Our challenge starts at the marina of Portimao, on the south coast of Portugal. Pushing south west towards the Canary Islands through notoriously unpredictable weather, our first 600 miles will be an unforgiving test of life at sea.
From the Canaries we will track the African coast, pressed forward by the mid-Atlantic currents towards South America.
Once level with the Cape Verde Islands, it is time to turn due west across the vast Atlantic Ocean to French Guiana.
Some 3,800 miles after leaving Portugal, we will approach Cayenne – the capital of French Guiana – where a hot meal and cold beer awaits!
We will be the first crew of four to complete the mainland to mainland Atlantic route in a Pure class boat. This will make it a record breaking crossing.
Our boat is a Pure class ocean rowing boat. Unlike more modern boats it doesn’t get much assistance from the wind. It’s all about the rowing.
Our row will be longer than most Atlantic crossings. Starting and finishing on the mainland rather than islands we will cover 800 extra miles.
There’s no stopping at the shops, or a night in a fancy hotel. Once we set off it’s all hands on deck until we reach the other side.
Trilogy is a Woodvale Pure 4, 29′ x 7′. She was constructed in 2010 and has completed three ocean crossings so far.
Her construction is of sandwich laminate hull, cabins and rowing deck using carbon and epoxy.
Trilogy boasts three rowing positions and a watertight cabin at either end. There is copious under deck storage for food and ballast, along with additional space under the gunwales.
She also possesses an extensive range of electrical equipment including a water maker and auto helm, and safety and communications kit such as GPS, a Sea-Me, an EPIRB and VHF radios.
Power comes from solar panels and is stored in two marine batteries.
Each cabin is 6 feet long, so space on deck is at a premium. All eating and personal hygiene routines take place in an area of a few square feet outside the bow cabin, while much of the space at the stern end is reserved for the life raft.
The cabins themselves can fit one comfortably, but any more than that can be a squeeze, particularly in the bow!