All men dream but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes to make it possible.
T.E. Lawrence


Some may say my dreams are big… but what do you make of Ben Hooper’s If you have no idea what I’m referring to, have a look at this… Swim The Big Blue From the Team at Pacific 2018, we wish fellow Gloucestershire adventurer Ben best wishes!




If you like dolphins, then you may enjoy watching the short clip I have posted on youtube, click on ‘Dolphins‘ to watch! Enjoy :)

Pacific 2012… The Diary continued (3)

Is secured? Is it working?

“0730hrs (Tokyo), Wednesday 16 05 2012

36 02.436 N, 150 45.170 E, Cabin Temp 22 C, Batteries 13Amp.

Still riding the Kuroshio current , heading North East with the assistance of a southerly wind swinging round to the south west later. Miserable grey sky and rain.

I suspect I only have a few more days in the Kuroshio current, then it will be row, row, row… providing wind is not against me.

My next major waypoint “Pac 2″ is 1195nm away as the crow flies, on a bearing of 067. I wonder how long it will take to get (near) there!!!”


“0620hrs (Tokyo), Thursday 17 05 2012

36 21.550 N, 151 30.206 E, Cabin Temp 23.5 C, Batteries 12.5 Amp.

Admin done – breakfast (porridge, coffee), cleaned footwell, checked watermaker locker, sent emails, sorted kit out in cabin after yesterday/last night’s bumpy ride.

Hot, sunny day today, will need plenty of water and breaks, but will need to push on eastwards (wind is Westerly 5mph from 0900-1800 :) )

On this day two years ago, Dave T. and Chris C were killed in an air crash in Afghanistan. RIP guys.

1750hrs – knackered. Not a huge distance rowed, probably about 25nm or so. Good hot scran “Babottie” by ‘Back Country Cuisine’ – recommend it!

So, am through the £11k mark (raised for charity – Give Them a Sporting Chance and Toe in The Water) and Discovery Channel (video www.youtube.com/DiscoveryChannelPart1) was a success – awesome! Chuffed to bits!”


“0650hrs (Tokyo), Friday 18 05 2015 (end of week 2)

36 33.848 N, 151 43.773 E, Cabin Temp 18.1 C, Batteries 12.4 Amp.

So, next 6-9hrs look to be rubbish conditions, a minor defeat in the big scheme of things.

Going to be a long day :( That said, seeing dolphins yesterday and getting them on video was great! :) And scran last night was fantastic! :)

So, looking at weather forecast, I should look to row from 1500-1615hrs. Hot wets, scran, video diary, then row on again until 2100hrs and push east and recover lost ground. At least wind is in my favour until 0900hrs (approx).”


“0500hrs (Tokyo), Saturday 19 05 2012

36 44.605 N, 151 44.190 E, Cabin Temp 21.7 C, Batteries 12.4 Amp.

1640hrs, on drogue. Although wind is north westerly, waves are all over the place. Will be an uncomfortable night again, heading south, south west.

YellowBrick 3 (YB3) not working. YB2 activated. Not receiving text from today. Hopefully be able to row tomorrow morning and push north east. Nice (1st) email from Lizzie today :)”


“0600hrs (Tokyo), Sunday 20 05 2012

36 39.346 N, 151 58.442 E, Cabin Temp 19.6 C, Batteries 12.4 Amp.

Good night’s sleep and was up at 0400hrs. Disappointed to see I’ve made another loop :( – in fact this morning, feel a bit pi**ed off and generally unhappy. No idea why. Had a chat with myself to buck my ideas up. Thought about those whom have sent me positive messages. Looked at notes/messages on cabin roof. All helps.

It’s a grey, dreary day. Foul weather kit on. Need to make some progress. Been sat in this area too long now. Time to crack on.

Target today – 14.4nm – no where near achieved. 5nm (DMG) max.

F*cking hard mentally – really. This (poor weather) will last until until Thursday. As Leo would say, ‘Need to keep you sh*t together.’

Tomorrow’s another day…


serious ocean selfie

Something fishy!

Pacific 2012… The Diary continued (2)

“0730hrs (Tokyo), Friday 11 05 2012

36 28.731 N, 145 38.638 E, Cabin Temp 22.1 C, Batteries 12.4 Amp.


