Been an age since I did some typing on here. To say i've been a bit busy is an understatement. It's just over 3 weeks until the start of the 3,000 mile Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge and 9 days until I depart for La Gomera. I keep getting asked am I excited and to be honest I haven't really connected with the whole thing. I'm sure it's going to get a whole lot realer once I set foot on La Gomera. I've been preparing mentally in my own way which is alot of statements rolling around inside my head like 'You have no legitimate reason not to be rowing'. Physically i'm feeling strong and fit, i've kept my training load high but more importantly i'm injury free and I plan to be well rested and ready to get stuck in come December 14th. My friend and Physio Emmet at Galway Bay Physio has kept me on the straight and narrow in the lead up, he's also been down to the boat to see the space I'm working with to do some basic mobility and stretching exercises. Weight gain has been fun, I'm upto 85kg which is 10kg extra in the last 8 months. The most important countdown at the moment for me is when I get away from the Concept 2 indoor rower. Man I hate that f**king thing. I've really struggled some days getting on it and staying on it for hours at a time.
My boat Doireann is currently shipping down to the Canaries, I drove her over a couple of weeks ago to Rannoch (where she was built) to be shipped. There was a final flap to make sure 100% everything was packed and sorted. My friends Henry and Marina were on hand to help with lots of little bits done and dusted. With their sailing expertise they were able to suggest alot of little things I hadn't thought of like a Lee Cloth, which is like a guard to stop falling out of a bunk, that will keep me snug in against the bulkhead of the boat. Every bit of food is packed in there, the water maker is working and ready to go. I'll only have a bag with some additional items with me heading for La Gom.
Today I just did some final testing on my sat phone and comms. A Lot of folk are wondering how the can follow me and it's pretty simple, just keep an eye on here and all my social media channels. To explain the comms, the easiest way for me to let you know whats happening out there is via a text message on my sat phone which automatically posts to my Twitter and Facebook. These will be daily if not multiple times a day. Unfortunately I won't be able to see your replies and mentions as it's just one way traffic. If you don't have Facebook you will still be able to see the tweets as they'll be incorporated into the main page of my website once I get going. Every couple of days I'll be sending a longer message and hopefully a pic to my good friend Kev Thornton who will be managing my accounts, he'll post that up across all channels including my Instagram and add it to a weekly accumulation of blog posts. Pretty simple right? Not really, just figuring out and getting the comms working has been time consuming. The emailing works off a special router installed inside the boat and a compression email from a dial up connection. It will cost probably €10 to send an email and picture, so you better like and share the bejaysus out of it or else! I'll also do a pinned post with the link to the tracking website which will be the fun part of watching a small dot move very slowly across a map over 2 months!.
Tomorrow night Tuesday 22nd I'm having a send off in the Salthill Hotel from 6pm onwards. I'm really looking forward to it but also scary knowing people are coming to say good luck. I'll be running through some slides and trying to answer peoples questions before they've asked them! Having had a million different questions thrown at me about all facets of the row I'll be armed. Joanne Murphy will be on hand to MC and there will be drinks and snacks. More info here - https://www.facebook.com/events/998307180269164/