Second chances

One of the most important techniques I use after a ‘failure’ is to sit down and write down what I would do differently.

It’s important to do this as timely as possible while its still fresh in my mind.  I find the process both cathartic, insightful and most importantly a great tool for DECISION MAKING. And the biggest decision is: ‘Do I want to try again?’.

I went through this process after an unsuccessful attempt on Mt Everest in 2011, it helped me work through from a confused state of mind to a firm conclusion that I was going back and I knew exactly in what style and what I needed to change to be successful.

I am now working through the process together with the Rowing from Home to Home team.  I am neither depressed, dis-heartened, disillusioned or scared off after the last 24 day attempt.  Overall it was an incredible experience challenging myself in an environment and a style that I love.  I lived more in 24 days that I have from 20 years working in the corporate world.

Simpson’s Donkey is now being repaired in Brisbane.  A massive thank you to TOLL Logistics for getting her there,  to David Donahue from IXSURVEY for storing her, to my new mates in Ballina, especially the legend Steve Posselt who wandered by the boat one day as I was working and invited me as complete stranger to stay with him.  Talk about kindred spirits. (Check out what he gets up to here.)

Attached is a sequence of photographs taken from the most interesting day – day 13, when things started to become interesting.  I rose at 0530hrs and decided to retrieve the sea anchor and attempt to row. The sea state was confused after 20 – 25 knots of northerly winds building up for over 48 hours.  Shortly after this photo I had to swim to the bow to re-fix a new para anchor line. Later that evening the wind changed to the south and rose to over 40 knots and the sea became very rough as the wind was now directly against the waves. This is when we eventually capsized.  The boat and myself were still well within our safe operating parameters and designed to weather worse conditions however I believe the photo gives those at home a clearer idea at least of what a ‘normal day’ on the Tasman can feel like!


Step One: Always keep a lookout while working on deck – oops, somethings coming!


Step Two:  Brace yourself and grab hold of the safety lines


Step 3: Hold your breath and close your eyes


Step Four:  If you have shampoo handy wash your hair


Step Five:  If you are from Texas shout “yeehahhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!”


Step Six: Wait for the boat to reappear and get on with life




Posted on November 23, 2017, in Rowing Home. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Jeez you are freakin amazing….the photos sent a shiver down my spine….good luck…if you come to Christchurch for anything you have a place to crash…Karyn Blake…(Blairs Auntie)


  2. Wow !!!! I’m speechless …feeling quesy just looking at the pics
    Looks like you’re riding on a surf board !
    Thanks for sharing them with us Captain Axe, hope you get your plans sorted, ( but don’t swim with the sharks ok …)


  3. I am glad you still plan to complete, well done mate!


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