms down I might try and get another couple of hours rowing in tonight. If not I will be off early in the morning.
Other news. Only got 4 sachets of coffee left so certainly underestimated that!

Comments 22.2.17

Good day abg s – next time I am going to have an engine not pedals that is for sure.
Lior – Nice to hear from you my friend. I should have done some training in the Israeli desert to prepare me for these temperatures. Hope my persistence insures you for success.
Helle – As soon as I can get off the sea anchor and moving again I will be so much happier.
Sue – My stomach problem only lasted a few hours. Ready to get going again as I am ready to feel terra firma under my feet once again.
David – Your wish is granted, no more running for you old man. Get your slippers out and watch the youngsters on the ski slopes. I would be honoured if you made it out to Antigua.
Jo – Give Mohammad my very best wishes for a speedy recovery.  Sorry you and Gen have cold. Will Arrange a get together when back in the U.K.

Day 44

For the first day in six and a half weeks I am not rowing eating or sleeping ?? And I don’t like it one bit!!
Sea anchor was set at circa 15:45 yesterday and since then we have been taken North at approx 0.5 knots per hour. It is literally a right hand turn from when I stopped rowing to when we started getting pushed away from Antigua.
Missable night! Up and checking the sea anchor every couple of hours. I didn’t venture out on deck but rather opened the hatch and shone my torch over everything. All looked ok each time so went back to trying to get some rest. Not easy.
Called Tom at 09:00 and he pointed out that we had been loosing approx 1 mile per hour instead of half a mile the previous few hours and asked if anything had changed not to the best of my knowledge- so we chatted on and hung up. About an hour and a half later I decided to pull the anchor and check to see all was ok. Upon doing so I found that the shackle pin had become loose and dropped off – so the anchor was not working as it should have been. Shxxt shxxt shxxt. I really should have righted that Pin with a pair of pliers or something more than my fingers! I got a new shackle out of my tool bag and got the sea anchor back to work. We are again now drifting at approx 0.5 knots per hour North but my error probably cost me 5 or 6 miles rowing.
The forecast is for the wind and sea state to reduce during the course of the afternoon / night so I am hoping to start rowing again early tomorrow morning, but Mother Nature will dictate that.
At the time of writing this blog we are circa 17 miles north of where I stopped rowing yesterday with another 15 hours minimum on the anchor still to go Urggg!
No other news other than I am really ready to set foot on terra firma once again.
Mike Out

Day 43 – Sea Anchor

Well the weather that was predicted has arrived in no uncertain terms. We currently have 20 to 25 knots of wind coming from almost due South which is wanting to push me and SP due North. About the last thing we needed!
I am currently on sea anchor which is like a large parachute and is deployed into the sea. It fills with water and restricts the impact of the waves and wind. We are currently drifting at approx 0.6 nm per hour in a Northerly direction. Not yet sure but we will probably be on sea anchor for about 48 hours.
The other issue about a sea anchor is that SP is thrown about like a doll with me in it. It is going to be a very uncomfortable couple of days to say the least!
That’s all for tonight as it is just to tricky to try and type in these conditions.
Mike Out

 

Colin – Really nice to hear from you, trust all is well.