First off, a very happy New Year to everyone. Hope your 2017 is off to an amazing start.
Okay . . . Much has happened since our last update, and we’ve had some exciting times on the Bonny Rey. We are officially into our 4th week and the signs are showing. We’re both a bit leaner and tanner, a divergence from our usual pasty complexion during winter. If you follow the race app (YB Races), you also know that we have been relegated to the end. Our land support mentioned that Talisker estimates our arrival at 81 days — a real crotch punch. But we are staying optimistic . . . save for a strong wind that is heading southeast (not ideal). Depending on how it affects us, we’re hoping to be at the race’s halfway point within the next week or so. This would give us an ETA of around 60 days, especially since the second half of the race is known as the quicker half.
For the most part, we’ve been following the traditional rowing technique where we alternate rowing (two hours on, two hours off) with a few adjustments. Unfortunately, this has proven to be pretty ineffective for us. We’ve concluded that a few things are keeping us from matching the course of everyone else:
1) Our rowing technique needs some overall improvement — a possibility, but also a narrative that doesn’t serve us well on this boat . . . in the middle of the Atlantic. So, to fix this, we have beefed up our rowing schedule to include eight hours a day of rowing together and a total of 16 hours of rowing alone allocated over the next one to two weeks. While this means that both John and I will be rowing together the first 12 or 13 hours of our day, it has been a nice adjustment from the general solitude of our prior schedule.
2) As big as she is blue, the Bonny Rey slightly resembles the character Violet Beauregarde from Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory. We’ve worked to consolidate items on the boat, making her a thinner, fitter version of her former self. I like to call this “squeezing the blueberry.”
In other news, we appear to have a sea gnome who’s chewing up our electrical components. We’ve aptly named the creature “Shorty.” He has managed to render useless both our outside and inside GPS, annenmonitor (denotes wind direction), transducer, autotiller, and repeater (which gives us an idea of how fast we are going and consolidates and displays a lot information). But, fear not! John and I are master celestial navigators and have a sturdy compass (whose backlight ceased to function a week ago) to give us our bearings. “Head towards the W on the compass” seems easy enough. With the above said, our critical electronics all remain functioning including the desalination (water maker) and AIS (radar). Despite these electronic inconveniences, we shoulder forward in good spirits.
Now for the bad news. It’s been four days since we ran out of peanut butter (insert doomsday music here). John hid the container and devoured it himself. It has been truly difficult to manage. Another muck up is grounds for him to walk the plank.
We’d like to wish the best to everyone as you begin your new year. Our New Year’s resolution is fairly simple: Finish as quickly and safely as possible. Oh, and we got to hang out with a whale for an hour. It was awesome and the one thing I wanted to see. Trip made.
Kurt and John
32º North rows for The Samfund, a unique foundation that provides much-needed financial support for young adult cancer survivors. Please visit their Flipgive fundraising page below to donate directly or to Shop & Support The Samfund.