I've made it into Outside Magazine - a major publication in the US for all outdoor/adventure type people. So far I'm just in the online version, but I'm working on it...
Click here to read the article.
Do you remember that childhood pre-Christmas feeling, when you feel pretty sure you've got a REALLY cool Christmas present, but you're just having to wait, and wait, and wait to be sure. That's what I've been going through with my title sponsor negotiations.
Over the last few weeks I've been involved in extensive discussions with the company and their PR people, but I still couldn't be sure what was inside the package. Surely it was too good to be true....
At last I know what is inside the package, and it is every bit as good as I'd hoped. So now I'm dying to go out and play with it (i.e. tell everybody about it) but we still haven't signed on the dotted line, so I can't. The frustration is agonising! All I can tell you for now is: The company is environmentally aware, high tech, local, and staffed by some genuinely nice people.
Keep watching this space, and hopefully by the end of this week we will have a done and dusted deal and I can go public. I can't wait!
[photo: annoyingly irrelevant photo of a fireboat salute - one of the cool things we are lining up for my "ceremonial" departure on July 10, pending actual departure whenever weather allows]
When I arrived at the Presidio Yacht Club on Friday to meet the CBS film crew, I was surprised to see Erden Eruc's ocean rowboat moored to the guest dock. The last time I had seen it had been at the Corinthian Yacht Club, before Erden's abortive first attempt to depart under the Golden Gate Bridge at the start of this month.
Erden and I chatted briefly before I was called away for filming, so it was only today that I found out the full story from his dispatch - that he had been trying again to leave, but the weather had been unfavourable as he approached the bridge so he had retreated to the safety of the Presidio.
I see from his site that he is now hoping to leave on one of the next two big ebbs - either at the end of June, or during the time window that I am looking at, between 11th and 13th July.
For the avoidance of doubt, if it should happen that Erden and I leave at about the same time, I'd like to make it clear that this is not a race. He is going direct to Australia. I will be stopping in Hawaii and Tuvalu. We are each just doing our own thing.
It may seem like I am labouring this point, but that is because I so strongly did not enjoy being in a race on the Atlantic. Although I was the only solo woman, and hence theoretically competing only against myself, I did not like it that there were 25 other boats out there who had left at the same time as me and whose progress would inevitably be compared with mine. This added to the already considerable mental pressure I was feeling at the time.
This also brings to mind the first ocean row of modern times, in 1966, when the Blyth/Fairfax crew presented a rival bid to Hoare and Johnstone. Pushed for time in order to compete, Hoare and Johnstone set out less well prepared than they may otherwise had been. Blyth and Fairfax arrived in Ireland to international acclaim. Hoare and Johnstone were lost at sea. Although present circumstances are very different, when I read the story of Hoare and Johnstone I resolved never to give in to the temptation to leave before I feel 99% ready. (Being something of a perfectionist, I will never feel 100% ready.)
It takes two to race, so even if Erden and I leave at the same time I will focus purely on my own project. But I can't help hoping that he gets away at the end of June - which is also what he hopes for .
And this latest development proves yet again that leaving from San Francisco requires the full cooperation of the weather gods.
The timing of my departure has been much on my mind. The first 200 miles of the Pacific row will be by far the most hazardous. And there are so many factors to take into consideration.
I am trying so hard to get it right. Unlike the Atlantic Rowing Race, when the race organizers sounded the starting klaxon and we all went, this time I have to decide my own time of departure - and then take full responsbility for the consequences of that decision.
Whether that decision turns out to be wrong or right, I want people to know that it was well thought-out. So here, on my website for all to see, is my departure strategy.
[photo: one of my local weather gurus, Gordon Nash, sitting in his boat as we discuss local weather trends]