On Friday I enjoyed a warming cup of hot chocolate with adventurer and ocean rower extraordinaire, Sarah Outen. We arranged to meet in Brighton and I had hoped to saunter between the boutiques and purveyors of rare tat, before pulling up a chair in a bohemian cafe near the sea. Instead I sprinted twenty yards from the train station, felt the cold heavy rain run down my neck and then ducked into a disappointingly ordinary peddler of hot drinks.
Fortunately I got a chance to escape all that by listening to Sarah’s memories of rowing, alone, across the Indian Ocean. She experienced plenty of drama as you might imagine, and this will all out in her book that is being published early next year, but the details that seized me were the ones that many others may have found prosaic.
Sarah described how the birds changed as she closed on land, how the quantity of litter grew and the formation of clouds altered noticeably. My favourite moment that day was Sarah’s recollection that all the whales she encountered were heading south. Now that is what I call a pod of wonderful compasses!
Unsurprisingly, perhaps, Sarah is not staying in the UK for too long. Her next big adventure begins soon and as she puts it, ‘I knew my next project had to involve both green and blue bits of the globe.’ There is more information about London to London: Via the World on Sarah’s website.