A team of four deep sea saturation divers are about to embark on the challenge of a lifetime! The Bubbleheads will attempt to row across the Atlantic, the second largest ocean in the world, as they take part in ‘The 2021 Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge’.
The Bubbleheads will endure endless days and nights at sea as they row a punishing 3000 miles from La Gomera, the Canary Islands, to Antigua in The Caribbean to raise money for Wessex Cancer Trust.
Each team member will be working physically and mentally beyond any limit they have previously known.
The Bubbleheads are heading into this challenge with a single goal; to win the race.
In 2018, the record for rowing across the Atlantic Ocean was set at 29 days so the team certainly has an ambitious target to aim for. They plan to undertake the crossing in the shortest possible time.
The team have a sheer determination to achieve their goal. To be successful, they will need to be on the receiving end of favourable winds and seas.
They understand that there will be blood, sweat and tears right up to the day they arrive in Antigua. However, each man is dedicated to the end game and is working hard towards a successful row.
The Bubbleheads will be adopting a strict routine of rowing; two hours on and two hours off. When they are not rowing, they will be responsible for maintaining the boat and planning the route to the finish line by working with the existing and upcoming weather and sea conditions. They must also ensure that they nourish and fuel their bodies to enable them to meet the physical and emotional demands of the relentless conditions. They also need to find time to sleep!
To even get to the starting line The Bubbleheads must be dedicated in their training and preparation. They are committed to spending a significant amount of time training on and off the water and they exercise every day using a specific rowing program.
Previous campaigns promise that the team will experience some tough times that include: erratic sleep patterns, endless rowing shifts, 40 foot rolling seas, pitch black nights, freak rogue waves, capsizes, salt sores…and more.
Mentally, not much can prepare them for what they will endure during the challenge. However, working in a saturation chamber has allowed each team member to experience what it is like to be cut off from home comforts and communication with those they love.
The Bubbleheads will be in the hands of Mother Nature but they must trust in each other to use their training and skills to come together on the sea.
In addition to the actual rowing challenge, The Bubbleheads are undertaking a series of events that will contribute towards the final amount raised for Wessex Cancer Trust. These events will also hopefully raise awareness of the challenge and gain a following of supporters.
The team will be in their 25ft Rannoch R45 for the entire race – at the mercy of the elements and rowing to win.
No rest, no getting off.
From the moment they let slip the lines from La Gomera, The Bubbleheads have no one to rely on but themselves. Being fully self-sufficient will include daily responsibilities of desalinating six gallons of water for cooking and hydration, preparing and eating military style ration packs, catching fish for additional protein sources, undertaking any necessary and essential maintenance and remaining motivated and positive – despite what the day throws at the them.
Although used to living in cramped conditions as saturation divers, an ocean rowing boat will be a challenging environment to live in. It will be wet, humid, sweaty and uncomfortable, which requires all of the team to maintain high levels of sanitary conditions and house keeping.
Running a tight ship will be key to success and survival.
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