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[00:00:00]

All right, everybody, welcome back to the podcast special edition, we've got an update from the boys over from Lattitude. Thirty five rowing across the Atlantic. You heard me right, rowing across the Atlantic Ocean in the Talisker Wisky Atlantic Challenge, projected to finish in thirty five days. These poor souls spent Christmas and all the holidays, for that matter, in the middle of the Atlantic.

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They dialed in this morning at 10:00 Central Time. God knows what time it is there.

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I don't know if they keep time out there. Think about that. Like time doesn't even matter. They dialed in from the sat phone, I caught up with team captain Dickson McDonald, if any of this stuff sounds crazy and this is truly the definition and the ethos that we do because we do is is really an answer to a question.

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When the question from normal folk who would ever want to do that, whether it's an Iron Man, an ultra, you know, whatever are rowing across the Atlantic, you know, people say who who wants to do that? Well, yeah, there's a lot of people that actually in unison say, well, we do. They are the embodiment of that. They're currently sitting in third full team as Dixon, Todd Hooper, John Thomas and Jimmy Carroll.

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We got quite an amazing update.

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Everything from broken orders to power outages, steering mechanisms, downed boat capsizes, encounters with dolphins, not not much other wildlife.

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He's going to get into that. I was curious about that seasickness. Obviously, heat exhaustion. All of the things is boiling hot out there. Apparently, we caught him on a day with calm seas, beautiful day, nothing but sunshine, but hot and flat seas. So I've enjoyed following the progress.

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Every morning I get up every morning and check the website, see how they're doing. They've got a great interactive tracker on the site where you can follow the guys. And by the way, happy holidays and Thuc. Twenty, twenty. Like, seriously, how many more days we've got to get this behind us, right. The 20 so we can roar into the twenty one plus's, whatever it is, but thanks for tuning in like each and every time the show is brought to you by the Oring, I'm obsessed with this piece of technology.

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My sleep data last night was off the charts. When a night without the sauce, I'm going to I'm going to get back on that train, so just a warning for you, Mr. Hincapie, and anybody else who wants to fuck with me. All right. I'm back on the regime in twenty, twenty one. Right. Coming out strong. All right.

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Thanks to all our thanks to you all for tune in. And by the way, thanks for the interest in this story. I think it's a crazy story, I think. When I went in, Dickson told me they were doing this, I said that you're nuts and I will do almost anything. I would never do this. And the downloads on the first episode were off the charts, kind of blew us all away. So thanks for the keen interest.

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And Dixon is going to call in at approximately another week. It's a little hit and miss out there, but as soon as we can grab him, we'll put up an update. And like I said, currently sitting in third and hoping to gain and get the win into Antigua, by the way, that is the finish. Antigua. So. All right, y'all have a great one. Happy New Year and we'll talk to you in twenty, twenty one.

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Dixon, can you hear me? Yeah. Loud and clear, how are you doing? Well, I'm doing fine. It seems the better question is how are you all doing out in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean?

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Well, it's currently hot as hell in the middle of the Atlantic with zero wind. And so we are sitting on deck with Jimmy and Jono and Todd's in the cabin and we are sweating our absolute balls off right now. But we're just over halfway through this thing now and looking at kind of assuming all continues to go to plan, we should hope we get to you again and in a total of thirty five days. So fingers. Fingers crossed that that happens.

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And it's been it's been a lot of lessons learned over the past two and a half weeks or so. I mean, it's just been trial by fire. I've heard stories to share with you, everything from your Capsis where Todd and I were on the orders and kind of 15 or so foot waves and a wave broke on our stern, nearly flipped this over and snapped or right in half. It was in my right hand. And then we've we've had in the beginning of the race, we had a power outage of our batteries for about six hours due to an insulation issue.

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That same day, we were also pinned up against a wave that was kind of pushing us as we were perpendicular to it. And and then we kind of battled everything from squalls that are just kind of popped up out of nowhere to four days with just zero wind and just excruciatingly hot like we had for the past four or five days. But it's been every everyone's doing well and healthy right now. One of the guys had some dehydration or had some seasickness and heat stroke issues which are now resolved.

