World’s Toughest Row

Less than 100nm to go!

Michelle is nearly there!  Photo credit: YB Tracking Race View

Michelle is nearly there! Photo credit: YB Tracking Race View

Michelle has less than 100nm to reach her goal! To be Australia’s first female women to row the Atlantic ocean. Follow her last hours in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge via the YB Tracker

True Grit - Days 55-59

I guess this sums up what our Michelle Lee is made of! The past four and a half days have been really difficult for Michelle as her mind begins to suffer from the relentless long days of loneliness, exhaustion, soreness, tedium, and above all the feeling that ‘this is never going to end’…..

However, we know Michelle is made of ‘true grit’ and has the ‘sheer determination and will’ to achieve this difficult challenge. Tony is continually supporting her by uplifting her spirits high when she’s feeling down, and this makes for hard days in the office for him. Despite feeling these hard times, Michelle has suddenly realised just how close to the finish line she is, and she just continuing to row as hard as she can.

‘I’ve had a great day and rowing hard but taking breaks regularly now’ - another call with renewed positive emphasis. Michelle has seen a sighting of large shark following her back transom, and an even bigger brown shape deeper down! She now believes that the rudder will hold - she checked it all and there’s been no changes. Her auto pilot is still working and she believes it too, will last the distance.

Her positive attitude continues as Tony prepares her for the weather coming by next Tuesday. She fully understands what she is going to encounter - high seas up to 3.2mtrs and winds from the NE/E, at up to 26kts. She knows that she’s been through these conditions before and has coped with it.

Tony’s strategy is to take her more north knowing that she will be pushed back down south again. Tim Crockett on Tame the Kraken has already moved rapidly north. Her two main competitors are both a little further north than her and going further.

So as she goes westward the winds will be up in the 20kts so she will get pushed along quickly towards the finish line. How long it takes to get there will all depend on just how far south she gets pushed down over the next few days.

As at 0400hrUTC she has 414nm to go with an ETA of Feb 16.

Courtesy of Tony Roberts (Designated Person Ashore)

Having a whale of a time - Day 43

Killer Whales also known as Orca Whales  Photo Credit: Robert Pittman

Killer Whales also known as Orca Whales Photo Credit: Robert Pittman

Michelle Lee is literally having a whale of a time as she rowed onto a wave and saw to her immediate horror about 5 Orcas Whales on the same wave of her. Sheer terror soon gave wave to wonderment of seeing the pod of more than 50 whales continuously surfing alongside her. She grabbed her GoPro and stuck it in the water so we should be see some ‘oarsome’ footage of this fantastic encounter!

And again her ‘guardian angel’ came back to join in…..her albatross hovered around, flying just above her radio antennae. She reckons it was looking for a place to land to say hello.

Can’t tell you how much on a high Michelle is at the moment, enjoying every second of this experience whilst churning out unbelievable numbers. She is totally making the most of the easterlies/noreaster’s – ‘making hay while the sun shines’. Unfortunately in about a day or so, a big lumbering low will sit above her bringing light and variable winds, maybe even NW so no wind assistance for nearly a week.

25nm more and she’s below 1000nm to go!

Courtesy of Tony Roberts (Designated Person Ashore)

First of solo rowers - Day 1

Today Michelle cruise in front of the boys with maximum enthusiasm as everything is working - auto pilot, water maker and battery bank. She has been rowing along with a pod of dolphins and is estatic to be out there and making her dream come true……..
Courtesy of Tony Roberts (Designated Person Ashore)