Days 34-40 and beyond: more pedalling, more mechanical stuff and one very special welcome party... tissues at the ready!

This time last week we were well in sight of land, cruising at around 3 knots towards  the Caribbean paradise of Antigua. We were greeted out at sea by an ABSAR Rib (antigua & barbuda search & rescue) carrying Jonathan and Ted, who took some pretty special photos of us before it got dark. We initially thought all the mums had freaked out due to our comms breakdown and ordered them out to rescue us, but thankfully it was just to get snaps of us looking nice and skinny in the sunset. 

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Little did we know, the two hours that followed were to be one of the toughest shifts of the whole trip! We'd had our nice photos and lots and lots of random boats coming to welcome us blairing out music etc all very vibey, and then the wind completely dropped and exposed how totally ruined our pedal system is. It was a bit like pedalling through sludge without any nice big waves behind us and gear bearings that sounded like chalk on a squeaky blackboard. 

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It then got even worse! We turned the corner into our new favourite place - Falmouth Harbour - and the wind was blowing right into our face. We had Ted and Jonathan on the ABSAR radio: "Are you guys ok? Just a mile to go now, better put some muscle into it for this last bit... do you have oars on board?" ... to which our response was "we got a pretty rusty system on our hands guys, going as quick as we can, thanks for guiding us in - i'm afraid there is no way we are touching the oars". We were able to push ourselves along at just about 0.8 knots at a sprint. We could hear a huge chants of "Ohhh, Ahh, Revelllarrr!" in the distance and all these massive ships letting off their fog horns to welcome us in. But we were moving slower than a snail, pedalling through concrete now, loving it - but slightly freaking out that somehow we might not make it. We were literally drifting into moored up boats we were going so slowly, and the voices of everyone in the crowd welcoming us must of started to go very hoarse indeed... but the chants and the horns did not stop! 

The emotions on board started to kick in. The lads got the flairs out and we nearly burnt our hands off and fell in the water but it was definitely worth it - the photos are pretty darn cool and the feeling was unbelievable. 

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So there we were after forty and a bit days. Drifting up to the landing stage of Antigua Yacht club in Falmouth Harbour, pedal system somehow intact, hundreds of people including all of our families chanting "Oooh, Aaah Revellar!" and screaming our names / playing music and handing us beers and bottles of champagne! What!!! It was absolutely INSANE!!! I completely balled my eyes out, think the others did to. It was incredibly emotional and heart wrenchinly satisfying - and every person on the landing knew about the cause and what it meant. The lads, draped in union jacks, champagne all over the place, Waddadlis in hand, surrounded by the most amazing amount of support - which has perhaps been the only constant throughout the two year journey. There is a photo of Hec and his Mum and Dad below which, for me, sums it up. All of the other ones in this blog are also pretty darn cool but that one of the T's is special. That is what it's all about! We all had those moments with our fams and girlfriends/friends of course and just thinking about it is making me smile/well up a bit whilst I sip on a cheeky coffee on the beach with a blue sea in front of me on dry land. Not gonna lie - feeling pretty smug right now. 

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What a journey it has been everyone. I don't want to ramble on for too long about pedalo mechanics whilst I'm experiencing the high of being on dry land in Antigua. I know it's sad but I love it. Just after Hec's last blog the whole system failed with 5 days to go. The casing that holds the gearbox in place and acts as a rock for the rest of the system ripped off the bottom of the boat. We had to rebuild the whole thing surrounded by 20-30ft waves. Luckily we were on a massive high - we knew we were in touching distance of the finish line and also were unbelievably determined not to touch the oars. Not a bad word was said all day. We gave Angus a ring (thanks mate) and worked out how to use the epoxy repair stuff effectively so that we could stick the bracket back on to the bottom of our hull. It had to be exact otherwise the whole thing would be off-kilter and creak to a hault after a few minutes. Anyway, we stuck the auto rudder on 260 degrees (Antigua) and we're travelling at about 2.5-3.5 knots with the wind without pedalling, and instead of pedalling we did two hours on two hours off of fixing! Not gonna lie - we smashed it. Not a bad word was said all day and by night fall we were pedalling again. The last few days for me personally went pretty slowly. It was quite painful and the thought of pina coladas in Antigua plus comfy bed was starting to really drive me a bit mad - I have to say the other three chaps on board got me through it. Cheers lads. We of course had no comms for last few days due to breakdown so we had none of your amazing messages either!

