Race Diary - week seven and they're nearly there!

Written by the Entrepreneur Ship Support Team
28th January
This video by David is the best insight so far into the cabin they spend all of their ‘indoor’ time in, as David takes us on a guided tour. ๐Ÿ˜Ž
This guided tour is not like a guided tour of a regular home…here you don’t have to move a muscle to see every component of it – the bedroom is the same as the washroom, which is the same as the kitchen, which is the same as the lounge(!!), but it is fascinating none-the-less.
David shows us everything from the sat nav (chart plotter), through to the radio, as well as the flares and fire extinguisher. It’s a really neatly laid out cabin and the guys are keeping a tidy ship – which is very important if they had an emergency. ๐Ÿšจ
He also shows us the auto-helm. You can see in the video a dark grey rectangular box with buttons on, and a silver rod sticking out of it. In it’s simplest terms this silver rod is connected to the top of the rudder, and then pushes and pulls to turn the rudder. It does this automatically (hence the ‘auto’ part of ‘autohelm’) based on the way points or bearings entered into the sat nav. ๐Ÿ’ป
All in all it’s a very simple existence…inside this box for 2 hours, outside on deck for 2 hours…repeatedly. ๐Ÿ”
But it’s all coming to an end very soon – the team are just 273 nautical miles from land now – it’s getting incredibly exciting!!! ๐Ÿคฉ
27th January
You may have noticed a distinct slowing down on behalf of David and Guy in the last 24 hours. ๐ŸŒ
Yesterday and overnight they had zero wind and a current running in the opposite direction to them. Guy explains: ๐Ÿ—ฃ๏ธ
“We were struggling to get half a knot at times. It’s very depressing when youโ€™re looking at 340 miles to go and not making progress.
“We had an amazing experience the other night when on the oars. In the pitch black on one of our now famous mogul runs we were hit directly astern by a massive rogue wave!
“I was protected by the stern cabin as we punched a hole in the wave and watched in awe as tons of water sped past and over the top of my head, with only a little of it landing in the boat. I was amazed that we still had a flag pole and wind vane. Definitely my most memorable rowing moment!”
This update from Guy sounds incredible, and really will have given the boys something to think about! ๐ŸŒŠ
Thankfully they now do have a little wind, and they’re hoping that they are back in to the trade winds rather than the localised anomaly weather they’ve had over the last 24 hours. They now hope to put some good miles in over the next few days! ๐Ÿšฃโ€โ™‚๏ธ

27th January
If the weather is good, and the conditions are calm, sometimes it’s nice just to have a cat nap during your two hours off, on deck with your mate! ๐Ÿ˜ด
A few days ago, before the more challenging conditions kicked in, this was David’s view. Lying there, amongst the team’s drying washing, completely calm, completely relaxed, it really shows how Guy has become at one with his changed world. ๐Ÿง˜โ€โ™‚๏ธ
Despite the hardships, despite not being able to go anywhere, there is nothing quite like taking a break on deck in the nice sunshine with the sound of the ocean all around you, and the sleep inducing rhythmic sound of the oars taking the pair of them closer to Antigua. ๐Ÿ๏ธ
And it is these little wins, these small luxuries, that the team need to embrace to both keep them sane, and to create lasting memories of what has been a phenomenal voyage so far. ๐Ÿšฃโ€โ™‚๏ธ
Just 330 nautical miles remain – very soon Guy and David will no longer be reclining on a boat during their sleep shift, but instead on a beach in Antigua with a beer! ๐Ÿบ

