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Skipper's Log for Sea Change Row

***This is an ongoing post which will be updated daily from the Sea Change crew on the GB Row Endurance***

June 17, 2024 - Departed Dover. We're Back in Action!

June 16, 2024

June 14, 2024

Sharp and Enright, shop in Dover Harbor, UK

June 13, 2024

June 12, 2024

The Sea Change Rowing Crew heads back to Dover to wait out the incoming storm.
The Sea Change Rowing Crew heads back to Dover to wait out the incoming storm.

June 11, 2024, 15:00 (GMT+1)

June 10, 2024, 14:30 (GMT+1)

Hey, guys. Sorry for the lack of updates. As expected Day 2 is more challenging than Day 1 in quite a lot of ways. We made really good progress through the night, and we're actually a lot further on than we expected to be by this morning, but there's just this weather system that's come through, which feels like more than 20 knots to be honest, of wind and it's blowing right onshore.

So we were relatively close to the shore and couldn't make it behind the island, that I meant shelter behind. So we instead tried to put an anchor down but the anchor dragged so it wouldn't hold. We tried rowing against the wind to get out into deep water but couldn't do that.

So we tried the anchor several times in the end. We've now put out two anchors and also the drogue from the bow, just to throw out everything that we could in a last ditch attempt really to stop ourselves. And that has worked, so that's held. We've been sat here for the last few hours.

Some pretty big wins and lots of big waves coming across the boat. Quite a lot of them sort of breaking over us, we're quite wet. We just had a wave make its way into the cabin in a way that it shouldn't have done. And it wouldn't have done if I'd have closed the door properly.

But it looks like another band of rain coming over, and then hopefully the wind is due to die. So I think from now on it should be getting less and less. And then by this evening it will drop right off and we should be able to make way again. The next challenge is going to be how easily we're able to bring up all of the things that we've put down, so the anchors and the drogue and everything. Slightly unorthodox configuration there and great that it's held us so well, but we do need to be able to make sure we can bring them back again so that we can get going when we need to.

Anyway, we will update you more later on, but for the moment, I've got Chrissy and Madeline sitting out on deck with their backs to the waves. Lorena and Jess are in the bow cabin. Jess has been a super star with all of the gear and the ropes and everything. And Aoife's here with me in that stern cabin.

More later, but at the moment, we're okay.

June 9, 2024, 22:03 (GMT+1)

Sea Change Row Crew, moments before departure from Tower Bridge, London.

Skipper's log on Day 1. We are about five hours into our row. We just reckon we've done 1% of the 2000 miles. We need to go past 20 miles. We've had a great run down the Thames and in very nice conditions. It's a nice bit of tailwind and a good strong tide pushing us. We're pretty much at the end of that now.

So in the next hour or so we're expecting our progress to slow a lot, and we may need to anchor up for a bit if we can't make more than a knot or so. But right now, it's 22:00 and we have just passed Tilbury Dock, heading towards London Gateway. It's getting dark.

We're just having to remember how to read navigation lights on all of the boats. The Thames is full of hazards. We've had to keep a really good lookout all the way down. There's lots of huge, metal mooring buoys that are as big as our boat and a lot of ships and barges moored up, jetties sticking out into the river.

It's been quite all hands on deck. Lots of concentration. Feeling really good. And it's not a race, but we are currently ahead of the Coastal Odyssey crew which we're enjoying every moment of! We don't necessarily expect it to last forever, but we will take the small wins when they come.

We're expecting to anchor up. We're expecting the weather to get more challenging overnight and tomorrow. So I'm trying to get the crews sort of prepared for that, knowing what's coming. And then we'll just see how it goes tomorrow. We may or may not need to anchor up and wait out a tide. We will see how we go.

But really good first tide. Really happy to be underway. And much love to everybody. And thank you so much for all of the support that you gave us today. That was quite amazing and emotional rowing away. And, just amazing the way you go from complete chaos and so much going on all over the place and then gradually the support boat and the media boat sort of peel away and it's just us left and our boat. And that's really good. I don't know what's going on outside, there's a lot of laughing, something about suction cups! They were trying to sort the clock out anyway, I'll end it there. Thanks, everyone, and good night.

The Sea Change Row Expedition crew, part of the GB Row Challenge, which launches on June 9th, 2024 from Tower Bridge London, for a 2000 mile long row around Great Britain.
The Sea Change Crew, 3 days before launch.

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