Another very bumpy ride last night. Being pushed SE by NW wind. Still blowing. Need to push east, so will deploy drogue and try to come round to course.

As the crow flies, I’m 239nm from Choshi Marina.”


“0915hrs (Tokyo), Saturday 12 05 2012

36 00.362 N, 146 27.187 E, Cabin Temp 27.4 C, Batteries 13 Amp.

No drogue. No para anchor. Set rudder to course heading almost due east. Hot brekkie this :) Had quick chat with shore support. Responded to emails. Try to get some sleep tonight. Will aim to send short video to send back to shore (www.youtube.com). Blue sky with some clouds, good wind. Got word that Sarah Outen intends to leave Choshi tomorrow – cool beans. A few birds around today. Maybe petrels?

Approx 1330hrs local – almost capsized. Big slam dunk from starboard wave. Boat turned heavily to port, water up gunwhales. Baled water (electric pump). Checked all lockers, watermaker locker had build up of water inside – cleaned it out. Tested watermaker, still works.”


“0907hrs (Tokyo) 13 05 2012

36 30.307 N, 147 19.758 E, Cabin Temp 24.9 C, Batteries 13.2 Amp

On drogue, using current and wind to drive me NE towards waypoint ‘Pac 2’ which is 1,331nm away!

Managed to boil some water this morning and re-hydrated a chicken korma. Makes a change from all the sweet snacks I’ve been living off recently. Enough water for hot chocolate too.

Just listened to ‘Right Said Fred – Deeply Dippy’ – hilarious!

Condensation in cabin is an issue. Just started re-reading ‘Flashman’ – funny!!! Really impressed with Telaurus – support is fantastic – kit supplied; excellent – thank you :-)

Wind and current changed several hours ago, heading east now at 1640hrs. Approx 330nm from Choshi, average 41nm per day. Sarah Outen left Choshi this morning – Good Luck!”


“0630hrs (Tokyo), 14 05 2012

36 26.771 N, 148 15.577 E, Cabin Temp 23.9 C, Batteries 12.8 Amp

Vessel “London Express” is 14nm due south of, destination is Yokohama.

Fairly restless night due to backache. Hard to get comfy. Condensation dripping onto face like some form of water torture. Messages certainly are good for morale although one or two do bring a tear (of joy!) to the eye. Continuing to be taken East South East, but wind is dying out over next 24hrs, then southerly due to kick in, increasing to 30knots over next 3 days. So, check over Blossom, move food, admin, rest and wait…”


“1705hrs (Tokyo), 15 05 2012

35 52.981 N, 149 57.250 E, Cabin Temp 22.1 C, Batteries 13 Amp

What an amazing day! (entry in logbook reads ‘see emails dated today’ – must have a look and find out what was so amazing!). Wind due to pick up from south. Close to breaking 400nm DMG (Distance Made Good). Still a long way to go, but targets are important if achievable.

Need to try ‘iPadio’ tomorrow. Need to raise my voice volume when doing (video) diary. Jake McQueen – what a star! (donated an amount of £).”



Pacific 2012… The Diary continued…

Rowing away from Japan towards the USA, across the Pacific Ocean

Rowing away from Japan towards the USA, across the Pacific Ocean


Having recently dug out my logbook, I thought I might share some more diary entries with you.

“0610hrs (Tokyo time), Tuesday 08 05 2012

36 49.125 N, 143 27.399 E, Cabin Temp 24.4 C, Batteries 12Amp each.

Some really encouraging messages from numerous supporters including my father, sister, Ben G. (list of names in my logbook).

Tweeted by Matthew Pinsent and Ben Fogle”


“1045hrs (Tokyo time), Wednesday 09 05 2012

Rowed from about 1600hrs yesterday through until past midnight. Headed due south, towards Kuroshio Current. As soon as I was in it, steering became problematic. Put out para-anchor. Called Tony (shore support). I had rowed approximately 12 miles and was aiming for 20-25 miles. Hands blistered. Was knackered.

