The Voyage: Roz Savage
Trial By Camera
15 Jun 2007, Fort Baker, San Francisco

Today I had my first sea trial in Sedna since the arrival of my new (very strong, very wooden) oars. Not only would this trial reveal whether the oars worked, but it would also be immortalised on camera by CBS for Phil Keoghan's show, "Keoghan's Heroes".

I was determined to avoid the problems that I had on the Atlantic, when all four oars broke before half way. But a dry run on land last night showed that there may be a problem with the new oars. The measurements seem to be a bit off, so the balance between inboard and outboard is not right.

And it was uncertain whether they would reach the water. You don't need to be a rowing expert to know that this would be less than ideal.

So I was nervous enough anyway, and early events did not seem to help. But after a few initial hiccups (the tide was so far out that the bottom of the boat ramp was a long way short of the water, so we had to drive a few miles to find a ramp more closely connected to H2O, and then find a new launch for the camera crew as the original launch was not able to come to the new location) we finally had boat, me, camera crew, launch, and water all in the same location.

And finally we put out onto San Francisco Bay.

By this time we had missed the nice calm conditions of early morning - but this made the TV footage all the more authentic, as we battled choppy waters and strong winds (and less-than-ideal oars) to do an interview under the Golden Gate Bridge. We talked for a while on camera while I rowed, then Phil took his turn at rowing.

Phil's concluding comment? "Me? I wouldn't do that. But good luck to you!"

[photo: me and Phil Keoghan back on dry land. Waterborne photos to follow shortly]

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Blue Movies?
13 Jun 2007, Woodside, California

I was honoured and delighted to be invited to be a Blue Ambassador for the BLUE Project. And still am. Just faintly perturbed about the idea of "Blue Video". I freely admit that ocean rowers do it naked, but....

Onto matters of more significance: Hawaii and ocean conservation. I've recently been put in touch with some good environmental contacts in the fair isles of Hawaii, and in honour of their efforts have set up a new website page. If anybody knows of any other good, Hawaii-specific articles or environmental organizations that should be added to this page, please let me know.

[Photo: another environmental horror story - see here for details]

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New Radio Interviews
12 Jun 2007, Woodside, California

A couple of recent radio interviews have now been added to my Gallery - check them out here.

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Powerful Video
11 Jun 2007, Woodside, California

I highly recommend this video, presenting a knockout argument on climate change.

Meanwhile, I've got the weather on my mind in a much more mundane way - trying to ensure that my getaway from the California coast is as safe as possible, and trying to avoid the fate of Erden Eruc. [Has he got away yet? No update on his website.]

I've been talking with various local experts:
Gordy Nash, sailor, boat designer and former open water rower - expert on local tides and weather conditions
Bob Roper - open water swimmer and coach, expert on local weather and safety procedures
Jeffrey Paduan - oceanographer, expert on Californian currents
Plus of course my guys at the Royal Navy, who will be providing my weather forecasts for me while I am on the Pacific.

I am tracking weather patterns from now until my departure. I'll be on standby from 9th July onwards, waiting for the optimum moment to depart. The first 200 miles will be nerve-wracking - after that I can relax. Or as much as it's possible to relax while rowing 8 hours a day.

New web pages coming soon, with lots of info about my departure plan, intended route, and safety measures. Keep watching!

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