Big ocean, tiny boat, children needing help

08 October 2015


(John and Rob Eustace, photo by @KatBlackAuthor)

That’s my uncle on the left as you look at the picture, and my cousin Rob on the right. Next month, they are going to row – yes, row, with oars – the 3000 nautical miles from the Canaries to Barbados. In a boat. With oars. Did I mention the oars? Rob’s done this sort of thing before; that rugged, adventury look he has is not something cooked up in the make-up room of a studio. John, on the other hand, is 79 years old and hasn’t, which is why he told Rob to push him overboard if he doesn’t make it. The whole business is just a little bit epic. I will reiterate that they are going to row this distance, with oars, not take the three o’clock Monarch flight from Tenerife.

You will note, incidentally, that heroic eyebrows are not only a feature of my father’s genetics: we’ve all got them. The Force is strong in my family, and in the event that they run out of food, my plucky relatives will be able to trawl for sustenance using a net made of eyebrow twine.

This is their blog. They haven’t left yet, so it’s a bit bare, although you’ll notice a picture of the boat in which they are ROWING ACROSS THE ATLANTIC, WITH OARS. To my mind, it mostly resembles a giant and incredibly sophisticated pedalo. There are quite literally fish bigger than their boat. It would fit comfortably into the open mouth of a blue whale. And in this thing they will row 3000 nautical miles.

Here’s the bit where I ask you to donate money to something.


I am not generally a huge fan of charity runs and so on. I’m perfectly happy to give money to charity and I’m perfectly happy that people should run twenty six miles if that’s how they want to spend time. I’m more a glass of wine and a slice of cake sort of person, but it takes all sorts. I’ve just never really seen why someone running twenty six miles should encourage me to give money to the Salisbury Donkey Trust. HOWEVER. People, seriously. This is helluva different. This is three thousand nautical miles in the modern version of a birchbark canoe. It is awe-inpsiring that they’re going to do this, and actually the Alexander Devine folks need and deserve all the support they can get anyway. It is the confluence of two things that are amazing and that should make you proud to be a human being.

BBC Radio 5 Live talked to John and Rob here. Listen, and support them, and give money to a children’s hospice.

Because: big ocean, tiny boat, children needing help.

Thank you.

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