The Voyage: Roz Savage
South of the Border
28 Mar 2007, Florence, South Carolina

Yesterday I had a great training session on the rowing machine in the well-appointed gym at Woodberry Forest School and then hit the road again. I am now in South Carolina on my way to Tampa, Florida.

Tomorrow I will be reunited with my boat at the Museum of Science and Industry, who have also arranged for me to do a number of media interviews (including Channel 10) and presentations. Driving south has been like putting the arrival of spring on fast forward - the trees are now a bright spring green and the weather is getting rapidly warmer.

Good news arrived yesterday - a very nice man called George (a friend of a friend of a brother of a friend) spent his whole day fixing my trailer up so a) it is now roadworthy and b) it holds Sedna securely in place so she won't shift in transit between Tampa and San Francisco. (See my earlier blog on this.)

I had to arrange some repairs of my own yesterday. Quackers' air conditioning stopped working. It was 81F in Virginia and I was wilting in the heat, so facing Florida, Louisiana and Texas without aircon was out of the question. Aircon may not be environmentally friendly (it increases fuel consumption as well as involving unfriendly chemicals) but I'll make up for it by spending the summer in my very UN-air-conditioned boat.

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400 Schoolboys...
28 Mar 2007, Woodberry Forest School, Virginia

400 schoolboys and 70 staff made up my largest audience to date when I gave a presentation at Woodberry Forest School on Monday night.

If it had been 400 boys from an inner city school this might have been a rather scary prospect, this might have been scary. But Woodberry is as far removed from inner city as... an ocean rower is from shore.

At dinner the boy sitting next to me called me "Ma'am", which made me feel about 80 years old, or like the Queen (which come to think of it is the same thing), but apparently I am now in the South and it is quite normal to call any woman "Ma'am" if she's older than your sister. Once I stopped taking the Ma'am-ing as any reflection on my age, I rather got to like it as a bit of good old-fashioned Southern courtesy.

My presentation after dinner seemed to be very well received. I was very flattered to hear it described as "awesome" by the first of the gaggle of teenagers that appeared onstage afterwards to ask me more questions.

Aw shucks....

Huge thanks to all the boys and staff at Woodberry Forest School for their warm welcome - with special thanks to Matt Boesen, Deb Caughran and Abigail James for setting up the arrangements.

[photo: Quackers outside my elegant guest house at Woodberry Forest School]

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Margo Pellegrino
25 Mar 2007, Washington DC

Last week in DC, I met up with Margo Pellegrino, who in just a couple of months will set off to row an outrigger canoe from Miami to Maine - to bring attention to one of the most critical problems the entire world faces - the future of our oceans.

In many ways, we have much in common - both women, both 5 ft 5in (ish), both 39 years old, both keen to raise awareness of environmental issues, and both paddling - one forwards, one backwards, one east coast from town to town, one west coast - straight out! And both keen to support each other.

Margo is an amazing woman - buzzing with energy, and passionate about her environmental cause. She has hooked up with an incredible array of environmental charities, trains like a maniac, looks as lean and fit as a greyhound - and all this while also being a good wife and mother to two young children. Yay - I have it easy!

She sets out on May 5th this year, just 2 days before her 40th birthday. Check out her website, and give her your support!

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25 Mar 2007, Now back in Washington DC

Last night I was in Michigan, giving a presentation on behalf of the Headwaters Trail, now I am back in Washington DC, and tomorrow I shall be in Virginia. I am loving this, but am also starting to feel a bit like "Today is Sunday, so I must be in ....". But that's my life - have truck, will travel!

[Photo: in Fenton, MI, with Chuck and Sue Julian]

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