On Monday we landed in La Gomera, the island we are calling home for the next two weeks whoop whoop (Gee pictured to the left there dishing out beers aboard the ferry from Tenerife).
After checking into our epic 8th floor apartment overlooking San Sebastian’s harbour, we were shortly reunited with Mrs Nelson, standing out brilliantly in her bright Codestone green.
Seeing all the little row boats lined up along the harbour wall is more than surreal. We are tucked away at the back of the fleet next to the only other all female crew, Yorkshire Rows. The boats are behind a locked fence that rowers and their families can access, the tourists arriving on the ferry every day relentlessly peek through the meshed wire pointing and taking photos.
It is now day 6 and we have packed, unpacked and packed our boat several times, distributing weight evenly throughout to maintain stability on the water.
We have organised food rations, making sure there is enough calories for the entirety of the expedition. We have been assessed with a fine tooth comb and have eventually passed our scruitineering test with the race officials, leaving our boat in ship shape before we head out on the water on Monday.
We have shared a few stories over a rum or two with other teams in Manolo’s infamous Blue Marlin bar most evenings. However hungover (or not) each team are, they instinctively see the importance of preparation prior to launch day and are found religiously tinkering on their vessels in the morning however fragile their state of mind.
The range of differing motivations for the row is interesting, with the more competitive athletes stripping their boats of any luxuries and excess weight to gain faster crossings… to the more ‘spiritual’ incentives we have heard along the way. The crew that sticks out most to me in terms of motivation are the Row2Recovery boys, 4 army amputees who are rowing with missing limbs in order to achieve something extraordinary beyond their injuries (I certainly will be thinking of these guys when ‘suffering’ from a spot of back pain during our crossing).
We will keep you updated after we get on the water, more regular updates can be found on our social media pages: