The Voyage: Roz Savage
Lights Camera Action Row
22 Dec 2006, Leeds, Yorkshire

Today was spent performing for the cameras, on the water and off. YTV are making a documentary about my Atlantic row as part of their successful series 'Is It Worth It?'. Today we recorded action shots and interviews to supplement the footage I shot on the ocean.

This morning I was out on the water in a foggy Roundhay Park. We were greeted by Richard from the recently-formed Leeds Rowing Club, who offered me the choice of a beginner's boat or a racing shell. I'm now used to boats that are 6 feet wide and uncapsizeable so the beginner's boat looked reassuringly stable, but hey, I'm brave enough to row an ocean - bring on the racing shell!

The boat is about 8 inches wide and relies on the oars for stability. If I 'caught a crab' with one oar I'd be in the water and swimming. I wobbled off nervously, reckoning that if I was going to fall in I may as well do it on camera and immortalise my embarrassment.

But I stayed dry and actually rather enjoyed it. In no time I was skimming around the lake while Tony the cameraman worked up a sweat keeping up with me with his huge camera.

Then it was back to Mum's house so Mum and I could be interviewed on whether we thought my Atlantic row 'was worth it'. My answer? You'll have to wait for the show to go out in February to find out.

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Back in Blighty
21 Dec 2006, Leeds, Yorkshire

Apologies for long radio silence - I had been posting my blogs via my mobile phone, but for some reason I lost my Gmail capability a few days ago. And I could probably have fixed it, but I was busy having fun and/or travelling. So there you go!

Today I arrived in foggy, frosty, England. The bottom half of the country was foggy - when we touched down at Gatwick Airport I thought we were still up in the clouds when suddenly we were on the runway, barely able to see as far as the wingtips in the thick fog. The top half of the country was frosty and sunny and beautiful in a very un-Mexican way.

It was an epic journey, involving 9 different stages and taking 42 hours. That's what happens when you book flights from an airport in the hope that your sailing trip will get you there in time - it always goes wrong. Still, nothing an 11-hour overnight bus ride can't put right.

And no matter how many planes, trains and automobiles were involved, it was important to get home to spend Christmas with my mother. This time last year I was bobbing around on the Atlantic, so I owed her one.

[Photo: me in Zihuatanejo bus station, 4:45am. Note sleeping Mexican in the background.]

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Adventure or Personal Development?
15 Dec 2006, Approaching Ipala, Mexico

As we cruise down the west coast of Mexico my mind is partly elsewhere, on a very different kind of ocean adventure. I am writing about the early days of the Atlantic Rowing Race - events that were taking place exactly 12 months ago. And I have a quandary.

The publishers that have expressed an interest so far want it to be a personal development book (formerly known as self-help) based on my adventure. This is fine with me - my 'I am what I am' guest column for the Sunday Times got a good enough response for me to know that the lessons I learned on the Atlantic have broader applications.

But how far to go in that direction? On the spectrum between Adventure at one end and Personal Devevlopment at the other, where should I position my story?

I don't want to preach - I know a few things that worked for me and they might work for others too - lessons about tackling big challenges, the value of perseverance, how to make difficult decisions, the importance of realistic expectations, and overcoming obstacles. But readers are smart. I don't have to bludgeon you over the head with my home-spun philosophies. So do I just tell my story and leave you to draw your own conclusions?

My current plan is to tell the story and add a few short bullet points at the end of each chapter summarizing what I learned. Let me know what you think!

Blog sent via my cellphone

[Photo: Eric against the backdrop of Jangada's spinnaker]

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Happy Holidays!
14 Dec 2006, Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico

We really are off sailing now. We leave at lunchtime today. There was an influx of people yesterday - the Tall People (Jim, 6ft 5in, and Cathy, 6ft 2in) arrived mid-afternoon, and the High People (Scott and Laurie, who met each other on Everest) arrived last night. We had a First Night Party at a ridiculously cheap Mexican eatery - huge quantities of margarita and shrimp for about GBP 10 each.

And now we're off out to sea. At last.

My laptop has died - the same hardware fault that my previous MacBook had, which causes it to power down at random. Plus I'm unlikely to have internet access as we harbour-hop down the coast. So I'll be picking up emails via my cellphone, so no large attachments please!

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