American singer Don McClean had a hit about the famous artist Vincent Van Gough:
Starry, Starry Night, Paint your palette blue and grey, look out on a Summer's day, With eyes that know the darkness in my soul
McClean was referring to Van Gough’s genius and how he could paint people’s personal perceptions so accurately.
In a recent conversation with Damian Browne’s brother and Connacht rugby player Andrew this song came to mind. Andrew spoke of some of the truly unique experiences that Damian is having as he solo-rows across the Atlantic in aid of such worthy charities as Médecins San Frontiéres Ireland, the Strong Roots Foundation, Rwanda and Galway’s Madra.
Andrew told me:
At night Damian relaxes on the boat and looks up at the sky and sees the most amazing starry night sky you'll ever see
That relaxation that Damian Browne experiences is a rare treat for him as he continues to row up to 14 hours a day to get to the finish line in Antigua. At present Damian is just over 800 miles from the finish line and is still attempting to row 50 miles daily in order to reach his destination -forecast to be around Valentine’s day. Although thankfully, there have been no mishaps or incidents of note in the past while which allows the big man to get into a routine of rowing.
Being out in the open Atlantic ocean leaves such a small boat vulnerable to all types of weather and sometimes this weather can have (as we learned in previous diary entry http://www.theeye.news/2017/12/26/damian-brownes-atlantic-diary-2) disastrous effects on the voyage.
However, there are other times when the journey can become too mundane especially when the weather is calm. Presently this is what Damian is experiencing. The sea is calm. There is no wind to push him that bit faster along his course. By having more of a breeze behind him it would speed him up along the route and give him that much needed push towards the finish line.
This time two years ago he was in the midst of preparation for the Marathon des Sables which involved 6 gruelling days of running in horrific heat. Of course that’s all in the past now but, when Brownie completes this Atlantic challenge in the coming weeks he’ll be painting a future for himself as bright as anything Van Gough created. After all the awareness and money he’s earning for his worthwhile charities, Damian Browne sure does deserve that!