By the time you read this I will be back at sea, on the oars, making my way westward, almost exactly one year after my departure from Peru.

Firstly, I must confess that upon my arrival in Samoa, five weeks ago, I had had enough, I was just about ready to throw in the towel. Leg two was no fun at all, and I felt a strong sense that I was rowing AWAY from home, as opposed to rowing towards it. Most people exclaimed that I was almost there, that Australian wasn’t too far away, yet to me it seemed a million miles away.

Not long after my arrival, I was describing my woes to a very kind Samoan woman in a little restaurant. She told me that my journey was like the tattoo she harboured on her thigh, or perhaps more like the full torso tattoo of her husband. She said; “Tom, my friend, your journey is long, it is painful, you may want to quit, but you mustn’t. Just like the Samoan tattoo, you must continue until the very end. For there lies beauty.”

Her wisdom stayed with me.

Continue reading Tom’s story at