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Two hours in the life of an Atlantic rower

By Dan Howie | January 21st, 2014 | Department: Atlantic Row 2013 | Categories: News

Since we set off from La Gomera nearly seven weeks ago, we have been rowing in two-hour shifts.

I'm rowing for two hours and then I have a break while Will rows for the next two hours. The only time this ceased was when we had the storm and were unable to row at all.

So here is the life of an Atlantic rower in just over two hours.


It's night-time and I have been rowing for the last hour and 50 minutes. I shout to Will, who is resting in the cabin that he has ten minutes until the changeover. I keep shouting until I have heard back from him.


This is Will's five minute warning. I shout to him again.


I shout to Will for the final time and he emerges from the cabin. We chat about the weather conditions and how the row has been for the last two hours.


I line the boat up with the waves in order to make the changeover easier. Will comes over to the left-hand side of the boat and I move right. As I get up from the seat, Will makes his move to sit down and grabs the oars. Now it's Will's turn to start rowing while I throw my jacket and other equipment into the cabin. I'll stay outside for around five minutes to allow myself to dry off.


I climb into the cabin and dig out my snack. At this time of night, it's usually a packet of cold porridge or rice pudding. Everything we have been eating has been straight out of the packet and cold!


I shut the hatch and get naked for my wet wipe wash. I make sure I clean all the sweaty areas and then I apply surgical spirit to the whole of my body - ouch!


Then it's time to get into my Sudocrem suit - by covering myself in Sudocrem. It's antiseptic so it's providing relief for my sore bum and private parts. Then I cover my chapped hands with emollient cream.


Time to get some sleep. Zzz...


Will shouts out that I have ten minutes until the changeover. This wakes me up after a 1.5 hour sleep.


Will shouts again for my five-minute warning *yawns*.


Will shouts out my final warning and I start making preparations to get out of the cabin.


My shift is due to start again. Will tells me about the current weather conditions. I approach the seat from the left as Will goes to exit from the right-hand side.


Eat. Sleep. Row. Repeat.

Tags: Atlantic Row, rowing, Atlantic Ocean, diet, row, sleep