Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Day 56

A short update today, as a poor night's sleep last night has had me exhausted all day. The good news is that I crossed 45W just before lunch, and I'm now in the fourth time zone of the trip, only two hours ahead of the East Coast and one hour ahead of Antigua.

My mileage today was solid and the seas in the evening were mercifully on the smaller side -- a good thing, as in my current state it was possible that one soaking too many would have dislodged my last strand of precious composure.

Hoping for a better night's sleep tonight than last. I'm starting to get the message from my body that it is not pleased with what I'm doing to it. Salt sores are multiplying in general, not just in areas that I sit on all day. More are opening and I'm developing some skin irritation (in places that need not be described in detail) that keep me awake at night.

Back tomorrow with more energy,


P.S. Thanks to all who have supported this expedition and important research at Yale Cancer Center with a donation to Row for Hope. If you haven't donated, or if you would consider donating again, it would be much appreciated. To donate online use the link in the upper right-hand corner of this page or visit


Pete said...

congrats on single digit miles to go and crossing 45 west, paul... keep ticking off those milestones. and as painful as the journey may sometimes be, don't forget to savor it while you're out there. you'll probably never get the chance to wake up every morning on the atlantic ocean with nothing but a day full of rowing ahead of you. while that might be some people's worst nightmare, it's clearly something special.

Vikki said...

Paul - Although we have never met, I am a fellow Colgate alum who has been faithfully following your blog in absolute amazement and awe of you and your challenge. Even my pre-teen daughters have randomly asked "how that Colgate rower is doing" as they, too, are in utter disbelief at the feat you set out to accomplish. While at Colgate, I roomed with a rower and could sense the bond and commitment that she felt with her team, even though it was only a club sport back in 1986. But for you, as a solo rower battling the Atlantic, "we", your fellow Colgate alumni and all the other supporters reading your daily blogs, are your "team", cheering you on in our quiet way. You serve as an inspiration to us all - and even despite some tremendously difficult days and rough nights, you manage to maintain your hope, your humor, and your strength. Just simply wanted to say, may God watch over you and keep you in His arms. We are all cheering you on -
Vikki, Colgate '86

Anonymous said...

Hi Paul, it's Alexander. I can't believe how far you've gone. Wow! My mom got me and my brother a map and we mark where you are. You should be very proud. Don't worry about the sharks just take your time and keep rowing. My mom and dad want to know about the stars. How many do you see? What do you see? Jonathan, my brother, and I think you are so cool.

Anonymous said...

Keep up the great work, Paul. You just tell your body that it needs to hold on a bit longer. We all know you can do it. Keep smiling and taking in the beautiful ocean! You're almost there!!!


Anonymous said...

Hi Paul - great news from New Haven, we announced our new cancer center director. He is an excpetional clinician, researcher and leader. Everyone is excited for the new heights YCC will reach and the further impact it will have across the field of cancer. See link for more info. All the best, Peter

ΞЯІПП said...

Good luck Paul!! I hope that you have a better sleep tonight and that you can get some of your sores healing soon!! Try to put some moisturizer, sunlotion on -- whatever you have! Or at least try to rinse the salt off before bed to see if that will help at least give your skin a break from the salt!

Erinn from Toronto

K-Rock and #1Wild Bill said...

Hi Buddy - The fact that you're just now geeting negative vibes from your body is a testament to the fabulous job you've been doing with mental control for the last 56 days. Now you can see the end - you can feel the pain. Don't let your guard down. Keep up the careful hygiene routines.Your bod will find all sorts of tricky places to try and irritate you into noticing it. Don't. Focus on the rowing and the ocean - that's the real goal. The body is just along for the ride. Treat yourself to another fresh water wash down and dig into the hatch for those bags that hold desserts! Your journey continues to attract notice and supporters. If there's a Guiness Book Record for 'number of prayer lists' I'm sure you're closing in on the title. Hang tough - head in the game, ass in the boat. xxxooo

Anonymous said...

Hi Paul,
The nerdy geologist in me would just like to point out that based on the Google satellite images, you're currently passing over the peak of the mid-ocean ridge. Congrats on being at the peak of the most extensive mountain chain in the world! So I guess in a way, it's all downhill now :)
Mary Patch, Colgate '02

Kyle Brown said...

Yeesh. "Salt sores"? Just the term sounds painful. God grant you patience and perserverance, my friend.

Anonymous said...

I passed by your desk this morning, and I can't wait for you to be sitting in that seat again. Both my husband and I have been following your progress every day. You are accomplishing such a tremendous feat... just be sure to take a few seconds here and there to take a deep breath and breathe it all in. Take a mental snapshot of your sites, struggles, feelings, and everything that a camera cannot capture. Remind yourself of the things you will miss about your journey once it is over, and concentrate on enjoying those things while it lasts.

You'll be back home before you know it (and we can't wait)!

- Denise @ GA

Margaret said...

Hey Paul--I remember that by the middle of treatment for breast cancer I had gained 30 pounds and was bone tired. I decided to adjust my mindset to make survival my job, a business deal that I had to close, and it made a huge difference in my physical and emotional progress. Just a gentle nudge to keep the goal in front of you, and be good to yourself in the meantime. One white clam pizza coming up!

Anonymous said...

You are a PTPer, baby! A real diaper dandy! If I'm making a team of ocean rowers, you are the first piece of the pie! Come on, baby, you can do it! -- Dickie V.

CharlieR said...

Hello Paul
We've been following your progress with great interest. I don't know if you HAVE to get to Antigua? There is a whole string of islands further south - a lot of rows have finished in Barbados.
As Churchill said KBO

Anonymous said...

Hey dude,

Seriously getting close to finishing! Outstanding!

What's the chance of you having a down day? Next time the waves are nice and the sun is out, throw out the rope and just recover for a day. Might help the sores, will definitely help the brain/body.

Keep the faith! We're still with you spiritually!!!!!


Katy said...

Paul, I'm so proud of you every day! What you're accomplishing is so amazing! Stay strong. We can't wait to see you on the other end.