Saturday, March 28, 2009

Day 87: Spotted land!

Hi all! It's Joy this time, taking over the blog again so that Paul can focus on the remaining miles between himself and English Harbour; and those miles are getting fewer and fewer! As I write this he's only 49 miles away -- mind blowing, after thinking of him as so far off for so long. As he came out of his cabin this morning he got his first glimpse of land, and immediately thought "I'm gonna hit it!". He wasn't going to hit it of course, as it was 20 miles away, but it's quite a shock to see anything but waves on the horizon.

As he reported yesterday, he's crossed the longitude of Barbados, which is one official measure of a completed ocean row. Now all he has to do is bring it in, but that's harder than it sounds. Our real celebration will be when he turns into the harbor, and takes his first steps on land. In order to do that, he's got to navigate a somewhat complex system of winds and currents, avoiding the other islands, and crossing the longitude of English Harbour. We've been riding a rollercoaster over the last 48 hours, alternating between planning for a tow to bring him in before he gets blown South into another island, and thinking he'll be able to do it all under his own power. Things change every few hours, but at the moment we're expecting him to make it on his own, and to arrive as early as tomorrow (Sunday) morning.

Meanwhile, the welcoming committee has all arrived safely in Antigua, and numbers a whopping 19 of Paul's friends and family, all anxiously waiting to see Paul's little yellow speck appear on the horizon. They've been whiling away the hours on the beach, which is incredibly beautiful, and testing out the rum punch at the local pubs. My father, on the other hand, is manning the controls, so to speak, monitoring Paul's position and fielding his phone calls. He and Nadine, and today me, are holed up in a hotel room trying to stay on top of to-do lists and information requests from media (we still haven't heard from Oprah, but I'm sure it's because my phone doesn't work down here).

Anyway, Paul plans to row through the night tonight, and we'll likely update the blog again before he lands. Stay tuned -- things are about to get very emotional!

Oh, and while I sit and write, here's what I'm missing out on:

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

helluva job boo

-CP

Julie Harris said...

Paul, so proud of you! Wish I could be there with the rest of the girls to welcome you to shore, but we all are excited to celebrate when you get back to Stamford!

- Julie

Fred Bostrom said...

Paul,

Congratulations on a fantastic accomplishment. For so many of us who for each of the last 86 days have anxiously followed your Trans-Atlantic row, it is a vicarious experience that we will never forget.

What a thrill and pleasure it was to see your big mileage days. But it was the tough days and how you kept your head in the game and overcame so many obstacles that inspired us the most and earned our lasting respect.

A special thanks to Mark and Joy for their part in allowing us to daily share in such an awesome trip.

Fred B

Anonymous said...

Paul, I see you haven't heard fro Porah yet. As far as I know she has a home on Antigua. Words cannot express what an awsome job you have done. Gods speed on your last miles. I have put your information on Both Antigua tourism sites and many have said they will try to be there when you come in. I will update them now.

Fred Jones
West Winfield,ny

PTR said...

Thanks for the update Joy! :-)

BLT said...

We are ecstatic at the latest post from Joy. We are going to miss sharing the armchair adventure you provided for us these last 90+ days and will miss anxiously awaiting the next day's posting. It will be so wonderful to know that you are safely on land and back into the arms of the people who love you! Thank you so much for all the wonderful blogging which gave us a new perspective on so many things. I think I just heard the collective world-wide sigh of relief from all the countless number of people who have kept you in their thoughts. Congratulations! and enjoy that Guiness!
BLT

BLT said...

We are ecstatic at the latest post from Joy. We are going to miss sharing the armchair adventure you provided for us these last 90+ days and will miss anxiously awaiting the next day's posting. It will be so wonderful to know that you are safely on land and back into the arms of the people who love you! Thank you so much for all the wonderful blogging which gave us a new perspective on so many things. I think I just heard the collective world-wide sigh of relief from all the countless number of people who have kept you in their thoughts. Congratulations! and enjoy that Guiness!
BLT

Aunt Jane said...

Thank you so much for the wonderful news!! What a spectaular job! We here at home will be shedding tears of joy along with you great folks on the welcoming committee.

Love to all of you,
Aunt Jane

Anonymous said...

Please post some video on youtube of Paul's landing and receoption. It's so great that Paul has made it safe and sound. One more night!

Anonymous said...

Can't imagine what seeing those Antiguan lights must mean and feel like ... for Paul and for the land crew to hear those words. Thougts and prayers for the last pulls of the oars and a fantastic reunion!

Be well. Be Safe. Row on in to shore!

Marlene said...

Hi to Everyone,
This is soooo exciting. I knew he could do it and I hope he can get to the harbor on his own without a tow. I am looking forward to hearing he is on land, although I am sure those few steps will be pretty shaky. I think you should all head to the beach with a glass of rum punch to celebrate because that picture made me jealous that I am sitting in cloudy and cool Binghamton. I am sure there is a big celebration going on up in heaven as well. What an amazing accomplishment! Love, Marlene

Lisa said...

yipee! Can't wait to hear that you've hit dry land -- know we will all be so relieved!! Congrats on a job well done and thanks for letting us all be a part of it. Still praying for all of you..........

atp said...

Almost there! I'm sure the arrival crew will have an ice cold PBR waiting for you! Keep it going buddy!

Ms. Elizabeth Cleary said...

Congratulations, Paul

I have never met you, but am inspired by your fortitude, your humor and your sheer Irish luck to do what you have done!
Happy to help edit your book when you think about writing it!

with admiration,
Elizabeth Cleary
(Head of the English department at Greens Farms Academy, Westport, CT)

Robert P said...

Alright Paul!!!

We will be toasting your success this evening.

All the best.

Robert P