Thursday, January 1, 2009

Day 1: Here We Go!

[Sigh!] Ok, it's Joy again, here's what I know (spoiler alert: it's all good so far):

Paul left the port of San Sebastian de la Gomera at about 6 minutes before 8:00 this morning, marking the first recorded instance of a Ridley being early for anything. He crossed the line of longitude that serves as the official start of the route about 10 minutes after 8. He's had a beautiful day for rowing, and the forecast remains good.

Since then he's been heading south and slightly west, hoping to set a course that will take him south of the island of El Heiro. He called home at about sunset to say that he'd had a good day so far, and is feeling queasy, but not as dreadfully ill as he'd been afraid of (there's still plenty of time to feel dreadfully ill, of course). So in short, so far so good!

Thanks to so many of you whose prayers and well-wishes have brought us this far. I'll be passing along messages to Paul, including comments that are posted on this blog, so keep them coming! And now's the time to help us spread the word about Row for Hope. We have two monumental goals ahead of us; Paul's row, and to raise over $500,000 for cancer research. We're off to a great start on both fronts, but we can't get there without your help!

Many thanks also to Simon Chalk of Woodvale Challenge, who among infinite other things he's done for us, was there to see Paul off this morning, and took these pictures:


Anonymous said...


Thanks for showing support and solidarity for independent oceanrowers. I was concerned that he had no one to even scrutinize his boat. Your support will carry him across the Atlantic Ocean. For that, you must be rewarded.

Dr. Brian Nathanson said...

These photos gave me goosebumps, I am so excited for him.

Bon voyage!

Anonymous said...

It's hard to believe what started as a simple dream as come to fruition. YOU ROCK, Paul!


Marlene McElligott said...

Dear Joy and Paul,
Please know that there will be a guardian angel traveling with you across the Atlantic. I know that Robert wanted to track your journey on the blog and I am sure he will now be with you as you make this journey. I am sure he is in heaven with your mom and they are both watching and protecting you as you travel. I will do my best to write you as Robert would have and you will remain in my prayers. I will see you when you arrive in Vestal again. Much love, Marlene

Anonymous said...

Paul -

Congratulations, much admiration and best wishes from everyone at Yale Cancer Center.


Wilderness Medical Systems, LLC said...

Wow! Finally on your way! We're excited for you, wish you all the best, and hope you don't have to use your kit much...;)

That Guy said...

she's a good ship

Anonymous said...

Hey Paul,

Hang in there--you are our Christmas and New Years cheer! Best from YCC.