25 July 2001 | Pacific
Well it seems that every time I do the website update we get stuck on the sea anchor with prevailing headwinds. However this has not damped our spirits as we had a fantastic period of rowing last week which we are still buzzing from. The forecast is due to change soon to south westerly winds so keep an eye on X.Plot and hopefully the mileage should start to rise once more. Atlantic rowers continue to ask for tips so this week my tip is take a Personal Juke Box player it can store all your music so no need for CD-ROMs, however dont let a bloke called Welford do the music! I informed you all of the country western phase, it seems that we have now hit an assortment of Irish music, dont get me wrong I have been known on many occasions to leap on the odd table in various drinking establishments and knock out a furious gig to a clapping crowd much to the embarrassment of my assembled friends. Everything has a time and a place but when one is contemplating life and all its meaning those Irish fellers giving the large one can get right up your nose, know what I mean. The wildlife scene has been quiet with a couple of sightings of some small sharks and daily visits from Albert the Albatross. There have been two young Albatross's who have started to visit too they are not quite as refined as Albert in the flying game and give Tim and I entertainment as we watch their haphazard landings. A large whale made a very brief appearance but I was a little slow off the mark with the camera due to being snowed under with packing rations at the time. We are determined to get a good photo to show you on the website. The break in rowing has also started the 'Crackers Grandmasters Chess Competition' in the last batch of headwinds Tim made a chess board out of wood. This has provided a great distraction from the frustration and being new to the game I started with some promise, however this early promise has slipped down to a complete land slide victory for Tim in the first series. However late news on the competion I won a game last night, Hoora! Hopefully next time I do the web update we'll be nearer the half way mark.
We have had great number of messages from you all so I want to try this week to reply to them in this section. Read on it could be you!
Chief of Staff Royal Marines; Many thanks for your kind and inspiring words. Our morale is high and you can rest assured the Commando spirit burns bright within us. Good luck to you and all Royal Marines serving around the Globe - Per Mare Per Terram. CINC Fleet Royal Navy forecasters thank you to Dick, Mike, Cathy, Dom (great name), Geoff, Boss Anne and Chris Lightfoot. If any more Easterlies come up just lie I would! Jim Ellard and the City Of London RMA hope all is well with you all and hopefully we will do a link up with you soon. Jim sorry to hear your son Chris has got lumbered with Chris Henry dont give him any Stella as you will never get rid of him we were stuck with him for two years! Best wishes also to Joy. Henry love to Meg, Vic,Joe and Dan. Craig Mulvihill good to hear from you Scouse have a great time in the States and pass on my regards to the guys from Oracle, I sailed with Bob White one of the trimmers on board on the South African Maxi Rainbow Magic in Holland and say hi to Mikey the head grinder who is ex US Marine. I was going to try out for the GB AC team but I dont think we will get in before the team fly out to Auckland. We will be in touch after the voyage. Carol Greenup hope all is well back at Poole pass on our regards to Col Heaver and Maj Simmons. Penny Aikenhead thank you for your lovely words I met your son Paul in Totnes while he was working on the rig of Team Phillips he's a nice guy and a very talented sailor. All the best from us both. Si Parsons never mind trying to get your hands on my motorbike you need to get a mini for our blast down to Rome via Monte Carlo with the Titch o kid. Mick Cowan I have heard through the grape vine that you do not work in the Induction Block, but have been sent there until you can get your admin sorted, Lofts. Take care and regards to John Stannard, tupp three!! Aisling good to hear from you be assured my garden is in good hands with Ang, Tony and Edna. I miss my plants as much as I do beer which is saying a great deal! Regards to Tom. Geoff Haywood thank you for your support and pass on our regards and good luck to Bob Bingham on his voyage. John Taylor sorry to hear about your discs both Tim and I cringed, good to know you're on the mend and hope you're fit and well for a beer on our return. Dave, Lesley and James Hitchins get your self ready for some big beers when I get back. Cathy Pettifer keeping knocking out those DRO's I promise I will give you one of my Cactus plants on return to north Devon pass on my regards to the top floor, Kitch and the mighty men of the cane. Gareth Hudson glad to hear the surf has been pumping it has been out here too, try surfing a one ton boat on a 40 foot wave not for the faint hearted. Looking forward to sharing a winter wave with you and the crew, try and keep Dave Ryan out of jail before I get back! A dad in 6 weeks hey, nice work. Brian and Vera Roberts never fear I will be back in Cowes providing entertainment next year! Richard Thornley tanks for the message and a cracking night out in Tokyo! Viv Woodall all the best see you over the garden fence when I return and pass on my regards to all the staff at Meadows in Exmouth. Nick Williamson thanks for setting up the link with Assuage great for morale. Steve great to hear your news and that the holiday went well and you and Mandy are well recharged. Kieron who is Elkie? and Hales were is my postcard? Pass on my love to Tony, Edna and Auntie Pat. Pauline, Tony, Mike, Jill Fox and the kids thanks for the email. Liz, Jeff and David and Andrew great to hear your news keep the prayers coming and look forward to seeing when I get back. Mum dont get any ideas about me eating fish it's only because there are no cows out here! The way the weather is going we could well be sharing our birthdays belatedly in San Fran. Dad keep hammering the crosswords I could have done with bringing a few for this trip. Sis thanks for your quotes, apt as ever, keep your chin up - love to Mark and regards to all at the Scottish Parliament and leave the painting to others! Ang hang in there girl not long now!