It’s not every Tuesday afternoon in the summer holidays that we go to Salcombe. Nor is it every time that we visit Salcombe that we keep bumping in to friends and neighbours from Dartmoor.
This Tuesday, 4th August 2015, was a bit special though. Everywhere we looked, by the waterfront in Salcombe, was someone we knew – the local farmer, his wife and three children were on the harbour wall, the vicar was at the back of a large crowd, friends were rattling collecting buckets. The reason for all this activity was the end of an epic journey.
In December 2012 a local man, Luke Rainey, died from a brain tumour at the age of 54. He had been a keen sailor and his son, Tom, decided to do something to raise money towards earlier detection of brain tumours to help improve detection rates.
Tom and his friend Lawrence Walters set out from New York in May this year aiming to become the youngest team to successfully row the North Atlantic and raise money as they rowed. They had a torrid time, with massive challenges, as you can see below.
This Tuesday, after 93 days at sea, they completed their journey, landing in Salcombe, where Tom and his family had spent many happy hours sailing so we all went to welcome them home. I have never seen anything like it! Every space on the riverside was crammed with people; a massive flotilla of small boats and kayaks had gone out to the mouth of the river to welcome them and Salcombe was heaving like it has never heaved before.
Somewhere in the middle of all those boats was a small, indomitable boat and it’s crew of two. As they drew alongside the crowded harbour wall they waved and celebrated.
You may just be able to see two tousled heads in amongst the family and media that welcomed them onto the pontoon. Champagne was consumed, along with a longed-for bacon butty and a cup of tea!!
If you would like to donate to their JustGiving fund for The Brain Tumour Charity then click here and follow the link. http://www.oceanvalour.co.uk/
Our little corner of Dartmoor is recovering from all the excitement now, but I think it will take a few more days for Tom and Lawrence to recover from their exertions! Plenty of bacon butties and cups of tea, not to mention many hours of sleep, will be required.