Nabs and the Whale…

08 Feb 2011

With the thoughts of the record now out of their minds the crew of BRITANNIA III have been enjoying their rowing experience and some of the wildlife in the Atlantic Ocean.

whales from the rowing boatFirst up were three pilot whales (not the ones in the image above).  Nabs El Busaidy from Bahrain was the first one to spot the whales and he recounted his experience to Kate Battes, Woodvale Events Director via satellite phone, “It’s amazing when you see a whale from a rowing boat – it gives you a massive appreciation of the size of some of the creatures that live in our seas.”  Naturally inquisitive, the whales approached the boat and circled it a few times.  “It was scary at first” said Nabs. “They’re huge. But it really was a spectacular experience for me and one that isn’t guaranteed when doing an ocean crossing.” He continued “I feel very privileged to be able to see these magnificent creatures and spend time on the Ocean.”

While rowing over the weekend Anna Lewis, a Graduate Student at Oxford University, felt a slight drag on her oar. Due to her rowing experience Anna sits in the stroke position when rowing on board Britannia and so sets the pace for the rowers behind her. They noticed she was pausing slightly when taking a stroke, asked her what was wrong, and very calmly she said “Oh nothing really, I’ve just got a squid stuck on the end of my oar”.  Needless to say a few giggles were heard around the boat and the crew jumped up to see what was going on.  It turns out that the squid (not the one in the image above) had taken umbrage to the fact that Anna was invading its space with her oar and had suckered itself to the blade.  Anna managed to stifle her laughter, shake the creature off and clean her oar and continue rowing.  Now it’s not every day in Oxford that Anna has to deal with things like that while flat water rowing!

Nabs and the crew of Britannia III are nearly at the half way mark and have their sights firmly set on reaching Barbados. Barbados is an island nation of the Lesser Antilles, 34 kilometres (21 mi) in length and 23 kilometres in width. It is situated in the western area of the North Atlantic Ocean and 100 kilometres (62 mi) east of the Windward Islands and the Caribbean Sea. Barbados is outside of the principal Atlantic hurricane belt. The island has an estimated population of 275,338 people, with around 80,000 living in or around Bridgetown, the largest city and the country’s capital. In 1966, Barbados became an independent nation and Commonwealth realm, retaining Queen Elizabeth II as Head of State. Barbados is one of the Caribbean’s leading tourist destinations and is the most developed island in the region.

Britannia III should be arriving in Barbados in the middle of March 2011.

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