Here at Hippocratic Post, we are absolutely delighted to hear that our doctor bloggers, Ted Welman and Jack Faulkner have broken the world record for their epic 3000 mile journey rowing from Australia to Mauritius raising money for Medicins Sans Frontieres.
In homage of their mighty achievement, we republish Ted’s first blog when he and Jack had just started out across the Indian Ocean. No one at the time even considered that they might beat the record – they just wanted to complete the journey and become the fifth two-man rowing crew to do so. Huge congratulations are in order.
As you may know, Doctors Adrift (Jack and I) have now embarked on our journey, hoping to reach Mauritius in three month’s time. Our final week of prep was pretty intense. We were lucky enough to have Charlie Pitcher from Rannoch Adventure fly out from the UK to help scrutinize the boat and fix any last minute problems. It was a very busy week making some adjustments to the boat, packing and repacking so everything fits and doing some drills out on the water. We are so grateful for all Charlie’s help and advice and were very sorry to see him go!
On Sunday we did our second para-anchor drill which didn’t quite go to plan! We managed to deploy it and reduce our drifting speed from 2.5 to 0.2 knots but had a bit of difficulty on trying to pull it back in. A section of the rope had managed to snag on something (likely the reef below) and no matter how hard we pulled, we couldn’t get it back on board. We quickly started seeing another expensive trip to the chandlery to fork out the best part of a grand for a replacement. Luckily we were rescued by a local hero Jock and his boy Louis who used a winch to unhook us.
We’ve had a great month in Australia and can’t quite believe it’s over. We have been looked after incredibly well by all the locals. Particular shout outs must go to our hosts, David and Chrissy, who have gone out of their way to take care of us in the weeks leading up to our departure. Secondly, David and Shaz for having us over for the most incredible dinners and imparting their extensive knowledge on the local islands and weather patterns. To James Cooper, who answered our plea for help on the radio after the mice got to our food with some more meals and a donation. Finally to Edrick Delfos and the Geraldton Yacht Club for putting up Hope (the boat!) and helping us with all the water related logistics.
Thank you to everyone who has donated so far, we have been overwhelmed by people’s generosity. We are up to a whopping £44,000 for MSF which is absolutely incredible. We would love to continue to push this towards the £100,000 target. James Kliffen, the head of fundraising at MSF said the following:
“The challenge that Ted and Jack have set themselves is truly remarkable. We are excited to hear about their progress and grateful for their huge fundraising target. This support couldn’t come at a more crucial time for MSF, as our staff around the world face unprecedented challenges. From the global refugee crisis, to ongoing emergencies in South Sudan, Yemen and the Lake Chad region, a donation of this magnitude will undoubtedly save lives. On behalf of our patients and everyone here at MSF UK, thank you for your support and best of luck with your ocean row!”
You will be able to tune in live on facebook and track us via our website www.doctorsadrift.com