Losing Sight of Shore (2017) Movie Script

[Natalia whispering]
Can you hear the silence?
[in normal voice]
If something was to happen,
I know that I've had no regrets
in my life whatsoever.
[Lizanne] Life is fragile,
and there's a real sense
of helplessness.
[Emma] I've not got anything left to give.
[Laura] I just...
really want to get home.
[man 1] The vast Pacific Ocean
is a formidable force.
In the history of humans,
only very few have been able to cross it.
[woman 1] The man and his partner
were pulled from heavy seas 11 days ago.
[woman 2] Six-meter swell
struck the rowers' boat, rolling it.
[man 2] Two women rowers spent 16 hours
clinging to the hull of their boat
in the Atlantic Ocean.
[woman 3]
This was their second failed attempt.
[man 3] Now a dramatic rescue at sea.
A giant wave caught them by surprise,
instantly flipping the boat over.
[woman 4] She had to cling on for her life
as the boat capsized
over and over again.
[woman 5] The whole trip very nearly ended
in tragedy.
[woman 1] Now, to the story of four women
who are about to embark
on an incredible challenge.
[man 1] The first all-woman crew
to row more than 8000 miles
across the world's largest ocean.
[woman 2] An amazing journey rowing
across the Pacific Ocean.
[man 2] From California in the U.S.
to Cairns in Australia...
[man 3] Two will row
as two sleep below deck,
two hours on, two hours off,
24 hours a day.
There will be no support boat
in the Pacific.
They reckon it will take
six and a half months.
[woman 3] So, why would four women
take on this dangerous task,
arguably the hardest ocean crossing
in the world?
[Laura] Thank you!
My name's Laura Penhaul,
and I'm part of the Coxless Crew.
It's really bizarre to be here 'cause this
is three and a half years in the making.
We're doing a team selection.
Trying to select the right crew
and looking at different personalities.
We are focusing a lot at the moment
on our physical training,
but I would say 80 percent of it
is going to be our mental strength.
It's a massive expedition.
It's one thing thinking it.
It's whether you actually go through
with it.
It's been a long road to the start line.
In October 2012, we chose
to represent Breast Cancer Care
and I decided to use all of my savings
to begin construction on Doris.
A year and a half into the project,
Cambridge rower Emma Mitchell
joined the team.
There was a lot of hard work
securing sponsorships that we needed.
We did a final recruitment in May of 2014,
and this is where we met Izzy, Natalia,
as well as our two reserve rowers,
Lizanne and Meg.
We've trained extensively,
both mentally and physically,
to make sure we are best prepared
for anything that we face.
At the end of the day,
this is unsupported.
We've got to roll with the punches.
That's part of the expedition.
To me, if you've then got
somebody following you along,
it's too easy to have an option
to jump out and go,
"We'll just jump on that bigger ship
because that's going to be
a bit more comfortable,"
rather than riding out the storm
and doing what we've set out to do.
When people have second-guessed it
or not believed in it,
it's only driven me more
to want to make it happen.
She didn't want to look back
in ten years' time
and say "I wish I'd done that."
She just said, "We're gonna do it."
I need to fit everything
in that cabin first.
Then we can go.
I think at the moment, being
on the oars in Doris is my happy place.
I'll see if that's still the case
by the time we get to Australia.
[Sara] When Emma got involved in rowing,
she must have been 12, 13 years old.
She stopped everything for rowing.
It was fairly phenomenal
what an impact rowing had on her.
It was like this focus, this drive,
that gave her strength and character.
And she loved it.
I mean, she was out
at 5:00 in the morning.
She would be blue with the cold
when she'd come back.
It could be a midlife crisis, but it would
be an impressive midlife crisis to have.
"What did you do?"
"Well, I rowed across the Pacific."
So, here we are.
We're going to see Natalia
getting her ECG done.
Hey, Nat!
She's lived an amazing life of 15 years
of going from place to place
and only doing the things
that she truly loves and adores.
It's crazy.
I've never known and I'm sure
I will never meet anybody like it again.
I'm not going to say I want her
to be married and have children,
because I really don't care.
If that's not her life,
that's not her life.
She must just be fulfilled
in whatever she does.
[Natalia] All of my past experiences
have actually been so instrumental
into getting me here.
It just feels really strange.
And it feels slightly
like just a training row, as well.
I'm sure it will be real soon enough.
[Jean] Isabel has climbed
to over-6000-meter peaks in the Himalayas,
and when she heard about this,
she saw it
as a really serious challenge
and she wanted to pursue it.
[Isabel] I like to not stick out,
and I like to take the ordinary course.
It's quite hard to actually stop
and say, "You know what?
I think I want to do something
massively different."
The main reason
is to test myself
and just to see what I'm capable of.
[speaking indistinctly]
So, if you can imagine the wind is coming
from that direction, from over there.
You would put the para anchor in
on that corner. Yeah.
[Emma] Tony is our shore support.
He will be in touch with us
on a daily basis
whilst we're out in the ocean.
[Tony] Make sure
it's really done up tight.
I hear the girls are going
to break lots of records.
The girls aren't going
to break any records.
They're going to establish records
because this has never been done before.
The fact that it hasn't been done before
is testament to how tough it is.
[Emma] We're rowing
from San Francisco to Hawaii.
Have a few days to restock the boat.
And then we row
between Hawaii and Samoa.
And then the final leg is from Samoa
over to Cairns in Australia.
The whole journey in total is 8446 miles.
[Laura] What I loved about this route
in particular
is there's never been a male team either.
This is the first fours boat ever to cross
the Pacific Ocean, north or south.
[Jean] I've had moments that I found it
absolutely devastating,
the idea that she's doing it.
[Sara] I'm her Mom.
She's still my little girl.
She's about to go out
onto that huge ocean,
and a bit of me is terrified.
Quite a strange sense of calm.
Let's hope it's not the calm
before the storm.
See you later!
Mwah. Love you!
We're about to row the Pacific!
[all laughing]
[Emma] This is so surreal. [laughs]
[Laura] So surreal.
Three cheers for Doris!
-Hip, hip, hooray!
