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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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