Frank Rothwell was not sure what he would come back to when he left Boundary Park two months ago, bound for his latest Atlantic challenge.

He hoped it would be a team in the play-offs, and going into the game in sixth place that dream could become a reality if their winning away streak is stretched at Ebbsfleet on Saturday (kick-off 5.30pm.

Perhaps what he hadn't bargained for was half a new team. But that is what awaits the Latics chairman after Joe Garner became Oldham's sixth January signing on the eve of the Football League's transfer deadline day.

Despite being 400 miles from land, Rothwell even got in on the act of the club's social media teaser to the official announcement.

"Right then, here I am," he said on a recorded call to Latics' media team.

"I'm still in the middle of the Atlantic, 400 miles from Antigua - 400 miles to go, which after 2,500 miles doesn't seem a lot but it's a long way.

"I've been rowing for an hour and I've only done one mile. The win's against me.

"Can you do something for me? Can you get me a good signing, something that's going to brighten my day up and something to look forward to when I come home.

"Micky, make it a goodun."

Rothwell hangs up, and his wish is granted with the unveiling of former Preston and Carlisle forward Garner, with manager Micky Mellon revealing Oldham had fended off competition to secure the 35-year-old's signature.

"There are a lot of new faces," said Rothwell, who is looking forward to meeting them all on his return to OL1, which he hopes will be in time for the next home game - the twice re-arranged fixture with Boreham Wood - although the weather could dictate matters for him.

"The only reason solo boats can row across the Atlantic Ocean is because of the trade winds and the ocean currents in our favour," explained the 73-year-old.

"In any other ocean you need bigger boats and multiple crews, but with the Atlantic ocean solo rowers can do it because of the prevailing trade winds which go from the Canary Islands down to the equator and across the Atlantic.

"The wind's behind you 95 per cent of the time every year in certain months... except this year.

"I expected to be finishing (today) but I've still got 400 miles to go.

"The winds are contrary to what they are normally, which means we're going to get winds from the south, and that's going to blow us north so there's a chance we might miss the island of Antigua!

"But I'll just keep rowing."

Raising money and raising awareness is what keeps him going in the World's Toughest Row.

"The whole idea of going out and doing this was to raise awareness and funds to find a cure for Alzheimer's. That's the whole reason for doing it, and we've raised £200,000 now so I've been emotional since we hit that milestone. But I'm feeling okay."

As of 4pm today (Wednesday) Rothwell had rowed 2,367 nautical miles covered (approximately 2723 miles). There are 401 nautical miles to go.

Before the satellite call ends I ask when he's hoping to finish.

"I don't know," he said. "On five consecutive days I did 70 miles each day but I'm struggling to do 40 at the moment.

"I just keep going."

Inspired by their intrepid and inspirational chairman, Latics intend to do the same.