The Brightsides rowing team sets sail for the Canary Islands at the start of December as they enter the final stage of preparations for their cross-Atlantic row at the start of next year, which is raising money for Get A-Head and Meningitis Now. Here, team leader Rod Adlington describes how the thought of a leaving party on December 1 has focussed the minds of all those involved.
Nothing ever becomes real until it is experienced.
I don’t suppose John Keats was thinking about rowing across the Atlantic with three team-mates when he wrote that quote in 1819.
But as the days count down to our departure for the Canary Islands, I’ve been thinking more and more about it.
With each passing day, the reality of what we are attempting becomes more urgent. Our leaving party on Friday December 1 will be a real line in the sand and mark the start of the end of this pre-row period.
It is a time of contrasting emotions. As a crew, we cannot wait to get stuck into the challenge which lies ahead. We’ve been training for months and are as ready as we will ever be.
We have nerves, of course, but then a person who is not nervous about facing six weeks on the Atlantic Ocean being battered by 40ft waves and in temperatures of up to 40C is probably not someone you’d want sat next to you on the boat.
But we are also leaving family, friends, sponsors such as Bromwich Hardy, and supporters behind at this most special time of the year, and that is a real wrench. A real family has grown up around us over these past six months and we will miss the camaraderie which has developed across our wider support network.
That will all be drawn into sharp focus at our leaving party and I’m sure the enormity of our undertaking will become just that little more clear to all four of us.
So, whilst we might not have experienced the thrill of the Atlantic just yet, I can assure you it is becoming ever more real. The game, as they say, is most definitely afoot.
Please do support us in any way you can, and until next time, happy days.
As well as donating through our website, you can also donate via text message:
Text ROW1 to 70191 to donate £10
Text ROW3 to 70191 to donate £30