Thank you to our sponsors
As you’re aware from my initial statement, late on Sunday 26th May, I managed to sustain an injury to my left shoulder. Although the injury and pain was immediate, the decision to call an end to Row Pacific 2019 was not immediate.
This injury was serious enough to have to call my Shore Support Team, including my Challenge Doctor. The Doctor’s advice was adhered to, which was to take painkillers and rest up.
One thing you have plenty of when you’re rowing an ocean, whether as a crew or solo, is time to think.
Up until this point, the Pacific Ocean was being kind to me. Having pushed hard to row from Choshi Marina out into the Ocean, which was a real slog, I was rewarded with positive rowing conditions and very sunny weather. The Ocean was being kind to me.
I haven’t analysed the data of how far I had rowed over what time scale but what I do know, is that Blossom and I were trucking along nicely, making great progress. This was largely due to Chris Martin (Shore Support Lead and Weather Router) giving me some very accurate ‘Way Points ‘to aim for. I was also being rewarded further with sightings of dolphins and whales.
Having rested for about 9hrs or so and weighing up all available options, I called my Shore Support Team and we discussed the various options. The toughest yet most sensible decision was to request extraction by Japan Coastguard.
My Shore Support Team called the coastguard and the Japanese Coastguard patrol vessel ‘Kurikoma’ was dispatched from Shiogama.
Once the Coastguard arrived, they dispatched a launch from the Kurikoma to Blossom. With typical Japanese efficiency, the launch came alongside Blossom, rafted up and moved some of my kit onto the launch (including my EPIRB* and PLB*), then helped me to cross deck as well. After taking several images of Blossom and equipment for report purposes, Blossom was cast off and we made our way back to the Kurikoma. Prior to casting Blossom off, I ensured the tracking device was powered up and active. I hope somehow we can recover Blossom.
Once aboard the Kurikoma, I received a medical assessment, offered a room, the opportunity to wash and then some food.
At approximately 1400hrs, I arrived back in Japan in the port of Shiogama. Whilst in Shiogama, both Customs and Immigration came aboard and processed me so that I could make my way to Tokyo, then on to the UK.
I am indebted to all my sponsors, friends and of course my family. Having returned to the UK, I have been utterly overwhelmed by your incredibly kind messages of support. A couple of brief messages that stand out for me are from those whom have attempted row the Pacific Ocean themselves:
“If it was easy, everyone would do it” (TW), “Strong shout and a tough one but the right ones always are mate. All the best brother.” (MD).
It’s incredibly difficult to put into words how one feels when you’ve planned a challenge and it’s been your focus for years. I think the only word that comes anywhere close is ‘Empty’. However, some of that emptiness is made easier to deal with thanks to you and your kind words. My wife too has been overwhelmed with numerous messages of kindness.
My shoulder will recover and my head will process all that has gone on. There is still much to look forward to in life.
Thank you all so very much for believing in me, Blossom and Row Pacific 2019.
Whilst I aim to continue to raise funds for my three chosen charities, I ask you, ‘what can I do for you?’ If you feel I can help you in any way, please do feel free to get in touch.
This is the end of Row Pacific 2019 and many of you have been asking, “What’s next?”
Well, firstly I am delighted to announce that I shall be assisting Jordan Wylie and his ‘Rowing Dangerously’ campaign. For more information https://www.givepenny.com/rowingdangerously
I’m a Trustee of ‘Flying For Freedom’ (www.flyingforfreedom.org) and we have big plans for 2020…
Thank you all, so much, for your support.