I know I speak for us all when I say that we genuinely genuinely couldn't of done it without you all and your wonderful support and encouragement. The question is, and always will be, with any expedition like ours - why? With us it's very simple, The Charlie Waller Memorial Trust (and causes alike, but they are our wonderful chosen charity). In the two years that we have been doing this our families, friends and friends of friends have started talking about mental health openly. It has been a general topic of conversation around the dinner table and at the pub etc - and I can't tell you how satisfying that is. It means that PTP has essentially achieved its goal to get people talking about mental health. And we hope that after some of the publicity we have had we have managed to reach into other circles too. In fact, I know it has. We met a couple in Jacksons bar last night who saw us on "South Today" a month or so ago and have followed the campaign ever since and tracked us to the bar a week after we got in! Needless to say we had a few delicious shots of English Harbour Rum with them :). 

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It's been very special being in beautiful Antigua with all our nearest and dearest, we love this place - all the local people have been so supportive, welcoming and incredibly good fun! They've also been very understanding when the table of 25 in the corner gradually increases its decibel level. To everyone at home - we cannot wait to see you all and fill you in on more stuff as well as catch up on general goss from the last couple of months. Apologies if you haven't heard from me yet, my phone got eaten by the Atlantic a couple of weeks ago and Tals has been doing all my admin since I've been out here. I will be back from the dead soon and I'm very excited to catch up with you all. 

Thank you thank you everyone for everything - let's continue the legacy and keep talkin'!

Pads and the Boys. X

PS - there is an epic pedalo for sale in Burnham on Crouch for anyone interested. 

The Sunday Omnibus: Days 28 - 34

Ahoy thurrr. No sweet serenading sonets from me I’m afraid. I will leave that to Quin. Along with the sodden sob stories about our soggy stretch on the seas. Instead I thought I would fill you in ‘omnibus style’ from our 9 metre long Ocean caravan.

As Quin mentioned, the end of January proved a real test for us. I am happy to say that we passed with flying colours - the wettest conditions I have ever experienced and hopefully will never have to see again. However, congratulations to all of you who have also struggled through January in a drier fashion. Pause the Netflix series, brake off the shackles, put on some glad-rags and head to your local and have a cold one on us - no more dry January blues . 

So, after re- charging our batteries with a feast of Spag Bol and a goblet of Port we dried out our cabins, set our compasses due west and made haste for Antigua. The following day we decided to put a new set of cogs on the other side of our system. So, we delved into our spares bag and replaced the other set of chain feeders and cogs...a new start. It soon became apparent that something was not right. We stopped and had a classic PTP brainstorm. Meanwhile, a pod of whales decided to start circling our boat and surfing the waves either side to us! This has now become a regular feature and happens nearly every other day, something that amazes us every time and we will definitely miss our inquisitive Ocean BFG’s. Nonetheless, after some serious head scratching we figured out that our new set of cogs were in fact marginally too big to fit on our system. This was causing a horrible grating sound and made the bolt that runs through the middle of them to overheat. 

Hoping we had found the solution we carried on - but found ourselves hearing the same sound. The day proceeded in a trial and error process - adding and taking away new cogs, washers and bearings to try and pinpoint what was causing this grating sound. Looking back, much of our preparation has been in the same vein. This is a brand new system and an untested means of crossing an ocean, we are the Guinea pigs and are constantly tinkering and fixing which you can probably gather from our previous blogs! 

We proceeded to take the system apart again and found that the ceramic bearings that ensure the cogs move smoothly in a circular motion on the bolt had also shattered and were no longer tenable. After further scrupulous examinations by some weary mechanics we found that the new bearings that we had used were in fact different to the old ones and were the reason for the grating feeling. Therefore the winning system appeared to consist of one old cog, one new cog and both the old bearings. Lift off. Without getting too ahead of ourselves the system is still working smoothly to this day. So with a bit of TLC every few hours we are confident she will bodge us through to Antigua. 

System solutions ticked we cracked on and started encountering some strong winds and waves at our tails. This was stellar news and although we knew it meant big swells, crashing waves and salty sores we also knew that it meant increased average speeds and greater distances covered. About 8 days of 20-25 knots roughly at our back meant Antugua was drawing ever closer. After a rough night - Quin ventured out of his cabin to join me on the pedals half way through my 8-10 am shift. (FYI - Throughout the trip we will have traveled through 4 time zones and as a result the sun rise has moved backwards about 3 hours so far.) The sun was daring to poke it’s face out of a smouldering layer of low lying whispy clouds. The waves were growing in size and this was evident even with my back to them in our stern pedal position. Then, suddenly, we mounted a 30/40 footer just as it was crashing with a stable full of white horses in its arsenal. This sent us careering down the wave at which point we lifted our feet off the pedals (which is generally the play in such situations ) and crashing into the water at the bottom. As I was looking vertically down at the seas it felt as if I was at the top of a rollercoaster ready to drop - at which point the bow cabin smashed into the water, fully submerging it, sending the displaced water flying back towards us in the boat. 2 Pedallers soaked through and a boat full of water. Bilge pump on and bucket bailer primed we drained the Reveller, washed her down and oiled her up again ready for action. A pretty hairy encounter which raised some pulses. 2 hours later, I was sitting on deck hoovering up some delicious dehydrated elevenses when the same thing happened to Paddy and Max - this time I lost sight of both of them and the Boat was overflowing with water. Both episodes are timely reminders of the nature of the beast that we are tackling and also ensures that we do not get too comfortable out here. I must also reiterate Quins point, Rannoch adventure we salute you - this vessel really is unsinkable ! 

