FEBRUARY 11, 2022
UPDATE FROM ATLANTIC CAMPAIGNS SAFETY OFFICER
It isn’t over until the last boat is in and the last rower steps ashore. First or last the achievement is huge and the reception just as powerful, the experience just as life changing. This amazing event isn’t for everyone but everyone who steps off the boat in Antigua is changed. The single, most rewarding part of this job is to be able to look each rower in the eye when they step ashore and seeing what this means to them. The rower taking 60 or more days is having a very different experience to those across in 35 days. Both are hard and demanding but in different ways. The relentlessness or constantly battling against another crew has brought some rowers to tears whilst the slower grind of a 60 day crossing has taken a different mental and physical toll. This experience is changing lives and showing rowers that they are more capable than they ever imagined and that life can be very different.
At the time of writing there have been nearly 2000 calls and texts with the fleet and crucially there are just three crews left at sea.
Still at Sea:
Owen’s Rowing. 343 miles to finish. Nearest crew 267 miles. ETA 23 Feb (Due to change to an earlier ETA) Owen is on his third autotiller and continues to be tested in the slow, awkward conditions. He is battling to stay N though that will become easier as conditions change and he makes more W. He has suffered a knockdown and a flying fish managed to get into the cabin as he was opening a hatch. These fish smell bad and disintegrate rapidly – not something you want in your sleeping space. Stoic and resolved Owen is doing what he needs to and grinding out the miles. Rowing when he can and deploying the para-anchor or drogues to slow his South movement.
Prowject X. 610 miles to finish. Nearest crew 95 miles. ETA 23Feb. As happy as ever the pair remain upbeat and are pushing harder to make the finish as soon as possible. The NE conditions – both swell and winds are frustrating but the pair are healthy, happy and have no issues on board.
A Lung Journey. 705 miles to finish. ETA 25 Feb. Sandro continues to push to catch Prowject X and is managing to close the gap during the day though at night the gap can open again. He has confirmed that he and the boat are fine and that there are no problems beyond a sore seat. Despite his longer than average crossing he has plenty of food.
The key feature remains the consistent NE winds which are pushing the crews SW. These winds change to give more of a push W and the ability for crews to make some N to line up for an approach to Antigua.
The issues are fatigue – mental, physical and emotional as a result of a constant increased level of stress. Seeing other crews finishing and some rowers already going home can be a hard thing to deal with. The whole row is about delaying the onset of physical and emotional pain and holding things together as long as possible. Recovery only truly starts in Antigua once they are off the boat.
The struggle continues so please offer your support to our remaining rowers. Conditions remain good and will continue to fluctuate with winds predominantly good and crews having more E elements.