Day Sixteen of Indian Ocean Row
This is now the fifth time we’ve been on sea anchor…and this time it’s been a long stint, possibly lasting until Wednesday. I cannot put into words how genuinely horrible the situation is right now, but I’ll try…
Due to the cramps that Robin gets from his Parkinson’s he is now residing in the fore cabin. It’s smaller than the rear cabin but with it all to himself I guess the biggest issue is boredom. The rest of us are sharing the rear cabin, which is just about the worst place on earth right now; not wide enough for all three men to lie down next to each other.
So we have to top and tail which means one person has to have their head hanging in the foot well which is pretty unpleasant so we’ve been taking turns. To give you an idea of how tight it is, this morning Billy explained that when he woke up, my whole toe was inside his nostril.
As we lie here the heat is debilitating, it makes breathing hard, it makes speaking hard, it makes doing anything close to impossible (writing this blog is taking enormous effort). All anyone wants to do is open the cabin door to get some fresh air, or sit on deck for a while, however the monstrous swell, high winds, and lashing rain make that a difficult, not to mention dangerous plan.
So we lie here, every minute feeling like an hour, counting down until the next possible opportunity to get back on the oars and out of this terrible place, whilst all the while drifting slowly backwards, uncontrollably, away from our target of Mauritius. Even shutting your eyes and listening to headphones to try and shut it all out doesn’t work as we are constantly being kicked around the inside of the cabin by the right foot of the Indian Ocean, not to mention the sweat that has built up on the cabin ceiling as condensation constantly dripping down into our eyes and mouths, only to quickly re-evaporate and start the process again, like some kind of natural waterboarding torture.
Just as I thought it couldn’t get any worse the cabin door was opened to grab something on deck and a huge wave crashed through the cabin entrance so everything, us, clothes, sleeping bags, electronics are all now soaking wet, making the whole experience just that little bit worse.
If there is a living hell, this is it.
Morale is taking a knock, but we’re all still focused on the goal. We’re quiet, but waiting for the day when we can restart rowing. It may not be pretty, but we’ll make it across this ocean.