The Voyage: Roz Savage
Time and Tide Wait for No Man (or Woman)
10 Jan 2007, White Salmon, WA

This is extremely inconvenient. The high tide is at the wrong time of day.

July is the best time of year for me to row out from San Francisco across the Pacific, as the prevailing winds then sweep me along the coast rather than onshore, but I had hoped to make the most of a strong ebb tide to shoot me out of the harbour like a ball out of a cannon.

This could add up to 5 knots (or about 6mph) to my boat speed - a significant difference when I usually move at a sedate 1-2 knots. There is an important safety issue here -the extra speed would help me get quickly away from the coast before the wind comes along and shipwrecks me on the shore.

So I took a look at the tide tables for July. The best ebb tide is on 2nd July, two days after the full moon. The drawback is that the tide turns at the unsociable hour of 1.25am, with the maximum flow out of the harbour occurring at 5am.

I had fondly imagined a grand departure under the Golden Gate Bridge, accompanied by a flotilla of rowboats and yachts and (obviously) throngs of media. Leaving at some godforsaken hour of the night is a less mediagenic prospect.

So I have to choose: a faster, safer departure at night, or a departure spectacular during the day? Or maybe I should have a big party and, like a solitary newlywed leaving for honeymoon, launch myself off into the darkness at the party's end...

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Happy New Year!
04 Jan 2007, Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico

Wishing you a very Happy New Year!

The crew of Jangada spent New Year in a really pretty anchorage in Tenacatita with about 20 other boats. One of the boats organised a 'raft-up' - we all assembled in one place in our dinghies and lashed them together to create a floating platform. Everyone had brought drinks and finger-foods which we passed around between us. We celebrated the New Year at midnight 'Zulu Time' (the nautical standard time, same as Greenwich Mean Time) which was 6pm local time. A lot easier than trying to raft up in the pitch dark - although it was a glorious near-full moon so in fact it wasn't too dark at all.

Then we went back to Jangada for a slap-up dinner, and lay out on the catamaran's trampoline (the webbing between the two hulls) to watch the midnight fireworks from the resort on the beach.

After three long days at sea we're now back in Nuevo Vallarta. We're due to fly back to Portland tomorrow, but it all depends on whether the sale of Jangada is going through. If it is, we may need to stay an extra day or two to pack up everything from the boat. But I'm keen to get back to get on with writing and Pacific preparations. Six months to go, and so much to do!

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Good News!
29 Dec 2006, Barra de Navidad

Two bits of very good news. First, my bags have caught up with me in Mexico so I am now reunited with my hiking boots, new running shoes, heart rate monitor, and other less important things. I am relieved that I won't be spending precious time going shopping to replace everything, and also that I won't have to climb Kilimanjaro in brand new hiking boots.

Second, as of today, Sedna has been liberated from the grasp of Customs in the Port of Miami. Some very kind people in Florida have pulled out all the stops to retrieve her before I incurred any more storage charges - people I've never even met before. Daniel is the brother of Josh who works at Windsurfing magazine where Eric is a regular columnist. Their kindness in giving up time, effort and gasoline to help a total stranger is very much appreciated.

Now all I need is someone willing to drive her from Florida to San Francisco. I'm pursuing various lines of enquiry, including advertising on Craig's List, but if anybody knows a possible volunteer do please let me know. I'm willing to pay $600 plus reasonable expenses for fuel and accommodation en route.

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Latest on Quote
29 Dec 2006, Barra de Navidad

I've had some feedback on who said yesterday's quote. It was either Robert Fulghum (author of All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten) or Bill McKenna (professional motorcycle racer, quoted in Cycle magazine Feb. 1982).

Either way, it's a good one, and may find its way into my New Year's Resolutions for 2007. Another resolution is to, at least once in the year, say something sufficiently profound that other people will be quoting ME...

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