Friday, February 27, 2009

Day 58

Unusual day today - here's what went down:

Started by scraping for barnacles first thing in the morning. Wind and seas were bigger than I would have liked, but it will suffice to say that there was no way Liv was going to blow away from me (I was also tied on with a 50 ft rope) with the death-grip I kept on the grab lines running the length of the hull. In mid-swim I stopped to look around for Atlantic White-tipped sharks. Thanks to my roommate Zack for the heads up. Didn't see any. If I did spot one, the plan was to go with the "barnacle-scraper-between-the-eyes" approach. Actually I probably would have screamed like a schoolgirl...then who knows what.

After scraping I got on the oars around 11AM and rowed for an hour through the first half of the heaviest squall I've seen so far. As I've made my way across the Atlantic, the squalls have become wetter and more numerous, I suppose because the clouds have more time to accumulate water as they too cross the ocean. I finally called it quits around 12:15, soaked and chilled to the bone. I decided to wait the rest of it out and made lunch and did emails early.

By 1 PM the rain had stopped (for the moment), and I hit the oars for what turned out the be a 9-hour shift - my longest to date. Surprisingly, the extra four hours didn't really seem any different from a normal 5-hour shift. I'm not sure what that means. Maybe that I've lost my mind?

The rationale for the long shift was a combination of my morning shift getting cut short and the slow progress of yesterday, which I wanted to at least avoid repeating. Though winds today were light and are forecast to stay light for the foreseeable future, I still did 27.5 nautical miles west today, which is close to what I was making during my stretch of 50-mile days. I won't get as much nighttime mileage with the wind I have now, but at least I've made the most of the day.

That's enough for now. Sorry, but I will have to postpone writing about the stars until tomorrow.

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...

Hey Paul, this is Court, a co-worker of Joy's, or J. Dogg Riddlesworth, as she's known around the office.
I have been in the midst of things like anyone else these days--job upheaval, relationship worries, the usual hassles that can feel awfully heavy sometimes. And I'll be sitting there at my computer with a thought in the back of my head, kind of like a phrase on the tip of the tongue: I know if I do this one thing, I'll feel better... Then it dawns on me--check Paul's blog!! I pull it up and feel better immediately, especially if you're having a good day out there, and in a different way, more perspective-laden, if you're not.
I have turned as many people as I know how to your site, and they are all amazed. Just remember when the salt sores sting, that your progeny is going to have a family member they can think back to and feel proud of. Legacy, baby!
Keep it straight, all the best.

Wild Bill said...


Have you seen any other vessels other than those freighters ?
Are you now out of "normal" shipping lanes ?

What is to be done with LIV once you complete your goal at Antigua ?

Stay strong !

Wild Bill {the fishin' fool}

Marlene said...

Hi Paul,
I just want to make sure you know that if you open your mouth to scream like a schoolgirl you may only get a mouth full of water and see a shark who is laughing at you :)
Take care. Love, Marlene

Anonymous said...

heroes come and go

but legends never die

Live the legacy and come home and watch the sandlot


Anonymous said...

How much money has been raised?

Anonymous said...


I was wondering, since you have internet connection out there, have you had the chance to listen to any of your Yankee spring training games? It seems that you would be able to knock off 2.5 mindless hours listening to John and Suzy. Figured I would ask.

Cheers and Keep on Keeping on,


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

Hi Buddy - A reply to 'Anonymous' who inquired about fund raising - Supporters of Row for Hope have contributed a significant amount of money that will be directed to the Yale Cancer Center. The Row team is most grateful for the donations. But there is always room for more. The goal is $500,000 - we're not there. Paul is almost done with his part - showing us that what seems impossible can be accomplished in a mere 80 days. We need to hold that thought and keep spreading the word about Row for Hope and keeping embarassing ourselves by asking people to donate. Look, when we go to the movies to see an adventure flick we pay $8.50 plus the ridiculous cost of popcorn - and here we sit, participating in this amazing Atlantic Adventure for free - it surely is worth a few dollars! As Paul digs deep for the strength to finish the row we should dig equally deep to reward him with a major donation push during these last few weeks. Paul is alone, we are working together - let's get it done! xxoo -

Dan said...

A 9 hour shift! Probably a lot tougher than sitting at a desk for 9 hours. Just remember when you are out there and the sores and pain starts to get to you. "Pain heals, chicks dig scars (especially salt sores I hear)... glory... last forever"

In honor of Tiger being back out on the course I'll end with a "U da MAN!!!"

Robert said...

You are nothing short of inspirational, from catch to finish!!!

Anonymous said...

I just went on to donate. It wasn't a huge amount, but all I can do right now. Continue the great work, Paul!

Anonymous said...

This adventure is truly amazing and we are doing our best here in CT to raise money for R4H but I too am curious how much has been raised to date. Keep going Paul!

Anonymous said...

Today I watched a video I took the morning after Dave's 25th. To refresh your memory, you joined us in bed with crackers and (in what I hope was a still drunken state) rambled on about how your life was in shambles. Obviously Zack was in the background goading you on, but it was hilarious.

The amazing part is where you are today, a little over a year later - wow! I hope we can have a laugh over the video when you get back.

I'm looking forward to hearing about the stars, if you can take pictures, I am sure they will be amazing.

Keep up the good work, getting to triple digits is great!


Karen said...

Hi Paul,

Just saw your story on CNN. remarkable! What has being out to sea for 59 days taught you about your life? What will you do differently when this is all over? And how has this affected you emotionally? Any interesting stories you care to share? What about the food, are you tired of it, do you have enough to keep you going? Can you exercise? You have us contributors as angels watching over you via your blog. And tomorrow when I am in a boring meeting at work I will wonder how you are out there. Take care of yourself. I will donate.

Karen in Wisconsin