Blog Day 47 – However…

Today we have been at sea for 47 days. It’s been 46 days since we saw any form of land. We have been rowing two hours on, two hours off for 24 hours a day. If we get five hours sleep a night it’s been a good night. At times we have lost all power on board. We have dealt with sea sickness and salt sores. We have rowed through rough weather and been thrown from our seats by breaking waves. We have been scorched by the relentless heat of the sun and soaked by tropical downpours. We have experienced a hurricane at sea.
However… We do not have multiple sclerosis.

Last week we rowed nearly 500 miles in seven days, and moving into the last five hundred miles of the trip we thought we were on the home straight. Thoughts turned to the finish line – to showers, to beds, to food, to families and girlfriends. But the ocean hasn’t finished with us yet. The weather has changed yesterday we rowed into a headwind – just 25 miles in 24 hours and it was the hardest we’ve rowed all trip. The sun beat down hard and stronger than we have ever known it. It was over 100 degrees in the heat of the day. The water maker broke and so we hand pumped water during our breaks. We are all mentally and physically exhausted. And at times we have the emotional stability of pubescent teenage girls.
However… We do not have multiple sclerosis.

We can still feel our aching legs. We can still see each other’s smiling, sweaty faces. We can still hear each other’s ridicule as well as encouragement. We are four fit, healthy and generally happy young men and believe we are extremely lucky. Each hard mile is a step closer to our goal of rowing across the Atlantic Ocean. Each sore stroke takes us closer to the finish line, if even only by a tiny distance. For us there is an end in sight. We know it is going to get harder now before it gets easier, but we know at some point it will be over and it will have been worth it. For people with MS there is no end. The unpredictability of the disease is like the unpredictability of the ocean and many live in fear of how they may wake up each day – whether they can walk, what senses they may have lost, what new struggles they may have to face.

Some of you may know someone with MS. Some of you may be affected yourself. For those of you who don’t, we hope you are never affected by this most debilitating of diseases. We have been absolutely overwhelmed by the generosity and support to date, which means we are well on our way to our fundraising target of £100,000 for the Multiple Sclerosis trust – a charity which provides information and support for sufferers and families when they need it most, along with training for specialist MS nurses.

We set out 47 days ago to row non-stop and unsupported across this ocean and we are going to dig deep for these last few hundred miles to get there. We would be so appreciative if you could share this message and encourage others to dig deep for this fantastic charity. http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/AtlanticLions

With nearly 300 miles to go…

Love from all of the Lions

Matt, Charlie, Joe and Dave

MS