The Voyage: Roz Savage
Johnny Cash: Heartrending
31 Jul 2006

A beautiful, heartrending song with a video to match. His voice sounds worldly-wise and world-weary, the voice of a man who has lived long and lived hard. Highly recommended.

Click here for the song and video.

Click here for more about Johnny Cash

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Highway 101: Here I Go Again On My Own
31 Jul 2006, San Francisco, California

The last time I drove up Highway 101 was in 1994, in a Mustang convertible with the roof down, my boyfriend (later my husband, now my ex) at the wheel, Depeche Mode on the stereo, the setting sun glaring through the haze over the mountains. We were on a 3-month break from work, and had just arrived in the US at the start of our trip around the world. We were full of excitement and nerves and wonderment at what the future might bring. Yesterday I drove up the same highway, alone, in a Mini Cooper. The circumstances may have been different, but the emotions were almost the same.

I was on the last leg of my journey from San Diego to San Francisco. I'd stopped off in Redondo Beach, LA, Santa Barbara and Santa Maria to see various people - friends, strangers, potential business partners. Everyone I saw had helpful words to offer for my Pacific row - and ideas for more people I ought to meet. It's that exciting stage of planning an expedition, when everything seems possible. Like in '94, I had that feeling of unlimited opportunity and potential. The future lies before me like a new diary, waiting to be filled with exciting news.

I am now esconced in 'Robert's Nook' - a small cottage in the woods in (appropriately named) Woodside, about 25 miles south of the centre of San Francisco. I will be based here for the next 6 or 7 weeks. This is the longest I have stayed in any one place since I left my rented cottage in Emsworth eleven months ago to go row the Atlantic. Already it feels like home.

In Orcutt with Jill and Les - Les was manager of Guns 'n' Roses in a past life, now involved in the Historical Diving Society

Robert's Nook

P.S. I have just watched the video again, and I realised I don't look as excited as I claim to be. I actually AM excited, but am having to concentrate very hard on a) driving a stickshift car on the wrong side of the road, while b) filming myself, and ideally c) not crashing. To look excited as well would have been one multitask too many.

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Survival of the Dippiest
29 Jul 2006

'It's a matter of survival.' I was talking on the phone with the head of major nonprofit organisation Conservation International about my forthcoming Pacific row. He was sounding earnest and concerned.

'Don't worry about me,' I said. 'I've already survived the Atlantic. I reckon I can survive the Pacific.'

Pregnant pause.

'I meant the survival of the oceans,' he said.


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3 Ways To Make An American’s Jaw Drop
28 Jul 2006, Redondo Beach, Los Angeles

Say 'I'm not doing this for the money,' or 'MySpace? Never heard of it,' or 'Britney who?'

(OK, so I'm kidding with the last one.)

This highlights a couple of interesting issues.

The first is that we are under the illusion that America and Britain share a common culture. We think we watch the same movies (mostly true), talk the same language (somewhat true) and share the same celebrities (more false than true).

For example, and no offence intended to my esteemed expedition patron, but few people here have heard of Sir Steve Redgrave. Likewise, when I met yesterday with a potential recruit to Team Pacific and we were discussing media possibilities, I hadn't heard of most of the American athletes he mentioned.

As for MySpace, maybe I've been leading a sheltered life. It claims to have 95,000,000 users (95,000,001 since I signed up yesterday) but its existence had somehow passed me by. My excuse is that I've been off rowing oceans, and cyber-news failed to reach me in mid-Atlantic. I can see I'm going to have a steep learning curve to get to grips with American culture.

But of course politically we are in sweet harmony - see this very amusing video of our 'special relationship'.

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