26th January
๐Ÿ’ฅ๐Ÿ’ฅ COLLISION AVOIDANCE 101!!! ๐Ÿ’ฅ๐Ÿ’ฅ๐Ÿ’ฅ
In the early hours of this morning, still in the pitch dark, David and Guy’s collision alarms went off! ๐Ÿšจ
And, as David explains, there was a 57,000 ton, 890 foot bulk carrier called Desert Peace, bearing down on the exact position of their 24 foot, less than 1 ton, rowing boat! ๐Ÿ›ณ๏ธ๐Ÿšฃโ€โ™‚๏ธ
Immediately David’s training kicked in – he radioed the ship to highlight the situation. ๐ŸŽ™๏ธ
The captain answered the radio call, understood the situation, and immediately changed course so that he would miss the little rowing boat.
This does happen from time to time, and it’s important to understand that Guy and David’s alarms go off well before there is a dangerous situation. The other ship will also have had an alarm going off at some stage and the likelihood is that they will have altered course regardless of the radio call……..but that doesn’t make it any less concerning when there is a ship of that size heading directly for you!! ๐Ÿ˜ฑ
David said it was actually really nice to talk to the captain…and with that over with, they both disappeared into the night. ๐ŸŒƒ
25th January
What a brilliant video! ๐Ÿ“น
David, clearly completely and utterly exhausted, talks us through dealing with the shift in winds. ๐ŸŒฌ๏ธ
And it’s so good to hear, because it seems like there was a stage where suddenly it felt like he’d cracked it, managing the fast conditions with oarsmanship – you can see it in his tired eyes that actually this was a proud moment. โ˜บ๏ธ
And perhaps this is why this video is so nice to see: This challenging part in the row that really can get people down, where low morale really can grip a team…he is managing to overcome those mental challenges, and is really celebrating the little wins! ๐Ÿ™Œ
In addition – that oarsmanship; it’s paying dividends. With 61 nautical miles taken off the total in the last 24 hours! ๐Ÿ’ช
25th January
As the boys push on to Antigua, the weather conditions continue to try and push them further south. ๐ŸŒฌ๏ธ
The winds and primary swell are north easterly (i.e. heading to South West), and then an opposing North Westerly swell that is making the conditions choppy and challenging to row in. ๐ŸŒŠ
Despite this, the ‘carrot’ of being 426 nautical miles from land, means that the team are rowing with a dogged determination now. Gritting their teeth, pulling hard on the oars and in spite of choppy conditions are consistently topping 60 nautical miles a day! ๐Ÿ’ช
A big THANK YOU to all of you for sending your positive thoughts and well wishes to the boys on the last post. They are absolutely brilliant and later today will be collated and sent on to the lads to give them the mental boost that they so need right now to help them through the challenging times. ๐Ÿ™

24th January
With a 60 nautical mile day, the crew broke through the 500 miles left mark early this morning, and are very much on the downhill straight. โ›ท๏ธ
But these are the days where it gets really tough on the ocean. Hearing about all the crews of 3, 4 and 5 making land but still having such a long way to row will really be testing the boys. ๐Ÿ˜ฉ
As much as they have talked about the privilege of the solitude, there is no question that what they want right now is to be able to see and hug and talk to their families. ๐Ÿซ‚
But this is where the grind must continue, these are the bits that really test the mettle, and the boys are dealing with it very well, making fantastic progress throughout! ๐Ÿ’ช

23rd January
Ooph! David’s hands are now leathery calloused shields of hands. Completely used to the job they now do, hardened by the rowing, the sun and the salt water. ๐Ÿ–๏ธ
Many people question why rowers don’t wear gloves – and actually many rowers do wear gloves, but this picture of David’s hands helps to answer that question. ๐Ÿงค
It’s completely the choice of the rower, but if they do wear gloves, it is less painful to row to begin with, they get less blisters, but the blisters still do inevitably arrive. Continuing to wear gloves at this stage ends up keeping these blisters wet all the time and they then don’t harden into callouses. ๐Ÿ‘Ž
If a rower chooses not to wear gloves, they’ll get a lot more pain a lot quicker…but they’ll harden much more quickly, both from not being kept wet in gloves, and from the exposure to the environment. ๐ŸŒฆ๏ธ
The outcome is these very tough bits of meat at the end of David’s arms, and it makes rowing all the more easy! ๐Ÿšฃโ€โ™‚๏ธ
Keep on keeping on chaps, just 528 nautical miles remain!! ๐Ÿ’ช

23rd January
David sent an update last night, and although he has some positive elements to talk about, he was definitely feeling a little low when we talked to him. ๐Ÿ˜”
“It has been an amazing experience, but the standout has been some of the rowing at night. I love the solitude and the night skies.
“Another positive has been getting away from ‘everyday life’. I recognise this row has been very much a selfish thing to do, but hopefully I will come back a better person.
“Out here, I have learnt more about me and how I deal with both the physical and mental sides. When you are tired mentally and physically, you go to some extraordinary places.
“I am not sure about real life. I gave up my work for six months to concentrate on the row. We have our house build to do and also to help Alyson with Hot Smoked. But I also want to write a kids book about Lily and her amazing adventures on the high seas.” ๐Ÿ“–
David’s words and his tone last night was of a reflective nature. There was also a huge element of simply missing his loved ones, and a little despair that they had so much further left to row. ๐Ÿšฃโ€โ™‚๏ธ
It’s at times like these that the team need to focus on the smaller goals, the little milestones, the quick wins. For example, they probably have just one more Saturday left on the boat! ๐Ÿ’ช
What perhaps David doesn’t see at this stage, is that his army of followers are incredibly proud of everything him and Guy are achieving out there!! ๐Ÿ™Œ

