COUNTY ocean rowers Elaine Theaker and Huw Carden are some 500 miles from reaching Hawaii in their Pacific Ocean crossing, sitting on top of some of the deepest waters in the world.

There is an ‘oar-some’ 5,000m of water between their five-man Team FlyinFish ‘Voyager’ boat and the bottom, as they continue to battle turbulent seas and exhaustion.

Some boats in the ‘World’s Toughest Row Pacific’ have already finished the 2,800-mile California to Hawaii crossing.

But after setting off on June 12 from Monterey, TFF still have a way to go, after five days at para anchor without a rudder early on before managing to replace it.

With a few hundred miles left, retired Abergavenny solicitor and Monmouth Rowing Club member Elaine, who celebrated her 60th birthday early in the voyage, is aiming to be the oldest woman to do both Atlantic and Pacific crossings, having rowed the former five years ago.

But for retired RAF serviceman Huw, who lives in Dingstow near Monmouth, it’s been a baptism of fire as a novice ocean rower.

Describing the roller-coaster of emotions and physical challenges, Hampshire crew mate Andy Warner posted on Sunday: “We are just counting down days left and mileage, getting down to brass tacks.

“It’s hard times now, we’ve lost two from rowing due to hand steering the boat full time, and space at the bow is very limited, it’s either in the cabin flat on your back or space for one standing behind the helmsperson. Not rating this luxury cruise at all, comfort is very very, very limited in these boats and it’s yet another challenge.”

But he added: “There’s still time for afternoon tiffin, for we are mad dogs and Englishman and getting madder by the second!”

He also described: “Big seas looking like they are just rolling around in slow MO, (you) see a huge wave raising up behind the stern of the boat and we know we are in a dangerous place that can bite, but the brain just goes pifff.

“I think the way the brain (deals) with the constant threat, stress, tiredness and fatigue is to go into a sort of psychosis. One of the team thought they clearly heard voices/chatter as if you walked past a busy bar, clearly voices but no distinct words, thinking these were people lost in a ship wreck to Davy Jones...

“Currently we are passing over 5000-metre deep waters, that is unimaginable, over three miles, who knows what lurks down there.”

But he later added: “I’ve found peace within myself in this environment, it’s taken some time to arrive in this place mentally and emotionally, it’s been a real ride.”

And as well as spotting a flying fish going “clean over the boat last night” he also reported seeing “Elon Musk’s sky link satellites go over, a very impressive sight, all in a row”.

You can keep up to speed with Team FlyinFish’s progress at, on their YouTube channel and

To support their charities, go to – Air Ambulance – and – SSAFA.