The Voyage: Roz Savage
Marathon Man Dean Karnazes
21 Jan 2007, White Salmon, WA

You may remember that last November I was due to run a marathon in New Jersey with Dean Karnazes - the 49th of his 50 marathons in 50 states in 50 days. Then a stress fracture prevented me from training and I had to miss the opportunity.

It seems I was fated to meet Dean anyway - he's an old friend of Eric's through windsurfing. So while I was in San Francisco, Dean's home town, we met up for a coffee (well, I had a coffee - Dean arrived in running gear and didn't partake - he probably doesn't sully his system with such toxins. I would have had a muffin as well, but after reading in his book that he had given up sugar, I was way too intimidated).

Looking remarkably fresh for someone who ran 1,310 miles in under two months late last year, he graciously signed my copy of his book and chatted for a while before running off to an appointment somewhere else. He did confess to being biomechanically blessed, but there is still something seriously intimidating about meeting an endurance athlete of his calibre. A true inspiration.

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Lots of Lovely LaraBars
19 Jan 2007, Woodside, near San Francisco, CA

The sponsored goodies are starting to roll in. A very welcome shipment arrived in Eugenia Lane yesterday - 450 LaraBars. A big Thank You to Humm Foods ('foods that make you go humm...') for their generous donation.

I discovered these fantastic bars when I was out the Outdoor Retailer Show in Salt Lake City last year. I loved the Wholebake flapjacks and 9Bars that I took on the Atlantic with me last year (long faces when the last flapjack was gone), but I was looking for an American company to support me this time around. And when I happened by the LaraBar stand, I knew I'd found it.

The bars are totally natural, and none of them have more than six ingredients. Some of them have as few as two, e.g. the Cashew Cookie bar consists of just cashews and dates.

They have no added sugar, are raw and unprocessed, non-GMO, vegan, kosher, gluten-free, dairy-free and soy-free.

If only they had a calorie-free version for when I'm NOT burning 5000 calories a day, that would be perfect...

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Sedna Saga: The Latest
18 Jan 2007, Woodside, near San Francisco, CA

One step forwards, two steps back. After taking 8 months to get to mainland US, via assorted adventures including a boat-napping and lengthy meanderings around the Caribbean, my boat Sedna is still very far from making it to the West Coast.

The original plan was that I was going to collect her from Miami at the start of November (the objective of the aborted road trip) but she didn't even arrive there until late December. She then cost me $1000 in various charges, before being rescued by the two heroic brothers Josh and Daniel. She is now sitting in Daniel's front garden.

Then there was an exciting new development - the
Museum of Science and Industry in Tampa wrote to say they wanted to exhibit her. I would whizz over there to do a presentation and some media stuff for them, my boat would be safe and secure pending me finding someone to drive her cross-country, and everybody would be happy.

But when MOSI were checking out the logistical details, they pointed out that in the US, unlike in the UK, some (but not all) trailers count as vehicles and have to be registered as such. If my boat and trailer were going to spend their entire lives in Oregon then I wouldn't have to register them because they are under the minimum weight. But because they are in Florida, I do.

To register the trailer I need a US driver's license and/or a social security number, and a certificate or registration document to prove I own the trailer.

I have none of these things. So I am temporarily stymied. I want to get Sedna safely to MOSI before I leave for Tanzania next week, but I need to get my bits of paper in order. The race is on...

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17 Jan 2007, Woodside, near San Francisco, CA

I was up at five o'clock this morning to drive up to town for my maiden row on San Francisco Bay. It was dark and cold as Quackers and I headed up I-280 and through the slowly-wakening city to South End Rowing Club.

Paul greeted me at the door and showed me to our craft - a clinker-built wooden boat called Valhalla. We launched her off the end of the quay and set out at a brisk clip for the island of Alcatraz.

It was distinctly rough and chilly - the temperature round about freezing - but any potential grumbles died on my lips when I saw open-water swimmers ploughing along beside us, their pink-cold arms arcing up from the choppy waves. Brrrrr! No right to complain.

It wasn't a comfortable row. When I rowed the Atlantic I deliberately planned to have no overlap between the handles of my oars, not wanting to bash my hands together. This morning my arms were crossing over at the wrists - a BIG overlap - so soon my following hand was bleeding, I was punching myself in the ribs, and I kept catching crabs (getting the oar caught in the waves).

But, strangely, it was fun. It was a beautiful sunrise, and it felt good to be out on the open water rather than rowing on a machine. I'm not going to be back in the Bay Area for a couple of months, but I'm looking forward to spending more time out rowing with the SERC.

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