22nd January
Such a great photo of Guy on deck, taking a well earned food break. ๐Ÿœ
By the looks of the shadows, it seems that Guy is eating a Fray Bentos pie…for his breakfast! ๐Ÿฅง
Slightly more puzzling is that there is a Santa hat hanging out to dry on the right hand side…have we not put Christmas 2021 to bed yet?! ๐ŸŽ…
The boys will continue to have to deal with some fairly challenging conditions. They’re not horrendous by any means, but they do have 20-23 knot gusts for a few days trying to blow them in a south westerly direction, and waves that are hitting them pretty much beam on. ๐ŸŒŠ
Their progress should continue to be fairly quick, but it will be uncomfortable to row with the waves continually hitting them on the side. ๐Ÿ˜ซ
56 nautical miles achieved in the last 24 hours, 582 nautical miles to Antigua – keep on pushing team!! ๐Ÿ’ช

22nd January

These, are good moments. ๐Ÿ˜
The sun has just risen, bathing David and the boat in golden rays of warmth after a long hard night on the oars. And there is little that compares to that feeling. ๐ŸŒ…
Nights can be very tough, both physically and mentally. Any niggling doubts can expand and take over your mind. Your unhappy thought festers as your head is down, pulling on the oars, with the rain running down your face in your cold dark world. ๐Ÿ˜ฉ
But at the end of a long night, on the Eastern horizon, directly in the rowers’ eyeline, a faint glow builds. It’s followed by the arrival of the first glimpses of the sun, and as the sun melts the darkness away, very often, the more negative thoughts melt away also. ๐Ÿ˜ƒ
Very quickly that sunshine is warming your body and clearing your mind, you remember why you’re doing this and how lucky you are to be where you are. ๐Ÿฅฐ
Guy and David are doing such a brilliant job. They’ve made amazing progress, and are just about to drop below the 600 nautical mile mark! ๐Ÿ˜ฒ

21st January
Whilst last night was pretty hairy for the team, Guy sent this video through from a normal night. ๐ŸŒƒ
If you listen carefully you can hear Guy mentioning how many miles they have left…essentially talking to himself. ๐Ÿ—ฃ๏ธ
But it does remind us that, despite this being a pairs team, they are always rowing as a solo – almost all of their time is spent sat on their own in silence, watching the world go by.
When Guy gets towards the end of his shift, he might knock on the cabin door and give David a ten minute warning so that he is on the oars in time. Then they’ll swap positions, perhaps see how each other is feeling….and then go back to solitude. ๐Ÿ˜ฎ
There is perhaps no other time in their lives where these two amazing humans will be so utterly alone – and whilst they no doubt want to get home asap…it should also perhaps be looked at as a real privilege. ๐Ÿ™Œ
21st January
It’s getting choppy out there for the boys, some white caps coming through and overtaking them in these pictures, but over night they were hit by far stronger conditions. ๐ŸŒŠ
David explains:
“We had one hell of a night! A rogue wave at 12.30 smashed into us!
“The wave knocked me off my seat and almost tipped me in, the whole deck was white with water. It was so powerful it also took us off course so the auto helm went off.
“Guy, as quick as possible came up on deck, and then we spent twenty minutes trying to get Lily unpinned against the wind.
“Finally we made it and decided to take a less aggressive bearing.
“To cap it all off, the stove is wet through, so we cannot even have breakfast!”
That’s a tough night indeed – but it’s great to hear that when it was needed, the training kicked in, the team work kicked in, and they were able to continue on in their mission to get to Antigua. ๐Ÿ’ช

David & Guy left La Gomera in the Canaries on 12th December. They hope to arrive in Antigua by the middle of February. Please give generously at https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/the-entrepreneur-ship