I know some of you must be wondering what we are eating to fuel our phenomenal poo bucket statistics. So a little breakdown : 2 portions of porridge (with a healthy scoop of Nutella - if you know you know )3 dehydrated meals of about 900Kcal each, a snack pack, 2 protein shakes and a few scoops of peanut butter. We are not exactly sure on the exact calories intake but we reckon about 5 or 6000 Kcalories per day and we are burning about 7 or 8000 Kcalories a day. Our appetites have grown throughout the trip and now all of this doesn’t quell our hunger...Pigs! We are all looking forward to Saturday when we have told ourselves we can start attacking the extra snack packs we catered for -double chocky flapjacks....phwoar!

Unfortunately the big weather front took a few scalps including : Paddys iPhone, Max’s iPod and our sat phone. Nonetheless Quins trusty iPhone is still going strong and will hopefully allow us contact with land folk up until our arrival on Caribbean shores. Our speeds have picked up, along with our moral, and we are starting to taste those ice cold beers awaiting us in Antigua!

Anyways that’s all from me folks. It’s been a pleasure as always. I will leave you with my dream team World XI of players from my generation. There will of course be some contentious decisions and I am bound to have forgotten a few so send in any amendments and we can thrash it out in true MNF fashion. 

Over and Out.

Hec

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World XI

 

GK - G. Buffon

 

RB - P. Lahm

CB - F. Cannavaro (c)

CB - S. Ramos

LB - R. Carlos

 

CDM - Xavi

CDM - Zizu

 

LW - L. Figo 

CAM - L. Messi

RW - C. Ronaldo

 

ST - Fat Ronaldo

 

Alternatives / Subs

GK - M.Neur / I.Casillas / O.Kahn

 

RB - D.Alves / Laurent / J.Alba 

CB - R. Ferdinand / C.Puyol / T.Silva / J.Mascherano / G.Pique / J.Staam 

LB- Marcelo / A.Cole / 

 

CM - Scholes / Iniesta / A. Pirlo / S.Gerrard / P. Viera / C. Seedorf

RM - F.Ribbery / Ronaldinho / D. Beckham

LM- A.Robben / Rivaldo / G.Bale

ST - G.Batistuta / Zlatan / T.Henry / F.Totti / E.Cantona / P. Di Canio ( ⚒)

Monster Waves and Treacherous Monsoons: Days 24 - 28

Hello People

Well, where to start, since Max reported back a huge amount has happened. We have had many tough challenges along the way, in which we have always stayed pretty strong, and powered on through. Some strong disagreements, but no arguments. 

We are now coming out the back end of 4 of the hardest days of the trip so far. It was a tough fight but the Atlantic has no broken us yet. 

On Tuesday evening at about 4pm, the  winds started to pick up, but for the first time they were extremely strong and in the wrong direction. This lasted 72 hours. We need to maintain a heading of 270 degrees from where we are, and the wind and waves were coming in directly from the side. We needed to hold this route otherwise, we would have had to put the power anchor down to hold our position until the weather changed. Our arrival would have been delayed by a few days, which we weren’t particularly keen for. So we decided to take on the waves pretty boldly. 

Each 10 seconds another wave would come battering into the side of us. Ranging from 15-25 feet. Small waves would just nudge us of course, resulting in us having power against more waves by pedalling harder than usual to steer us back on course. 

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The bigger waves would come crashing over the boat, repeatedly getting us absolutely drenched in salty water, causing some pretty horrible rashes among the four of us. This really didn’t help the conditions in our cabins either, damp sleeping bags, mats and moist walls, made it even harder to sleep. 

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And finally the monster waves would pick us up and carry us in it’s direction, and dump us at the bottom, very nearly resulting in a capsize. Rannoch Adventure, I have no idea how you have made this Pedalo so well balanced that we haven’t capsized. We salute you! 

