It’s been 3 months since I bought Lucy (my boat that I intend to row from Lands End to John O Groats) and as I write this I reckon I’m around a week to 2 weeks away from taking my maiden voyage.
Doing the paint work and making sure she’s in sea-worthy shape has been no easy task and I’ve already enlisted the help of more than 10 people (this includes family, friends and even calling up total strangers!) to get advice and pointers for how not to mess up applying the paint which costs £50 a tin!!
The last three months have been a bit of a whirlwind in their own right with another nationwide lockdown and the unexpected result of me becoming a ‘Manny’ for my niece and nephew’s home-schooling.
Just two weeks ago I didn’t think that it was likely I would be able to start my trip at the beginning of May as I had planned. But as I write this it looks as though that is eminently possible and with 7 weeks to go until May, I’m feeling like I need to pull my thumb out and really start preparing…
So how will I do that?
Well, in 3 weeks time I plan to have taken Lucy over to the Isle of Wight for an overnight stay at Newtown Creek. The idea is that I leave from Calshot Spit, row across the Solent to Gurnard (also the name of a bottom feeding fish known as a Sea Robin!) and head up to Newtown Creek before completing a circuit back around to Calshot Spit the following day… This will be my biggest test of being at sea before I set off from Cornwall so I’m hoping to learn as much as possible and figure out as many flaws in my knowledge and kit as I can… I’m certain there are many.
And what of my kit, am I prepared for being at sea?
In a word, No.
Sitting in my bedroom, I’m looking down at:
- 1 x 60 litre dry bag
- 2 x Inflatable Boat Rollers
- 1 x Life Jacket
- 1 x Water Filter
- 1 x Tent
- 1 x Sleeping Mat
- 1 x Bivy Bag (unbranded)
- Some basic cooking gear
- A cracked old GoPro
- 1 x Sony A6000
- 1 x map of UK waterways
- 1 x Small craft Almanac 2021
- 1 x pirate outfit (thanks Papa Tom!)
Now I don’t know what you reckon, but this list seems short to me and I cried a little as I ordered more things today. All while realising that In the next 7 weeks I will be embarking on a spending spree that will test my retail angst to it’s very limit! I hate buying things, but in the interests of seeing this trip through responsibly, I’m going to put all anxieties aside and make sure I’m properly prepared.
I have also set up a JustGiving page, and decided that I will continue to raise money for The Campaign Against Living Miserably – a charity aimed at reducing suicide in the UK, so please know that I am confident that any contributions are going to a truly brilliant organisation that does incredible work.
That’s it from me for now, on with finishing the paint work and getting my land-lubbing ass onto the water.
Oh, and I’ve also named the challenge ‘The ThrUK challenge’ but I’ll explain some more in my post about the route I’m planning to take.