THREE MONTHS TO GO
An update from Rachel
NEWS ∙ SEPTEMBER 29, 2019
We had a wonderful time at the Southampton boat show this month and one of the common questions was about a blog. I have never blogged in my life, but fully intend to (where possible) when at sea, so why not start early and give the public what they so desire!
When I first got selected for this project Billy and Alex both said “the hardest part is getting to the start line”, I think I’m starting to understand exactly what they meant!
I was naively hopeful that it would be a case of sticking the boat somewhere public, telling people about how hardcore and unique our challenge is and then kicking back and bathing in the cold hard cash they throw at us. In hindsight I was ever so slightly delusional!
However, that being said, I have been totally overwhelmed by the generosity of the people who have come and looked around the boat, asked questions, donated and left messages and pledged to provide us kit or services through their businesses.
I have never fundraised before and although yes at times it is arduous, when you talk to someone who is genuinely impressed by the challenge or the causes and wants to know how they can help it is a great feeling. It has also made me giddy with excitement for the adventure next year.
There are many reasons I applied to be part of the team in the first place, I don’t think I still completely understand all of them, but the chance to do something completely left field was a big one.
I have never rowed before, never sailed, never undertaken a completely unsupported challenge, but in the past few years through travel and some wilderness medic work I’ve met people that have. Each and every one of them have completely shattered my misconception that you have to be super human or uniquely gifted.
The thing I learnt from all of them is that you just have to put yourself out there. Seems remarkably simple but that really is it. It all seems to start with one little spark of inspiration, the decisive moment is whether you build on it or talk yourself out of it.
One thing I am particularly excited about at the moment is the schools project, we had a lot of school age children visit the boat in Southampton and the Isle of Wight … that might be why I felt so exhausted by the end of the week!
When I was at school, adventure was never on my radar, I hadn’t ever really been taught about it or interested in anything relating to adventure, but these days it’s everywhere and seems way more accessible. This probably makes me sound really old even as the youngster of the crew but it’s true, it just wasn’t much of a thing from what I remember.
I guess John Haskell was probably around for when Christopher Columbus was discovering half the planet so he might feel differently. Come to think of it, is that what John is referring to when he talks about the Atlantic crossing he did?!
Right now it’s getting scarily close to the start of the Atlantic crossing, we have lots to fit in over the next 3 months, and once the guys have set off from Lanzarote it’ll be seriously real for me that this is actually going to happen.
I am trying to get myself as fit as possible – I have never been a big fitness person – everyone with experience tells me I’ll get fit actually on the row, but at the moment I think it will help me feel more capable and more confident if I can set off from Australia feeling like I am able to achieve it. I’ll already be setting off as the complete novice of the crew, I want to be able to reassure myself I’m not a total weakling as well – as I’m puking over the side of the boat!
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