This morning (22nd December 2021) at 10:10 UTC the two crews of four, soon-to-be ocean rowers pushed off from their moorings at Pasito Blanco on the southern shores of Gran Canaria and started to heave their boats towards the horizon and the open waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Ahead of them lies more than 2600nm of open water. The apprehension which had been painted on the faces of some of the participants the night before, was replaced with smiles. Everyone was looking forward to getting onto the ocean and sinking their teeth into the challenge which lay ahead.
After the delays incurred due to weather conditions it was important that the crews weren’t rushing out onto the Atlantic but a quick check of the forecast for the next week showed that wind speeds were expected to remain light for the foreseeable. This would prove to be tough for the crews as every mile they were to make would be from their own muscle power, windage would not be providing a pivotal factor in the challenge, at least not in these early stages of the challenge.
After some good natured banter with the land team the crews headed off. Atlantic Dagger were rowing (at least for the first few hours) in some utterly ghastly patterned shirts. Cockleshell Endeavour opted for some more ‘normal’ looking clothing. Although we expect that within a week, both crews will be rowing naked to avoid chaffing which clothing often provides.
At this early stage it seems that Cockleshell Endeavour are taking a slightly more northerly (and direct route) whereas Atlantic Dagger are looking to start off by heading a bit further south to start off with before (hopefully) picking up those stronger trade winds present at lower latitudes and making better progress off the back of it.
We cannot wait to follow these great crews as they take on the challenge of a lifetime.