5.30AM, Monday, 4th January.
At last we leave. The month of delays is now but a faded memory.
Final preparations have been done and one last night on land is upon me. I worked hard in October and November to bulk up and managed 8kg on my last triathlon race weight. But I found it hard to maintain with the meager variety of food in La Gomera and what with a bit of illness over Christmas, I have lost about 3kg. So I am not in as good a shape as I was, as well as having to depart with a cold, just for the added challenge. But the benefit is having more time to psychologically prepare. I have used it to find things to motivate me and to keep things in perspective; not least those souls throughout the ages, and to this very day, who have had to suffer unimaginable horrors - like those who have been deprived of their freedom, tortured, dehumanised, enslaved.
In comparison to that, anything I suffer is just folly.
I have been thinking about the crossing and how to respond best to challenges and the extremes I will face. I know it will be harsh and relentless, but I hope to be able to learn from it and use that learning to aid me in future challenges in life. I hope to be rich in experiences from the crossing.
"Strength does not come from physical capacity, it comes from an indomitable will."
I imagined being asked, 'How are you doing? and I responded, 'Physically weak, mentally strong' and the more I thought about it, I felt that this pithy phrase will sum up my inevitable condition and my resolute intention. I have adopted it as my motto. Through will, one can withstand anything. Throughout human history, many great men have discovered this to be the truth, and I feel no different.
"The mind is everything."
The test is upon me.
I will endeavour to send out short blogs while at sea every 4 days or so, dependent on power, nausea etc, so please check back to keep updated. Also remember you can see a satellite tracker of our boat (Brittania III) here.
Happy New Year Everyone! I'm off to row the Atlantic.