Olivia

I had high hopes for posting quarterly but I’ve been a little busy. Our beautiful daughter, Olivia, was born in January 2016.

With such a life changing event as the birth of a child and becoming a parent, you naturally start to revaluate the things and people that you hold most dear to you. Look at what’s important and what isn’t. For me, my daughter and my family comes unquestionably first, second and third. Every day is filled with thoughts about providing a secure and loving environment, the best possible upbringing for our daughter. Whilst Charlie has delayed his attempted crossing, he still hopes to attempt it in 2018. Olivia will be just 2 years old!

Far from reaching a natural conclusion, Charlie’s enthusiasm for the Pacific has only intensified over the past months. It’s an ‘itch’ that won’t go away and he wants to make his daughter proud.

Having lost a parent suddenly, I remember my father not for what he achieved or didn’t in life, but for his greatest gift to me of all…… his time and presence. Was he there to read me a story and kiss me goodnight? Truthfully, not often, but whenever he possibly could, he would. He wouldn’t have let anything, let alone an ocean itch stand in the way of our time together and missed any of the precious moments of watching his daughter grow. Those special memories I have with him are always carried in my heart.

Whilst there’s the obvious huge financial and physical risks associated with this adventure, I fear that the emotional cost to our family will be even greater. If damaged, a boat can be repaired or replaced. Can the same be said of the three of us?

So you see as the weeks go by and Olivia continues to grow and I watch in awe as she and her peers reach their wondrous and incredible milestones, the third person in our marriage continues to be a looming stormy nightmare that could rock and damage our unit irrevocably. Is this adventure just too great an ocean to cross for all of us?


Blossom

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My husband is having an affair. It’s been going on for 3 years now and I’ve known about it since we first started dating. She’s a beauty at 23 feet long, sleek lines, bespoke and Kevlar coated. How can I possibly compete with the other love in his life….., his ocean rowing boat?

Yesterday was a big day for us. After 16 months of being together, I finally got to meet Charlie’s other woman, “Blossom”. As you can see by the photo, Charlie is trying very hard to conjure my enthusiasm, however I’m not great at sharing, don’t have such sleek lines and am not about to physically cross the Pacific with him in 2016.

Can I find a way to stop this affair? Sadly not. But if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. What I can do though is get to know her properly and learn to understand their relationship. They’ve been through a lot already, and she did manage to save him in 2012 from a near fatal typhoon.

So you see, in 18 months, I will have to pass my loving baton over to her, and hope that she can take care of him just as well the second time around.  Surely after Pacific 2016, their relationship might reach its natural conclusion? Hopefully!


Let my own challenge begin…

How does it feel to be married to a man who is voluntarily choosing to put his life in danger to accomplish his dream of rowing the Pacific solo in 2016?

I am asked this question a lot. My answer, I have no choice.

Our story so far has been a whirlwind. In a year we have met, fallen in love, married and moved to an idyllic cottage in Gloucestershire. The fairytale does exist. However, Charlie’s desire to be the charitable adventurer has been the third person in our relationship from the start. I will never truly understand the psyche behind this selfish ambition of his and nor does he.

Yes, his next adventure is masked behind ‘being for a good cause’. This part I understand. But whilst his journey will take extreme endurance, solitude and mental strength, my journey, and for those closest to him, is seemingly also just as challenging.

My role as his wife is to provide him with a loving home, nurture him and build on our marriage. How can I bear to be apart from him for all those months, or sleep at night knowing that he is willingly in the middle of an ocean, alone, cold and that Mother Nature could play a disastrous hand with catastrophic consequences at any time? How will it feel every time the phone rings? My answer, I have no choice.

I’m not too sure if there are many support groups for the wives and families of those who choose to undertake extreme challenges. Perhaps this is where my research should start. Whilst the key word in his Pacific challenge is ‘solo’, a small strong team of people will be working behind the scenes to support him practically and emotionally. Wives and family members aren’t so fortunate to be offered this, and we just have to ‘get on with it’.

I have until April 2016 to prepare myself for my biggest challenge yet in supporting my husband in something that I fundamentally disagree with. Perhaps with your help we can achieve this together?