32nd December (otherwise known as New years eve mark 2 on Nellie)

Rockin’ and rollin’ and stepping out in the Engine Room
Tamsin Smith, 2nd Engineer



Waking up before the Cook is never a pleasant experience, but I’ve done it every day this week all in the name of sport. Picture this: It’s early morning and the sun has just risen over a stormy Southern ocean with swells reaching 3.5m and the wind whipping white horses on the crest of each wave. Out of the clouds the tall ship “Lord Nelson” battles through the weather. On the bridge the end of the night watch are holding the ship on course with rain dripping from their oil skins. [/one_half_last]
The ship is rolling up to 45 degrees on each swell and the water is flowing over the deck with each passing crest. Inside the ship a tiny figure claws her way down the corridor and into the engine room wearing sports gear and ear protection. She fishes a little step machine out of the corner and starts her morning workout sweating in the 29 degrees Celsius of the engine room and holding on as every roll threatens to knock her from her vigil.

This is my acclimatisation training for the Marathon des Sables (MDS), a week long ultra-marathon through the Sahara desert carrying all my equipment and food. I will be running it in April straight after the voyage to Antarctica all to raise money for the JST. Most competitors train for the MDS by doing long runs, but that’s a little bit difficult on Nellie so I invested in a mini step machine and am trying to do 1-1.5 hours every morning before I start work…..It’s hard. Especially as I am “on bells” every other night when I do my last rounds at around 2200hrs and sometimes get woken up by the “bells” (engineers alarm) during the night.

It has been one week since my last run on land (a glorious early morning 9.5 mile run along the beach in Napier) and I have decided to do a weekly report on my training for a bit of fun and to aid my motivation.

Drum roll please….

Week 1: 9 hours and 42,000 steps

So. For all of you land lovers who have decided to work out for your new year’s resolution….I ask you to think of me in the mornings as I step in the hot engine room on a rolling ship and to take solace in the fact that you don’t have to get up before the Cook!

Please support the JST and help my motivation by sponsoring me at: www.justgiving.com/tam-at-sea

8th January


Tamsin Smith, 2nd Engineer

NEWS FLASH: After a second week of stepping out in the engine room with no rest day, the step machine has finally needed its first battery change!

No spare batteries were found for the 2nd engineer though….

Week Totals: 43000steps in 8 ½ hours….Yes, you’re right- That’s more steps in less time compared to last week! Nelly isn’t the only girl speeding up in the roaring forties!

Total steps since Auckland: 101000

This is equivalent to approximately 295 nautical miles ….So, not quite round the Cape yet!

15th January


Tamsin Smith, 2nd Engineer

It’s been a “swell” week stepping in the engine room, holding on for dear life and feeling like I was re-enacting the last scene from “Grease” …Although perhaps I shouldn’t try to step in tight leather trousers?!

Moving on…I want to try something new to increase the amount of money I am raising (and to increase my motivation). I would like to ask for sponsorship for each training day on board. Sponsors can choose a day or I will allocate a day for them. So… I need you guys to write emails to your friends and family back home and to direct them to my justgiving site and to say what training they would like to sponsor.


This week’s stats are: Drum roll please 8 1/2hrs with a total of 49000 steps. Including a personal best on Sunday of 9000 steps in 90 minutes! That brings my total distance to 376 nautical miles since Auckland!

…On fire!