Luckily, para-anchor pulling me east at the time of writing. I’ve tried to row further south, deeper into the current, but with wind against me it’s just not happening. Being blown NE. Not ideal but must wait for wind to die down before I can head S/SE again. It’s frustrating, but must focus on bigger picture – days, weeks, months still to go”

Conditions for 09 05 2012:

UTC 1900-0400 Veering 10knots = Tokyo 0400-1300

UTC 0400-0700 NW 10knots = Tokyo 1300-1600

UTC 0700-1000 NW 15knots = 1600-1900

UTC 1000-1300 NW 20-25knots = 1900-2200

UTC 1300-1900 WNW 25knots = 2200-0400

UTC 1900-0400 W 25knots = 0400-1300


“0455hrs (Tokyo time), Thursday 10 05 2012

36 38.941 N, 144 22.154 E, Cabin Temp 22.9C, Batteries 12.2Amp each

In the Kuroshio as of 1900hrs last night. Dropped para-anchor as it had started raining, I was tired and hungry. Thunder and lightning through the night – bumpy ride – Blossom did well. I thought we were going to capsize on several occasions. Very little sleep, but need to eat and row to maintain latitude of 36 36.000N and take advantage of strong winds later.

With strong winds came rain. High seas. Pushed NE whilst on anchor, then drogue. As soon as it all died down, drogue stowed, now heading east expecting NW winds later so should be pushed back into the current.

Some great messages received!”

Conditions for 10 05 2012:

UTC 2100-0600 W25-30 = Tokyo 0600-1500

UTC 0600-1200 NW 30-25 = Tokyo 1500-2100

UTC 1200-1800 NW 20 = Tokyo 2100-0300


A video diary of 10th May 2012 can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=737Y4n9kfLk


Pacific 2012… The diary…

Leaving Choshi, Japan, 2012

Leaving Choshi, Japan, 2012


“5th May 2012: At 0455hrs, I slipped from Choshi Marina and started to row Blossom, manoeuvring from the pontoon, out through the marina into the Pacific Ocean. A small sailing yacht (“Telia”) also slipped, onboard was ‘Kaz’, Kuroshe, Valerie B, Claire and my new friend Justin D. (Bad writing shows how bumpy it was)”

Check back for further entries.

If you feel that you would like to support my challenge: www.crowdfunder.co.uk/pacific2018


What do you know about…

Charity Oars?

Charity Oars


Well, Charity Oars are a pair of oars, hand crafted by a master carpenter and boat builder. These oars are being signed by sporting heroes, television, stage, movie stars, local heroes and public figures. All to help raise awareness and funds for Thrombosis UK.

I recently met the man behind the Charity Oars and he has written a blog. The blog is extremely embarrassing and flattering. Paul (the man behind the Charity Oars) is a particularly likeable man who has come up with this great idea, having suffered from a Pulmonary Embolism (PE) himself – sounds nasty and it is!

Here’s Paul’s blog:

“Row, row, row your boat gently down the stream, merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, Life is but a dream ….!

What wonderful memories these few words bring back, rowing a boat slowly down a stream, no doubt in the sunshine, with the wind blowing softly through the tree’s as the ripples made by the oars float off into the distance.


Not quite the same scenario for Charlie Martell.

Firstly the “row, row, row your boat” is partly correct, however it would be more along the lines of “row, row, row, row, row, row, row, row, row, row, row, row, row, row, row, row, row, row, row, row your boat.”

The “gently down the stream” should in all fairness say “violently, up and down 6 meter high waves across 3,716 miles of ocean.”

Not too sure if there is a Charlie Martell appropriate turn of phrase for “merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily.” I’m guessing the closest would be “merrily I see land…!!”

The line “life is but a dream.” It doesn’t matter if the dream is big, or if the dream is small, but a dream is still an ambition, a challenge, a goal and so much more, and life should be a dream.

So far this crazy (inspirational), mad (heroic), silly (admirable) chap has taken part in a race to the North Pole, Rowed across the Atlantic Ocean, taken part in The Real Boat Race which is a 500-mile, six-day rowing challenge starting In London, at The London Eye, and ending at the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Crews have to navigate two of the world’s most historic rivers and must also cross the English Channel – the world’s busiest shipping channel. Charlie attempted to row the Pacific Ocean (only to be beaten by Typhoon Mawar). Charlie is now planning to take on the Pacific Ocean “again” in 2018 …! To top it all off Charlie is part of the team “Flying for Freedom” who are mounting a daring expedition, which will be undertaken by eight wounded and injured servicemen. Its objective is to focus attention on the urgent need to build self-sustaining activities that get our injured veterans back into work and daily life.

