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!
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!
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.
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.
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:
Graeme Smith (c)
De Villiers (w)