We were honoured to welcome Neil Furminger to our annual Lodge of Instruction supper where members received his lively presentation of his amazing recent experience. Neil was one of three dads that rowed in Ocean Dadventure in ‘The Worlds Toughest Row’ across the Atlantic. The Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge took place in December 2022. He and his team were aiming to prove to people that the perception of ‘a pipe and slippers life’ and ‘middle aged spread’ is not mandatory!
Ocean Dadventure was raising funds for two charities: Wolo Foundation, a Seaford charity that supports families of those suffering from cancer, and Prostate Cancer UK.

The challenge was to row 3,000 miles unsupported from La Gomera in the Canary Islands to Antigua in the Caribbean. They were aiming to complete the challenge in 40 days and nights, rowing a gruelling shift pattern of roughly 2 hours on 2 hours off, nonstop until they reach Antigua, where temperatures were regularly between 30 and 40 degrees Celsius, tackling 40 ft. waves in the process. They experienced dolphins, flying fish, sharks and even a whale that was right at the side of the boat!

Nutrition was through rehydrated food packs, snack bars and the occasional fish they caught. A solar powered desalination unit converted seawater to drinking water. Each member of the crew needed between 6,000 and 8,000 calories per day. Neil had a sweet tooth and keep his count up with Jelly Babies and Haribo. There were pork scratchings and nuts on the Christmas Day menu because of their high calorific value.

In achieving their goal, they demonstrated the value of teamwork, fitness, energy, strength, courage, confidence and commitment.
Having answered questions put to him by the members Neil was presented with the proceeds of the evening and other donations which amounted to almost £500.

Everyone expressed admiration for his enthusiasm for what was a very gruelling task.

Members also enjoyed the traditional steak and kidney pudding menu and the camaraderie of being together.