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And we in terms of the kind of standings of the race right now, there are two classes. There's race, class and upper class. We're currently sitting in third of the race class. We can kind of elaborate on why I think that is. But essentially, the team that's in first place, the team hold on shoulders of giants, it's about 20 or so miles ahead of us and took a more southerly route and had stronger tailwind than we did.

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And then a team called The Atlantic, that's kind of mid teens in terms of miles away from us. And frankly, we just got unlucky with Mother Nature. We had that had that power blackout with the batteries that caused us to hand steer with absolutely zero power on board for about six or so hours. And then we had after the caps, after the near capsize, we ended up having to kind of go with the direction of the waves, slightly off course for a little bit, just because it would have been pretty dangerous to try to go kind of in a direction where they would have potentially been able to come over our side and flip us from left to right.

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But then we had it we had a squall that popped up where it was perfectly calm and all of a sudden we were in an extreme rain and waves with I would say we're north of probably 40 mile an hour wind gusts. But but I think, you know, given all of that, we're pretty confident of where we stand right now. And we've got the hours that we're growing per day. So we went from kind of 12 or so hours per day each to now.

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We're rowing about 14 or so hours a day and and just trying to kind of eat as much as possible to fuel us since we got about two and a half weeks of the race.

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In terms of that, I'm assuming you're still thinking about going for the win, being competitive, how hard it you've got, you know, gosh, two weeks or something to go 10 to 14 days. How hard is it to I mean, you do the math on making up forty miles. Yeah. To most people, that sounds like a lot. But when you're talking about two weeks, you know, the two miles a day when you're doing you're doing roughly 70 miles a day.

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So is that still the goal? Yeah, that's that's definitely still the goal. And actually, it's not. It's the team that's in first is about 20 miles ahead of us. And then the team that's second is somewhere probably in the high teens. So definitely still the goal. And then for us right now, we're just trying to make sure that we have up the hours that we're rowing, that we're just those. Those. Hours, according to us, hopefully going faster than other teams have it to your point, it can be just a marginal difference that it makes, makes more of it making makes actually that that difference up over the next two weeks.

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And we have a new weather system that's going to be pushing through shortly over the weekend where there could potentially be some some headwinds that the three of us face. And the forecast is changing our power and the strength of those headwinds or pretty dramatic range from one not headwind to kind of significantly more than that. So, again, depending on the route that we choose versus them, again, that that could actually have that could definitely have a pretty dramatic effect as well.

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So we're definitely not out by any means and and definitely focused on continuing to push hard for for the last two and a half weeks to hopefully cover that ground. And I think we lost due to some unfortunate circumstances with Mother Nature and our batteries.

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So just for for us at home, sitting on dry land and flat land, like right now, what what how big are the waves of the swells or is it calm? Is it are you it sounds from your voice, it sounds like a pretty chill at the moment. But what are would like give us give us the give us the view of of what you're looking at. Yeah.

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So so right now it's just you would consider probably a beautiful day at the beach. It's crystal clear. Blue sky, flat calm, extremely blue, clear water and just incredibly hot. I mean it feels like it feels like it's probably summer in Austin right now, but the range is just dramatic and that's what we've had to adapt to. We've gone from kind of long, extremely hot days. And again, the cabins are six feet by about three feet wide with no real air ventilation.

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So you come off the oars and you're sweating your butt off and then in the cabins and and just continue to just sweat in there, too. So there really isn't much of a reprieve from from from the conditions. And then within minutes that can change. I mean, we went from these long, hot days or about a week ago, we had 15 to 20 foot waves that at one point where I would say more kind of rolling swells. And then as we progressed into the evening around 4:00 to 6:00 p.m., when Todd and I were on the shores, the swell started getting deeper and deeper and bigger and bigger to the point where I looked over at one point and one saw kind of crest and broke.

