Worse things happen at sea.29/03/2011 18:59 GMT
It's been a few days now since I announced the postponement of NY2SY until next year. I can't say that I feel any better about the whole thing but it's at least a relief, in some way, that I made a decision.
It felt very strange being in New York last week as I basically knew what was going to happen when I came back and so to be trying to spread the word about a challenge that I knew wasn't likely to go ahead was an odd situation. But I had to make the most of the opportunity and I did make some useful contacts for the future.
At the weekend I decided to escape to the west coast of Lewis and a beautiful place called Bosta. These islands are not short of stunning beaches but Bosta has become one of my favourite places, it's good for the soul. I just wanted to get away from anything connected with NY2SY and sort out my head (in just one weekend, I hear you cry?!). On my return I had to do a few interviews about the postponement of NY2SY, explain the situation, and I have to admit that it wasn't something that I enjoyed. I spoke to some of the same people to whom months earlier I had been enthusing about NY2SY, all my plans and hopes for the challenge. I felt like a bit of a failure and I do feel that I have let people down; my sponsors, supporters and every one of you who have shown such amazing support...and myself. In a few weeks I will probably read back over this and cringe at what I am writing, but I can only convey my feelings at this time. I was always uncomfortable with the praise I seemed to receive before actually achieving anthing, it just didn't...and still doesn't...seem right to me. Please don't think that I am criticising anyone who has written anything of that nature, I am not, I just feel that until I actually complete the crossing then I haven't actually achieved anthing. I feel quite foolish now for standing on the stage at the Runrig gigs in Dunfermline and Glasgow and and taking the applause of the audience. For what? But I will use these experiences, and the way I feel just now, to push me on to seeing NY2SY become a reality next year, and as I have said before....I will finish what set out to do.
You have all been very supportive and I am very grateful for all your messages. I keep saying 'thank you' to people, but it's only because I mean it. A lot of youe have already made a donation to my chosen charity, SAMH, both through my JustGiving page and also privately. Given the change of circumstances, I totally understand if anyone wishes to have their donation refunded and if you would like to message me at firstname.lastname@example.org then I will sort that out. Also, to anyone who purchased a copy of Runrig's limited edition 'Reflections' book, I will honour my promise of writing your name on the boat, I can only apologise for the delay.
I will try and reply to everyone who has been in touch, you may just have to be a little bit patient (it seems to be a recurring theme, eh) and your goodwill will not be forgotten. At the end of the day, there are worse things happening in the world and regardless of what has happened with NY2SY, the sun will still rise tomorrow morning!
So, it's now NY2SY: Solo North Atlantic Row 2012...... let's start again, OK?!
NY2SY26/03/2011 10:30 GMT
I hoped that I would never have to write an update like this but it is with great disappointment that I have to announce that NY2SY will have to be postponed until 2012.
It has been a very hard decision to make but I do feel that it is the right one given the circumstances. I will write more about this in due course but I always said to myself that I wouldn't make the attempt unless I felt 100% confident about the whole thing and I just don't feel that way. With just 2 months to go until the proposed launch, I have had to admit that the challenge just isn't feasible given the lack of finances to fund the attempt and various setbacks in the planning too. I really can't express just how I feel at this moment, but my bitter disappointment is matched by my determination to complete what I set out to do, to row solo across the North Atlantic Ocean, and I will now work toward doing this in 2012.
I want to thank everyone, whether they be sponsors, supporters or people who have donated to my chosen charity, SAMH, and I hope that you will all stick with me and continue to give NY2SY your backing. I need you.
It feels like the horizon has moved a bit further away......but I'll get there.
"Start spreading the news....." - it's not so easy.18/03/2011 12:47 GMT
Police sirens, carn horns, people shouting and the sound of a helicopter......it's the early morning wake up call in New York. To be honest, all that is the sound of the city here 24hrs and it couldn't be more different from the gentler pace of lfe in Stornoway.
I have been here a few days now as I try and spread the word about NY2SY on this side of the Atlantic Ocean. It's been a busy time with many phone calls and e-mails, miles being covered on foot and on the subway and even just stopping the odd celebrity in the street! It's been hard to get people to take notice of NY2SY but there is so much going on here that I shouldn't take it too badly...but I do. I have been trying as many radio, TV and press outlets as possible but over here I am virtually anonymous so it's a case of just working away and hoping that the information about NY2SY lands on the right desk at the right time.
Yesterday, whilst in the Rockefeller Plaza area, I noticed that I was standing beside the magicians Penn & Teller...they fairly stand out from the crowd. We were waiting to cross the road so I took my chance to say hello to Penn (the taller of the two) and gave him an NY2SY card! I have also met up with other people during my time here and they have given me lots of advice about the city and also how I can try and get myself noticed over here. Neil Osbourne is a Scot who has been living in New York for a number of years now and is involved in the sailing business. He was a great help to Leven Brown and the crew of 'Artemis' during their preparations last year and it was a pleasure to meet up with him. He had a lot of good information about New York harbour and also about the marina that I will be using. I also spent some time with Ray and Anne Wrublewski who live in the Bronx. They have been very helpful and supportive of NY2SY and know Stornoway very well as they make an annual pilgrimage to Lewis each year to attend the Hebridean Celtic Festival . They were great company and also had some good tips.
This week has seen the city go a bit crazy, and very green, for St.Patrick's Day. Everyone here is Irish for the day and the pubs are packed to the rafters. Times Square was an exciting place to be but I liked just wandering about the back streets and getting lost in the city. I have been to New York twice before but this trip feels very different. Firstly, I am here in more of a business capacity than a pleasure one and secondly, I am staying in Brooklyn which is a lot more quiet than Manhattan. It's been good to experience a more normal way of life and see people living their everyday lives away from the bright lights and skyscrapers on the city centre.
The next couple of days will be spent much like the first couple of days, trying to get NY2SY into people's minds and get as much exposure as possible for the project. And I thought the rowing bit was going to be hard!!!!