Monday, March 23, 2009

Day 82

Slow and brutally hot day out here today (similar to yesterday), with next to no wind or waves to help me along, and my rowing taking place across a vast expanse of slowly undulating blue sea. There were clouds all around on the horizon today, but not enough wind to carry any to me, so I baked all day in the sun.

Other facts as follows:
- Today's progress was good (30 nautical miles), but very tough due to the heat/sun and a counter-current that is now pushing me back to the east, away from Antigua. Prospects for good mileage tonight are therefore slim.
- I expect this weather to continue through Wednesday, after which the wind will be back to at least 15 kt for what appears to be the duration of my row. It will be pushing me south fairly quickly at first, so I'm glad to be 5 miles north of English Harbor after all. Hopefully I can make my way back north in time.
- The main watermaker is down again, due to a problem with the same connection as before. I don't want to spend the time to fix it, given how close I am (164 nautical miles as I write this), and the wrench I need has rusted into an unusable lump of metal. It looks like my backup fresh water supply will be enough to get me to Antigua, but it will be close and water will be rationed for the duration, which will be unpleasant given the hot, sunny, windless days like today that are forecast.

All of this boils down to one thing really -- this row, and the many difficulties associated with it, is still far from over.

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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 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

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

Thanks, Bob!



Carrie and Dave Work said...

Paul - You don't know us, but we are fellow 'Gaters and have been following your progress every day since you started. (we posted awhile back - would love to chat with you when you do your speaking tour as we arrange Colgate events). You are doing so remarkably. As others have mentioned, the little blue squares are getting so close to Antigua. Don't give up - you have met with such adversity in the past 82 days, and you have overcome it with such strength and fortitude. You predicted last weekend that you might make it by this weekend - what a light at the end of the tunnel! Know that you have fans everywhere routing for you!

Wild Bill said...

It's just slighty further than Green Island, late at night.

Well, maybe just a bit...but I know you can do it easily now.

The hope of freshly squeezed lime's juice rimming the cocktail glass full of the tasty elixir that will be awaiting you at the 'magic circle' should help you push yourself this last bit now.

All you'd have to do afterwards is stumble carefully back to your cabin then...or just 'camp out'in one of the Adirondack chairs for the night. Been done before..

Why else do you think they call it "Camp" ?

Har, har, har !!

Anonymous said...

You must be able to see the yellow pin by now.......and cant be far off getting some respite in its shadow!

These last few days are bound to be'll be desperate to get there knowing it's so close.....but it's still a big old ocean out there so keep to what's got you here. Besides you'll need some energy for the parties :)

All the best

Anonymous said...

You are doing great! You will never know how you have motivated and inspired so many people(at least a bunch of 8th graders in Newark Valley!).
As others have mentioned before, I am so excited that you are so close to the end of the row, but I will miss the morning blog check. It was always a positive in this era of doom and gloom.
Keeping you in my prayers.
Denise S

Anonymous said...

Hey Paul--"you 'kin do it"--even Dunkin Donuts is behind you!

Anonymous said...

Paul, Keep up the great progress. Be careful...Stay hydrated!! With such calm seas can you increase your early am/evening shifts and take coverage from the sun during the next few days?

Stay safe! -- ETS

Anonymous said...

Hi Paul,

I know you have a whole crew of family and friends heading to Antigua in the next day or 2 and I wish I could be among them! You have been so incredible with your progress, success and postings that I'm really going to miss reading your blog each morning! I hope I have the honor of meeting you and giving you a big hug once you're back in the USA!

Sounds like you've had a few discouraging things happen between the weather and the water issue again but when you think of all that you've been through over the last 3 months starting with the delay in leaving the Canaries, you've made a remarkable accomplishment and will be touching land soon!

I have faith in you as do hundreds of people who have been following you! Keep the faith!!

You're in my prayers every day and I look forward to the posting that says you've arrived! You'll have to keep up the posting for awhile after the voyage is completed so all of us don't have to go 'cold turkey' but allow us to be weaned.

You're the greatest!

A Friend of K-Rock

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

Hi Buddy - 'undulating' ? Right there is a sign that this trip has you a changed man - multi-syllables just tossed in there like a real grown-up writer! You must be working on the book in your spare time? Every creak, crack,hiccup in these last hundred miles is going to be torture. You just want good winds and clean rowing for a sprint to the end. But, you know the drill - treat these last 189 miles as if they were the first 189 - work the wind angles, keep up your health routines, head in the game more than ever - and of course, ass in the boat.xxoo-

Wild Bill said...

Is there any truth to the rumor that Joy will be running a dog team in the Iditarod next year to make up for all the "slacking" she has been doing compared to all the hard work and tests of mind that you have, Paul ??

Or the rumor Joy will be climbing K2 in the Himalayas solo ?

She seems to have a hard enough time making it up in time for breakfasts.

Har, har, har !!

I hear she considers crossing bridges in Minneapolis a test of her courage.


Anonymous said...

interview was great....need to work on the one liners for your fancy cocktail parties later on when you get in the states but fear not...if you need a speech writer let me know.

pumped you are so close...proud of yas and by now you have SPF 700 on....

passed a theta xi bumper sticker in horseheads....driving like a maniac!!! thought about the house and the random nights there...

Shot 105 last weekend...first outing of the year..pretty positive haha.

Finish strong....hope it takes yas 8.5 seconds


Kyle Brown said...

Very cool that you're getting so close! I can zoom WAY in on the map and still keep Antigua and your GPS marker in the frame. I remember when you were in the middle of the ocean and even one zoom surrounded your markers with nothing but big blue ocean...

FWIW, when I was on a Carribean cruise a couple of years ago, I got some great Cuban cigars in Antigua. I'm sure there are many other things on your list of priorities for consumption on shore, but if you're a guy who appreciates a good smoke (especially in celebration of a special occasion), grab one while the gettin' is good!

Anonymous said...

Hey dude,

Loved your interview on CNN! Posted it on the homepage.

The proverbial last 20 strokes are here. Keep your potassium/electrolytes up in the heat! Row early and late. I'm sure you've figured this out of course :-)

Just think of the margaritas and the ladies waiting for you in Antigua. I won't tell Brooklyn...

Keep the faith!


Anonymous said...

You can do it!


Anonymous said...

Looks like the weather (as you said) is not favorable today just by looking at your progress so far. Keep your head up. Fair winds and currents will return soon, and we will be waiting for you in English Harbour!

Anonymous said...


Keep up the good work! I'll have a black & tan and four Boxcar taco platter awaiting your return.


Aquidneck Custom said...

Hi Paul
I know it must be hard now that you are so close, but you will make it.
Henri wants to remind you to jettison the outboard before landfall, it will be our secret!
Can't wait to see you row in!
Kyle & Henri

Anonymous said...


too bad about the main watermaker. Looks like you are gonna need a bagel with some carbon on it.

-Terry S.

Anonymous said...

Just picture a pitcher of Bears Magic Water waiting for you on shore...pumped to see you hit land.