Chic Gites

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Introduction

On the 1st March 2017 I will finally, weather permitting, set off to row the Atlantic Ocean. Now I know what some of you will be thinking - ...

Saturday, 25 March 2017

From the horses mouth!

Now nearly 3 weeks into the row, our daily routine is very well established. 24 hours breaks down roughly as follows:

12 hours on the oars - maybe 5mins per 2 hours watch to take on some water/food otherwise all rowing. The 3 night watches are tough - it will never feel normal being woken at 1am to go outside and row. Nights are purely functional - get headphones on, row, pray it's around 90mins gone when you check the time. If it's less than 60, cry. Finish, straight into cabin to sleep. Other than maybe a protein bar, no time to eat. Days are far better - rowing is easier, often a bit of chat with other watch on deck eating etc. 2hrs still feels long but distractions like turtles, dolphins, passing cargo ships etc.

The 12hrs off watch break down as follows - 10mins before/after each watch preparing to row or sleep - dressing, sunscreen, quick pee etc. Makes up 2hrs total each day. Preparing and eating hot meals 3 times per day takes about an hour. We eat freeze dried meals in portion size packs - pour in boiling water (from flask), stir, wait 8mins. During 8mins boil water to top up flask for next watch. As dried food goes it's not bad. Personal maintenance (brushing teeth, treating sore bums, using "the bucket"), checking and replying to emails etc takes another hour most days. Then any boat maintenance such as cleaning sol├ár panels, tidying up etc. Leaves less than 8 hours to try to grab some sleep, which often doesn't feel quite enough! 

On Tuesdays we have watch changes (row 1 week with each person on rotation) and cabin swaps - we'll spend 3 weeks each in each cabin (bow cabin is huge and with mattress - stern cabin is grim). Friday is tuck shop - people were eating the bars so quickly we had to ration so on Friday everyone gets 7*protein​ bars, cereal bars, 3.5 chocolate bars and 2 power bars each for the week. Thurs is funny as people get grumpy having run out early! And that's it on repeat every day till we get there. 

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