-[all] Hooray!
-Hip, hip, hooray!
Hip, hip, hooray!
[Natalia] So, this is it.
The journey has begun.
This is really happening.
We're starting to get our routines
a little bit slicker,
getting on and off the oars,
which is good.
This is going to be
a period of adjustment.
Ah, hello. We just got off the oars,
and about an hour ago
we saw a whale in the distance.
Oh, my God!
Jesus, he's huge!
[Emma] Neither of us had ever seen
a whale before.
He just poked his blowhole out.
One came and
fully breached out of the water.
[all shout]
[Natalia] I was fairly petrified,
to be honest.
It was the strangest feeling
I've ever had.
I'd love to capture that feeling
and put it in a bottle.
I've never felt so alive.
Oh, my God!
There's not many things
where I feel adrenaline like that.
Day one.
Hundred and fifty-four days to go.
-It's 1:30 in the morning.
-It is indeed.
And we've just done our, um,
first fully dark night shift.
So, we're going to snooze until 3:00?
-And then...
And then we're back on the oars
at quarter past 3.
[Emma] Life on Doris
is beautifully simple.
All you have to do is sit on the oars
and row for two hours,
and then you have your two hours
where you're either eating
or sleeping or doing the jobs
and stuff that you need
to do on the boat.
[Laura] Doris is our pink 29-foot
ocean rowing boat.
There's two cabins, one at each end.
The cabins are about the size
of a fairly small two-man tent.
We've got solar panels
along the top of the boat,
and they're connected to our batteries,
which are underneath the bit
that we sleep on in the cabin.
If we drain those batteries,
we've got no way of using our GPS
or making water
and stuff off the electrics.
So, we need to be really careful
and calculated about that.
I tell you what.
Spend 48 hours sitting
in your own bathtub at home
and imagine you've got a lid over it,
so, you can't quite sit up straight.
That's pretty much what it's like
in the forecabin.
[Isabel] It is breakfast time.
Emma is going to tell you
what we have today.
On today's menu,
for Miss Isabel Burnham
we have some beef shepherd's pie.
This is our cooker.
Our little jet boil,
so, we have to boil up some water.
We should probably run
the water maker, as well, Ems.
We've got enough food to give each of us
about 5000 calories every day.
And the bulk of those calories
come from our expedition foods,
which are freeze-dried ration packs.
There we go, then we just leave it
for a little while to rehydrate,
and then... hot food.
Thanks, Ems!
Night shifts are the worst
because you just wake up,
you've got to get back into your cold,
wet, soggy wet-weather gear,
wet socks, wet shoes, and you've gotta
get out of the warm sleeping bag
and then not fall asleep
if you're some of us.
And that, ladies and gentlemen,
is the ritual that happens
every two hours, without fail.
[Emma] This is a week we've been at sea.
It's a beautiful sunny day,
and it would be really lovely
except for that fact
that there is a lot of wind
and a lot of very big waves,
which are quite scary.
Every time you go on the oars,
you get completely soaked.
Little bit of a frustrating day today,
to be honest.
The wind is pushing us back
towards the coastline.
And the wind is due
to pick up again this evening.
[Laura] The size of these waves
are slightly scaring me a little bit.
They're pretty massive!
Today they seem to have gotten
a hell of a lot bigger.
One minute you're looking up
at a three-, four-story house,
and then the next minute
you're on top of the Pacific.
They're huge.
The wind's just too strong.
It's about 25 to 28 knots.
We basically have to sit tight here
for the next pretty much 48 hours.
We want to be out there rowing
and we want to be rowing
in the right direction.
[speaking indistinctly]
[Emma] Tad bit of a drama.
We went to go and check on the batteries.
I pulled the cushions back,
and the whole hatch was full of water.
We lost the MPPT box, which is basically
the bit of equipment that connects
the solar panels and the batteries.
Thing is, we're now coming into nighttime.
At the moment, we're not emitting
any signal, which is a bit of a concern,
whether boats...
Well, they won't see us, basically.
So, we've checked the other hatches,
and actually,
there's a load of water
in a load of other hatches.
[Natalia] Our decision was made
for us, really.
We're going to have to go back to land.
Very depressing.
Very frustrating. Um...
But there's nothing
we can do about it.
Right now we're actually heading
for Santa Barbara.
It's not a great start to an ocean row,
that's for sure.
[Laura] Being out here
has made me question why...
Why are we out here?
Why are we doing this?
Why did I persevere for four years to make
sure this project got off the ground?
And not...
Not just because I know
that I'm bloody stubborn.
The story of why we're here
and why we're doing it for breast cancer.
Patricia was the most beautiful woman,
and she was in the perfect place.
Patricia was the person
that would walk into a room
and everybody would be drawn to her.
She's just lovely.
It was actually her husband, Rashid,
that I know very well.
They had just been on their honeymoon
and she fell pregnant.
And they were just in that perfect bubble.
And then, unfortunately,
two months into her pregnancy,
she found a lump.
He was hugely premature,
but he survived it, little Yassin.
He's gorgeous.
She just drew on this strength
and resilience that Rashid talks about
which is just unbelievable.
[Patricia] Do we have to?
Yeah, we've got to.
And we've got to.
[Laura] I saw her within that period,
and she was experiencing a lot
of neck pain and back pain,
so, we sent her back to her oncologist,
and that's when they found
that she had secondaries.
[Rashid] Give Mama a kissy.
Give Mama a kissy. Come on.
I took each day for granted,
and don't do that.
Just get on with life.
[Rashid] What happens
if things get difficult?
You just keep going
and you keep going and you keep going.
[Laura] It was within about two months
after that that she passed away.
I guess out here it makes you realize
all of those sorts of things.
Simple things like love
and having friends
and family around you
that are just amazing.
I guess the point is
life's too short
and you really do have to live it.
Um... We really, really believe in that,
and that's why we're here and that's
why we're doing what we're doing.
Patricia wouldn't have given up at all.
She was fighting for her life, so,
we can fight to get across to Australia.
Seamanship is about making
the right decisions at the right times,
and that's what they've done.
