FatChanceRow Update July 19

This morning (July 18) we witnessed the most amazing sunrise, with red and gold light creeping up over the horizon to reflect on meandering clouds which had broken off from the total cloud cover we've been experiencing for the last month. We gazed and commented to each other how unbelievable it is that this is only the second visible sunrise for us in the last 30 days. It was worth the wait. The break in the cloud cover also means that we can see the stars at night, but saying 'see the stars' doesn't quite do the experience justice. Both Sami and I come from extremely rural areas, in my case, my childhood home was close to a mile from the next house and the entire area was covered in thick, dense forest- not exactly the type of place that has light pollution. I saw amazing night skies as a kid, but this sky is more expansive, more expressive. Standing on the boat at night can be extremely disorienting, without light you can't tell where the sea ends and the sky begins. Standing on the same boat, in the same seas, under a perfectly black sky lit with millions of bright stars is completely different. The sea shimmers grey and reflects some brighter stars and the half moon, every detail clearly visible, utterly magical. It's truly amazing to be out here experiencing that sky all alone, completely surrounded by it. I'll try to get a shot, but we just have the iPad, so we might not be able to capture it for you to see. As I made my way to the deck to do some 'business', I saw clearly that there was a small sailboat in the horizon, off not to far from us. 'Babe! There is a boat out here!' I shout, but as Sami opens the door (which we have now smartly covered with reflective, and privacy providing fabric) I had to shoo him back in. I had to go! Sami then ushered me off deck so he could take care of 'business' himself, and rushed inside as the boat was quite close, and getting closer! Since sailboats, like this one, don't always have radar, we had no idea it was there, though they clearly saw us. We turned on the radio to hear 'Roosevelt, Roosevelt' ....they were addressing us! I grabbed the VHF and answered, to which they responded 'happy birthday!'. No, I am not making this up. We then had some company for an hour or two as we rowed, then they were on their way. As strange as this sounds, it felt almost like an intrusion to us both. We were happy for the company, but we've gotten into our routines and solitude out here, and we know the experience is almost over, and we are totally immersed in it. On another note, we have had a bit of a relationship epiphany that those of you smarter than us will already know. Caffeine is the devil, and we hypothesize, the biggest risk to our marriage in the future. Both of us love coffee, I'm more habitual with it and relish a morning cup so much that I often travel with my own supplies tucked into my carry-on (so that there is less risk of being separated for them) so that I can have the perfect cup, no matter where I bunk. I've also forced Sami into late night quests to find supplies when we've been traveling in more rural areas that wouldn't have coffee available by our 5am wake up. I have started my day for the last 10+ years with one, if not two! delicious! steamy cups. Sami and I have had several arguments while under the influence over the years, mostly during early morning conversations and during runs, but still, we didn't recognize just how bad it is for our relationship. I gave up caffeine for the Everest marathon this year, just a couple weeks before the start of the row. I went through withdrawals while acclimatizing and thankfully, alone.We both have been getting along better on the boat than we have during our entire relationship, though one morning, after eating cacao nibs which contain caffeine, we fell into familiar territory of tense conversation, anxiety and sharpness. It was then we realized that it was the caffeine! I'm committed to not having it when we return, except on long run days :). Last, I thought I would start closing with one of Sami's soon be famous Rules For Travel (ocean rowboat edition), some of which are practical, others are laugh out loud funny, since the divorcometer is stuck and is offering no entertainment value any more. Sami's Golden Rule of Travel #537: always have three points of contact with the boat. Another fun fact: we had so little boat experience when we started rowing, that we had to label Port and Starboard so that we could communicate, here's the now faded label. Thanks for the bday wishes and the support!