Since stepping off the boat on Friday morning Ted and I have been resting up trying to recover from the row. Both of our bodies have taken time to adjust to being on dry land.
Initially after stepping off the boat we were unable to stand straight, or walk in a straight line. Our brains had spent so long adjusting to the rocking and rolling on the ocean, that we were completely adjusted to living aboard a small rowing boat. However, once that stimulus was removed our brains still tried to compensate – causing a very strange sensation of the ground moving under our feet!
Also as neither of us had stood up straight for two months our hip flexors had contracted making it impossible to actually stand upright – so we have been stooping like very old men for the last few days! Other than these effects in the first few days I was surprised to discover that I had relatively few issues getting off the boat – in that I went out for dinner, had several amazingly normal nights sleep, and started to continue life on land without too much of a problem. However 3 days after landing my body rapidly realised it no longer needed to be on top form and started to shut down… I experienced full body cramps as if my muscles were tearing themselves apart and I was left bed bound for 2 straight days – unable to stay awake for more than a few hours at a time.
We both lost weight on the row. I have lost all the weight I gained beforehand returning to my pre-training weight of 78.5kg (12 stone 5lb) from a doughy 86.5kg (13 stone 8lb) in Geraldton prior to departure, despite having no issues wolfing down 5000 kcal/day on the row! Ted had a slightly more tumultuous relationship with food on board and as a result lost a whopping 14kg (2 stone 3lb) leaving him at 74kg (11 stone 9lb) when we stepped onto dry land.
Other than relaxing and winding down, and trying to give our bodies a rest we have been very busy giving interviews to various arms of the press – both here and at home. We have also been catching up with our very supportive families, and clearing, cleaning and re packing the boat ready for its shipping back to the UK. On land there are so many different stimuli driving your senses mad, it is surprisingly difficult to stay focused on one task and we have found juggling daily life certainly not as straightforward as it would have been 2 months ago. Being at Beachcomber and having this chill out time here in Mauritius has been a wonderful stepping stone before we return home to normality next week.
Having spent two months with nobody to speak to other than Ted I have found it somewhat overwhelming being surrounded by so many people. On the boat you are very alone and it’s very easy to forget quite how many people are supporting you and working behind the scenes to keep everything moving, and then you land, and there are so many people, cameras and so much attention. It suddenly dawned on us and became a real reality how many people were behind us and giving us so much support, and this was a very touching experience and really stretched the emotions.
We would like to thank our new sponsors IDCM for their very generous support of MSF and also to our fantastic hosts for our initial recovery, Beachcomber Resorts who have made resting up post row into a truly luxurious experience that could not be more of a contrast to life on board a 7m rowing boat!
Back to the sun-lounger
Jack and Ted