The Expedition, which is organised in partnership with Help for Heroes, will show their ability not their disability as they each fly by microlight to the South Pole.

So let’s recap … North Pole, South Pole, Atlantic Ocean, Pacific Ocean and a jolly jaunt from London to Paris ….!!

So, when you have the opportunity to meet and chat with such an inspirational person it seemed the right thing to do. As you know the whole Charity Oars campaign is about gaining support from sportsmen, women, television, film stars and people who are inspirational within the community. Charlie Martell certainly is an inspiration.

So off we popped to Paddington station, trying not to look too suspicious or out of place. Standing casually by the “meeting” sign with an 8 foot oar, I seemed to fit in rather well. True, a couple of the other people were standing there with flowers and presents, I dread to think what they thought I was up to…? Answers on a postcard to ……

Well up walked Charlie, a cheery handshake and off we went for a coffee …!

To accomplish all of the adventures that he has undertaken to date, and the support he’s had from his many sponsors and most importantly the charities that he has supported along the way, is a testament to all that is right with the world.

Now this is the part that I’m hoping the lovely Ellisa skips past (of course she might not get this far I do tend to waffle on..!) Well, as Charlie and I chatted on about life, adventures, mentoring, life challenges and other such admirable subjects, the conversation came to “what happens once the Charity Oars are auctioned off?” Well, according to Charlie “The Atlantic is an achievable goal…!”

So who’s up for a row?

It’s all too easy as time passes (a sad truth I’m afraid) to just stop and think you’re done and there’s nothing left out there to drive you, to push you, to stop you living…..!

Well along with Charlie, I couldn’t disagree more….! After surviving Typhoon Mawar, the “normal” response you’d think would be “nope, not doing that again…!” But no, in fact Charlie’s response was; “What if we experience bad weather again? I’m certain it will happen, but I hope it’s not of typhoon strength. If Blossom and I were to find ourselves in a typhoon again, I’m confident we would not only survive again, but would come out of it relatively unscathed and able to continue on our journey.”

survivor səˈvʌɪvə/

noun: survivor; plural noun: survivors

a person who survives, especially a person remaining alive after an event – A person who copes well with difficulties in their life.

Survivors come in all shapes, sexes, colours, heights and sizes. Survivors come from all professions, communities and backgrounds. Now here was someone who had survived a typhoon, and countless other “adventures” personally and professionally.

In the journey so far, the Charity Oars have met some truly amazing people, I mean “truly” amazing. The bizarre circumstance of sitting in a coffee bar at Paddington Station, chatting with a double Guinness Record holder, a chap who has rowed the Atlantic, nearly the Pacific (damn that typhoon), been to the North Pole as well as soon heading to the South Pole, and wants to look for that next adventure, well how could we be anything but in awe…..?….!

It truly was an honor to meet such a chap, who’d of thought all of those years ago I would have been chatting to a Double Guinness Record holder? Not I …!

So, oceans, polar expeditions, an apparent gentle row from London to Paris, now chatting with the Charity Oars …. How amazing is Charlie’s life?

So from a son of a RN Commander (I really wasn’t ever going to follow in his footsteps…!!) all those orders…!! I’d like to give a huge “salute” of thanks to Charlie, for all he’s accomplished so far, for all the amazing adventures in the future, for all the amazing support he’s given to charities and individuals and for the inspiration he gives to so many people. The Charity Oars say …

#Thankyou #TopChap “

Polar Challenge 2005

HMS Mersey visiting Team HESCO








DW Start

Sunset Pacific Ocean 2012









G-CHGA Sundown


To read more about Charity Oars: Charity Oars website  To read (and learn) more about Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) and Pulmonary Embolism (PE): Thrombosis UK

Balance of News

The man who could be regarded as the Godfather of Ocean Rowing. (pic courtesy of Ocean Rowing Society)

Kenneth Crutchlow – The man who could be regarded as the Godfather of Ocean Rowing. (pic courtesy of Ocean Rowing Society)


Several years ago, I had the pleasure to meet with a man, a good man, whom I found to be quiet, knowledgeable and selfless. We discussed the rather odd topic of ocean rowing, in particular the Pacific Ocean. That man was Kenneth Crutchlow. Without Kenneth Crutchlow there probably would be no Ocean Rowing Society. We only met the once, but Kenneth left me with a positive influence and certainly didn’t discourage me from attempting to row the Pacific. Today, (4th February 2016) Kenneth will be laid to rest. Rest In Peace, the man who could be described as the Godfather of Ocean Rowing.

