Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Day 76

Another day on the oars and I logged 31.5 nautical miles or so, but I'm still wishing for better "free" mileage at night. Recently it's been in the 5-7 nm range, which could be higher. I've picked up as much as 12+ in the past, which would be the difference between an OK day and a good day. Of course, all this seems to be taking on more importance as I get closer to the finish line!

I'm still trying to find ways to add a couple more hours of rowing to my schedule. Right now I'm doing a 5.5 hour shift in the morning and another at night, putting me at 11 hours every day. I've tried adding a 2 hour "dinner" shift after dark but have found it to be painful and not something I can make myself do on a regular basis. I also tried a middle of the night shift, but given that it's always hard to fall asleep I may have done more harm than good by waking myself fully in the middle of the night and then having to try to fall back asleep again. I think my next idea is a sunrise shift, where I wake up (for good) a couple hours early (I normally wake up 15 mins or so before sunrise...roughly 845AM GMT at this longitude), row, then take a break to eat breakfast, etc...and go out again as normal before 10AM to start my morning shift. Hope it works!

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A Challenge to the Rowing Community

Do you row? Have you rowed? Do you know someone who rows? If so, here's a special challenge to you!

Taking inspiration from Paul Ridley's incredible solo row across the Atlantic, Bob Glendening has generously offered to match all new donations to www.rowforhope.com from members of the rowing community. His generosity also stems from his family's devotion to rowing and its personal experience with cancer. The Glendening Boat House at Colgate was given by the family in 2004 in memory of his mother, who lost her battle with cancer in 2000.

So if you row and you want to show your support for a fellow rower who's crossing the Atlantic solo and unsupported, please consider an online donation to www.rowforhope.com.

Please be sure to add "Glendening Challenge" when completing the Gift Information section online at www.rowforhope.com.

Thanks, Bob!



Seshat said...

"All things come in good time"

and all those other sappy sayings we repeat.... but are somehow true!

You have the rhythm -
You know the drill -
You are absolutely amazing!

You give those of us fighting cancer such hope!! I had a good report from the oncologist today so have four months of placing the cancer on a shelf!

You will be home far before that!!!
Work and rest and be you!

Many prayers and love -

Anonymous said...

Hey Paul,

Despite our probably repetitive support, our words still have the same meaning and weight a they did Jan. 1.

Dude, we can't fathom what you're doing daily/weekly/monthly but we sure do respect the hell out of you.

Whatever weird mental place you're in is the same place that has helped you patiently log the miles since Jan. 1 and will get you across the finish line!

Brooklyn's got your back and so do we.

Keep the faith!


Wild Bill {fishnwilly} said...

The Saphire Bombay Gin will be waiting for you in the Magic Circle. I'll fix it for you.
Don't let Joy, because she makes them all girly and weak..


Keep your focus, and stay strong !
Victory is NEAR !!

Anonymous said...


Yesterday in your post you seemed a bit down and talked about the problems you were having with self motivation. Please take a few minutes to rejuvenate yourself through focusing in on the many people who can't wait to see your posts each day and how motivating it is for them to see your progress and feel the worth of what you are doing.

The physical, mental and emotional strength required to row across the Atlantic Ocean is incredible and beyond the ability for the high majority of us to grasp. But even though it's almost impossible for us to comprehend the enormity of your task, each day it is very easy for us to see your progress. Even little kids in kindergarten, first and second grade can see it. Every once in a while the winds or currents turn against you and there is negative mileage. But on the very high majority of days there is forward progress

Contrast the progress and worth we see in your Trans-Atlantic Row for Hope and what else we see and hear in our newspapers, TV and radio each day.
The economic, social, military educational, health care and unemployment problems we face are enormous and possible solutions very difficult for the majority of us to comprehend. And with a very few isolated exceptions, real progress in any of these areas is difficult to see.

Thanks Paul for giving us daily tangible progress in a World in which real progress seems to be in such short supply.

May the winds and currents help to bring you quickly and safely to Antigua. Our thoughts and prayers are constantly with you.

Anonymous said...


Your "morning shift" idea isa great one ! Starting a shift in the dark is a nghtmare, but then you'll see a really bright star to the right hand side of the aft cabin ( I used to call it the Morning star ), it's a signal that the darkness is about to end. Once the star has been rising for about 40 mins, the sun will start to rise directly underneath it... and this is one of the fews things that kept me going on the journey. I had the sunrise shift pretty much every morning & it gladdens the heart ! You'll get some of your most spectacular photo's, they beat sunsets hands down, especially when there is a bit of cloud to disperse the rays of light.

Enjoy ! Cath, Atlantic 07/08

Anonymous said...

Hi Paul,
Really missed reading your blog yesterday; no PMOW's on your head, please. Hope the sunrise rowing shift works out. So, how many folks will be waiting for you in Antigua? Am already imagining what it will be like for your friends and family to see Liv (and you, of course) on the horizon. Repeat--no PMOW's on your head, please.

