The Voyage: Roz Savage
Sedna's Future Home: KKMI
13 Sep 2006, San Francisco, California

'I met with someone today that I think you should also meet, her name is Roz Savage. She's recently rowed across the Atlantic (single-handed) and is in the process of making plans to do the same thing from San Francisco across the Pacific. (Yes, I know, we told her that she's crazy...but now having met her...she actually appears to be quite sane)'

A back-handed compliment in an email of introduction. And this from the man who employs a woman who swims with sharks.

The KKMI boatyard in Richmond Point (about 45 minutes from my home in Woodside) has kindly offered free berthing to Sedna, and a discount on their boatyard services. Paul proudly showed me around when I visited them there yesterday.

'And this is the engines workshop - we can lift out this skylight and crane the engine straight in. And over here we have the masts area, where we have plenty of space to unstep the mast, repair it, restep it...'

'Not that you need any of that stuff', his daughter Erica (on the left in the photo) chipped in. Exactly.

Paul also introduced me to his staff, including Ginger (on the right in the photo) and Debbie the shark lady (centre). 'But not white-tips', she assured me, as if this made it all OK.

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Hip Update: MRI Scan
13 Sep 2006, San Francisco, California

Floyd the Physio is becoming well-acquainted with my backside. Every weekday day for the last week he has iced it, massaged it, stretched it and passed electrical impulses through it. Nobody has been this intimate with my nether regions since I last got a bikini wax.

But despite his ministrations, my pain in the posterior persists.

This morning I went for an MRI scan, the first I'd ever had. It's a strange experience. I was instructed to change into clinic pants, size Large, I noticed ??" and indeed they were ??" even at my present much-increased weight I could have fitted two of me in there. I was then taken into the presence of The Machine, feeling something like the Cowardly Lion meeting the Wizard of Oz.

I lay down on the bed, they taped my feet together, and then I was slotted into the circular jaws of the machine. It introduced itself with a few deep and sonorous tones, then proceeded through pulsing waves of sound at various frequencies. 20 minutes and $1000 dollars later, it was over. Coincidentally the same cost as Mojo's paintwork.

I'm having to 'self-pay' for now, and claim it back later from my travel insurance. I'm not sure how much more my credit card can stand. Let's hope I get better soon, for many reasons.

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My Mojo Goes To Hospital
13 Sep 2006, San Francisco, California

The Mojo-Mobile has had to go into hospital. Somebody trashed him in the car park at San Jose Airport while I was in San Diego over the weekend. They ran a key down his side - a long, deliberate scratch, double in places for good measure. And they bent up the sides of his 'Mojo Me' number plate. How could anybody do such a thing to such a cute little car?

So while I head for Oregon, Mojo has to stay here being repaired. An eye-watering $1000 for the new paintwork. His medical expenses are nearly as extortionate as mine.

Instead of zipping up Highway 1 in a cute little stick-shift Brit-car with a Union Jack on its roof, I shall be cruising up in a bland, boring, automatic Chevy Cobalt. Its only redeeming feature is its colour - red. If it was white it would be so anonymous it would disappear altogether.

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Flying 9/11
11 Sep 2006, San Francisco, California

Today I flew from San Diego back to San Francisco. I had wondered what it would be like flying on 9/11. On the fifth anniversary of the attack on the World Trade Center it is very much on everybody's minds.

Can you remember where you were when you heard what had happened?

I was on a mountaintop in Scotland, taking a walking holiday on my own. My (then) husband was in his office in midtown Manhattan.

The first I knew of the disaster was when I emerged from a mobile phone reception blackspot, in a valley, and my phone rang. It was my sister. 'Have you heard the news from New York?'

My immediate thought was of my husband. What had happened? Was he OK?

'A plane has just crashed into the World Trade Center,' she said. Phew, I thought, his office is far enough away from there to be safe. But how awful. The death toll must have been huge - the passengers plus the office workers. What a freaky accident.

Half an hour later, there was another phone call, from a friend. 'Thank heavens you're OK. I didn't know if you were in New York. Planes have crashed into both the Twin Towers.'

What???! One plane crash into a skyscraper could be a freak occurrence. But two?

I looked at my map. I was at the furthest point of my hike. I was about 4 hours walk from my hostel. I completed the rest of my hike at a brisk march, impatient to get to a TV to find out what was happening. My phone kept ringing with calls from anxious friends, wanting to know if my husband and I were both alright. I knew he probably was, but I was still relieved when I finally managed to get through to him and heard the sound of his voice.

I couldn't believe what I was hearing. Plane crashes, towers collapsing, people jumping. Physically I was tramping across the Scottish mountains, but mentally I was in Manhattan, in the city that I'd grown to love during the 18 months I'd lived there, wondering how my New York friends were coping.

When I got back to my hostel it scarcely seemed any more real. The images on the TV seemed like a Hollywood movie. I sat transfixed, unable to believe my eyes.

I felt pain, a pain for my friends, for New York, for America. It was like seeing a friend in distress, but being a continent away and unable to help. My heart, my mind, my being - I ached for New York.

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