Within this 72 hours of demanding conditions, to top it off, the Atlantic thought they would throw a treacherous monsoon at us. The heaven doors didn’t just open, the walls collapsed and poured over the Reveller. I’ve never seen anything like it. At first it was laughable and pleasant. To be relived from salty skin, dry scalps, cool fresh water on our bodies and the surroundings looked amazing. The pitter patter of rain drops on the surface of the gloomy waves was astonishing. The hours went on and on and on, and we got wetter and wetter and so did the cabins. It was difficult to communicate with each other on shift as you just couldn’t hear, and we had no music or audiobooks to listen to otherwise we would have had wet iPods. It was relentless and exhausting. 

The rain all kicked off, late on the 31st of January going into the 1st of February, which we had set as a pretty big milestone. We had planned to stop pedaloing for an hour, cook some food, have a glass of port, and some galaxy. This looked pretty unrealistic, or just pretty unpleasant to do in these conditions. Until at 6pm we saw our first glimpse of the SUN. Maybe we could reward ourselves for what we had just been through. It held out and my god it made it so much more rewarding. 

The rain had gone, and the sun had come out so we had a real sort out of the cabins to try air them out and dry as much down as possible before night ahead. The waves were still coming in from the side so it wasn’t easy, but we made it slightly more bearable. We were ready to plod through the night. 

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At 3 am I was ready to hop on shift, pretty knackered I tried to put my feet on the moving pedals and miss timed it, and the chain came off. This was a pretty normal thing to happen at night due to lack of sleep and sight. However, when we put the chain back on it was slack, and the feeder cog that keeps it tight had lost its spring. So Hec and I had a proper fiddly job to complete with in these conditions. Lots of small screws to undo and do up, in a very awkward part of the boat. We finally got the new feeder cog on after about 45 mins, but when we went to test it was making some really loud crunching noises. We had a look around and discussed what it could be but thought maybe we should just power through until morning. Hec was off to bed, and Paddy was on. 

Paddy and I were going for about 2-3 mins before the chain popped off. Which happened again straight after. Something wasn’t lining up properly. We needed to sort it then. The gear box cog on that side was wobbling and needed to be changed asap. This was more straight forward than the previous bit, and we found that the bearing of the cog had completely shattered in half. We resolved the solution after two hours, so that was my 2 hour shift done and Max was now on to give the modified system a go. 

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We luckily have spare parts to EVERYTHING. (Except for the bracket to the prop, but that’s in the past and sorted, thankfully) so the next day first thing in the morning we put on the chains, cleaned the cranks, and she felt silky smooth. 

I think if we were to call the Pedalo a name..  we would now have to call her Bodge. As we are the guinea pigs for Rannoch and there first ever Pedalo design, there was bound to be lots of things for us to alter in testing and along the way. The amount of little things we have had to amend and bodge little bits together to make it work. Even our cutlery has now been bodged. We started of with 16 plastic sporks. Some broke and lots have gone missing. We have one fully in tacked and the rest have been mended by wrapping it in the plastic from our food boil and bag bags for strength and then some duck tape to hold them together. 

Paddy has now lost his third toothbrush, and no one has any more spares to lend him. He is still brushing his teeth but just when he can manage to find one of our toothbrushes left unattended for 2 minutes. Sounds like the huge culprit for at least some of sporks too. One of his odd 'hallucinating' endeavours, and stowing them at the bottom of his sleeping bag, maybe? 

We have had many messages commenting on the 6 packs of Hec and Paddy. I beg to differ on these being 6 packs and more skinny packs. I will send a picture of Max and I to show you what real 6 packs look like. 

Thank you all as well for sending over lots of games and riddles to keep us occupied. They are helping us get through.. so keep them coming. Our favourite is still the Alphabet game. Running through as many categories as possible. Countries, capital cities, food, animals etc. Paddy and I have even started naming peoples surnames we both know. So if you know both us you were likely to get a mention on board the Reveller. 

As Paddy mentioned as well, I have started to write my debut album. My Spotify account has logged me out, and I am down to one working ear phone out of  two sets. so I now have only 4 albums on my phone. 2 foals Albums and two Streets albums. So I like to think it will be a nice mixed vibe of those two artists. But just to give you a taste of my poetry, here is a little one about PTP.  

The Ocean, we see, so wide and vast. 

Forty days in which our journey should last. 

Four boys in a Pedalo on a conquest 

No navigational skills, except east to west. 

 

All our loved ones in the UK, 

Help tick of the progress day by day. 

You guys have been great to help get us through, 

And all we can do is talk about poo

 

Thanks to our sponsors Investec, Orchard Pig and Orbit Sound 

Theyve made the possible by coughing up a few pound. 

