A friend pointed me in the direction of Tip the Planet, a green website bulging with quick tips on how be live a greener life.
There's all kinds of useful information there, including how to have a greener Christmas, what fish are being overfished to the point of extinction, and even how to clean your shoes with a banana skin(??!).
It may all sound like small stuff when you look at the scale of the issue, but every little bit helps.
Meanwhile, I'm finding it hard to get in the Christmas spirit here in Mexico, where it's 90 degrees in the shade...
I'm trying not to get too excited, but it looks like Jangada may at last be on the move. Despairing of ever getting the parts we needed in Mexico, or at least parts that a) worked and b) didn't have a 30% markup) Eric went on a 24-hour dash to Los Angeles to get autopilot, radio, voltage regulators and all the other electricals and cabling that we needed.
Despite having a carry-on bag full of bomb-like-looking equipment (and a bottle of tequila) he somehow made it through airport securityin the States and through the green channel of customs in Mexico.
After a long and stressful saga of unhelpful shop staff, warehouse-key-holders being on vacation, parts that should exist proving not to exist, and those that did exist being defective, our luck may at last have turned. Two weeks after we arrived in Mexico, we may actually get out sailing!
But there has at least been a silver lining to the cloud. I've been making good progress with my book, and through sea-kayaking, brisk walks and body circuits on the dock (to the bemusement of the locals) I've been improving my fitness as well. I could use the extreme heat and the unsettled circumstances as an excuse not to exercise, but excuses will be no good to me when I'm out on the Pacific.
I am making the most of my involuntary confinement to Puerto Vallarta. We were meant to be several miles down the coast by now, anchoring in blue-water harbours and dropping in at picturesque little fishing villages. Instead Eric is still trying to sort out the lightning-fried electronics. His efforts suffered a setback today when the one autopilot available in the whole of PV turned out to be defective.... after it had been fitted to Jangada.
Meanwhile, I have been busy. I have received my editor's feedback on the first draft of the first few chapters of my Atlantic book, and am busy incorporating them into the manuscript. On Tuesday night I showed my Atlantic video and gave a presentation at the Puerto Vallarta Yacht Club. And today I met Pat Henry, who was one of the first women to sail single-handed around the world, most of the time with only a VHF (line-of-sight) radio for communication. We had a good old chat, comparing notes on the loneliness of the long-distance mariner.
She also gave me a signed copy of her book, By The Grace Of The Sea. I look forward to being inspired - both to get on with my book and to embark on the Pacific. Pat was describing to me the incredible impact she made as she travelled through the islands of the South Pacific. People there had never imagined that sailing an ocean could be done single-handed by anybody, least of all by a woman. She brought the message that a woman could and did. She was urging me to do the same. I would love to. I wonder if an ocean rowboat can...
07 Dec 2006
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