Kenneth Crutchlow introducing ‘Team Hesco powered by Commando Joe’ prior to receiving their Guinness World Records


(Craig Glenday (Editor in Chief Guinness World Records, Charlie Martell, Mark Waterson, Kenneth (Ocean Rowing Society), Pete Rowlands, Ben Fouracre)


The Balance of News, the obvious bad news above but there is some good Ocean Rowing news…


After 209 days at sea all alone, John Beeden has successfully rowed from San Francisco, USA to Queensland, Australia!

Made it!

Made it!

John Beeden

John Beeden




You can read more on John’s voyage by going to the BBC article: www.bbc.co.uk

Well done John – an enormous achievement!



Coxless Crew

Coxless Crew

John wasn’t the only one out rowing across the Pacific Ocean, on a similar route. Six courageous women, three of whom rowed the entire route, the other three rowed a leg each, have earned themselves two Guinness World Records and a huge amount of media attention – and quite rightly so. The Coxless Crew is made up of Laura Penhaul, Emma Mitchell, Natalia Cohen, Isabel Burnham (1st Leg), Lizanne Van Vuuren (2nd Leg) and Meg Dyos (3rd Leg). The voyage took a little bit longer than first anticipated, but is still an epic achievement. For more info www.coxlesscrew.com




Let’s not forget, there have also been a number of other people rowing… The Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge #TWAC2015  saw 26 boats leave La Gomera for Antigua. Crews were either solo, pairs or fours and were rowing either Pure Class or Concept Class boats. I spoke with two of the crews as they prepared for their respective challenge and both crews have done very well (nothing to do with me I can assure you!). The crews are:

Olly Clark and Dan Parsons of ‘Atlantic Challenge 2015’ (www.atlantic-row.com), who won the Pure Pairs Class


pic credit Ben Duffy


James, Liam, Stuart and James of ‘All Beans No Monkeys’ (www.allbeansnomonkeys.com)

pic credit Atlantic Campaigns

Well done to all you Ocean Rowers! Fantastic human achievements! Watch this space for more news of my return to the Pacific Ocean!

The end for some… The start for others…

As the first quarter of the year comes to a close (where did it go?!), the RBS 6 Nations rugby has finished… well done all teams for providing us spectators with an amazing championship and well done to Ireland, this year’s winners. The end of this first quarter also signals the start of not only planning adventures for some but also for those lucky ones, the start of adventures!


One of Flying For Freedom‘s mentors, Dave Sykes is an accomplished microlight pilot who can claim being the first paraplegic to have flown solo from London, UK to Sydney, Australia (2011). Yesterday, Dave departed from York as he heads towards south towards Europe and will then turn north heading for the North Pole.

Dave Sykes route

Dave intends to make this flight solo and will be the first paraplegic to complete this challenge. From all at Flying For Freedom, “Good Luck Dave!” If you want to sponsor Dave, he’s raising funds for Martin House Children’s Hospice


In a little over three weeks, four young ladies will be departing on the first leg of their massive challenge… to row from San Francisco to Australia via Hawaii and Samoa. I urge you to follow these amazing people as they set out on this amazing voyage in April; they are the Coxless Crew 

I spoke with Laura, one of the crew a few days ago and the team are raring to go. They would value your support! The girls are raising funds for Walking With The Wounded and Breast Cancer Care



 In May, Veterans In Action (VIA) will begin their 4,000 mile walk around the coastline of the UK as a means to help some of those who suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).


Look out for the VIA bus and if you see it somewhere near you, say hi to the team. PTSD is not a disease, it is not contagious and you may well learn what some of these people have been through. Taking the time to talk to them may help them…  Please do donate a £1 or more if you can spare it, it would be greatly appreciated.

Until my next post, adieu!