After a very tough couple of days, preceded by 10 days or so of mixed weather, Team #RowGavRow finally caught up with a much brighter and chirpier @soulogav…
Gavan was hit by some very heavy weather on Saturday night. He strived to maintain forward momentum but the weather gods were mightier than he. It started to knock him backwards. Yards and meters are hard earned out on the open ocean and he was determined not to lose too many of them. He deployed the sea anchor to halt the African pull. It was on a short rope initially but he was still drifting at over half a knot so he put it out on a longer line and that held him steady. He could do nothing more at that point but ride it out and watch for changes. He stayed on deck, on oars, in high seas and roaring wind as rain drove at him like pellets. Waiting for his moment to come off anchor and launch into rhythm again. It wouldn’t come though. He sat there for what seemed an eternity.
He had very little sleep over the past week and a half and so he was at the point of exhaustion by the time the squalls eventually past. He hauled the sea anchor back on board and was so drained that when he sat on his perch, his body refused to respond. He was unable to row any further. Despondent, he hit the cabin and reluctantly closed his eyes. Yearning for recovery to come so he could get back to work, knowing that the chasing crews of 2, 3 and 4 people would be trying to take advantage. He was very frustrated and shouted and roared into the cabin. The sounded vibrated around him until swallowed by the vast great openess and silence. Eventually he calmed and when he lay his head down, sleep overcame him and he was quiet… until all the alarms his world woke him! He’d slept for 6 hours. The longest stint of singular rest he’d had since a month ago, when he set out from la Gomera. When he woke, panic hit and after doing his checks he jumped on the oars, shouting in frustration at the peeping sun as it rose on the horizon. The anger passed soon but the frustration lingered and His spirits remained low until a phone call with his mentor Henry told him that the lead was still intact. He had had a terrible night but crucially, he had not lost ground. The news settled him. They were struggling in the weather too. The flotilla was experiencing hardship in equal measure.
The pressure is relentless and it is everywhere. It’s there on his mind as he battles internally day in day out, it’s in his hands and fingers near raw from the repetition. Grip, twist, place and pull. Grip, twist place and pull…It’s in his battered shins knocked each time a wave strikes Doireann. It’s in his sun burnt skin exposed for 16+ hours a day on the deck. It's in every sinew of muscle that strives for forward momentum as he rows, rows and rows to maintain that lead of 50-60nm and inch him ever closer to the finish line...
Gavan sent us an email to post here and give you some first-hand insights into what he’s going through alone on the Atlantic.
“Hey friends, followers and obsessive dot watchers! Less than 1,000 Nautical miles (1,852km) to go! Been up against the wall here. The conditions have been averse to say the least! I've had currents going against me, localised storms and winds from about every angle. The teams behind me have been making decent inroads to my lead so I did what any self-respecting soloist does... I reduced my already measly time off and rowed some more! My hour lunch and dinner became half hour breaks. I slept 2-3 hours max at night and each break during the day involved a 15-min cat nap. I've stopped totalling my daily rowing hours as it's silly amounts at this stage.
On Saturday night I ended up on sea anchor and slept a little while a 12 knot northerly pushed me slightly south. I came off it at 3am and had a few failed attempts to get back rowing. My body decided to call an all stop and I slipped into one of the deepest sleeps for about 5 hours with alarms going off all sides.
There is light at the end of the tunnel though and all the weather models are showing the trade winds kicking back in after what's been 10 days of character building stuff. The forecast looks unbelievable now and after that long sleep on Saturday, I’m going to rally here and up my averages a bit. If there are no hiccups again I've a good chance of breaking 50 days which is getting in before midday GMT time on Feb 2nd.
I can't thank people enough for their continued support, I get sent through all the messages and I'm truly humbled. I'm giving this everything I have and then some, I hope you take inspiration from my efforts and whatever it is you are getting up to in your day to day lives get stuck in!!!”
Gavan is raising money for Cancer Care West and Jigsaw and people can donate on his websitewww.gavanhennigan.com
Gavan is an adventurer. This is his career now. He has no corporate sponsorship. His sponsors to date have all been product based and for that he is very grateful. Gavan is looking to act as a brand ambassador and an influencer and he has plenty of life and corporate speaking experience. To hear him is to be in awe. He can offer the complete package to any corporate sponsor willing to financially support him and his adventures.
Follow Gavans journey on his social media pages which are updated daily @soulogav on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
Contact Kevin Thornton for more enquries