We are entirely greatful for all you have done. 

Each day on our mission, we feel we have won. 

 

Some problems occurred that we can’t Comprehend 

We jump in the water to give she a mend. 

We had to accept that our speeds were slower,

So, we’re still going strong and are spirits aren’t lower. 

 

Half way along and now it feels like downhill 

It must be Antigua that is bringing the thrill . 

To all of our parents, we don’t want any tears. 

When welcoming us in, we just want four beers. . 

 

“Corrr, if that’s his first poem, imagine how good they could get” - The Gaurdian 

 

“This man has some serious talent, one to look our for.” - The Telegraph

And as to the Album, I can’t sing or play any instruments. However I once played at a friends “The Shakers” gig where I was invited to play the tambourine. So happy to be song writer and tambourinist. I need some more band members though , so please apply to Pedalthepond@gmail.com and please write a message of support as well. 

Finally, I know what you have all been waiting for... The pink poop bucket challenge. 

The tables have turned, since some pretty disturbing Hawkeye behind the goal footage. Max has been deducted 3 points. 

One for breaking the bucket, one for dropping the bucket overboard when cleaning it and one for a miss-fire. 

So Hec now has a 1 point lead, and Paddy is on my tail for the last place battle. 

Hec 35

Max 34

Henry 27

Paddy 26

Thank you everyone for your continued  support, we are still in slight shock that this is actually happening. 

Peace and love from all of us on The Atlantic Surf. 

Henry and Team PTP

Trundling Along: Days 20-23

Good evening land folk,

Life on board the Reveller has been much the same as always. A lot of pedalling, a lot of  eating, and a small amount of sleeping. We are trundling along despite our issues and are hoping to make it to Antigua in a total of 38-42 days. A lot of the conversation on the boat is starting to revolve around arrival dates so we have each given our eta’s with the grand prize of our propellor to whoever is closest. Eta's as follows: Henry - 38 days 21 hours. Hec - 40 days 4 hours. Paddy- 39 days 9 hours. Max - 41 days. The battle is on.

It seems you are all curious to know what is going on in the poo bucket challenge... so I will give you a bit of an update. On the morning of the 24th of January I had just finished my 2 hour shift to a beautiful sunrise. Henry swapped in with me and I made my way to the front where the throne awaited. Everything was going to plan when suddenly there was a loud crack, Hec and Quin shuddered and waited for the verdict. All possibilities flew through my head but to my relief the deck was still white and paddy’s biodegradable sacks had held firm. It seemed the poo bucket challenge would be over as with no bucket things might get tricky. However we have managed to bodge it and will send a photo of our new arrangements. The Leaderboard is as follows, from the start I have been solid and been likened to that of this seasons Man City so still lead the way. Hec (2nd) came from nowhere and like a Leicester city of a few seasons ago has baffled us with his form. Henry (3rd) has shown promise but failed to deliver when it matters much like Jurgen Klopps Liverpool and last but not least Paddy, Paddy had a terrible start but has recently found some form similar to David Moyes West Ham.

In terms of other mishaps we have all managed to burn ourselves cooking with the jet boil but Paddy did a really good job and has got a nice blister on his leg (don’t worry Annie all is under control). I managed to cut my finger putting the chain back on and am very lucky to be alive, Hec has some very creaky knees but he is battling on regardless as we knew he would and Henry seems to be in great nick. The weight is still flying off and our general physique is starting to look quite odd with strong legs and very limp upper halves.

 Chef Hec whipping up some porridge for the team 

Chef Hec whipping up some porridge for the team 

We have caught a fish but not in the customary fashion. A flying fish decided to test its wings only to hit quin in the leg. First thoughts were sushi but then we decided it was a bit small so we released him back into the ocean. When this happened again henry was particularly hungry so ordered Hec to make the kill and within minutes the fish was gutted and in a Tupperware with some lemon juice. Luckily we didn’t try henrys flying fish delicacy as Emily informed us they were not great/poisonous to eat. Hopefully we will catch something edible with the more conventional method soon.

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The last few days the wind has dropped and it has been stiflingly hot. We have taken the opportunity to turn off the batteries and charge them up fully which means navigating off the compass which is actually really peaceful. To give you a picture of the day shifts, we are pedalling for 2 hours in 30 degree heat, every push of the pedal is like climbing a very steep hill on a bike so we pour with sweat. The speakers are broken so we have very little to distract ourselves with   (any game suggestions would be well received) so we just plod along dreaming of cold beers. Then yesterday afternoon in about the hottest period Hec saw a fin. We were greeted by a massive school of dolphins so didn’t hesitate and jumped straight in with them. It was a truly amazing experience and an example of how quickly our moods can be lifted.

