by Helen

To say this endeavour/experience is a roller-coaster doesn't really get close to describing the highs and the lows that they and we are going through but every day we ( /  they - it's interchangeable!) get a day closer to the finish line and cocktails on the beach!! (Assuming we can get into the country that is.....)

So what news from the past few days:

Half way was passed last week and then of course the drama of the failing auto helms ensued. The third one, having been fixed 'remotely' with the help of Simon Chalk is currently holding out and we continue to cross all fingers and toes that it lasts the remaining part of the journey.

Over the weekend the news from the boat was somewhat downbeat as boat speed was very sluggish despite what seemed to be near perfect weather conditions... was it just general fatigue in the rowers kicking in or unhelpful undercurrents... after a few days of slow progress and the arrival window stretching interminably further and further out, Niall and Clement had an expedition under the boat. Despite it only being two weeks since they'd cleaned it they were amazed to find the hull covered with barnacles. 30 minutes of cleaning the little blighters off and wahey - 2knts increase in boat speed immediately!

There has also been plenty of 'wildlife' to break up the monotony - the same day as the above cleaning incident, Ralph spotted a shark and the following night both Niall and Clement were hit in the face by flying fish. (Add your own jokes here...) And here is a squid that randomly jumped on the boat!

The 2/3 way-marker is now rapidly approaching and should be attained tomorrow or Friday- approx 31/32 days since departure.

Many thanks for all your individual messages to Niall and the crew... he's really getting a boost from them!

From Niall & Helen's blog