So today we can confirm something those of you who have been following the GPS tracker might have already suspected. That Axe and Charlie have erred on the side of caution and decided to pull into Dili, the capital city of East Timor, before attacking the Timor Sea and the final crossing to Darwin. The decision was not taken lightly, but in the conditions that the guys were rowing, it was the only sensible one open to them. Both Axe and Charlie are exhausted, and in no condition to take on the open sea crossing to Darwin which is perhaps the most dangerous part of the expedition so far.

The decision to pull into Dili was made after long discussions between Axe and Dave Field the Expedition Project Manager. Afterwards, Colin Quincey, the first person to ever row the Tasman Sea, and perhaps the closest person to the expedition who understands best what is going on aboard Simpson’s Donkey, was kind enough to get on a satellite phone call with the guys to talk the mental side of things through as well:

“Looks a bit frustrating out there and exhaustion’s not a good place to be, so excellent decision to take a break,” Colin wrote to the guys before they got on their satellite phone call. “When you’re knackered you tend to worry about lots of stuff you don’t need to. Focus on what you can control and dump the angry/it’s not fair stuff… Hang in there… patience as ever… you’re going to get there. It just might be a different route and take a little longer.”

So the next 24 hours is all about getting Axe, Charlie and Simpson’s Donkey safely into Dili. Dave Field has laid out a plan for the approach and the guys have had a rest. Now, as this is posted, they are into the last 15 hour stretch of this leg which began at Amed Beach in Bali and has taken them into such remote areas that the only human contact they’ve had is Dave’s daily calls.

Once there, the guys will rest up for a few days before deciding how to tackle the leg to Darwin. And in the meantime, they have already received some amazingly kind offers of local hospitality that we’ll update you all on when we get there!

Anyway – keep the messages of support coming! The guys have had such little contact with the outside world for the past couple of weeks that their mental state will get a huge boost when they arrive in Dili to see your messages – What’s more, we sent the messages from yesterday on to the boat so your words really are helping power the guys through this extremely tough time and reminding them to stay clear headed and make the right decisions to get there safely!

And lastly – expected arrival at Dili is sometime Sunday afternoon… stay tuned for more…


Approaching Dili

Posted on February 26, 2017, in Rowing Home. Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. Axe, Charlie

    Rest up well. Sounds like you have made absolutely the right decision. Good rest and you will be ready to tackle the Darwin Sea.

    Thinking of you both. Big hugs

    Nicola and Shorty xxx


  2. Hang in there guys! Thinking of you guys all the time and willing you all the energy, perseverance and safety.


  3. Don’t Dili Dali too long in Dili.


  4. I’ve been watching the wind, waves and tide on and it’s been erratic since they entered the banda sea. Every 6 hours, the wind direction changed, sometimes doing a complete revolution around the clock. No wonder they were having trouble making headway. I just hope the current direction in the timor sea isn’t east to west, otherwise it will be tough to make it across to Darwin.


  5. A good decision. You’re tired but you are safe. You have done very well so far. Bide the time. You will get there eventually with patience and courage.


  6. The right choice, rest up and prep for the next stage. Great work so far, hope you are both in good spirits and we are looking forward to the next update.


  7. Jayden Strickland


    Have strength you are never far from our thoughts across the world and right here in New Plymouth.

    Row strong, row safe and keep chatting to those voices…

    Safe seas fellas.

    Jay and Bex and Cinders 😉


  8. sending you best wishes and blowing the winds of change in your direction (the right direction to Darwin) xxx


  9. Hi axey and Charlie, hopefully after a couple of beers and a rest you’ll be ready to go again. I’m sure sure with better conditions you’ll crack it💪 With you guys..


  10. Take a well earned break fellas – amazing progress so far. Jonesy.


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