You want to undo
that bowline for us, Nat?
They are now actually
further away from Honolulu than they were
when they started out in San Francisco.
Also, they've come further south now,
so, they've lost the advantage of going
west from a more northerly position.
So, in all honesty, it's likely
to be a longer row starting out
from Santa Barbara
than it was starting out
from San Francisco.
[speaking indistinctly]
[Natalia] What we've just done
was a perfect insight
into the hardships that are going to come.
It's going to be a long journey,
but it's going to be an amazing one.
[all laughing]
[Emma] Nat looks very happy
to be back outside on the oars.
Try as we might,
we are still only just about going west.
But it is better than southeast.
We haven't seen the sunshine,
the stars or the moon for about a week.
We're hoping that at some point soon
the weather starts
to get a little bit better.
[Laura] We've got both wind
and current now against us.
This is fine.
It's just part of the challenges.
[Laura] We just ticked off 300 miles!
So, like totally nearly there.
Only like 2000 to go and that's Hawaii.
[both chuckling]
We'll be there in a couple of days!
Oh, dear.
[Laura] It's Emma's birthday today.
She's 30!
And it's actually been a blue-sky day,
which is great.
So, um, we've just set up some balloons.
[all] Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday to you
Emma's amazing. She is very different
to anyone that I would ordinarily
be friends with
because she's very quiet
and very introverted
and isn't incredibly emotional
or expressive.
She's just really steady,
and I think I'm gonna value that hugely
on the boat.
You can tell with Emma
she just loves rowing.
She's just so happy as soon
as she gets onto the oars.
[Emma] It's one of those sports
that when you start it
you kind of get hooked because it's more
than just the actual exercise bit.
It's such a community
and such a team activity.
[Laura] Here's a little something
from all of us.
It's a little oar with a little message
on the back.
[Laura] Ems leaves her heart and soul
on those oars every time.
She's gonna be one of the rocks
in the boat that keeps us all together.
[Emma] Good morning!
We're now heading on a bearing
to Hawaii again, which is quite exciting,
and hopefully,
we'll pick up a bit of speed.
We're making progress,
very slowly, but making progress
because we are moving west.
And we've slipped into this pattern,
To be honest, for me
it's become quite a monotonous pattern.
The shifts move very, very quickly,
on the oars, off the oars.
Daytime into nighttime,
nighttime into daytime.
Rowing, resting, rowing, resting.
[Laura] I think the overall effect
of living life
in two-hourly chunks is that
you're so focused on each two hours
that you just don't notice
where the time's gone.
[Natalia] The biggest surprise for me
is actually how quickly we adapt
as human beings, physically and mentally,
to a situation
that we've put ourselves in.
My main concern right now
is that we have a weather window
when we look at the full picture
for getting to Cairns.
The longer we take on this leg,
the less time we have
to do the other legs,
and it has a knock-on effect.
[both shout]
It's chilly!
[woman laughs]
[Natalia whispering]
Can you hear the silence?
It's ridiculous.
You never just hear nothing out here.
We're in the middle of the Pacific Ocean,
and there's not a sound.
Missing home a bit today. Just thinking...
that we missed out on quite a lot,
um, while we've been out here.
But, um...
then again, you're sort of... out here
on a night like this
or an afternoon like today in the sunshine
and think that you'd rather be doing this
than anything else.
I have big concerns
about the amount of stress
that I'll be putting my family under.
I think they felt it was
an unnecessary risk to take
because they didn't understand
the motivation.
If you don't understand
why someone would want to do it,
then of course it seems
like an unnecessary and crazy thing to do.
[Jean] I have very,
very supportive friends,
but they have no comprehension
of how difficult it is,
because their children have not decided
that they're going to do something
quite so extreme.
[Tony] When you asked me
would I ever row an ocean,
the reason I say no is because
I know how tough it is to row an ocean
and I know how much
you've got to want to do it.
[Isabel] When I started,
I knew it would be a big project,
but I didn't realize how, how big.
Before we left San Francisco,
I made the difficult decision
to only row one leg.
As much as I desperately wanted
to row the whole way,
the only thing
that's more important than what
I really want to do is my family.
Very lovely.
Let's resume.
Rowing. We don't do enough of this.
We only do 12 hours of this every day.
We've only done 1200 miles so far.
Yeah, not a lot.
Within the first three minutes
speaking to Laura,
I just knew
that we had a very similar value system.
[Laura] I've always wanted
to sort of have an impact
and make sure that in my life
I've kind of achieved things
that have made a difference.
I've always loved doing sport.
As a kid I would either be doing
cross-country running
and playing hockey or netball.
Even at the age of 12,
I knew I wanted to be a physio.
And now I'm 32, I am a physio.
But I think when I was about 8,
I would watch the Olympics
and said to my mom and dad:
"You know, one day I'd love
to be at the Olympics,"
not realizing in what capacity.
Now I've been to two Paralympics
and we've got Rio when I finish the row.
My work is part of my identity.
It's what I live for.
To me, being involved in Rio
is kind of the pinnacle of my career.
But I think sometimes you've really
got to go with your gut, when you know...
There's certain opportunities that come up
you just know you have to take.
We wouldn't be here if it wasn't for her.
I think we'd follow her
wherever she wanted to take us, really.
[man over radio] Yes, Doris, go ahead.
Yeah, we can see you
approaching us at the moment.
If you can keep a bit of a safe distance.
We have pretty much no maneuverability.
[man] We won't hit you,
don't worry about that.
-[foghorn blowing]
-[Emma laughs]
Yeah, we're on, uh, day 57
since we left Santa Barbara.
-[man] That's a long slog.
[man] Weather forecast, have you seen it?
You're gonna get bounced around.
You'll feel it.
[thunder rumbling]
[Natalia] Day 59.
Tropical Storm Ella.
Lots of waves coming over.
Uh, heavy wind.
The wind has picked up again, and we
were getting blown really far south.
There's big swells. Um...
We're on the edge of a tropical rainstorm,
and there's a lot going on.
Really windy out there.
We're fighting against the wind
and the current as well at the moment.
