Over the past two weeks we have been extremely busy preparing for our expedition, getting the boat ready for departure, and trying to find time for everything that needs doing for the actual row itself. Myself and James arrived up in Auckland the night of the Rugby World Cup final and from then on we have pretty much been Auckland tourists. Thanks to Ben for letting me stay for so long mate!
Jimmy and I got lost a few times up in Albany looking for various stores and businesses but always managed to get there in the end. We have come across so many great people over those two weeks, people who are very interested and supportive of what we are doing and that helps makes things easier for us.
The biggest issue that we have faced was food for the trip and fitting it into the storage space on board. We didn’t manage to find a better solution before shipping the boat other than cramming it in where we could. Just getting the boat in the container was a mission and we had to solicit six Salthouse boatyard workers to give us a hand so it didn't find it's way into the hard end of the container.
Martin and I spent a whole day packing the food into shopping bags, while Nige and James worked on the boat. Just the lollies themselves took a good hour and a half – we have 80 packets to last the trip. James jumped in while Nige dealt with the shipping company and we started to load it all on the boat.
The next step is getting to Sydney and figuring out a few things before the boat arrives. Can't wait to get onto the water and get this row started. It has been a long time coming and I spent the last few days over the weekend chilling with friends and family before a few days in Auckland prior flying to Sydney. Thanks to my family for being so supportive in this especially because of the length of time it has taken to get to this point.
- Andrew McCowan