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Chamonix, France. December 20th Unlike exams, reading this blog is most definitely non-compulsory. It should be regarded as for only those truly hard core followers of the Mississippi project or those seeking some solace from the maelstrom that is Christmas. I fall firmly into both categories as, I suspect, do many others. I felt compelled to write this last blog for a number of reasons. First, because I have been asked by any number of friends and family to write one last blog “to round things off”. I think this is a neat and tidy reason to...read more
London, November 14th.Of course, everyone tells you to expect a certain sense of deflation on return from these extended projects or expeditions. But of course very few people have actually been on these extended projects, so in fact have very little understanding of the sense of emptiness when the routine and, most importantly, the purpose has been removed from your life. Abruptly and with little ceremony. So I found myself back in London, utterly delighted to see Julie, but with a house full of builders, cold, windswept weather and a...read more
New Orleans, Louisiana. 28th OctoberI promised that I would write some reflections on our journey as soon as I was able to draw breath, and here they are.I write to you from the hotel in NO, having finally managed to sleep through until 08.30 for the first time and enjoying a third day off the river. This last point is important as it marks the first time I have had three consecutive days of not rowing since August 2nd in northern Minnesota. After two days of true celebration (about which, more anon), I am finally able to take some time to...read more
New Orleans, Louisiana. 25th October.After 2,320 odd miles of toil, pain, laughter, wonderment, hospitality, friendship, kindness, headwinds, rain, thunder, lightning, tornados, blood, sores and Sam Adams beer, we arrived into New Orleans at 14.35 this afternoon. I have no real strength to write more just now, but promise I will do so soon. I thought I would let you know that, with your help, we managed it.Much, much more to follow, but I just now wanted to thank each and every one of you for carrying me to the line.Happy St Crispin’s...read more
Luling, Louisiana. 24th October(With my apologies to Will Shakespeare)He which hath no stomach for this fight, let him depart. Coins for convoy shall be put in his purse and his passport made, for we would not die in that man’s company that fears his fellowship to die in ours. Today is the feast of St Crispian. He that shall live this day, and see old age, Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours, And say “To-morrow is Saint Crispian.” Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars, And say “These wounds I had on Crispian’s...read more
The finish is near! John and the team finish their epic voyage at approx 2pm on Saturday 25th October and they’ll be exiting the water here: Belle Chasse Marine Transportation301 Alabo StreetNew OrleansLA 70117USAFor more information on the day call the team on tel: 651 955 2438.read more
Donaldsville, Louisiana. 23rd OctoberIt is amazing what impact 5 litres of cold water filled with electrolytes and magnesium, a large meat feast pizza, lying in an air conditioned room and getting ten hours sleep can do to a tired body. Even if you are an old geezer like me! Anyway, my apologies for that lame “woe is me” blog of yesterday. As of today, my mojo is well and truly back.Because of the extra miles of yesterday, plus the significant difficulties we now face in trying to find suitable exits (note – Paddy explained...read more
A short video from me, that’s taken a little while to work its way across the ether to these pages . . .read more
Donaldsville, Louisiana. 22nd OctoberA combination of ludicrously serpentine river and strong wind, meant we were once again battered by winds, super tankers and barges, on what turned out to be a 43 mile day, and frankly has left me on my knees. The river below Baton Rouge is industrial in every aspect. I cannot really do justice to this blog or the events of the day today, so will beg your forgiveness this once and I will try to write more tomorrow.I need to lie in an air conditioned room for a few hours before getting ready for another 35...read more
Baton Rouge, Louisiana. 21st OctoberToday marked another small milestone in our journey to New Orleans. Paddy and I paddled 38 miles from St Francisville to Baton Rouge this morning and this marked the last day that we will row together on this trip. It was a stage full of event, as I will relate, but it was also a little emotional for the two of us, bound as we now are by literally thousands of miles together down this river. I will not even begin to try to encapsulate what a hero he has been on this trip – that will be for another...read more