One of the biggest concerns I have ahead of my upcoming Atlantic row is the thought of being isolated for nearly two months. Without going into detail, significant trauma in my early life has left its mark, and being alone with my own thoughts is something I have avoided my entire life. So what better way to test my own mental state than a week of solitude – on my own and with no contact with another human for an extended week!
I did a lot of research and found a website specialising in remote cottages and chose the most remote one they had. It had to be near a body of water (sea or Lake/Loch) and had to be free from internet and ‘phone coverage. I found the perfect place, north of Inverness, 13 miles from the nearest habitation and right on a loch. It even had a salmon river running through it.
I rented a Rannoch Explorer class boat from the wonderful Nicola at https://www.rannochexplorer.com. The Explorer is the latest design to leave the Rannoch stables, She has been tailor-made for multi-day adventures and extended rowing trips such as this. At only 65kg she is also very easy to handle for one or two people and either transportable on a roof rack or towed behind on a light trailer. I chose the latter.
Setting off around 0600, I drove down to Rannoch from Yorkshire and met Charlie and Mike to pick up the boat. Charlie handed over a spare wheel for the trailer, a seat and two oars and explained how the boat worked. It didn’t take long as its all very very simple and ideally suited to beginner rowers such as myself.
I stopped off at home in Leeds (not quite halfway) and then set off at 0500 the following morning for the 600 mile journey to Scotland . The boat looked tiny next to her big sister WhiteRows (the R25 I will be rowing across the Atlantic in December!). 12 hours later I arrived at my destination in Scotland.