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We have received some amazing messages and they are always a boost so please keep them coming. Particular mention to all the siblings bar one. You know who you are.....

Cheers

Max

Revellers rugby world xv of our generation

1 The beast 2 Keith Wood 3 Castrogiovanni 4  Johnson 5 matfield 6 Richard Hill 7 Richie mccaw 8 dallaglio

9 Matt Dawson 10 Dan Carter 11
Bryan Habbana 12 De Villiers 13  O Driscoll 14 Joanna Lomu 15 Muliainha

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Halfway on the Horizon: Days 15-19

Ahoy from the high seas!

The Reveller is fast approaching the half way mark now, and it really feels like we’re getting there. It’s hard not to think and talk about arriving in Antigua; what we’re going to eat, what it’s gong to be like to sleep for more than 1hr 45 min in a bed that isn’t moving, and the feeling of that first warm shower.

Hec’s blog of ups and downs is a tricky gig to follow. Not an awful lot of drama has occurred since propellergate, but there is always quite a bit of pedalo gossip to get stuck into.

Max lied about seeing a big whale and then, much to his relief, one actually did come up behind the boat. We couldn’t identify it... it was grey-ey purple with a white underside. It was huge and swam right under the boat and taking a lot of interest in us. This was just after propellergate so pretty ideal timing for a nice little lift. No photo evidence annoyingly sorry - all happened very fast!

The hallucinations and general weird sleep behaviours are still coming in thick and fast. Max literally did the early wake up freak out thing as I’m typing, completely bypassing what it says on his watch and coming outside for a pedal. Very nice of him to offer! We all keep doing it - very strange. I kept on thinking I was seeing a line of trees over my left shoulder when I was steering last night. I can confirm they 100% weren’t there. Lots of odd little episodes going on!

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The good news is we finally caught a fish yesterday. Two flying fish landed on our boat which definitely counts. They have to be the most unlucky flying fish of all time to fly out the water straight into a pedalo in the middle of the Atlantic.

Th big pedal has been pretty overwhelming psychologically but we have broken it down into days and shifts and try not to think about how much longer we have left. The routine is working really well and we’re all fully ground down into it and taking each hour as it comes, but very much looking forward to a big chunk of galaxy, a fizzy drink and maybe a glass of something naughty at the halfway mark. It’s important to give yourself things to look forward to that are within touching distance. We have fizzy drinks and galaxy bar milestones but its key to do this on an individual basis all the time - I break up my shifts into pee breaks, how fun!

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This challenge like most things is all in your head. It helps to have the physical fitness but at the end of the day if you start giving that nasty little voice in your head too much attention you’re a gonner. All of your messages of support hugely help with everything and are a massive highlight every day. Keep them coming no matter how mundane you think they are!

We make sure we all eat 3 main meals a day now plus porridge (we were all starting to lose a lot of weight so 2 no longer an option) and I have to say our boil in bag meals are seriously good. Well done @outdoorfood. I think our collective favourites are the Spag Bol, Chilli Con and Spinach Dhal.

With our snack packs we have let ourselves down a bit, which you wouldn’t expect from four hungry pigs. Our biltong courtesy of @embersnacks is delicious and a real highlight. As are the amazing choccy flapjacks from Baines bakery and the handful of Haribo. What we needed is more of those things plus some more standard choccy bars and treats. Really craving a Snickers or a Mars or a Bueno or something. Or a Wispa. We focussed pretty heavily on getting stuff for free for our packs, and are very grateful for what we got but you need more treats and we should of splashed out more.

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Henry is now a genuine song writer and Hec has a cracking idea for a podcast interviewing various adventurers. I’m keen for a fully biodegradable, customisable, vacuum packable snack pack company. Can someone tell me if one of these exists? Also - PIGMENT - industrial suncream for pigs...do farmers currently use human suncream? Surely that’s really expensive and not quite right for the pig? Max has been working hard on the sleeping gags idea. Timmy I’m sure you’ll be pleased to hear this - I won’t divulge further as is genius and someone may steal.

We have had a lot of time to contemplate life choices. I have been thinking about what I want to do when I get back a lot and making lists of the positives and negatives for each idea. It’s quite therapeutic in a way and you can think on the pedalo with a completely clear head. Especially on the night shifts - which we are all actually starting to enjoy. You get a nice bit of “Me” time!

Our amazing Orbitsound speakers and our Minirig both died a salty death in the same day. Bad news for daytime tunes, but it means we are playing games instead like 21 questions and generally listing anything down the alphabet. Any recommendations for more verbal mind games very welcome! We’re also still cracking on with our quiz book.

