After successfully rowing across the Atlantic Ocean in 2020, the second Atlantic crossing was born out of Covid restrictions
In March 2021 a crew of four set off from Lanzarote and, using muscle power alone, rowed 3,200 miles of open Atlantic Ocean to Antigua. This voyage firmly paved the way for the Atlantic Dash.
After a challenging start which included a tow to Fuerteventura, during which the boat was damaged, the crew once again set off for Antigua. After fifty days of rowing, despite everything the Atlantic threw at them, the crew successfully landed at the Windward Estate jetty on Pigeon Point Beach in Antigua.
From the second the crew pushed off until they next set foot on dry land, the boat was everything to them. They were either on deck rowing or they were in the tiny cabin at the back of the boat. Inside that cabin they rested, cooked, ate, slept, navigated, communicated with the outside world and each other, patched up their injuries, wrote blogs and filmed vlogs, carried out any equipment repairs…in fact one of the only things that they didn’t do in the cabin is row, and go to the toilet. Going to the toilet was an alfresco affair that bore a striking resemblance to a bucket on deck…because it is a bucket on deck. Lovely when it was sunny and calm but try to imagine yourself balanced atop said bucket when there are howling winds and towering waves crashing on deck…
The Atlantic Dash maiden voyage was supported by:
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Throughout the crossing the crew worked together as a team to ensure success. Unsupported meant just that, and they had to deal with everything that was thrown at them. There was no stopping and calling a specialist out to help with repairs, no popping to A&E for medical attention. Although the crew were able to use a satellite phone to seek advice they, and they alone, were the ones who had to deal with any and all problems they encountered. Whilst, thankfully, it didn’t happen on this crossing, it is entirely possible that if they got into trouble they may have to wait for up to 5 days for the cavalry to arrive. Everything that they needed for the crossing was loaded onto the boat before they left and once they did leave there was no turning back.
During the row they experienced sleep deprivation, extreme fatigue, massive weight loss, big seas and the only place that all four crew were able to shelter was their tiny cabin no larger than the size of a small double bed.
The boat was 29ft long, a little under 6ft wide and was the crews life support system for the time that they were on the water. The crew rowed in pairs and managed on a shift pattern of two hours rowing followed by two hours resting. The continued like this 24 hours a day, seven days a week.