Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Our first voyage on Wa'Omoni.

More photos and a little account from our first row.
We'd like to dedicate our first voyage to one of our fellow fisherman who has sailed on to a different dimension. RIP Rainer.
We'd like to thank Doc, JD, Archie and Peter for allowing us to take possession of their wonderful boat yesterday. Doc kept the boat in perfect condition and she's like new. @teamwadadli had been showcasing their awesome ‪#‎twac2015‬ boat inside the new airport and we first had to get it out of there safely. The airport authority team couldn't have been more helpful and after taking off a few doors, lifting Wa'omoni off her trailer and doing some more heavy twisting and turning we were on the road.
Our first rowing session was a tough 14 mile run from Shell Beach Marina to Jolly Harbour. As mentioned in our recent blog post none of us has rowed properly before except Guilli who did a little with his dad nearly thirty years ago.

However, Nico and Guilli started off like champs. Averaging 4.5 knots they steamed for an hour downwind until Dickenson Bay. Then the wind changed and I took a shift. Of course, we all had forgotten shoes and our feet were in trouble. Within twenty minutes I had blisters on my heels and arches. The 6 hand blisters came shortly after! 

Rowing across the winds past Runaway, Sea Island, Fort James and Deep Water Harbour was tough and we ended up getting pushed slightly further off shore than we had hoped to. We actually saw a nice big Barracuda following us at one point but to be honest, we were concentrating on bettering our newbie techniques so hard that we didn't see much else. Sweat was pouring off us and into our eyes. Yes, I'm talking about 14 miles and not 3000!
Thankfully under Deep Bay, Galley Bay and Hawksbill Hotel the winds were less consistent and although still side on, we were able to get closer to land. Five Islands Harbour was windy as usual coming right on to our port side and we struggled to make the largest of Five Islands.
At this point the Adventure Antigua Xtreme boat with Jason and David came out to tow us upwind into Jolly Harbour. Thanx to them!
A special thanks to Doc Fuller's grandchildren who were nice enough to lend us their beautiful oars. We've put in an order for new ones and will return these soon.
All in all, it was a very successful first little row and we're delighted to be on our way to the ‪#‎twac2017‬. Without significant partners in the form of corporate sponsorship, we won't get there. The training has started and now it's time to look into other aspects of this challenge.
As if we didn't already have huge respect for all the past rowers and especially for our own ‪#‎teamwadadli‬, this first row gave us even more appreciation for their accomplishments.

Since this post, Nico and I figured out the autopilot, the water maker and the centerboard. We finally figured out that it had been stuck inside the boat and hadn't been lowered during our first run. That's why we found it extra hard to row across the wind. We were not using the board! It seems like it got stuck up there when the bottom was painted after Team Wadadli arrived in Antigua. Anyway, we freed it up and Nico and I went for a row. With the autopilot working, and the board down we were able to race up and down outside Jolly Harbour and then row right back upwind to our dock without any trouble. In flat water going across the wind we even managed 5.5 knots. Stoked! We may go for a session again today. 
Unfortunately all four of us won't be together in Antigua until mid August as several of us had holidays booked long before we embarked on this endeavor. However, we are doing plenty of physical training and  will be on the boat from mid August as a 4 man team. 

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