Axe about to cross Timor Sea to Australia



Kiwi Grant ‘Axe’ Rawlinson and rowing partner Charlie Smith are about to cross the Timor Sea to Australia on their  4500km row from Singapore down through the Indonesian Archipalego to Darwin, Australia

Here is their latest update 

So today we can confirm something those of you who have been following the GPS tracker might have already suspected. That Axe and Charlie have erred on the side of caution and decided to pull into Dili, the capital city of East Timor, before attacking the Timor Sea and the final crossing to Darwin. The decision was not taken lightly, but in the conditions that the guys were rowing, it was the only sensible one open to them. Both Axe and Charlie are exhausted, and in no condition to take on the open sea crossing to Darwin which is perhaps the most dangerous part of the expedition so far.

The decision to pull into Dili was made after long discussions between Axe and Dave Field the Expedition Project Manager. Afterwards, Colin Quincey, the first person to ever row the Tasman Sea, and perhaps the closest person to the expedition who understands best what is going on aboard Simpson’s Donkey, was kind enough to get on a satellite phone call with the guys to talk the mental side of things through as well:

“Looks a bit frustrating out there and exhaustion’s not a good place to be, so excellent decision to take a break,” Colin wrote to the guys before they got on their satellite phone call. “When you’re knackered you tend to worry about lots of stuff you don’t need to. Focus on what you can control and dump the angry/it’s not fair stuff… Hang in there… patience as ever… you’re going to get there. It just might be a different route and take a little longer.”

So the next 24 hours is all about getting Axe, Charlie and Simpson’s Donkey safely into Dili. Dave Field has laid out a plan for the approach and the guys have had a rest. Now, as this is posted, they are into the last 15 hour stretch of this leg which began at Amed Beach in Bali and has taken them into such remote areas that the only human contact they’ve had is Dave’s daily calls.

Once there, the guys will rest up for a few days before deciding how to tackle the leg to Darwin. And in the meantime, they have already received some amazingly kind offers of local hospitality that we’ll update you all on when we get there!

Anyway – keep the messages of support coming! The guys have had such little contact with the outside world for the past couple of weeks that their mental state will get a huge boost when they arrive in Dili to see your messages – What's more, we sent the messages from yesterday on to the boat so your words really are helping power the guys through this extremely tough time and reminding them to stay clear headed and make the right decisions to get there safely!

And lastly - expected arrival at Dili is sometime Sunday afternoon... stay tuned for more...


Photo credits axe on everest