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After all the excitement of yesterday’s Ocean Reunion arrival in Antigua, we’re turning our attention back to the water to bring you the update on some of the rowers who are still continuing their journey.

Family of solo rower Stuart Connacher (Facing It) request your ongoing messages of support over on Facebook, as he prepares for the last leg of his journey to Antigua! Here you can catch his latest blog post, where he seems to have adopted the attitude of “ce la vie!”

RowLikeAGirl have broken the remaining 100NM, and are now on the home straight! They’re expected in Antigua at midday tomorrow (around 4pm GMT). They are set to become the fastest female crew in the race history to complete the journey!

Square One Atlantic are looking to get to 1000 followers on Facebook – before they hit 1000NM to go! Please help them achieve this, and motivate Sean and Lee to keep going.

American team Caitlin and George of Cranial Quest started a Q&A session today! Head to their Facebook to join in the fun and hear some of the answers they’ve given, including the extent of George’s ever-bushier beard.

Matteo Perucchini of Sogno Atlantico managed a selfie today. The ocean diet is working, but the Italian is concerned about his lack of tan! Matteo is currently set to be the the first solo rower to arrive in the Caribbean, so we’ll be keeping a keen eye on his progress over the coming weeks.

3,000 miles of vast ocean to cross is a daunting task, but what makes the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge one of the world’s toughest endurance events is not the miles, not the blisters or the sea-sickness, or even the sharks and storms – it’s the pressure of being alone in the vast Atlantic Ocean. Today we’re giving you a summary of what the solo rowers have endured and enjoyed during their journey so far.

Stuart Connacher of Facing It rowed an incredible 82.8NM in 24 hours yesterday! For a solo rower, this is no mean feat. Congratulations on such a triumphant achievement Stuart!

Greg Maud of Sea Rover has been blogging when possible, and we even have a recording of a satellite phone conversation with the duty manager where he described his journey so far:

“I mean I’ve certainly had moments of extreme lows, asking why the hell am I out here, to times when you’re rowing under a beautiful clear sky at night saying this is just fantastic. I’ve had three visits from pods of dolphins, I’ve seen some game fish as well. It just gives you a little uplift for a while. So emotionally it’s a real rollercoaster ride.”

Evelyn Williams of Atlantic Answer is no stranger to adventure or travel, having already achieved the impossible by running the Marathon de Sables. Taking to the Ocean has been a sporting challenge like no other and an opportunity for Evelyn to test his wits against mother nature. By day 30, Evelyn has already covered 1250 nautical miles, and today has 1620 nm yet to row.

Steve Murphy of Atlantic Endurance is the oldest solo competitor in this year’s race, proving that at 57, anybody can lead an active, fulfilling and healthy lifestyle and push themselves to limits they never believed imaginable.

Here are some facts from Matteo’s (Sogno Atlantico) time at sea so far, according to a recent blog post:

“Matteo has cleaned the bottom of the boat twice, this means two dips in the sea (he remains attached to the boat with a safety line at all times and has a ladder to get out of the water).Despite the cold weather back home, its about 30C and higher for Matteo so he has used 15 bottles of suncream so far. Matteo will have eaten 155 freeze dried meals combined with snacks, and will have consumed approximately 186,000 calories since he left (This is the equivalent to 366 Big Mac’s or 1,476 glasses of wine – in 30 days!) However he is expected to have burnt nearly 250,000 calories through all the rowing to date.”

Callum Gathercole of Waterbabies Row has had some luck on the wildlife front, with dolphins surrounding his boat yesterday. Unfortunately he wasn’t quick enough to snap a photo…maybe next time! Callum has had plenty of thrills along the way, especially when he had a near-miss with a cargo ship. you can read more on that here.

Some stunning examples of grit and determination amongst the solo rowers of the 2015 race. We can’t wait to see what the next week brings, when the rowers start to ramp up their competitive game.

Breaking news! The Cranial Quest have determined which snacks they like and dislike:

“We are sick of: trail mix, peanut butter crackers, and granola bars. We love: fruit snacks, mini muffins, gold fish, poptarts, and chocolate of any kind!”

OK, so hardly breaking news. But when you’re 30 days in to a gruelling 2 hours on, 2 hours off, 24 hours a day row, with nothing but the ocean and up to 3 other people for company, it’s the little things that keep you motivated! The Cranial Quest have also achieved their best time today, 64NM, which is around 3-4NM more than their previous best days. Brilliant news!

Now today is no regular Monday. It’s what social media has coined as “Blue Monday”, AKA the most depressing day of the year. Pay day is still another week away, those Christmas bills have started dropping through the letterbox, it’s cold, urgh. Luckily, such problems are a distant memory for our rowers. However, their version of it comes in the form of the perpetual stretch of ocean that surrounds them. Throw in a few handfuls of blisters and yet more freeze-dried meals and you’ve got the recipe for a genuine Blue Monday! But it’s these challenges that motivate the crews to carry on, and as it would now take many of them longer to row back to La Gomera than it would to push on to Antigua, we suspect the teams have barely even noticed it’s Blue Monday. Just. Keep. Rowing.

You may have heard a few of the teams telling stories of pesky “flying fish”, hurtling themselves towards the boat to some very comical effects. Solo rower Stuart Connacher of Facing It snapped the photo in our header image above, of the culprits themselves. Here’s what he had to say about them:

“These pesky little buggers are starting to hit some of the rowers and are ending up on deck……. Just miss finding one onboard !!!!! Wow they can stink after 24hrs like you’ve never smelt before !!

Ocean Reunion now have over 2000NM behind them, holding fast to their first position. That leaves just a third of the distance left to row, a brilliant milestone to reach and an incredible motivator for the team. In fact, all of the teams in the top 10 are getting increasingly close to this distance now. We can see some competition beginning to pick up, as the teams jostle for a place in the top 10.

As the storm passes, an abundance of wildlife has emerged from the ocean to greet our crews from their cosy cabins. An excellent way to start life back on the oars!

What could be more motivating than rowing through a patch of bioluminescence…? We should probably explain. Bioluminescence is the production and emission of light by a living organism. It occurs widely in marine vertebrates and invertebrates, as well as in some fungi, micro-organisms including some bioluminescent bacteria and terrestrial invertebrates such as fireflies. And Cranial Quest were lucky enough to see this. Here’s what they had to say about their first night back at work:

“Last night the water was so calm it was like rowing on glass. The stars were so bright you could see them reflect on the waters surface AND we rowed through a patch of bioluminescence! Every stroke sent a swirling cloud of bright blue sparkles. Today we have rowed over 1000 nm so far! Pushing for that half way point.”

Fantastic to see that the pair have got off to a flying start after the storm. They’re currently 7th in the pairs category and 16th in all boats. Well done, team!

Similarly, Coventry Five-o are happy to be rowing in the right direction again, and a sunfish even helped itself to a nibble on Adrian’s dangling toes! After seeing waves as tall as houses, and as long as a road, they’re relieved to be back on their oars – eek! Also, Martin’s daughter Chloe has turned 21 today, so we’d like to wish her a very Happy Birthday. Dad promises lots of partying when he gets back!

Team Wadadli have reported “glass calm” waters and hot weather, which we’re sure suits the Antiguans down to the ground. More fishing we hope? Speaking of which, a hump back whale came up to their boat to say hi – although we think they’d need a much bigger boat to catch him.

A few of the teams have been spotted by a large Antiguan vessel as it travelled along the same area! Square One and Stuart Connacher of Facing It were both papped by supportive onlookers, who were kind enough to share their photos on social media to find out who they’d seen. Great for the teams to see a few new faces for the first time in 27 days!