Race diary - Week two and the first line of longitude crossed

Written by the Entrepreneur Ship Support Team


23rd December

In the last 24 hours our amazing team have made great progress and have overtaken TWO competitors!
The male pairs team of ROW4HOPE who are in a very similar Rannoch R25 boat, and the male fours team of FOAR FROM HOME! πŸš£β€β™‚οΈ
This puts them into fifth position in the pairs and 27th in the race. πŸ’ͺ
Guy and David started this race to do something amazing – and that’s exactly what they are doing! Did anyone expect them to be beating one of the fours teams at this stage?! just amazing!🀯
And they are not stopping there; with the bit between their teeth they’ve seen the mileage they can clock up in the more favourable conditions and they’re putting their endless rowing practice into full effect! πŸ™Œ

23rd December

Ohh, there they are! πŸ”­
Remember that superyacht that came to see the boys yesterday? They’ve been in touch – and they took pictures! β›΅πŸ“·

This cracking shot shows Guy looking happy as Larry whilst David films him during a break in rowing. πŸ˜ƒ
It was a tough night for the team last night – waves were breaking on their starboard side (right hand side if you are facing the front of the boat) and it was making rowing very challenging. 🌊
Very sensibly they took the decision to take a break from rowing whilst the conditions settled. As they rested they kept the autopilot on so the boat would drift with the conditions but steer in the right direction – this meant that whilst they rested they lost minimal ground which was a smart move. 🧠
They were back rowing this morning and they’re feeling stronger for the rest – tactical rest! πŸ‘Œ
A HUGE thank you to Peter Broughton of Sailing Yacht ‘State of Grace’ for this fabulous photograph. He has some more for us which he’ll send over when he gets to Antigua in just 10 days time (makes you realise how slow these rowing boats travel in comparison!) 😲
22nd December
It’s David’s turn to be in touch…and they’ve had a visitor! πŸ—£οΈ
“As I write this I am sat on Bertie the beanbag topping up my tan. This ocean rowing malarkey is very cool! Well it is now after a very long night surfing 15 foot waves in the dark and hitting four plus knots as we surf down the face so a physical night on the oars but I must say night rowing is still my favourite.
“Today has been great and always seems to be something new to see or think about, and today was no exception as we had a sail-by by a 125ft super yacht (see pics). We had a nice chat with the skipper who is based in Dartmouth so a good old Devonian.
“We are expecting much of the same conditions tonight. Getting up to do a shift at night is still a struggle as the temperature is not overly warm. And our cabin is as cosy as anything.
“Also we hit another record with over 60 nautical miles rowed in the past 24 hours! Always a great moral boast.
“Eating our dried food is getting better and managing 3-4 meals a day. I fully expect to land in Antigua two stone heavier!
“Todays music highlight for me is Streets of Philadelphia and Robbie Williams!”
A fantastic update from David – the yacht the chaps saw was the ‘State of Grace’ – very much a luxury sailing yacht, and by a stroke of luck, it is also bound for Antigua!! Perhaps they’ll still be about for post-race drinks in English Harbour!! 🍸

22nd December
Guy has been in touch! πŸ—£οΈ
Yesterday didn’t start particularly well for him. He woke up for his 2am shift completely disorientated, not knowing where he was or what was happening. πŸ€”
After a little while his senses came to and the reality of where he was and what he was doing dawned on him. πŸš£β€β™‚οΈ
This does happen, particularly in the first couple of weeks – the body is shocked into these brutal shifts, never getting more than about 90 minutes sleep at any one time. For a normal human being to fall into the deepest stage of sleep (REM sleep) it takes 1-2 hours. At around this stage in the row, the body realises it’s not going to get given a proper nights sleep and certainly no REM sleep, so many rowers report that the body seems to adapt by sending you in to that deep stage of sleep far more quickly than you would normally do so. 😴
Going from deep REM sleep immediately to being woken for anyone is particularly challenging and you can be disorientated, but when that feeling is compounded by waking up inside a box that’s bobbling around on the surface of the Atlantic, that disorientation can only be heightened! 🧠
Once he was ‘back in the room’ he returned to the oars with a new vigour, and as a result banging out some big miles. The pair managed 55 nautical miles in the 24 hours to twelve noon and they are trying to beat that in the current 24! 😲
In other news, David saw a small flying fish. They’re hoping not to be smacked in the face with one any time soon! 🎏

21st December

Not to be out done by Guy waxing lyrical – David is now also writing his own updates! And as a precursor to his update (and to explain the photo a little), at 9 nominated lines of latitude, the guys are celebrating a social entrepreneur partner that has been supported by their charity @UnLtd, and are opening up a chocolate orange! 🍊
“Today was a good day. Not only hitting the trade winds but also our first line of longitude are the real highlights, so we get to share the chocolate orange and I get the middle bit. Hah!
“Getting us here to the trade winds has been totally down to the genius of Simon the weather router threading us through some very tricky weather patterns. We will be giving him a big hug when we see him on land next.
“Other highlights have been a swim by, by yet another turtle. They really are the most bizarre things stuck out miles from land swimming to nowhere in particular.
“On the rowing side it has been different again; some fast rolling Atlantic waves lifting Lily up and gently dropping her down to scruffy β€œmogul field” water, dragging all will to row out of us.
“Apart from yet another terrible joke in our daily weather report from Simon, spirits are high and we are making excellent progress.”
Great update by David! The spirit these two possess and exude is infectious – we can’t wait for their next update!!

