I have decided that I’m going to row from Lands End to John O Groats, which is great, however after three days of walking around the house and chuckling to myself like a maniac who may now die at sea, I decided it was time to get serious.
There is no challenge unless I buy a boat.
So I logged on to Ebay, Gumtree, Facebook Marketplace and Freecycle (ever the optimist) to see what was going on.
I quickly stumbled across this and fell in love:
The bidding had begun and was up to £450, so I added a maximum bid of £550 and was surprised when it was accepted, making me the highest bidder.
The catch was that there were 6 days left on the lot and a cursory glance around the internet showed me that similar boats sold from new at £3000 so it wasn’t likely that this one was coming home with me.
Anyone that has watched my introduction video will see that I currently have a net worth of about £2000 and no job! So I had to be realistic and decide how much this boat (and challenge) is worth to me.
I re-set my maximum bid to £650 and decided that I couldn’t possibly go higher than that, before upping it to £700, making a cup of tea and upping it again to £900… and then rounding it up to £1000 for good measure.
Apparently I have no self control.
All that was left to do was to forget about her for 6 days and see what fate had in store.
Which I did by walking around Oxford and taking photo’s with anything that was rowing related!
Obviously I didn’t forget about the boat at all, instead I narrowed my sleeping hours down to 4 per night and obsessively watched the countdown timer on the Ebay page.
For the next three days, nothing happened.
Then, during an unscheduled trip to the kettle I came back and saw that the bid had jumped from £500 up to £870!! The Bastards!! This was not part of the plan – but I was still in the game and there was nowhere else to go with my bidding, so I rode out the unexpected surge of adrenaline and settled down for the next three long days!
To take my mind off the boat I sent myself out to the garage and built a log store, reorganised the tools, replaced the workbench surface, and installed a face vice:
The bid was due to end at 12.30pm on the 1st December, so I arranged my schedule carefully:
- 6am: Wake up, check Ebay
- 7am: Breakfast, while watching Ebay
- 8am: See how long I can stare at Ebay without blinking
- 10.30am: blink, then back to Ebay
- 11.30am: Toilet break, yell tea until someone brings some and settle in for the last hours countdown.
- 12.30pm: Moment of truth
- 1pm: Job interview
Yes, I moved a job interview around so that I could be on hand for the final countdown.
The bid was still sitting at £870 but clearly some vulture was getting ready to blow me out of the water at the last minute and, even if it reduced me to tears, I would be there to watch them do it.
A good captain always goes down with his ship and make no mistake, after 6 obsessive days, this boat was mine (at least in my head). Even if I was going to lose her at the 11th hour!
With 10 minutes on the clock, my knee started Jittering and I began to draft a message to everyone in my phone book, telling them that I had a fortune frozen in a bank account in Kenya and that if only they could send me £5000 now, then I would make sure they got a 30% cut of my £185982487098248 fortune…
Then there were 10 seconds to go… Then 5… 4… 3… 2…
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