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July Blog - 133 days until race start!

August 9, 2018

“Sunny Salcombe and the elusive Dolphins"

We hit the ground running in July and started with a bang by completing our Ocean Rowing courses; these are provided by Atlantic Campaigns to help us get to grips with how the whole process runs on the build up, what to expect in La Gomera, best practice during the actual row, and arriving in Antigua at the finish line. We are under no illusions, we know this is going to be tough, but just allowing ourselves to think about crossing the finish line and seeing our family and friends after weeks at sea gives us all goosebumps and makes us seriously emotional. This all means so much to us and we are putting 100% in to all of our preparation to give us the best chance of achieving our dream and making the community proud.
In order to try and achieve these courses around our normal working lives we had 11pm finishes and 7am starts. Numerous bags of Doritos and Nanny Lorrie’s shortbread got us through and its another tick in the box!

We have spent a lot of time out on the water so far this summer on Huntress, the weather has been very warm and very clam, which I guess has been a blessing in order for us to get to grips with the boat in an easy environment, we are ready for some more challenging weather now though!
We were beginning to feel seriously disappointed that we hadn’t spotted any Dolphins out on Huntress, everyone in Salcombe seemed to have spotted pods of Dolphins playing just outside the Salcombe harbour, and, considering the hours we were putting in and hanging around the entrance of Salcombe we were starting to feel pretty miffed. That was until we finally saw a huge pod of Dolphins accompanying one of the Salcombe fishing boats back in to the harbour!
I have never seen anyone so excited in my life as Chloe was the first to spot the Dolphins; she threw her oars down, grabbed her camera and shot up shouting, “Dolphins! Dolphins!”. It was such a highlight, we can’t wait to see the wildlife the Atlantic has to offer. Its going to be a once in a life time opportunity and such a morale boost; we get excited if we see a jelly fish in the harbour, we will all be at fever pitch mid Atlantic!

We were invited to attend the Devon Air Ambulance Trust Big Ride Out in Teignmouth on the 15th July. It was really inspiring and humbling meeting and talking to lots of different people who have received life saving treatment and services from the Devon Air Ambulance, we are all incredibly proud to be raising money for this incredible charity who run entirely off generous donations.

There is a lot of maintenance to do on Huntress, considering she has done one crossing previously there are ropes to replace and ball bearings to grease. We have now become complete experts on greasing ball bearings and we can talk you through the best product to use, its amazing what you end up becoming an expect at, I honesty didn’t expect to have to google this but its certainly a new life skill.
Very importantly the ropes have been replaced with a beautiful mix of pink and orange rope and Huntress looks much prettier now! It is incredible how long you can spend greasing and replacing rope. Time please slow down!!!

We also attended a very hot and sticky Yealmpton show where we were forced to eat ice cream in order to cool down. We got a fantastic 4th place awarded to us for our stand which we were very pleased about!
Our rowing challenge still proves to be very popular with the public so do make sure you keep an eye out on future dates where we will be running the competition.

Lastly we welcomed home a very important member of Astro to Atlantic; Stuart, (Lou’s husband and Emily’s Dad) returned home after completing the last two legs of the Clipper round the world race. We are so pleased to have him home. Stu always provides very solid, practical advice, and now he has so many stories to tell us of his trip, plus lots of left over goodies from his trip, ie. sick bags! I’m sure we can put all of this to good use!

We are looking forward to an incredibly busy August which will involve some longer one night and two night trips out on Huntress, do give us a wave if you see us out on the water!

Hels x


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