Day 10

After what can only be described as a gruelling 36 hours we have just discovered our dagger board is only half the daggerboard it used to be. For those who don’t know what a dagger board is it is like an underwater fin that offers extra stability and better upwind tracking reducing the amount of windage on the boat.

We have had a noticeable drop in speeds over the last 48 hours and it has been commented by both watches that that the boat has been much harder to row. After a watch of throwing various foods over the side to try and attract the biggest of Ocean fish for our investigation video we decided it was time to send somebody in to take a look. Jonny our volunteer diver stepped into his speedos and launched himself into the deep blue emerging seconds later with the words ‘its f*%ked’. Unfortunately the video at this point will have to be dubbed for family viewing with a comment along the lines of ‘ Our dagger board is extremely damaged’.

Anyway to cut a long story short we can still get to Antigua without a daggerboard and our speeds should begin to increase again.

Over the last 36 hours we have struggled with converging swells from the north which consequently throws the boat into what can only be described as a speed wobble without the speed making rowing near impossible. This then results in something we in the Ocean rowing game call oar lock (The oar sticks in the wave), this can result in oar clash (your oar connects with your rowing partners oar) and in very serious cases knee spring (your oar bounces off your knee and back into the wave).

We are currently rowing in pairs with a total of 4 of us onboard. I have the pleasure of rowing with Nick Wright who is still serving and has served in the armed forces for 27 years. I would say his key strengths were music and movie trivia and weaknesses were being a wave magnet. Not one watch goes by where he goes to bed dry. Bearing in mind he is sat less than 2m behind me he ends up taking waves like Kelly slater leaving me to contemplate all the good things I must have done in my life to receive the dry karma on a watch.

In response to John Olsen ‘aka porthole pest’ from my clipper race, there is absolutely no room for a porthole pest onboard. There is only one port hole and it is the one we enter and exit the little sweat box we sleep in to get out on deck and row. So leaving this open at sea could cause the boat to sink if hit by a wave. I will try and define the term porthole pest for those who are a little unsure. A porthole pest is one who opens a hole which compromises the water tight integrity of the very thing that is keeping you afloat (a boat) for their own personal gratification (in this case a nice cool breeze).

As we continue to row hard and think about Nicks mums Christmas cake on Christmas Day we consider how blessed we are to have the opportunity to take part in these adventures.

Thank you for the e-mails of support and please feel free to give to our charities on our website R3ob.com

Let peace be the journey

Andy and team R3ob

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