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And I was thinking to myself, if we're caught under that thing, we're going to have some issues which ended up happening. And I had a 50 foot seawall did break on our stern and it shot us down the face of this wave and then our auto helmets and the auto correct. And perpendicular to the wave, which then pressure to or and then the white water was pushing against the door and pushed my or underneath the boat, snapping it in half.

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And in an hour later, the condition had calmed down. And then we were at one night we were in relatively calm conditions. And then all of a sudden we were on the edge of a system that was moving through and went from calm to incredibly rough conditions with waves and 40, 40 plus mile an hour wind gusts. And we were just getting blown all over the place. So it's just the variability and unpredictability of it is is dramatic and we'll get a weather forecast.

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But obviously that's based on a model that and it can change pretty quickly out here. So it's just I would say it's a state of you know, you talked about the ethos of we do on the last call. I got to say, this is just like the it's just relentless suffering out here and just needing to be able to kind of adapt to whatever Mother Nature throws at us. But currently it's it's hot and flat, which which you would think would actually be a nice reprieve from big wind and big waves.

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But the reality is that it feels like you're you're pulling your thoughts on that and going pretty slow as that's happening. So while it is it is nice and I Kamasi state we're not moving nearly as fast as we would like to and kind of bigger surf and higher tailwinds and then coming into this region, like I said, we should have some headwinds. I think the surf will stay relatively calm and then starting into next week, we should have a slight tailwind and relatively small swell that should kind of guide us in San Diego for the remainder of probably the 10 days that we'll be out here.

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And what are you seeing out there in terms of I get the reports from the families. So I know there's been some some pretty cool wildlife, but I mean, give me the wildlife update. You know, I'm just going full Buchen, Jacques Cousteau, Nat Geo here, but. And then, you know, tankers, cargo ships, all that, I mean, like what or is it just like looking around and not going around?

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So we've we saw a few days and we saw a lot of dolphins that swam by and drove probably a thousand plus dolphins that swam by the boat and were jumping all over the place, which was amazing. And then, as you can imagine, just these incredibly dramatic sunsets and sunrises and star filled nights. We saw a meteor shower within the first few days of leaving McNamara in the Canary Islands. It was spectacular. I mean, on any given night, to be honest, you can see shooting stars, I would say, once every couple of minutes.

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And then in terms of kind of other wildlife, we saw some dolphins earlier this morning. No whale sightings. Yeah, there's there's some seabirds that'll fly around and kind of check us out and a ton of flying fish that are all over the place and one of which bumped into Jimmy one night. But and then in terms of other boat traffic, we've seen we've seen one other boat on the horizon in the past 18 days. And that is literally the only other sort of interaction we've seen otherwise.

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It has been a total ocean desert out here. And and that's that's been it. It was it was funny was actually a sailboat that was off in the distance. We could see the mast and they reached out to us over a radio and toggle on the on the radio with them and was communicating with them. And it was a family that was sailing from from France to down to Martinique.

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And how is I'm sure there's ups and downs and good days. Bad days.

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But overall health team morale, team morale, I would say has to your point, definitely have ups and downs. I think the way you hear with some teams is there and sometimes being these big arguments and people fall out on board. And I think given how hard the conditions have been from raging big swells to dead calm, I think we've done a really good job of kind of boost each other up and staying motivated and focused. And, you know, at this point, now that we're kind of halfway through, I think we're we're all pretty excited about that.

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And I'm hopeful that we can kind of make a push in these last two and a half weeks and just climb back up the up the leaderboard.

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And I wake up every morning and I track it on, you know, the website. They do a great job, at least from my perspective. You know, with real time updates, you can actually see the boats moving if you sit there long enough, as I do. But for those at home, I want to listen, go to Talisker Wisky, Atlantic Channel and Dotcom and it pops right up. You can see I know there's some other apps, but I've been just going to the website, so it's kind of a highlight of my start of the day to see, see how it's going and get the reports from the family.

