The Toughest Voyage on Earth – Smashed!

For the past 18 months The Tempest Two have been living and breathing discipline. Their lives revolved around an idea, which many believed was impossible but they came out the other end, victorious.

We had a chance to catch up with Tom and James to answer the questions that everyone has been asking:

How does it feel to have completed the toughest voyage on earth?

T: The feeling when we pulled into Barbados was of pure relief. With a journey that holds so much risk, you can’t help but worry about things that could end the dream. Oars snapping, capsizing or 1,000 other incidents could have ended the journey and could so easily have happened, so to make the finish-line relatively unscathed was just phenomenal. The achievement hasn’t sunk in yet, but the support has been overwhelming. People have told us how we have inspired them to go out and achieve things they have only dreamt of, which is something we never anticipated.

What was the best thing about the journey?

T: Hard to pin-point a ‘best bit’, but for me there were certain nights where the moon was full, the stars were thick and bright and the rowing was fast. There were times where I would stop rowing and simply look around and would find myself smiling to the thought of ‘what are we doing here?’.  A moment of pure clarity and a feeling of contentment.

J: Seeing the pilot boat after 54 days at sea. Only at this point did I allow myself to think we had made it after all the complications along the way. To come through it all together and reach Barbados was incredible. There were times I thought it may not happen, which only made it sweeter when the moment arrived.

What was the most challenging part of the journey?

T: The weather was without doubt the toughest part. We were not the luckiest with the elements, and spent a fair bit of time in the cabin on the para-anchor as we were thrown around like a twig. When your goal is to gain miles and make progress, the thought of going backwards and having no control whatsoever over your progress is hard to deal with. The final week where we got stuck in a pressure system, was the worst moment of the trip for me, it fully broke me and made me question why the hell we were doing this. Luckily we pulled together and smashed the final 6 days, averaging over 60 miles per day and arriving 2 days faster than we should have done.


J: The first capsize was a tough moment for me and the negative frame of mind that followed. Letting go of the ‘Why always us?’ mentality and switching to living for the now was a turning point and once I got over that thought and embraced the obstacles rather than fearing them, the whole journey became more enjoyable and we learned from every challenge we faced.

What role did LifeProof play?

T. LifeProof helped immensely. Firstly, our phones were in constant use taking photos, listening to music and audiobooks – they stayed in pristine condition throughout. I even filmed in the water with my LifeProof Protected iPhone 6  and it worked like a dream! Secondly, our iPad Mini Fre case and the LifeActiv Suction-Mount with Quickmount. This was a HUGE win for us, as we soon realised we could connect the mount to the outside of the cabin hatch and on night-shifts watch movies and series to break up the boredom. We can safely say this is a world-first in ocean rowing, watching Anchorman amidst 50 foot breaking waves in the darkness of the Atlantic.

The Tempest Two case

What is next for The Tempest Two?

T. For the moment we are busy making our film with our creative agency Stoked Ever Since, but we are already eyeing up the next big adventure. We can’t give anything away just yet, but we hope it will be on the same level as the Atlantic crossing. The adventure has certainly gripped us and left us wanting more, our mindsets changed somewhere out there, and to feel so alive was intoxicating. Watch this space!

Stay tuned for more news and adventures from heroic The Tempest Two!

Alan Lund

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