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2077 miles. Two men. One boat.
Mark de Rond and Anton Wright will row the entire length of the Amazon River in September and October 2013.

Life afloat the Amazon

  • 18 AUG 2013
  • By Anton Wright

We are only into our third day but already there have been lots to see and deal with. Mark and Murilo have had a near miss at the dead of night with a barge, we have battled wind, rain and storms and we have maintained our leaking boat strategy. Originally we had two different shift patterns - daytimes were two hours on and two hours off, evenings switched to two on and one off – but we found that our speeds were very similar regardless and on the second evening we were all so tired that we were sleeping on deck instead of rowing.

This created other problems as we were still drifting and there are plenty of dangers to keep an eye out, so eventually as a rainstorm hit we all decided to moor up and bed into the cabin for a welcomed sleep. The three of us spooning in a cabin made for two with a mosquito net over us must have been an amusing sight.

After our team breakfast we decided to rethink our patterns. We have made really good progress even through some very bad conditions, but we have felt it and to stop for six hours isn’t good enough, so we have adjusted our rota. Evenings are three hours on and six hours off and daytimes are two hours on and four hours off, but as we get bored easily usually someone jumps back onto the oars to help during the day. This has given us plenty of time to start to tidy up and keep a neater ship. In a moment of inspiration we slung the oars down both sides of the bow to clear the decks and the spare oar is tucked away under the solar panels on the cabin. I've now also cleared out the cabin and arranged all of our cables and wires so that we can rotate easily what needs charging. All personal gear is stowed away in cubby holes and life is settling down.

We are getting some amazing experiences as well - last night Murilo woke me for my shift extremely excited; he had been followed by a pod of pink dolphins for the past two hours and in the background I could hear them all breaching the surface to breathe and see what their crazy intruder was doing next. As a rule dolphins will not come to a boat; they've learnt that it can be dangerous as a local with a gun could see an easy meal. However in the pitch black of night they kept scaring me by creating loud whooshing noises right next to me. I tried in vain to catch one on film using our rechargeable searchlights as a light. They kept with me for the next hour or so until the river widened into a large pool.

Apparently I was talking in my sleep last night; I turned to Mark and said "no, please don't tickle me". As a rule I don't remember dreams so I have no idea what it was about. Murilo also says I snore, although I never hear it myself. Tired people act much differently than you would expect them to; the dynamics of the group keep changing and every now and then I am surprised by the reaction of people or their responses. On the whole though we are working well together, we have a common goal and we will achieve that goal as a team.

1 Comment
  • Dirk on 18 SEP 2013

    Yeah Boys, keep it going. Inch by inch as one unit! The Atlantic is waiting for you! Thoughts are with you! Dirk