1 Month update!
Hi Everyone! Charlotte here, I am managing Rosalind and Andy's social media while they are away. I just wanted to put together a quick update of everything that has happened in the last month since they departed on their Atlantic Escapade!
Rosalind and Andy set off from Gran Canaria on the 20th February. Unfortunately, due to some delays during the day, they did not end up leaving until around 8pm, when darkness had already fallen! A scary start, and a taster of what was to come in the following days!
The first week of the row was eventful, to say the least! On the first night, Andy emerged from the cabin to let Rosalind know that he couldn't see anything... an adverse reaction to the anti-sickness patches led to 24 hours of almost complete blindness. Thankfully this was resolved by the world's largest ham and cheese croissant (see below) and by stopping the medication! In the same evening, Rosalind managed to hit a new speed record for the boat, 10.6 notts down the massive face of a wave! The conditions for the first few days of the row were big and scary but this quickly calmed down, turning into pleasant flat waters. This was accompanied by sweltering heat, and while this gave the team some time to dry out, it was certainly uncomfortable to row in! They were lucky enough to see a lot of wildlife- they saw dolphins every day, as well as whales, turtles, and a slightly less friendly marlin! Roaslind and Andy rowed an incredible 500 miles in the first week, but due to the winds, they were only able to travel south. While this got them a lot closer to the desired trade wind route, they did not make much westerly progress. Still- an epic start with a huge distance covered!
In the second week of the row they settled into a routine and began to make great progress west. Rosalind managed to finish her first full ration pack, and Andy quickly realised that his favourite chicken tikka, which he had packed by the bucketload, was intolerable in the heat! Thankfully Rosalind was kind enough to share her food with him, and they were both well-fed! A corroded electrical junction slowed the team down in week 2, causing a continuous beeping noise that stopped them from sleeping and affecting their GPS and connection. This took a few days to find the source and to fix, a frustrating delay after such a fast start. The flying fish began visiting the boat, and while Ros and Andy did their best to save them and return them to the water, as pictured, some didn't make it! They had a great chat with the captain of a large tanker ship, who contacted them via radio to find out what they were doing in and why, and had many close encounters with other large ships, with some as close as a mile to them! The waves were huge, some as big as houses, meaning that they were unable to keep their eyes on these large tankers. While this was an unnerving experience, they emerged unscathed into week 3!
Week 3 began with a huge milestone for Andy- on day 22 of the row he reached 300 days at sea! Prior to the Atlantic Escapade, Andy achieved a world record and became the first person to row around Britain solo. He had no ocean rowing experience at all before this, so for him to have now reached 300 days on his little rowing boat was quite an achievement! Unfortunately, the celebrations did not last long. Winds that the team were optimistic would help them to pick up speed turned into a large weather system in the North Atlantic which meant that they were smashed by huge waves side-on for almost the whole week. This threw them from their seats, ripped their oars out of their hands and made them generally sore, achey and miserable.
Towards the end of week 3, on Friday 17th March, they hit the halfway point! I think the reality of what an amazing achievement this is really set in- in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, in a 7m rowing boat. The nearest land is 5km below them, and the nearest humans are 406km above them on the international space station! Spirits heightened and the waves calmed down. They even got their first dip in the water to clean the bottom of the boat!
Thankfully over week 4, the weather has calmed down a bit, and the team have been able to make some great progress. Stay tuned to find out more! For more frequent updates, videos and pictures follow us on Instagram @AtlanticEscapade or on Facebook by searching 'Atlantic Escapade'. If you have been inspired by Rosalind and Andy's efforts and would like to make a donation to their chosen charities, the BLUE marine foundation and the RNLI, then head over to www.justgiving.com/team/atlanticescapade