Living with Willy North, even before Talisker Whisky entered the picture, was never dull.
Highlights included: fashion parades before leaving the house, falling asleep on the sofa in his skimpy dressing gown, ‘tickle-time’, and of course, the loud and questionable singing. Saturday mornings would also provide the always fun game of ‘is there a girl in Willy’s bed?'
Then came along Dan… the man with a plan. At first, not much changed, and the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge seemed as distant as I’m sure the sandy shores of Antigua felt when the boys finally left La Gomera. Before long, the lorry loads of protein powder started to arrive and the floors became carpeted with maps of the Atlantic and equipment of various size and colour. The steady ‘whoosh’ from the ergo in the basement provided a horrifying Darth Vader-sounding daily alarm at 5.30am and it sometimes felt that the very house was breathing.
Then things got serious….
Between work, rowing admin, fundraising and the endless training we rarely caught glimpses of the ever expanding Atlantic rower. Tuna chunks in the sink or dirty laundry became a welcome sight - we knew he hadn’t left yet!
Will’s new lifestyle began to rub off on all of us, and more than one of us can attest to being caught in a surreptitious rowing session in the basement on the ergo, trying to visualise the challenge that lay ahead of these two most audacious of ocean rowers. We began to realise just what an unfathomably exciting adventure Will and Dan were to embark upon. We started to understand that their dedication, and absence from our lives was for a great and noble cause.
It was truly inspiring to see the support and appreciation for the challenge at the fundraising ball. The night itself was a great success (there was even time for a little romance before Willy’s departure). The video shown at the beginning of the night in which the team described the charities involved and their personal connection to them was a touching tribute to what represents personal causes for both men.
Will didn’t leave many details of how we could contact or follow the boys progress, and £1.99 for the tracking app seemed a little pricey. That being said, we’ve got more than our monies worth - the little orange triangle has moved backwards, forwards and sideways, but we haven’t missed a moment. Reading the blog has been great for us, getting a real sense of how the boys are doing and what they are going through. The rowing machine in the basement hasn’t been touched since the day they left, but many a toast has been drunk and many a silent prayer made by us and by countless others to Team Atlantic Row 2013.
We wouldn’t go as far as to say we miss Will, as we don’t want him getting too big for his boots on his return, but the house is definitely a little quieter without him. We feel like we are missing a little piece of home.
We are very proud of Will and Dan. The effort, dedication and hard graft they have both put in is simply awe-inspiring. What they have achieved for three such worthy causes, and in taking on such a phenomenal personal challenge will surely inspire all of us to greater and more altruistic things. Now we just wish they’d hurry home safe!
Annie, Eddy, Dougal and Frankie