Day 29 – It’s still an endurance test but the end is in sight!

Hello Super Supporters!

This is a rather reflective post today…the funny stories will be back in full force next time! We have now been at sea for 4 weeks and I’m starting to feel like Nelson, although I still have two working arms and eyes. I am knackered – I’m getting a maximum of about 3 hours broken sleep (broken by the engine room, shouting, grinding, kites being woolled next to my head, a tipping bunk, you get the picture) every off watch. I’m covered in bruises (although have a cracking t-shirt tan – every cloud), I’m not eating properly (craving fresh fruit and veg, but please don’t worry Mum!), not drinking a huge amount as don’t want to go to the loo (again don’t worry, according to the urine chart in the heads I am ok!) I also haven’t had a shower now for 2 weeks. BUT we are nearly in Uruguay, well less than a week away. And I’m already starting to feel an overwhelming sense of pride in myself. Who would have thought a few years ago that I would ever be able to say that I had raced 6,500 miles across the Atlantic? I never thought I would do anything like this, but I have!

One of the key factors in getting this far has got to be the relationships that I have formed on board. I know that I couldn’t have done this without my crew and my Skipper Andy around me making me laugh, constantly checking on my general well-being and the constant reminder that we are all in this together. We have all been stripped bare (sometimes literally, especially when falling out of my bunk in my pants or being hosed down with the fire hose) and have just had to endure the whole experience. But what an amazing experience it has been so far. I’m sure a psychologist would have a field day about the dynamics and how we have all behaved and got on with one another. Despite a crew of 20 people packed together in a very small space under extreme conditions there hasn’t been a massive blow out argument, there haven’t been too many tears but there have been a lot of laughs. I think that says a huge amount about this amazing bunch of people we call the crew. It hadn’t quite dawned on me until very recently that the leggers will move on and that every leg is made up of a slightly different crew so we will have to start all over again. And again. And again! This is going to be tough. I am going to miss some of these leggers so so much – I am already wondering who will get me through the next leg!

A few things I have learnt about myself on this leg…don’t worry, I’m not going to get all deep and meaningful! I have realised throughout this leg that I am a lot more resilient than I thought I was.This fills me with a lot of hope for the rest of the year! I thought I would be the one who needed to be picked up a lot of the time, but I seem to do quite a good job of being positive with the people around me and making them smile when they are struggling. I have found that singing helps, as does telling lots of ridiculous stories about myself (web cam anyone?!) and cheese jokes always work too! I have had some low moments and have had days when I just wanted to stay in my cosy sleeping bag, but I don’t feel like I have been pushed to my limits yet but I’m sure the Southern Ocean will change all that!

The only minor thing left to do now is to try and increase GREAT’s standing in the ranks, however if this doesn’t happen then I’m not going to lose sleep over it (especially not when I am in an actual bed!!). I know when I step onto that pontoon (and get down on my knees and kiss it) in Punta I will already feel like I have won! I know it’s a cliché, but boy does this make you realise that 1.) humans are amazing (obviously not all of them, I have loved not hearing a single thing about Trump for the last month) and 2.) you really really can do anything if you put your mind to it. Anything. So bloody go out there and get on with it!!!