Feel a little bit like you're getting hit
by a bus, to be honest.
The only thing I could think about
for the whole session was:
"You've gotta row, you've gotta row."
I was almost having to convince myself
every single stroke to just not stop.
[Natalia] We're rowing
like we've never rowed before.
Look, Nat!
Land ahoy, baby!
[woman laughs]
[inaudible dialogue]
[Laura] Here we are.
About one mile to go.
Less, 0.2 miles to the entrance.
[Natalia] We're nearly there.
We're so nearly there.
Me and the ladies are bringing her home!
[crowd cheering]
[man] Way to go, girls!
Coming back to land
and eating fresh, hydrated food
was absolutely incredible.
I think as well as the taste sensation,
it's also the colors, the array of colors
that you get in real food
that you just don't get
in dehydrated food.
This whole meal is heaven.
[Lizanne] This is the one plus
about rowing an ocean:
you can eat brownies for days.
My name is Lizanne van Vurren,
and I was born in South Africa.
I wasn't the typical, I guess,
girl who played inside with dolls all day.
I was a bit of a tomboy.
I messaged Laura and I said,
"What you're doing is amazing."
So, she messaged me back and said,
"Well, why you don't join me?"
"I don't row. I don't live in England.
You must be joking." And she said:
"None of that matters."
So, I was held as a reserve
and then Laura called me and said:
"Can you still do it?"
And I was like, "Okay!"
And that was it.
I'll be rowing to Samoa,
and then Megan Dyos will take over
from me and go to Cairns.
It's just something so far
from what I've ever done before
or even thought possible.
[Laura] Girls,
thanks for making this happen.
For finally being an amazing team.
I'm so proud of all of you.
And of Meg, who's not here.
But cheers,
and thanks for the first leg, Izzy.
We've adored you,
and we're going to miss you massively.
[all] Cheers!
Cheers, ladies.
I don't think I realized how
such different reasons
would bring four people
to do the same thing.
My part of the journey has come to an end.
I couldn't have asked
for any more from my experience.
[Tony] California to Hawaii was in theory
going to be the easy leg.
Leg two is a tough one, really.
Leaving from here,
they've got to row more or less due south.
[Laura] It's supposed to take
about 60 days, but just who knows?
The problem is, this year, is El Nio,
and we hadn't factored in actually
how much of an effect that's had
on the trade winds
just 'cause there isn't any trade winds,
so, there's no assistance,
and a lot of ocean rowing
is about assistance with the wind.
I mean, God!
Yeah, it's all getting real now.
It feels like I'm in a completely
different world. I can't explain it.
It's just like we've been taken
from our day-to-day life
and just inserted in the ocean,
and all you have to do is row.
Oh, my God.
[Laura] Lizanne and I
just stuck our heads in
to, um, see the fishies
up close and personal.
Here she comes.
She's got the old fishing hook.
-Has it got an instruction manual?
I'm not really one for an instruction
manual anyway, so, that's all right.
But maybe if we find it in the book
and it's edible, we can...
We can cut it open and eat it.
-Would you?
-Yeah, too right.
-Give it a go.
Not... Yeah.
Maybe. [chuckles]
I really connect with Lizanne.
She's just a breath of fresh air.
[Natalia] It's just been a really
different energy to have on the boat,
which I think for the three of us
doing the full journey
is really important.
[Natalia] It's Saturday, which means...
[both] it's Lipstick Saturday!
We just had a really, really lovely shift.
We saw a beautiful little turtle!
[Lizanne] Yeah, on its own.
Just bobbing along next to us.
There's something about being out here
and there's no noise,
like just nothing apart from us.
It's amazing.
Don't even have, like, an engine
to ruin that for us.
Is it me or does it feel
like we're standing still?
I now realize why people love rowing.
It is so soothing.
[thunder rumbling]
[Emma] So, we have just got off the oars
after two hours
in crazy wind and waves and, um, rain,
which was pretty unpleasant,
and we haven't really made
very much progress during that two hours.
In the time it took us to swap over,
we've drifted north again,
so, we need to go south.
Okay, I'll get up in a couple of hours
and do the log book.
We're drawing a pretty beautiful picture.
We're now going east.
[Laura] Yeah, I figured.
[Emma] Just radio us if you need anything.
-Night, guys!
-[woman] Good night.
[Tony] They've gotta cross over through
the Intertropical Convergence Zone,
which is the doldrums,
as the sailors used to call it.
There's a current which is running
in the opposite direction,
so, it's running east, so,
a little bit like a riptide on a beach.
They can't try and fight into it.
They need to get across it.
[Emma] We seem to have entered
the equatorial countercurrent,
which is pushing us east very fast,
and then we've got a southerly wind,
which is pushing us north,
meaning that for quite a lot of the night
we've been going northeast,
um, and Samoa, from here, is southwest.
There's a lot of thunder activity,
so, it's gonna be hot and humid.
Large area to cross where the current
will take them in the wrong direction.
[Laura] What's going on, LV?
[Lizanne] I'm feeling really nauseous.
So, I just stay like this for a while
and then it goes away.
We're very much
in the thick of the whole doldrums stuff
going on at the moment,
so, some really weird weather.
So much torrential rain and squalls
and dramatic skies,
pan-flat oceans,
incredible light reflected on the water.
Just an ocean
that I've never known before.
[thunder rumbling]
[Lizanne] It's day 34,
and I'm still being seasick.
I'm sick of being sick.
I can't really keep food down.
My energy levels are low.
There's never a time on the boat
where you miss a shift.
There's never a time where
you ask someone to sub in for you.
You carry on two hours on, two hours off.
I was sick over the side.
I'd get back up and I'd carry on rowing.
[Natalia] It's just a little bit painful
at the moment.
Occasionally we'll pick up speed
and it'll be great,
but it won't last longer
than a couple of shifts.
[Emma] We've really struggled
with adverse currents,
adverse winds.
We don't seem to have a lot of help
going on at all from Mother Nature.
This leg has been a fight.
I feel like we've been fighting the ocean,
fighting the currents, fighting the winds,
fighting the little gremlins
in my head that are telling me
that we're never gonna get there.
