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14th July 2004: What's the Damage?

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Tuesday was one of the most extremist days I have ever had in my life. We received the go-ahead late on Monday evening to attempt the crossing. Tuesday morning started out really well; the weather was beautiful and I did the first half the channel in the bath in a time that would have been good in a normal boat. The minute I entered French waters the weather got much worse - I rowed on hoping that it might get better.

After 3 and a half hours more of rowing against the wind and by this stage the current had turned against me - with wave tops reaching 2/2.5 metres and winds gusting to force 6 the attempt had to be called off for safety reasons. The bath had developed a leak by this stage (no I did not take out the plug by mistake) and I was plucked from a sinking bath just in time for it to flip over. I dangled over the side of the support boat clinging to the arm of my support boat skipper and was eventually hauled on to the deck as the bath listed away from me to tip over. Immediately before leaving the tub I had to cut loose nearly everything (equipment and supplies) due to the bad weather. Thanks only to cutting loose the equipment and the brilliance of my support boat skipper (and a salvage firm) the bath is now back in Blighty. The bath is totally bent and out of shape with a great big hole in one side and we are all hoping currently that she may be fixable.

Artist's Impression of Tim rowing Lilibet II

I was less than 5 miles off the French coast when we had to call the attempt off and due to the currents etc had rowed just shy of 20 miles to get there - half of this was through the storms.

There are now many conversations going on between all the various sponsors and me about how possible another attempt is. For now I feel fine and relieved to be here if a little on the tired side. If anyone knows any good remedies for cuts send them on.

I finished the whole day off with a nice long soak in the bath - oh the irony.

Finally, may I ask you all to remember Bernard my rubber duck who bravely went down with the vessel in the finest traditions of the British Navy.

He will be much missed.