Charlie in La Gomera.
courtesy Charlie Pitcher / Transatlantic Solo 2013, SOURCE
The route to Barbados.
courtesy Charlie Pitcher / Transatlantic Solo 2013, SOURCE
Charlie Pitcher attempting an Atlantic Ocean speed row

Posted: Feb 14, 2013 01:21 pm EST
(Newsdesk) UK Ocean rower Charlie Pitcher, rowed across the Atlantic in 2010 as part of the Woodvale Challenge. He has return to the Atlantic with the aim to break the world record by rowing the 3000 miles from LA Gomera to Barbados in under 40 days.

After a false start on February 2nd, Charlie left La Gomera, (the main port and capital in the Canary Islands) on February 6th, at 17h05. On the first attempt he decided to turn back after six hours battling against the current and a strong headwind. Since he is attempting a speed record and gained little distance he "definitely made the right decision", Charlie said in his blog.

Fifth of journey

On February 13th he reported to have already covered a fifth of his journey. "It’s still windy and I’m trucking along and this afternoon was the first time I have been able to get into a decent rowing shift, and less steering by hand as the boat has been drifting and surfing with the wind and the waves."

Charlie mentioned that he has a power problem on board, "but not urgent. Until I get it sorted, communications are limited."

Surfing and sore legs

On the 12th he reported surfing at "incredible speeds; the best being 14.7 knots and the spray went right over the boat! The best one I had was over 7 knots, but it lasted for ages. A great feeling. In fact, about every third wave has promoted some form of surfing. When I am not rowing, I steer the boat by hand as it is better than the autopilot in situations like this."

Charlie said he had some nasty shin knocks from the oars catching and it is very uncomfortable in constant wet conditions. "My legs are sore and there is a problem with my left knee which hurts like hell, but I’ll try to do some kind of stretching to help it."

A big cardboard box

SOMA is a brilliant little boat, Charlie wrote, "but definitely on the small side. It is hard work down below trying to organize myself in the area of a big cardboard box, especially when it is being knocked around and constantly vibrating or slamming into every wave, so everything has to be planned very carefully." Read more about the boat specs here.

This expedition (and other expeditions/ adventures/ projects with RSS feeds) can be followed in the live Dispatch stream at the Pythom App for iPhone/iPad and on Android as well as at ExplorersWeb.

ExplorersWeb Expedition List

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Charlie Pitcher Transatlantic Solo website