Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Turtles, Sharks and Whales, OH MY!!

As of 12/28/07 4am PST, Franck and Angela are at 18.898N-31.520W, which for those of you who are not familiar with Longitude and Latitude, they are in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. LOL Actually they are 822 miles from La Gomera and 1730 miles from Antigua. They have been gone nearly 4 weeks. They have consistently averaged 50 miles a day for the last 8 days. They are in 8th place in the pairs class.

I put pictures of the race start on Angela's MySpace in an album and a slide show. There are 4 pictures of them on the water on
www.atlanticrowingrace2007.co.uk Two of those pictures were taken by Coral Millepora. According to the Atlantic Rowing Race 2007 Website: "On 11th December 2007, at 10:05, Row of life were met by the Coral Millepora, a Liquefied Gas Carrier (LPG) from the Netherlands. The vessel has a net tonnage of 1,216 and a gross tonnage of 4,054." As you can see by the pictures, the Coral Millepora got too close to their boat for my comfort. The other two were taken by the support yacht a couple of days before Christmas.

The wind and seas have been rough. Angela described is as feeling like constantly riding a bucking bronco. It occured to me days later how difficult it would be to stay on a bucking bronco when you can't feel your legs or feet. Franck described rowing south as a "shit row"(Didn't need to translate that). But they did move south to catch the current to the west. In the last couple of days they have been rowing together, because the seas have been too rough for one person rowing alone to make progress. Today, there is an area of Cyclonic winds to their north, so rowing will be tough the next couple of days, unless of course they can catch a ride on an awesome westward wind.

Angela and Franck have seen amazing marine life. There was the time Angela was rowing and noticed something off the back of the boat. She thought she had left the Para anchor out (a parachute type device that keeps the boat from drifting aimlessly), until she saw the fin. It turned out she had secured the para anchor, and was actually being stalked by a 12 foot shark.

They also had an encounter with a sea turtle. He swam to the side of the boat and looked to say something to Franck. Franck spoke back and the sea turtle had an odd look on his face. Angela determined that the sea turtle did not understand French any better than she does.

They have seen schools of dolphin and been hit by flying fish. Angela says that flying fish cannot be used as a meal because they turn to mush as soon as the hit. The pieces have to be scraped up.

Many of the rowers have been rowing naked. Angela did try this one night, but it was a choice not a necessity. The JL Rowing clothes that Angela had made are working perfectly. No chaffing! They made clean water and wash their clothes. Angela has a tip for clothes drying....put the clothes through the unused oars for drying. Franck washed his clothes and hung them over the oars. DOH! Now there are some nicely outfitted marine animals wearing the striking navy, powder blue and purple Row of Life Gear.

Angela and Franck had a wonderful Christmas. Angela gave Franck the presents that his family had sent with her in September, and he was touched. Angela talked to her daughter, Jenn and grandkids, Amanda, Angel and Chyenne, as well as her Dad and mom, Ronald and Betty Madsen. They ate their dehydrated food and Franck drank a beer (I don't understand why the boat is so heavy). Angela decorated the boat with solar Christmas lights.

Keep sending messages of support on
www.atlanticrowingrace2007.co.uk I read them to Franck and Angela when I get the chance to talk to them. The support has been an inspiration to them both so keep those messages coming.

This is really an amazing journey. Two differently- abled(Angela is not fond of the term, disabled) people, from two different countries, two different languages, two different ages, can come together and get the job done. They are doing the United Nations Flag that they are flying, PROUD

Well, that is all I have for now. I will try to do this more often, now that I am home and back on a regular schedule. Angela has pictures and movies, but we have no way to send them to me from the boat. So we will have to rely on Woodvale's support yacht pics for on the water shots (hopefully there will be no more near misses that result in anything more than pictures.)

Now, take 3 minutes of your day to check out the RowofLife green dot and send a message of support. Thanks!


RowofLife Journey-YouTube Video by Sageweb