Wow, that’s an incredible number of challenges to face on a daily basis. On top of that you must have so many little aches and pains too?
Yes we’re all okay, even for me pushing on 40 the body is holding up well! There’s defiantly been some weight loss. Most importantly, we have been constantly trying to keep the salt water off so that we don’t get any sores, and we’ve been doing some daily basic stretches, such as hip flexors. Our hands in particular have become sore and swollen, sometimes after we wake it takes a while to get a full range of movement back. Some of the best things we have is our massage gun and CBD oil, which have been very beneficial for muscles soreness. It’s surprising how well-rested you feel after a short period of recuperating, such as an hour.
Not to mention your recent incredible experience with a Marlin, tell us about that.
Yesterday, I was resting during my down period from 1300 to 1500 GMT. At about 1415, there was an almighty bang from the stowing cabin where I lay, of which the force of the impact moved the whole boat. Todd and Dixon, my teammates who were rowing, shouted to check I was okay, to which I replied, ‘absolutely fine, not a problem!’ Then, I looked down and shouted out that the hull had been penetrated!
About half a centimetre from my thigh there was a 10-inch spear of a Marlin! Obviously, this took me by complete surprise. The spear had come through the bottom of the boat, into the cabin and was firmly wedged there. We believe that the Marlin itself was about ten foot in length, so a pretty sizable fish.
Due to the damage, we started to take on water pretty rapidly in the cabin. Our main priority was to stop the intake and then assess the situation. We immediately rang the safety officer from Atlantic Campaigns and proceeded to use our emergency kit of Epoxy resin and a hack saw.
Myself and Jono worked on the repairs in the cabin, while Dixon and Todd looked after comms and kept us fuelled. I used the hack saw to cut off the top of the spear (which, I will of course be keeping as a memento). The hole it made was about five centimetres wide, so we bailed water as we mixed the resin and used a ration pack to fill the hole, knocking the rest of the spear down. This resin takes about 30-40 minutes to set, so we had to hold it there while it did.
We then got into the ocean to assess the damage to the boat’s hull, there was still a piece of the spear lodged in the boat which Jono also applied resin too in order to seal the hole completely. So when we arrive in Antigua, we will have an almighty trophy within the boat, as well as the piece I hacked off! It was an incredible day to say the least, something you would never dream of happening to you. Last night we bounced back and put in some of our fastest speeds to date, keeping that distance between us and third place despite the six-hour set-back.