Thank you Strathallan! Great news came today by way of Seb's (my son's) teacher. His school, Strathallan, is having a mufti day for Char on the 2 July!!! Wouldn't it be great if we could get all schools to get 'on board' and do the same. Let's all get behind this initiative and make sure Char gets to camp this year and gets well on her way to some new legs!
Well, yesterday's start day turned into a boat launch, media scrum, and ocean rowing showcase after we received a gale force forecast for the outer waters/offshore area where we were headed. We are bitterly disappointed but playing it safe. The last thing either of us want to do is bob around on a sea anchor in big waves and gale force winds close to the California coastline. We are now planning to leave Tuesday evening unless conditions ease beforehand, so we are officially on standby. The link below is a clip from Good Day LA.
In an effort to make my last day in NZ as long as possible, Jade and I woke up at 4.30am to beat the traffic and head into Auckland City for a Breakfast TV interview. So, if you want to be entertained while eating your cereal, tune into TVNZ at 8.15 today. Charlotte Cleverley Bisman and her dad Perry will be joining me on the show. We will also be sporting our great new Pacific Row tees courtesy of SEKO omni-logistics!
Here is the lovely Jade modelling our new rowing tees sponsored by SEKO Omni-Channel Logistics. A big thank you goes out to SEKO and to all the sponsors listed on the tees for 'getting on board' and helping out with our 'Row for Charlotte'! I also want to thank everyone who has contributed to the campaign so far and to Charlotte via our givealittle campaign. Char's Camp No Limits is in June, so please help us to get her there!
On the California side, Deb and Angela spent some time today organising boat stuff and if you were wondering what our snack pile for the row looks like...check out the pic below. Unless you are Fiona, then you should close your eyes and then close this blog! I received this beautifully decorated bucket during the school holidays from Adeline Cox (I think she may have heard about my talent for rowing with a bucket between my legs). Spencer was quite happy to be here when Adeline made the delivery and scored some cuddles while he could. Thanks for all the positive responses from the Seven Sharp piece-from the reception I had at netball, I think nearly all of Waiuku was tuned in-very exciting for us!
In case you missed Seven Sharp tonight (like we almost did), here is the link so you can catch the show. I think Jade and Seb quite liked seeing themselves on the telly and I hope Char did too! http://tvnz.co.nz/seven-sharp/paddling-extra-mile-and-then-some-charity-video-5947278
Just to clear up a few things from the show (the lovely reporter Gillian had to head off to London and someone else finished the editing for her), we are ROWING from California TO Hawaii. Don't be fooled by the graphics of kayakers or the fact that we were in kayaks in the show-they were all we had at our disposal since 'Spirit of Orlando' is in Long Beach with Angela. I did however beat Gill in our head to head race-there was no tricky camera work there. And yes, if you didn't know it already, Lucy adores me so much that she goes EVERYWHERE with me-even in my kayak!
Watching Char and Jade meet again was lovely! At the time, we were all so caught up in the excitement of the day, that it was so nice to sit back and soak it all up again! If you were inspired by what you saw tonight, you can donate to our givealittle page
http://www.givealittle.co.nz//cause/RowingforCharlotte and help send Char to camp and add to her 'New Legs' fund. Thanks for all the support!
As the clock ticks down to 'Row Day', people have been asking if there is anyone else out there with us- some sort of support boat we can rely on in the event of trouble. The answer to that is no. Angela and I will be reliant on each other and ourselves while we are at sea. We will each have our friends and family members supporting us from our respective home shores, but there won't be any boats out there supporting us in our rowing endeavour. I'm sure we will encounter many boats while at sea, but hopefully they will all keep a healthy distance. The other visitors we will most likely get, will be of the finned variety, and I am hoping we will see more of the rounded ones than the pointy ones!
If you haven't taken the opportunity yet to visit the givealittle page for Charlotte, please click on the link and do so. We have a way to go to reach our target and make sure we can get her off to camp and on the way to some legs that will actually fit and be comfortable to wear!
Today was a packing and sorting day. I worked through the list I have been compiling for the last couple of months and actually started packing food supplies and gear into travel bags. It is all starting to feel very real now! Sent my list of treats off to Deb and Angela and they were heading out to buy snacks for our goodie bags-looking forward to having some of my childhood favourites like Nutter Butters and Oreos out there with me!
Many people ask about what sort of food we ocean rowers eat out there and are often surprised to learn that it's often not super healthy and needs to be very high in calories. In 2005, I managed to eat 3 large bags of Farmbake cookies during most of my nighttime rowing shifts. Everything we consume at sea is about getting the most caloric bang for our buck. We eat mostly dehydrated meals that can by re-hydrated quickly and scoffed down even quicker. We also sit and eat portions all by ourselves that are designed to feed anything from two people to a family of four! Eating fast is an important strategy while at sea because the sooner we can cook and consume our food in our two hours off the oars, the more sleep we can get to recharge our batteries for our next shift.
What do you do when Auckland City is being hammered by the tail end of a cyclone and you can kayak down the middle of Tamaki Drive? You head to Balance Chiropractic in Waiuku for a body adjustment and to collect the giant box of Endura sports drink they sponsored for the row! Then you head in to the thick of the storm to collect some essential safety gear needed to row across the Pacific Ocean. Thanks to Tristan from Safety at Sea and his product providers McMurdo and Baltic, I now have a new Baltic Harness/Lifejacket combination, a safety line to keep me tethered to the boat in inclement weather and at nighttime, and a McMurdo Fast Find Personal Locator Beacon should I end up bobbing around in the drink for some reason! Thank you Tristan for arranging this sponsorship and helping to get me out to seaChar off to Camp No Limits!
I had a lovely opportunity this morning to tell some ocean rowing tales to the Combined Probus Club of Ponsonby. They were a great audience-a speaker’s dream come true. They laughed at all my jokes, asked interesting questions, and gave me a generous donation for Char. Today helped me to remember that for the non ocean rowing types out there, the idea of spending 40-60 days on an ocean in a small boat is almost incomprehensible. It got me thinking...some of you out there may have lots of questions about our day to day life on the briny so in the days leading up to our departure, I’ll use the blog to give you some sense of the adventures and misadventures Angela and I may face out there. This first one is asked by young and old and everyone in between.
Question: How do you go to the toilet?
Answer: Well, the answer isn't pretty or glamorous, but it can be entertaining-especially in rough seas... BUCKET AND CHUCK IT Don't worry, I had shorts on in this pic. I was just testing the bucket!