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Tell me tell me how bad. Because, you know, when we did the first show, I was I'm such a wimp when it comes to sea sickness and being out and moving around on the water and I get deathly ill. But how bad was that? I know you mentioned one of the guys got it pretty bad. But but overall, was it is was it less than expected or or what?

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I think all things considered, it could have been worse. You know, we do have other teams where there's there's a trio and we heard that they were all seasick. And if you're all seasick, you're pretty much stock and you're not moving anywhere. And so I think for us, I felt pretty nauseous the first few days. I think we all kind of felt varying ranges of of kind of of nausea. But I have only one of us who who kind of was was more seasick than others and had some exhaustion in the grand scheme and to recover from it in the grand scheme of things, I think we were actually pretty lucky because there have been circumstances where seasickness has been so bad, where people have had to be had to be evacuated off the boats before just due to severe dehydration.

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And that hasn't happened to us. So I think all things considered, we knew that we were going to suffer a little bit from that and we did. And I think it could have been a lot worse. But, you know, they say the first week or so is just is kind of hellish. And I think we can probably confirm that. And then after that, you get into a little bit more of a rhythm and settle down and kind of take stock of of the first week and lessons learned, which we definitely did.

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I mean, at first, within the first 24 hours, we try to make a really big push. And we were rowing in ships of two hours on. Three minutes off. Three guys on the orders, one guy resting, and I think in hindsight, he probably pushed a little bit too hard in this first twenty four hours because then that just ended up making us pretty sleep deprived and tired. And for the night shifts, when you're getting on the orders it between midnight and 6:00 AM, you still need to be pretty sharp and try not to be falling asleep as you're as you're trying to pull the all through the water.

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But I think we, again, learn that from that lesson and and definitely learn from some of the lessons of dealing with some of the adverse conditions that we faced in big waves and even in in high heat waves. There are lessons to be taken from that, too. So it's it's definitely been a very valuable learning experience. And we're just kind of continuing to adapt on a day by day basis.

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You know, as I watch the real time tracker here on the site and look, you know, they're showing what looks to be currents and the flow of the water. And it's pretty it's actually pretty animated. I don't know if it's if it's if it's accurate or not. But it seems to me that, you know, your man, Angus, wherever the hell he is, the navigator. What I mean, seems like there's a play there. If you're trying to make a time, you might have to know if you could catch some of these streams here.

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You know, you just start flying. Is that or am I making that up? No, no, no.

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You're exactly right. He he sent us an update every four hours. So we're in close touch with him via our government and reach. And then we also speak to him on a daily basis, primarily Todd and Jimmy. We the conversation with him and then he'll tell us if you need to change your course over ground by X degrees and you should expect the winds from this direction and waves from this direction and current from this direction. And so there's there's a lot that goes into it, I think cross references for different weather, weather charts and and then relays that feedback back to us.

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And so we then take that feedback, adjust our course as needed. And then if the conditions are not what he told us, we don't update him and any updates, the models that he's looking at. So it's just a constant feedback loop where we're dealing with him and he's speaking with us and we're just keeping each other updated on what we're seeing because, you know, we need to position the boat as best we can and capitalize on wind waves and current and and your dad told us in a little bit on boat actually leading the thing as a two man boat, which I find to be astonishing.

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But apparently that's a kind of a different beast, different vessel, just a whole different dynamic.

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Yeah, exactly. So it's a team control for cancer, a race, the race class, which is what we're in. And then there's the open class, which is what that team is in, and essentially ruled for cancer as a custom made boat. That is a few hundred pounds lighter than the both of the four man teams are. And so it's a it's essentially like showing up to America isn't enough one car, which is why we're in different classes.

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So it's definitely not an apples to apples comparison by any means. And so we would compare ourselves against the two other fours that that are now head and shoulders of giants. This is who's leading currently and the Atlantic City number two. But again, it is just every hour is so unpredictable out of here and so much can change as we've seen, whether it's the weather or some sort of technical issue on the boat. And so despite any sort of lead, whether it's a mile or 20 miles or more than that, things change very quickly out here.

