Despite spending 10 days rowing their hearts out over 500nm of unforgiving ocean, the crews are still only about 10nm apart from each other. They’re a little too far apart to wave at each other but that distance is in flux, so we certainly wouldn’t be surprised if they do get close enough for a conversation in the next few weeks.
At sea there are no fireworks for the crew to use to ring in the new year. Although the crews do have parachute flares it’s illegal to set them off unless in distress. It’s rather bad form to spark an international Search and Rescue just to mark the passing of 2021. Not least because you don’t want to use essential safety equipment which you may later come to rely on. So we suspect that the crews celebrated in the standard way that ocean rowers do, by a shift change.
We’d like to think that the rowers due on shift turned up at least minute early so the whole crew could see in the new year together. Maybe they stood around in a circle on deck, linked hands and all sang Auld Lang Syne together. It seems highly unlikely for a few reasons. No one knows all the words and we’re sure they wouldn’t have wanted to start and then dissolve into humming along after the first few lines. Standing on deck is rather difficult especially if you’re holding hands with equally unbalanced individuals on the deck of a small vessel which is bucking like a broncho. More likely is the hastily issued “Happy New Year” by the crew coming off watch, before diving into the cabin to get their heads down.
Happy 2022 to all our crews past, present and future and their supporters, friends and family.