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After all that happened our aims have somewhat changed from a pedalo crossing in less than 35 days to a pedalo crossing full stop. We are so happy to be moving in the right direction and are plodding along nicely. Lack of wind these last few days has made for some leg-burning shifts but on Thursday we have some 20 knot winds coming up our backside. We think we’ll generally be averaging around 2.9 knots from here to Antigua, so should get there any time from the 15th-20th February. Who’s coming?

I hope you’ve enjoyed listening to these ramblings, I’m sure Max in his next update will have some more stories to share!

We’re missing you all an awful lot out here. Nearly half way there - thank you everyone for your continued support.

Love Paddy & Team xx

PTP’s World XI cricket test/ODI sides (our generation)... keen to hear your comments:


Test:
Graeme Smith (c)
Ponting
Kohli
Tendulkar (vc)
Lara
De Villiers (w)
Kallis
Flintoff
Warne
Anderson
Lee

ODI:
Gayle (c)
Hayden
Kohli
Pietersen
Stokes
Kallis (vc)
Gilchrist (w)
Pollock
Magrath
Muralithuran
Aktar

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly: Days 9 - 14

G’day folks,

Hec signing in from the deep blue here. Quins Trump tales are a hard act to follow but I’ll give it my best and no it was not fake news - we really are a keeping a tally!

So...since you last heard from us there has been a bit of the good, the bad and the ugly. Getting the bad out the way 1st - the prop issues ( propeller to any non nautical nerds!) mentioned in the last blog seemed to continue and the dragging / brake feeling didn’t really subside. Having checked every single part of the system, from the pedals, chains, cogs, drive shaft, prop shaft through to every nut, bolt and washer in between, we were left baffled as to what it could be. Nonetheless we cracked on as we were still holding a fair rate of knots. With the issue playing on our minds we spoke via sat phone to our mechanics back in the uk. Having identified a few possibilities as to what could be causing the newfound lack of speed, Max and Paddy jumped in on Thursday morning ... 15 mins later Davy Jones had taken our propeller and metal bracket holding it on the prop shaft - 1-0...nat good. We sat down and put our salty minds together and managed to bodge up an idea of how to replace this bracket using an old propeller that we sawed off - 15 mins later the Reveller was back purring along - 1-1...get in. Speeds have now subsided and with it our ambitions of a sub 35 day crossing. However, a serious result seeming as we were looking down the barrels of having to Row the rest - not so bad after all then.

Moving on to the ugly - a few contenders here. Some knobbly knees knocking around after 12 days at sea or the sporadic heavy rain showers we’ve had. But the smells and sights of some our freeze dried foods probably takes the biscuit. No offence @firepotfood - just salivating over some veg and a burger!

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And the good...so after the trials and tribulations of Thursday - losing the quickest propeller and our metal bracket to hold it on, the mood was slightly dampened. Then suddenly, at about 5 in the afternoon as Quin and I were chugging along, we see a pod of dolphins come right up to the boat. Epic - just what we needed. These jokers of the seas seemed to be loving life: surfing waves, racing each other and also launching themselves in the air up to 20 feet high ( vid to follow). Whales, Jellyfish, flying fish and now dolphins , keen to see what other treats Poseidon and his band of mermaids will gift us next.

 Flying fishy!

Flying fishy!

In other news: my phone is KO’d after a swim she spent 4 days in a packet of Dahl and rice in an attempt to save her...but it was too late. Quin woke up half way through his 2 hour break in the middle of the night convinced it was his turn to pedal. Max laughed it off and told him to go back to bed you fool, only to find to repeat the feat 2 hours later! For all worried about Paddy’s toothbrush saga...we found him a backup and he is now back smelling minty fresh.
As odd as it may seem, it is quite nice to be actually getting on with the challenge we have been planning for 2 + years. I know some of the other lads have mentioned that we have truly settled in to our new surroundings and lifestyle. We have all woken up in a daze 10 mins before our next night shift, not knowing how we had got from our last shift into bed - mind playing tricks on us!  We are not quite letting ourselves dream of Antigua yet as we still have a lot of graft in between us and there but instead we are setting ourselves small targets and rewarding ourselves with galaxy and cokes for every milestone hit. We find breaking the days down, 3 day shifts and 3 night shifts - pretty simple if you think of it like that eh.

Bar that all well and absolutely loving all your messages of support, newsbites etc, massive smiles all round when we read them out so please keep em coming. Patch your rabbit story was sensational, so more of those please boi!