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And again, we're kind of positioning ourselves to hopefully be in a position where if something were to happen, we we can be in a good position and kind of capitalize on that and hopefully push ahead. But it's for something like this. It's really it's really not over until it's over. Any regrets would be pretty nice to have an ice machine on here and a shower, but no, no, no regrets. I mean, I think you don't I guess you don't realize the level of suffering that goes on from doing something like this until you're out here.

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You can be told all about it by other ocean rovers. But until you're living and breathing it, you just realize how incredibly challenging something like this is and just and just how relentless it is. You know, we're talking another day, how it's a triathlon or cycling race or something like that, not to take away from those events by any means, but you can. At any point, you can kind of stop or you can pull off to the side and it's a one day thing typically, and you can pull the ripcord if you need to.

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And here when we were in when we had that in your Capsis, there's no road that you can or shoulder of the road that you can pull off to and just kind of chill and regroup. You're still in 15 to 20 foot swells that are coming at you from from a direction and potentially trying to flip you over. So it's just it's relentless out here. And I think that that's been, again, just a learning experience for us and something we've had to adapt to.

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And I think that we as a team have done a really nice job of of dealing with everything that's that's been thrown at us because it definitely has not been easy. And to be sitting in in this third position where we currently are with the potential to continue to move forward is is is exciting. So long winded way of saying no regrets. But but just definitely a wild ride, to say the least.

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Yeah, a little different than that ride we went on last summer in Aspen, where you just kept getting a flat tire after flat tire. But at least we could pull over and there were people to help and other people had extra tubes. And yeah, it's a different monster.

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So argued. Well, I'll let you get back to hydrating and eating and recovering and rowing and all the other shit you're out there doing. But best of luck. Well, let's try talking talk in a week. This is a fascinating update and I'll I'll keep it in every morning. Perfect.

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That sounds great. Thanks. Thanks for checking in. And sorry this took a while to get on the calendar, but really excited to provide the update. And hopefully people at home are following along through the holidays. And we'll give you an update next week, hopefully with some positive news. Oh yeah.

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That's that's a good point. So, like, we didn't even get into the next part. We'll get into that next week. But like, how is Christmas Day? I mean, you know, most people wake up really excited for Christmas Day. You guys are probably like, yep, it's Christmas.

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Yeah.

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I mean, all the days we're together a little bit. So there wasn't any any any massive any massive difference. But we have gotten the forecast report on Christmas Day that it was going to be very slow going with very little tailwinds for for the next few days, which was not exactly the report that we were hoping for. But but we have some sympathy and a half on board and and it's Christmas glasses that we celebrated briefly for a little bit. But now you just got to be 100 percent focused the entire time you're out here.

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And so we unfortunately didn't have as much of a Christmas celebrations as we probably would have liked to. Yeah. All right. Well, you can you can put that off. Did you get Danti? You'll have you'll have fun. So, I mean, you guys, first and foremost, be safe. Best of luck. We're tracking you and we'll talk in a week or so. That sounds great.

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And Lance, just for next week, whenever you're about to get another guy's on the phone with you and have them chime in and share their thoughts as well.

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Yeah. Yeah, no problem. I love it. Thanks. Thanks for having us on. And yeah, I can't wait until we're we're we're back through this thing and back to eating normal meals and not rehydrated food rations for for the foreseeable future. I bet that bet that bet is going to feel good.

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And Antico with the AC on in the room, the nice cool 400 pound she you know, your feet up a cold beer. Just, just, just. Yeah. Think about that.

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You have no idea if he's going to survive or temperature and yet Margarita's birder's. We're going to do it all and we want to get him extremely excited about global warming. Thanks for calling and checking in and really, really appreciate it. And yeah, we're we're going to keep powering through here. And Will, if you want to say same time next week, we can we can watch it and make it happen.

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That works perfect and wish to wish the boys my best. Tell them I said hi. We're all pulling for them to go out in a week.

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Awesome. Sounds great. Thanks. We'll talk soon.