[Lizanne] We thought we'd be
at the equator well over two weeks ago.
It's us against the currents, and we can't
row any harder than we are already.
Our hands are aching and just trying to...
Trying to row as hard as we can.
I think we're all...
getting a little bit low.
[Natalia] It's, um, day 42.
We are still stuck
in the doldrums, literally.
We're just having a look
at the chartplotter.
We've got about, um...
239 nautical miles to go
until we hit the equator.
At the current speed
at which we're traveling,
it will take us another 20 days
just to get to the equator.
How do you feel about that, LP?
[both laugh]
[whale bellows]
[Natalia] I'm so excited to see Samoa.
-I've been waiting for this for a year.
-You have.
This is why you joined the row,
to come to Samoa.
Pretty much, to see Samoa.
I thought,
"What a great way to get to Samoa."
You've seen a lot of sights in your time.
[Natalia] I look out into that ocean,
and my thoughts just stop.
I don't know if that's because
I'm so used to spending time traveling
and being on my own.
It's definitely the furthest outside
of my comfort zone I will ever have been,
uh, in respect to the fact
that I've never rowed before.
If I believed it was
a predominantly physical challenge,
I wouldn't have applied.
This challenge is 90 percent mental.
And I always believe that you do
your most developing and growth
when you're outside your comfort zone.
When you put your mind to something,
anything is truly possible.
I'm learning that.
Just had this overwhelming feeling
come over me,
where I just decided
that I just didn't want to row anymore.
I just got so bored of the motion
of going forwards and backwards,
forwards and backwards,
and forwards and backwards,
so, I screamed out into the air.
The reason that I'm doing this row is
to test the strength of my human spirit.
And to find...
where that place is deep inside,
where you have to dig deep
when things get tough.
Things are just taking us a lot longer
than we anticipated.
But it's these kind of moments,
an amazing sky,
four friends on a boat,
and that makes it all all right!
[Laura] Very poignant moment.
[Natalia] Why's that?
'Cause we're near the equator!
-Boop, boop!
We've been waiting
for this moment for, uh...
-Fifty-four days, I do believe.
We're here.
That's all that flipping matters.
[Natalia] Yeah. Exactly.
[all] Three...
[Natalia] Very slow countdown.
[all] Two...
[all] Whoo!
[Laura] The equator!
We're at the equator!
We'd like to make a toast to Neptune.
Thank you for getting us
to the equator safely.
And your ocean has become
very special to all of us, so...
Ooh! [speaks in Spanish]
And, please, will you make us
go quicker from here on.
[all laugh]
High five!
High five!
[Emma] When we crossed the equator,
Tony sent us a message
and he was like, "Congratulations,
you're the first team of four
who has ever rowed across the equator."
We are self-supporting ourselves,
and we're this tiny little boat
in this massive ocean,
and that's pretty special.
[both cheering]
After struggling with currents
and wind
and doldrums,
we are now into the heat phase.
It is ridiculously hot outside,
and we're just dripping with sweat.
It's almost, like, unbearably hot.
Like, you can hardly breathe, it's so hot.
We're back in the cabin, and it's 99--
Nine-point-nine degrees Fahrenheit
and it feels cool,
which is never a good sign.
Just come in
from a two-hour rowing session.
Possibly the hottest, uh,
I've ever been in my life.
Fairly unbearable,
just not knowing what to do with yourself.
[computer panel beeps]
[Emma] Today we got an e-mail from Tony
talking about our timeline.
So, it's looking like it's going
to take us at least another 30 days,
which kind of makes us another month
behind schedule.
We had our little kind of chat
about it all together,
and Laura was saying:
"We can't assume everyone
is okay with that
and everyone is going to want
to get back in the boat in Samoa."
-We're gonna be rowing at Christmas.
-Yeah, we are.
Christmas on Doris!
LP can't be rowing
on Christmas on Doris.
I know.
[Laura] It's actually my work.
Part of why I'm here
is because of what I do with Paralympics
and working with the Paralympic team
and British athletics.
you know,
this year is not a great year for me
to have been out doing this row.
It was already a problem I postponed it.
More of a problem myself.
My work are brilliant.
They've been extremely supportive.
Which is why it's even harder because
I just don't want to let the team down.
But the problem is
I don't want to let that team down,
and I don't want to let this team down.
I feel like I'm a little bit torn.
And everything out here
is taking so much bloody longer
and it's so unpredictable
that I have no idea when
we're gonna finish this damn thing.
The hardest thing is having to choose
between the row or work.
Not finishing this row
and not being in Australia kills me.
So, it's basically...
my immediate family of four
that are on this boat
compared to...
the whole British Athletics team,
I don't know.
I don't know if I want to be rowing
on Christmas on Doris.
I don't want to be rowing
on Christmas on Doris.
But I don't want to not row
all the way to Australia.
No, I know.
[Lizanne] Before we set off on the row...
Keith, our psychologist,
got each of us doing a family plan.
It was really difficult to do
because you have to write
a step-by-step plan
of how do you want to find out
if something happens to your family.
It was one of my fears
before I got on the boat
that something might happen
to a family member
or someone that I love,
and that's happened.
I received some news that,
unfortunately, my uncle
has lost his fight with cancer,
and I didn't expect that to happen
while I was on the boat.
He was a remarkable man,
and it breaks my heart
that I can't be there with them right now.
And there's...
a real sense of helplessness.
I'm so sorry that I'm not there.
All I really wanted to do was just go
for a walk and clear my head,
and you can't.
You're on that boat
and you can't get away.
But what it has done
is it has really driven home to me
why I'm out here
and why we're doing what we're doing.
We're helping someone fight a fight.
It's given me a push,
and it's made me work
that little bit harder
to reach our destination.
Life is fragile.
That's why we're doing crazy things
like row an ocean,
because you only have one life,
so, you might as well
make the most of it.
Oh, my God,
I can't believe I'm not there.
We're a little bit worried
that we're gonna miss Samoa.
Yeah, don't want to miss Samoa,
because the next stop would be Fiji,
and that's another 500 miles.
