A few days ago we wrote our blog with just over 300 miles to go. Our family and friends were due to fly out two days later and we thought we were in the home straight. We had battled and fought against everything the ocean had thrown at us and managed to keep going. The ocean had other ideas.
Yesterday morning, after a fast but at times frustrating night, we awoke to 20-25 knot southerly winds and 30ft northerly waves. We were heading north quickly and at risk of missing Antigua if we let it continue. We had three choices:
- row with the weather and head north but risk missing Antigua
- go beam on to the sea with the centreboard in and try and limit northerly progress whilst trying to head west, or...
- go on para anchor and wait for the weather to improve.
The psychological effect of stopping rowing or missing Antigua would be too much – we went beam on.
Over the following 24 hours, waves crashed over the deck, soaking and dislodging rowers. At times, the waves were so powerful they threatened to roll Tiny. Another rower had to hand steer for an hour whilst on their break in order to keep us on a good heading. It would last all day. We were tired, bruised and very wet. But we had managed to limit the damage and our dream of reaching Antigua goes on.
We mentioned that this row has been like ‘psychological warfare’ at times. We thought it was over. But these last 250 miles are our hardest yet. It feels so close, yet we have so much work left to do. Our families, girlfriends and friends are waiting for us in English Harbour. They are in touching distance yet so far away. We have all been angry, upset and frustrated. At times we just want it to end. No one will quite understand what we’ve gone through on this boat. But we keep rowing, we do our best, we stick together and WE WILL GET THERE.
Matt, Charlie, Joe and Dave