20th December

David and Guy have now passed line of longitude 20 degrees West.
Guy’s son Oliver Rigby at TPX Impact, who are generous supporters of The Entrepreneur Ship recorded this message:

20th December

Guy has written his own update for today – and it’s a great one:
“Greetings from the trade winds, which we reached at about lunchtime yesterday.
“After a hard night, including battling south easterly winds (the tail end of the weather system which Simon (the weather router) has been helping us to avoid), dawn broke to sunshine and zero wind, with calm waters. After a chat with Simon, we decided to row at 180 degrees to reach the trade winds, and we found the early signs about lunchtime. Whilst they are not strong, it’s been a pleasure to row with the wind in our faces.
“On the wildlife front, we were followed by whales overnight and a mother and calf gave us a glimpse early this morning. We have also seen a turtle, some dolphins and some more whales, albeit in the distance.
“Before lunch, in perfect conditions, we tied David to the boat and he had a swim, doing a bit of hull cleaning at the same time. As of noon today, we completed our first week, meaning that we have each rowed 42 shifts, or 84 hours.
“At lunchtime we had some coconut chocolate balls from Bexi at Unstuck Design and tomorrow we will be enjoying more flapjacks from Flapjackery!
“Spirits are high as we can now turn in the direction of Antigua and we are very grateful to the team, our sponsors and supporters who are all doing so much to help us.
“Only 2,405 miles to go!”

20th December

These slow conditions may be frustrating for the boys, but WOW look at those views! 😍
The ocean appears viscous almost like oil as the team trudge through it. 🐌
But in the distance in these photos, we can see the signs of the front coming through, and that front signals the change in winds for the team – now they will start to get some support from the conditions to help them on their way to Antigua! πŸ‡¦πŸ‡¬

19th December

When your world is mostly sitting in the quiet on your own, rowing endlessly; seeing wildlife absolutely makes your day. 🐬
This recent video the chaps sent back, shows a dorsal fin in the water – we’re not absolutely sure of what species this cetacean is, but with it’s larger size and the way it is moving (known as logging) it almost looks like a pilot whale. πŸ‹
Normally seen in groups, these creatures are a species of dolphin, filling their days by swimming around the ocean and chomping on their favourite food, squid. πŸ¦‘
Having these creatures pop up along side them is a hugely rewarding experience – it will make the team feel completely connected with the amazing world that lies beneath them. 🀝

18th December

Completely still.
That giant expanse of water, with the ability to create towering waves, giant swell, and white water…..is just a sleeping beast allowing the boys to row right over the top of it, in millpond flat conditions.
And whilst it’s not particularly helpful for progress – it is very pretty!
In amongst this tranquil seascape, today David had a brilliant encounter with some whales! He listened to two of them swimming behind the boat, popping up every now and then to exhale and inhale deeply. When Guy came out of the cabin to share the experience with David, they swam past the boat, a mother and her calf.
When you are so close to them and they do this – it’s such a deep and impressive sound. Lungs capable of holding 1000’s of litres of air blasting out into the still air along side you, whilst you sit in a tiny unpowered boat…it’s as close to a magical experience as you can perhaps get, and makes you suddenly appreciate how wonderful a planet we are privileged to live on. 🌍
The conditions are variable today but hopefully by tomorrow evening, the trade winds will start to return and they’ll get a little bit of assistance at last! πŸ’ͺ

18th December

When we think of ocean rowing we perhaps think of crashing waves, danger, phenomenal oceanscapes, perhaps sharks and whales. But for the vast majority, it is a unique noise that is almost silence.
The only noise that the boys will hear for the majority of the time that is not created by their electronic devices is simply the lapping of the waves against the boat, the seats rolling backwards and forwards, the occasional squeak of shoes again the deck of the boat.
Birds are very occasional and calling birds is even more unusual – when in the cabin it’s possible to hear the whistles and clicks of whales or dolphins if they’re directly under you, and of course each rower will have the persistent sound of the other rower snoring!
It becomes a very calming environment, it promotes deep thinking. Rowers will often return with a lot of plans and ideas for the future and with a lot of past worries, well and truly thought through and mentally dealt with. In the busy modern world, many of us turn to meditation to clear our minds – for many rowers, this is the ultimate meditation session!

17th December

The moon is 98.2% full tonight where David and Guy are, and with no cloud cover obscuring that moon, it makes for quite the moonscape!
A clear night with a full moon make a HUGE difference to their night shifts. As you can see, with a full moon you can see a really long way, however on nights with full cloud cover, if you look to the left or right away from the boat, you will often question if your sight is working; with no other lights out there, it is the inkiest black imaginable!
One thing that some ocean rowers report seeing is a moonbow. These are a silvery version of a rainbow but are MUCH rarer to see. A multitude of environmental factors have to line up in order for them to be seen – the moon needs to be at the perfect angle, there needs to be enough moisture in the air but not too much, and there needs to be a full or close to full moon.
Perhaps Guy and David will be lucky enough to see one, or perhaps they won’t. One thing is certain though – what they are experiencing out there…nobody can replicate that experience. Those waves will be different for the next rowers that come through – this is absolutely David and Guy’s unique crossing!

David & Guy will row out from 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