[Natalia] Yeah, 5-, 600 miles.
There's a very strong westerly current
and there's very strong winds
of 15 to 18 knots
that are southeasterly.
At this precise moment,
we're in fear of missing Samoa.
Been struggling with just doing
the same thing every day
and going so slowly.
It feels a bit endless at the moment.
[woman over phone] What's going on?
We're just getting caught
in the currents still.
We're going completely west now, as well.
It's a nightmare.
We're doing what we can.
We can only control the controllable.
Leg two has been really difficult...
um, for the majority of us on the boat.
The monotony, the boredom.
You know, Lizanne,
bless her, losing her uncle.
I've had issues
with obviously the length of time
we're now out here for
has impacted on my work.
But one person in particular is Emma...
who's for a few weeks now
has been in a really, really...
difficult sort of place
and hasn't been sharing it.
But you knew that something was wrong.
She's my teammate.
I want to make her happy,
I want to see her smile,
I want to hear her laugh,
and she's not doing any of those things,
and I don't know what I can do to help.
[Emma] I'm so tired right now.
We've just been rowing so hard
every single shift
and I've not got anything...
Anything left to give.
Like, physically and mentally,
I'm just completely exhausted.
And, um...
I don't know how long we've still got
to go to Samoa. We keep...
going a bit faster
and we think we're going to get there
and then we slow down
and start going the wrong way.
Being out on the oars
has always been where...
I've been really happy and where...
I've started to really hate it.
I've started to really hate every time
I have to get out on the oars and row.
I've been really struggling.
I haven't been able to control the boat.
It doesn't seem to matter what I do,
it doesn't make any difference.
Rowing has been part of my life
for such a long time,
like a really important part.
If someone told me I never had
to row again, I would be really happy,
and that makes me really sad because...
we've still a long way to go,
another leg to get to Cairns,
and I don't know if I can...
[Tony] Just getting the latest position.
I believe we are about two miles away
but I just want to double-check
the little dot
we're seeing on the horizon
is actually them.
There they are,
right in the horizon there!
[Laura] We have been battling
the currents, the winds.
We were extremely concerned at points
that we may have to overshoot Samoa,
which was devastating to us
that that might have been the case.
And I think the thought of that
made us dig even deeper
than we thought we could do,
and we powered as hard as we could,
and we were absolutely--
I think we left everything on the boat,
everything on the ocean, just to get here,
and I'm so glad we did,
because this would have been a devastation
to have missed this.
We are very proud to be here
and to share this with you.
[crowd cheering]
For Emma,
this journey was a really big challenge
because she wanted to be able
to control the boat.
And one person cannot control
a one-ton boat.
You know, it's physically impossible.
[Tony] When you gear yourself up
for being at sea for 60 days
and you're out there for over 90,
it's got to affect how you feel,
hasn't it?
[Lizanne] When rowing wasn't fun
for her anymore...
it was really hard to watch because...
it wouldn't make her happy,
it would make her frustrated.
I hope that she finds her happy place.
What she's really needed to do
is actually step back and take stock
of not only what she's doing
but who she is as a person, really,
because I think, you know, when
the essence of who you are is questioned,
then where do you go from there?
[Laura] Getting to the finish and knowing
that you've achieved
what you've set out to achieve...
You know, it's four years of hard work.
I mean, to walk away from it
any sooner than that,
I would just be devastated.
So, to me, Australia is home
and nothing ever before that.
[both shout]
[Natalia] That is like a big blooming...
-[Lizanne] Rhino horn.
-...rhino horn.
I can't believe I'm leaving.
I can't believe this day has come.
I've built a really special bond
with each of you.
Best of luck for your last leg.
You've got an amazing new asset
to the team.
Meg, good luck.
The value of a team is so much more
than I've ever imagined.
And we will forever be the girls
who rowed together.
[Meg] My name is Meg Dyos, and I'm 25.
No one tells you when you finish uni
it's not very exciting.
It's like, what do you want to do
with your life?
It's always, you have to have an answer.
When you don't have an answer,
it's like, "Oh, oh, dear."
And that's where it's like,
"Is there something wrong with me
that I don't know what I want to do
with my life?"
I've never rowed before.
I've never been on a rowing boat.
I've never been in the ocean.
In all honesty, I have absolutely
no idea why they chose me.
I mean, I couldn't be happier
that they chose me,
and I really hope there is something
they've seen in me
that can help us get to Australia.
I mean, no pressure.
[Tony] The season is ticking on,
and we need to get them to Australia.
The fact that they're stopping
and rowing again,
I've never had to do before
with a team of rowers.
I struggle to understand
how hard that is gonna be
for them to get back on the boat.
[all] Goodbye, my feleni
[singing in Samoan]
Oh, I never will forget you
[singing in Samoan]
[Emma] I didn't expect the challenge
of the row
to be the fact
that I would stop enjoying it.
This is why I wanted to do the row.
I wanted to challenge myself
and I wanted to see if I could do it.
We set out to row to Australia,
and if it takes us nine months,
then it takes us nine months.
We're doing it. Uh, as hard as it is,
we're actually doing it.
Just had a bit of a hit that this
is the last time we step on Doris,
the last leg, what we've been through.
Feeling quite overwhelmed,
to be honest, at the moment,
in a good way.
[Natalia] Meg has no idea
what she's gotten herself in for,
and I'm quite looking forward to it.
[Emma] Okay, Meggy,
what are you having for dinner?
Beef curry!
It's my first try. It's actually
a bit hot, so, I'm going to blow it.
I'm really excited. I think I'm going
to like it. It smells great.
I see why you don't like it.
[both laugh]
[Emma] We're training Meggy
in how to row in big waves.
She's doing very well.
[Meg] There's just one thing...
I really want to try and get better at it,
and it's just the routine.
Just... everything is routine.
Like you never even know what the time is.
You don't have a clue
what the time is ever.
What Meg doesn't realize still is
that time has no meaning on Doris.
It's just two-hour shifts.
[Natalia] Being out here, I know
when it's daylight,
I know when it's night,
and nothing else really matters.
