Thursday, February 26, 2009

Day 57

Yup, I'm still out here!

Day 57 was a slow one in mileage terms, probably more like 30-35 rather than the 50 I've bee putting up for the last week or so. Not a big deal on its own, but I'm obviously hoping that I can avoid putting together a string of slow days that would put my goal of landing in less than 80 days all but out of reach.

Winds were light all day and I took the opportunity to rearrange some of my food and equipment around the boat in hopes of maintaining the optimal ballast arrangement for both stability/safety and speed. I'm not sure how I did, and hopefully today's mileage isn't an indication. I did claw back some room in the cabin so I'll have a little bit more space to lie down. At the rate I'm going I'll be comfortable (as comfortable as I can get with bedding that's constantly damp) by the time I get to Antigua.

The bad news is that my favorite iPod, an 8 gigabyte nano that I've been using for the whole expedition and all of my training leading up to it, went for a swim around lunchtime today. The battery had died mid-shift and I dropped it onto the deck after taking it out of the waterproof case so I could plug it in. That wouldn't have been a problem except that as usual the deck was awash in more than an inch of water that flows in and out of the scuppers. Luckily I have two remaining backups with the exact same stuff on them, for better or worse.

Will write about the stars tomorrow -- a preview of what I'm going to say...they're spectacular!

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



Anonymous said...

Paul, Keep up the great work! You have accomplished so much and continue to amaze! ETS

Anonymous said...


Glad you have backup on music, I know I need a dose every day although I'm sure our tastes differ a little.

Can't wait to hear about the stars - we don't get that great a view in Bingo.

Are you able to shoot any pictures of them?

A lot of people are noticing the ROW4HOPE plates and the magnet on the blazer. (let's hope they also donate)

Keep up the great work and as always we keep you in our prayers.

God Bless Phil & Margo

Chris McNickle said...


Less than 1000 miles to go! You are already there! Almost.

You seem very focused on sharks. They would not come near a beard as scary as yours, to say nothing of the various sores you have described.

See you in Antigua!


Marlene said...

Hi Paul,
You may not have brought duct tape but at least you brought back up music. That would have made it awful if you didn't have a back-up. Who gets the credit for that great thinking?
I don't know if I should pray for better winds after what happened the last time I did that :)
I continue to think of you everyday and check on you each night. Take care and can't wait to see you on dry land. Love, Marlene

Anonymous said...

if you row faster i will cook you an egg from the floor!!!


Anonymous said...

Paul, I read your blog everyday and even though you have your ups, you also have your fair share of downs from time to time. However, I have to say that today disturbs me more than most other posts that I have read. Talking from experience, I know how hard it is to lose something that has gotten you through the hard times, and shared the triumphs along the way. May your dear, dear iPod rest in peace among the fishies. Again, my sincerest apologies for your loss. I myself am on my second iPod, and it was one of the hardest things I had to go through losing my first. Keep your chin up.

With that said, I still can't believe you are putting up such great numbers every day of your row. Honestly, I'm surprised you haven't pooped out by now. And thirty-some miles is absolutely stellar; it's that many more miles closer than you were before. Tomorrow's another day, so rest up, bandage your battle wounds, and keep those oars churning through the sea.

Lots of love and speedy thoughts!


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

Hi Buddy - OK - all's well. Just another day at the oars. Average days are good - they put great days and lousy days in perspective. It's a delicate balance - you want to push to be done, but not push too hard and make mistakes. Take the average days for the wonderful 35 miles that they give you. Really glad that you have back-up music. If you had to sing the rest of the way we might have some major ocean wild-life crisis on our hands!We'll sit on the dock in Antigua waiting for you for as long as it takes - don't rush on our account! xxoo-

Anonymous said...

Hey dude,

I firmly believe the shark that had your name on it swallowed the Ipod and now has lost his appetite :-) How deep is it there? Is it still falling?

Back ups are a wonderful thing.

Keep the faith! We are!


Wild Bill said...


I am glad to hear you had a backup IPod. That would stink not to have music !

Off topic, but something to help keep you abreast of what's happening ashore:
We saw the movie "Taking Chance" , and dude, what a powerful and moving flick. Very well done !!
In it, Kevin Bacon portrays a decorated USMC officer escorting a fallen Marine's remains home to the deceased's family.
I welled up OFTEN, and sat silently for some time after the movie was done.
Two thunmbs up !!
God bless those that serve, or have served, for our country in the armed forces, exspecially those that have made the ultimate sacrifice for our great country.

Keep up your spirits !
Stay Strong!

Know that the next time I see you that a Bombay Sapphire cocktail is awaiting you, so I can toast your achievement in person.

Wild Bill [the fishin'fool]

Anonymous said...

Dear Paul,
Where in the Atlantic is Paul Ridley????
We were sorry to read about your favorite iPod, but glad to hear you have back up. These second grade students are still watching you, although we can't seem to see your GPS anymore no that we have returned from winter break.
keep rowing,
Mrs. Black and 25 - 1 + 1 - 1 + 1 students.(that is how much my class has changed since we started watching your trek!)

Katy said...

Hi Paul!

Pete and I went to an alumni event for our high school last night and spread the word about rowforhope. In the near future you may have a few more kindergarten classes following your progress. I also hope we inspired some to donate!

Sorry to hear about the ipod. I can't believe it lasted that long. You're a genius for bringing back-up.

Keep rowing!


Anonymous said...

Thoughts and one hopefully helpfpul hint ... first the hint, your sister helped me find an alternate way to track your progress. The website is:

I hope that helps your other fans keep a watchful eye on your progress.

As for thoughts, as much of an inspiration as you have been all these 57 days, it was your day 56 that finally really hit me. Your unabashed representation of your highs and lows has left me cheering and praying for you. However, as with so many of your followers, I am facing my own challenge - minor in the scheme of things, but know that I must lose some (many) pounds that seem to have become attached to my body. So trust me, the next time the scale suggests that I haven't been true to my diet (how DARE it do that???) I will re-read your Day 56and remind myself that if you can overcome aching muscles, sores of Lord knows what types, wetness, dampness and overall exhaustion - not to mention the loss of your iPod, surely I can press on with my little goal as well.

Be well. Be safe. Row Hard. and thank you!

Anonymous said...

I admire what your doing. Because i am a very concerned land dwelling citizen i have some advice for your voyage.

1. Don't try to trick a shark into thinking you are a insurance salesman. They will only ignore you, and tell their friends that your annoying,

2. As much as you want to invite an otter onto your boat for company, Dont. They are messy boat guest and they actually are terrible listeners.

3. Don't start talking to yourself. If a foriegn boat passes by and sees a lone boatsman rambling on to himself, they will assume that you are an exile from the russian navy, and they will bring you aboard to work as their dishwasher.

Other than that, I admire what your doing and wish only the best for the rest of your journey. Good luck, and good sailing! (:

Anonymous said...

Time to think about fishing at jackson park. it was around 40 degrees today....the sunny's would be biting!

the days seem like 8.5 seconds long!


Anonymous said...

AYYY let me see your face. Time to get the beers ready. I won't be able to make it to antigua, but hopefully there will be much chaos when you get home. I know nothing can beat the sight of little wayne playing football in the street or charlie insisting that he could run a 8 after earlier statements of a 6 minute mile minute mile after drinking all day, only to make one lap around and fall over in Mr. Baz's yard. Looking forward to more times like that.


ronnie said...

hey paul this is ronnie from Mrs.scalso's 8th grade class and i just wanted to say good luck and u can for surly do are more than half way keep on moving:):):):)