The Voyage: Roz Savage
Boating Across America
04 Apr 2007, Santa Fe, New Mexico

Yesterday we got an early start once again (5am) and made good progress west - such good progress, in fact, that we decided to make a quick detour up to Santa Fe. It amply lived up to my expectations with clear skies, clean air and bright sunshine, and a natural-looking city blending into the landscape. Even the Dunkin' Donuts is adobe.

Suzy and I have got our gas station routine down pat now. I go inside to prepay for the fule, while Suzy opens the petrol cap and cleans the squashed insects off the windscreen. By the time I come back out a few people have usually gathered to ask about the boat (usually along the lines of, "What the hell kind of a boat is THAT?"). I join Suzy in fielding questions and handing out flyers while the tank fills up.

We've been going through this routine 4 or 5 times a day, as Quackers can only do about 250 miles on one refill, so we've had plenty of opportunity to practice. Even when I'm being asked for the fortieth time what I ate and how I slept, I try always to answer courteously. It's good of these people to show an interest and I constantly remind myself of that. I am also aware that I may be the only ocean rower, and possibly one of only a few Brits, that they will ever meet, so I try to be a good ambassador for both.

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5 States In One Day
02 Apr 2007, Van, near Dallas, Texas

This morning we hit the road at 5.45am (yeah, thanks Suzy, great idea, who needs sleep anyway...) and by breakfast we had passed through a huge thunderstorm and 4 states - Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana. We drove into New Orleans around 10am, past buildings still showing signs of Katrina's devastation, and miraculously managed to find a 50-foot-long parking space on the edge of the picturesque French Quarter.

After a quick gumbo breakfast and a look around Bourbon Street we hit the road again and headed west once more.

We are now in the second largest state in the US (Alaska being the first), just outside of Dallas. Texas, according to my road atlas, has a population of 21 million and covers an area of 266,807 square miles. Incredible to think that the North Pacific Garbage Patch is alleged to be about the same size.

[Photo: Suzy catching up on calls over breakfast in Nawlins]

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Go West
01 Apr 2007, Pensacola, Florida

Now we are four. Quackers the truck, Sedna the Boat, Suzy the (Kilimanjaro-climbing) friend and I are en route to San Francisco from Tampa - a distance almost equivalent to this summer's row from San Francisco to Hawaii. That journey will (weather permitting) take me around 75 days. This journey will, I hope, take no more than 7, so we should be on the West Coast by Saturday night.

The upgraded trailer is performing just great so far - not a wobble or a wiggle - so there is a good chance that after all her adventures Sedna will make it safely to Frisco without flying off her trailer and skidding along the freeway - my vivid but hopefully far-fetched nightmare.

[photo: L to R - Suzy, Quackers and me - Sedna hidden behind]

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Leaving Florida
01 Apr 2007, Tampa, Florida

I have done four presentations in the last week, and am starting to really get the hang of it. Last night's event at the Davis Island Yacht Club was one of my best to date, and I was immensely flattered to receive a standing ovation. I was also awarded with a framed declaration from the US Rowing Association, recognizing my 'achievements' - I think I might show it to the Leander Club (mischievous wink...).

Now it is time to stop the talking and start driving once again. Today Sedna and I leave Tampa to start driving westwards towards San Francisco.

I've made a lot of friends during my brief time in Florida, and am already looking forward to coming back here again. So much world, and so little time...

[Photo: Sedna leaving the Museum of Science and Industry in Tampa]

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