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

Hi Buddy - You're starting to get the hang of this. Keep your wits about you - keep thinking and planning and working the strategies that will get you to the end. Every day is a day to work the angles. You have kept your head in the game for 76 days - just a few more. You have already accomplished more than you could have imagined. The finish will be icing on the cake - and how sweet it will be! See you there - xxoo-

Anonymous said...

Paul - Really impressive efforts mate. You really are nearly there now. There are normally some quite decent currents heading north about 50 - 100 miles out so don`t worry if you get knocked a bit south, you can always row north in them for a day or two.
I was rowing 13 hour days towards the end to get myself there as fast as I could. I just got up about 90 mins before first light, had a big breakfast and lots of tea, sorted out my cabin and then got on the oars until lunchtime. I put snacks in a bag next to me and hardly stopped till lunch.
After a 30ish minute lunch, I got back on the oars until 5 mins before the sun set, when I had a quick wash, dried in the last rays of sunlight then tidied up and went inside for dinner and a big old sleep. That worked very well.
You`ve not got a warp trailing behind the boat at night have you? Really slows you down, as does putting the rudder hard over.

Chris McNickle said...


I am in London Office with Steve Martin checking out your progress. You have gone a long way from this side of the Atlantic.

It would be really interesting to see a picture of you wearing a Man O'War as a hat, although I do not think either Steve or I would mistake you for Bob Marley despite the jelly fish dreadlocks.

However, I will buy you some rum when you get back while we listen to some Bob Marley tunes, so keep rowing!

Chris & Steve

Anonymous said...

Hey Paulie,
Saw Wild Bill had the Sapphire waiting. So did I, but there has been an anniversary, Valentine's, a new job, and some birthday's since Jan 1.
This being said, I have half a chicken spiedie sandwhich, and 3 Labatt Blues. But don't worry, I put your name on them.
See you soon.

Anonymous said...

Hey, Mon !

I too do a rather bizarre Bob Marley impersonation, but no Portugese Man O War are involved to simulate dreadlocks.
Just an empty, isolated tennis court in July late at night.
Har, har, har !!

Dan said...

Nice thought on the morning shift. From the comments posted above by some other ocean rowers it sounds like that will relly work out for you. It definitely makes sense that you will feel more motivated for extra rowing as the new day begins rather than trying to tack on miles after a long day at oars.

Keep it up man, you are under 450, and hopefully by tomorrow you will be under 400! It starting to get to where you REALLY notice the progress every day!

Anonymous said...

Been trying to find some inspirational words to help keep you going - and your followers are a pretty tough act to follow. Found something in the AZ Republic this morning courtesy of Russell Helwig:

"The credit belongs to those who are actually in the arena, who strive valiantly; who know the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spend themselves in a worthy cause; who at best know the triumph of high achievement and who, at worst, if they fail, fail while daring greatly, so that their place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory or defeat."

You, of course, WILL know victory ... you're closer with each pull of the oar!

Be well, be safe, row hard!

ps - will also email Helwig about our true hero - maybe he'll help push the cause as well!

Katy said...


Dan, Anna, Al, Sheila and I all have our tickets to Antigua! We can't wait to see you!


Anonymous said...

Paul: Now that the finish is coming into view mentally, I have a question. What exactly will be your "finish line"? I believe I recall that you are going into English Harbor or maybe it was Falmouth Harbor. To enter either harbor, you would need to turn north from your usual heading of east. I was wondering if this is possible given the range of 30 degrees or so that you can maneuver on either side of the wind/wave direction? Or maybe your finish line would be outside of the harbor and then you would have assistance to get in from there? If you were planning to try to enter the harbor on your own, I suppose you could try to get very close to the south side of the island near the harbor so that when you made the turn you would be out of the ocean swells, but this might have its own challenges as the waves might become erratic. Anyway, I thought I would raise the question to see what you had in mind.

I check your progress all the time. Keep it up! You're doing great!


Anonymous said...

English Harbour is in the parish of St Paul.
Coincidence or design? Haha

Ms. Elizabeth Cleary said...

Hey Paul,

I am a newcomer to your blog, but fascinated by everything you have written about. My students read the book Life of Pi and some of your comments have sounded a lot like what he discusses in his novel. I will have them reading about you in September!
Right now you are rowing on a ocean keeping track of wind and waves and currents, but in just a few days time you will have an ocean of memories to fill the rest of your life. Your mother would be proud of you!

Elizabeth Cleary
Westport, CT

Anonymous said...

see the black pearl yet??

Anonymous said...

You will be there soon enough. Try to enjoy every day that is left in your trip. Though it may be hard to see now, once you get on land and the festivities are over you will miss being out on the open sea. This is a once in a lifetime adventure so soak it all up now and enjoy every last minute.

Also, PLEASE don't forget about us faithful blog readers once you reach land. We will want to see pictures (and viedeo?) of your arrival reception and festivities!

Good luck and may God bless you. Peace.