When it's sunrise the day begins,
and when it's sunset the day ends,
and in between you just row
or you don't row.
[speaking indistinctly]
[Meg] Those first few days, oh, my God,
the waves were so huge
and we were being pushed off our seats,
which is, by the way, one of the scariest
things that could happen.
Especially when you only learned to row
about two days previous to leaving Samoa.
I was just so scared, and the girls,
none of them seem scared.
It was just me, and I felt a bit alone.
I felt really alone, actually.
That's the thing.
I'm the most underqualified rower by far.
I know the bare minimum,
and I'm kind of happy with that.
Leg three, day ten.
Time is flying.
-Flying. We're going fast still.
-[laughs nervously]
We're not really sure
what to do with this.
-We keep waiting for it to disappear.
Every time we get out on the oars,
we think we'll be going slow again,
but so far...
we're still going quite fast.
[Natalia] We're traveling
at like an amazing speed
and in the right direction,
which is just unheard of.
We've done seven miles
in the last two hours.
That's definitely the most miles
that has been done on Doris.
We are less than 350 miles away
from Vanuatu,
which will be pretty much halfway,
which is quite exciting.
[Meg] Waking up every two hours
at night, literally it feels like
you've been hit by a sledgehammer
and you just--
You don't have any choice.
That's the whole thing about this.
It doesn't matter how bad you're feeling.
You don't have a choice.
You have to get back on the oars
and you have to row.
[wind roaring]
[Natalia] We've just come in from I'd say
one of the most hectic shifts so far.
Big, massive, massive waves.
I don't think I've had a less fun shift
on Doris so far.
These three girls.
It makes me a bit emotional
when I even think about them
and just... how far they've gone.
And I feel like in each of them,
I've seen...
I've seen some sort of pain.
And you can just tell
that they've been at sea for a long time.
[Emma] We've been living in this
for eight months.
It's become all that we've known, really.
-This is just life.
-It's such a strange existence.
Eight months is such a long time
to do something.
I wonder what we'll be like
when we get back to land.
I wonder how quickly
we'll adapt to sort of so much noise
-and pollution and people.
[Emma] Life will be so complicated
after this.
[Natalia] There's definitely
a big part of me that wants to hold on
and wants to stay out here
because of the utter beauty
of where we are.
There's just nothing like it.
The only way I can describe it
for me is that it's been ultimate freedom
out here.
Just freedom from...
societal norms,
freedom from expectation,
from the ego...
It's just been an incredible opportunity
to delve so deeply within your soul.
[Emma] So, yeah, it's crazy.
I can't believe it's nearly Christmas.
And when we left the U.K.,
it was the very beginning of April.
It's absolutely mental.
I can't believe we're still out here.
And I don't know how we're still doing
what we're doing every day, every shift,
but we are.
[bell rings]
[Laura] Friends and family and stuff
are all at home
celebrating Christmas and, um,
yeah, I just don't feel very Christmasy
even though we've got decorations up
and we're listening
to Christmas carols and stuff and...
Um, yeah, I just found it quite difficult,
really, being away.
Didn't realize how difficult I'd find it.
Hi, Auntie Mary. How are you?
Happy Christmas!
Mom, the signal's not very good.
I can't hear you very well.
Oh, for fuck's sake.
The signal isn't very good.
I can't hear you.
Jesus Christ... Ugh.
-[Meg] Do you want to plug it in?
-Oh, don't even get me started.
[Meg] At home at the moment...
Oh, yeah, it's Christmas Day at home.
It's about 3 p.m.,
which for me is the time when, uh...
It's main-course time. Main course.
It's roast-potatoes time, let's face it.
-It's roast potatoes and gravy.
Um, being out here's way better.
We've got our socks on.
I'm in a wet bed sheet.
Soggy sheet. [laughs]
Ho, ho, ho,
and welcome to Christmas on Doris.
[inaudible dialogue]
[all] We wish you a merry Christmas
We wish you a merry Christmas
We wish you a merry Christmas
And a happy New Year
[all] Eight, seven, six...
five, four, three, two, one...
Happy New Year!
Happy New Year!
[Laura] Good morning, world, it is...
the 1st of January.
This is definitely one of the best ways
to bring in a new year.
In the middle of this beautiful,
wonderful, huge,
enormous, expansive ocean.
It is day 55, and in my prediction,
we have 15 days to go.
In yours we have 25.
Let's hope you're right.
The food is 13.
Four hundred and ninety-eight miles to go.
[Emma] We had such a good start
to this leg,
and everyone got really overexcited.
Our parents booked their flights
to Australia to come meet us,
and then
it's all gone kind of horribly wrong.
This precise moment,
I'm completely over it.
My hip and back have really flared up.
Over 215 days now at sea in total,
not including our stop-offs...
having rowed over 7000 flipping miles...
and been out here for nearly nine months,
it's starting to take its toll just a bit.
I'm so looking forward to getting to
that finish line, you would not believe.
Ugh. I just really want to get home.
[Natalia] The last few days have been
a little bit of a struggle.
Not only are we in a confined space,
we're sleep-deprived.
We're quite often in physical pain.
They're cumulative,
and they start to take their toll.
-[Laura] What's going on, Megs?
-I'm tired.
I'm really tired and I can't stay awake.
And I feel like I can't get
the tiredness away,
because there's no time in the day
to catch up on sleep.
[Emma] We're gonna run out
of meals soon.
Which means we've gotta do 50 miles
from tomorrow onwards.
Okay, we might.
Hmm, I reckon it will take one
or two days longer than that.
One or two?
Hopefully, yeah.
So, you think we might have
five days without meals?
[Natalia] We're, like, starving.
We're starving, starving.
It feels like we haven't eaten for ages.
The last thing I had was M&Ms.
Oh, no, I had a packet of M&Ms
and this morning a bag of nuts.
[Natalia] Nuts, we had nuts a while ago.
So, I've just come into the forecabin
after a sunset shift with Nat.
Something's gone wrong
with one of our batteries.
They both drained completely
and ran really low on power,
so, we had to switch everything off
and navigate just using our compass.