FYI- For anyone thinking of joining our shindig in the Caribbean, our new aim is to try and average 2.9 knots from now on, which seems achievable with our current pedal system situation.

Big Love from us all.

Hec & the lads.

X

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Various milestones smashed: Days 6-9

Hi All from the Reveller and Team,

Since we last reported back to you all, we have hit a couple of pretty big milestones on our conquest to cross the Atlantic.
One week complete out at Sea.
We are almost a quarter of the way to Antigua.

So we celebrated...with a warm can of soda pop of our choice!!

We have naturally started to treat the Pedalo as our Home for the next few weeks. We have washing lines in our cabins, and the cooking area (which is the same as our toilet area) gets a clean once a day by our maid Max. It seems to be cleaner than my house in Brixton.

Although we have many conversations about the things we miss back home. We all very positive on board and trying to cherish the things we do have.

We are spoilt for choice of 7 different boil in a bag dishes:. Chilli con carne, spag bol, dal and spinach, mushroom risotto, posh pork and bean, beef stew, and spicy pork noodles. The only problem is, they don’t sit particularly well on the stomach. In fact we could probably run an engine with the amount of gas we are producing. We may as well stop pedalling, and all stand at the back of the boat and trump our way across the ocean.

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We are keeping ourselves occupied with many different games, and since eye spy is very limited, we have had to start creating our own entertainment. Forget the ice bucket challenge. Pedal The Pond introduce to you the pink poop bucket challenge. And just clarify this is not a tipping a bucket of poop over your head. It is measly a competition of how many poops you do in pink bucket over the course of the trip.

So scores on the doors.

Max STEAMING away with 15 in just 9 days.
Hec, in second just behind with 14
I am in third with 10 and
And pathetic pooper paddy with just 7

More updates to come.

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Anyway.. Polluting the air with gases still doesn’t put off our little bird friend named “Boi” who comes and visits once or twice a day. He hasn’t plucked up the courage to land on board but he does 5 or 6 circles of the Reveller, checks we are ok and sets off again.

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Day 8 and 9 have been challenging and exhilarating. The weather out here is hot, and the winds have finally picked up in the direction of Antigua. For the first five days we were averaging 2.8knots which has significantly picked up to around 3.3 knots.

The waves have increased to around 25-30ft. We have had to get the big overalls out for the night times as we cant see the direction of the waves and occasionally get one over our heads. Hec and I hit 11.2 knots in the middle of the night on Sunday night which really helped wake up.

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Everything was ship shape until about 8pm last night when we had a sudden jar and the boat speed fell suddenly. We seemed to have hit something under the hull of the boat. It felt as if something had been tangled around the rudder (our steering mechanism) slowing us down. The light had gone for the evening, so we couldn’t check out the damage until the morning, and many thoughts about what had happened were flying around our heads (including of course giant squids etc).

We ventured on through the night at a much slower speed. We changed our shift pattern to one on three off, which meant we each got a little more extra sleep out of it.

The next morning we played rock, paper, scissors to go in. Hec lost, and was going in.

Nothing seemed be to caught anywhere in the boat, which didn’t make any sense as to
why our boat speed had dropped. So we scanned the boat for barnacles and any other damage that could be causing this.  There seemed to be some damage to the propeller, and the P-bracket, that holds the prop shaft.

We changed the propeller, and just in case there was any damage to the rudder as well we changed that.

The issue continues, and we can’t work out what is is that is slowing us down. When we get to a certain speed it suddenly feels like the boat is going through sludge ... we think that something outside the boat got hit and is ever so slightly out of line, meaning that the propeller isn’t able to get to its full speed and keep up with our boat speed.

Please rest assured that all is still safe and we are averaging over 3 knots despite this. Spirits are high and we are working together to see if there is anything we can do. If not, it’s not actually the end of the world - we’ll just be a bit slower.

Sending everyone love from the high seas!

Henry & Team x

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Life Aboard Begins: Days 2-5

After a slow couple of days grinding our knees the winds have started to pick up and so have our moods and speeds. Surfing down 15-20ft waves in the day time with the lads is all we hoped it would be. That combined with “you know what lads nobody has ever done this before” and “we really are doing this” gets us laughing and smiling and the days fly by.

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And Away We Go...

Being part of the PTP team at the end of 2017 was pretty hectic at times but all in all - incredibly special. We had some interesting weekends training on the east coast, a pretty nasty amount of gym to get through and an absurd amount of bits and spare bits and spares of those bits to buy for the trip (not to mention Christmas presents). There was also the small matter of the ball which thanks to all of our friends and family, the dedication of the other 3 chaps on the pedalo and a very pertinent cause, I will never forget.

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