We haven't really got power to do
anything else, so, for the last few days
we've been hand-pumping water using
our emergency backup water maker.
So, in our two-hour rest shifts,
we've been having to spend an hour of that
sitting out in the heat and the sunshine
pumping water,
which is actually surprisingly hard work.
It's so painfully slow.
So, our electric water maker makes
30 liters of water an hour,
and our hand pump makes
about three liters of water an hour,
and that's if you don't rest or drink
or do anything while you're going, so...
Obviously, the longer that we're out here,
we're getting into cyclone season
and that's not ideal.
The winds are getting
less and less favorable.
The risk of cyclones is getting higher.
We're definitely not as strong
as we used to be.
[Tony] You can make landfall on a beach
to complete the record.
Looks like it's our only choice.
How close are they?
They're within two miles.
They're about a mile and a half away.
Mile and a half away.
[Natalia] We're about 20 miles away
from Cairns,
and this should be one
of the best moments of the trip.
Yet, as always seems to happen,
we get thrown another challenge.
We're fighting wind now and current.
And it doesn't look likely
that we're going to make the marina
where we're supposed to sort of arrive.
Where we should have actually arrived
two days ago.
So, we have one last option,
which is to get to landfall,
so, it's not the marina, but it's land.
And that will at least mean
it's a successful expedition.
Due to adverse currents and lack of food,
we have until sunrise tomorrow
to make that landfall.
Otherwise we may need to be rescued.
It's just... [sniffs]
so near but yet so fricking far.
Like how...
the project could just be...
disqualified in the last 20 miles
because we can't reach land.
[Natalia] This is giving 110 percent
into every stroke,
which we're not too sure
if it's sustainable or not, to be honest.
Over 8000 nautical miles
from America to Australia...
and all that matters is
the last 2.15 nautical miles.
This is it. This is the final push.
We can do this.
[Laura] We're here.
I can see land out the window.
Like, that's Australia.
And it's really bizarre to think
of everything that we've gone through
for four years.
Four years of relentless...
not giving up, of persevering...
of just believing in something
so strongly...
to make it happen, and it's here.
For the expedition to be complete,
we needed to go from mainland America
to mainland Australia.
And the thing is currents and wind
have not been in our favor lately.
instead of rowing into the marina,
which is taking us way too long,
and we've just been
caught by the currents,
we decided to bring her in
to a beach on the mainland,
and then, very kindly, sort of a couple
of Australians that live here
have offered then that they would tow us
round to the marina.
All that matters now is planting our feet
on the shore of Australia
and making history.
[Tony] The girls landed on a beach
so they could claim
the land-to-land unassisted record.
They then had to get back on Doris,
row back out,
and be towed into the marina,
where all their family and friends
were waiting.
[all] We did it!
[Laura] All I kept thinking about is,
one day someone is going to do this.
So, what's gonna make them
be able to do it over you guys?
It's only the fact of digging deep
and just keep getting back up
every time you get knocked down.
I feel I could be a bit on edge and either
cry or laugh, not sure which way yet.
[Meg] The Coxless Crew
is the thing I've felt
the most passionate about in my life.
I feel like it's given me massive purpose.
I don't know what it is yet,
I really don't, but that doesn't scare me.
It's been nine months.
Nine months since we left San Francisco
and we rowed our little Doris
under the Golden Gate Bridge,
not really knowing
what we were letting ourselves in for.
I don't think I ever found it
as my happy place again,
but when I think back
to being on the boat,
I'm going to remember the waves
and the skies and the stars
and not the struggles.
The moments that are gonna stay with me
are all gonna be positive ones.
[Tony] I'm going to drop the rope off,
you pull it in.
Part of history!
Couldn't have done it without you!
[Natalia] You know,
I've never got to know people
so completely and so intimately,
and I cannot wait to celebrate
and actually appreciate the enormity
of this accomplishment once it's done.
[crowd cheering]
[Andra Day's "Rise Up" playing]
You're broken down and tired
Of living life on a merry-go-round
And you can't find the fighter
But I see it in you
So, we gonna walk it out
And move mountains
We gonna walk it out
And move mountains
And I'll rise up
I'll rise like the day
I'll rise up
I'll rise unafraid
I'll rise up
And I'll do it a thousand times again
And I'll rise up
High like the waves
I'll rise up
In spite of the ache
I'll rise up
And I'll do it a thousand times again
I hope that people understand
we weren't ocean rowers.
We weren't people that had done loads
of amazing things before.
And that didn't stop us
from having a dream that was pretty big
and from achieving it.
[Sara crying] They're phenomenal girls.
And I'm so proud to be the mom
of one of them.
We will rise
We will rise
Oh, we will rise
Oh, whoa
We'll rise
I'll rise up
[Natalia] Everybody has the power
within themselves
to achieve greatness,
however that looks for them.
I know now that anything
I want to do in life,
I will be able to do.
[Babs] Life is there to live
and not to just exist,
and she hopefully has shown that, really.
[Laura] Every day
that I stepped onto the boat,
I don't think a day that's gone past
I've not thought about the finish.
But now I realize
it was all about the journey.
[Emma] The quote goes
that you can never cross an ocean
unless you have the courage
to lose sight of the shore.
To me now it means
whatever the shore is next time,
not be afraid to row away from it.
[Natalia] I believe that everyone
has their own Pacific to cross.
I confess that I'm afraid
Through the thick of the darkness
I hear the waves
And I fight back the fear
Knowing victory is near
We're too close to the finish
To give it up here
So, on we will go
Rowing through dangerous shores
We don't got a care in sight
Something tells me I'm doing it right
Lord knows it hasn't been easy
To fight against the grain
While they slander your name
But I shut down the noise
And I hear my own voice
Trusting all of the roads
Were to lead me to here
So, on we will go
Rowing through dangerous shores
We don't got a care in sight
Something tells me I'm doing it right
Some don't want to try
Some don't want to try
Too afraid to fight
Too afraid to fight
But you can't get where you're going
You can't get where you're going
Unless you follow that flame inside
So, on we will go
Rowing through dangerous shores
We don't got a care in sight
Something tells me I'm doing it right