The Voyage: Roz Savage
It ain't what you do, it's the way that you do it
Roz Savage
01 Feb 2005, Yorkshire

'It doesn't matter so much what you decide, it's the way you apply your decision.'

Alasdair McGregor was talking at the Olympia Adventure Show about lessons learned from his Atlantic rowing experience in 2003, when he and Andrew Vinsen were the first British crew to cross the line in Barbados.

Later, as we were having a few bevvies in the pub with the Woodvale guys (organisers of Atlantic Rowing Race), I asked him what he'd meant. 'Just that you can't dither. Be consistent. Make a decision based on the information you have available at the time, and stick with it. Or maybe decide a point at which you'll review it. But don't waste a lot of time worrying about whether it was the RIGHT decision.'

Ranulph Fiennes put it another way, in his book Beyond the Limits:

'When you can't make up your mind and the experts' advice is contradictory, keep an open mind, balance all likely factors, plan for a bad scenario and go for the best compromise solution. Then, once you've made your decision, stick to your guns.'

Timely advice. I'd been dithering about where to live for the summer while I kit out my boat - Devon, where I'd be nearer the Woodvale people, or Brighton, where I'd be nearer London. And also dithering whether to take up an invitation to crew on a friend's yacht, Steamy Windows, from Cape Verde to the Azores - invaluable ocean experience, but expensive to get the necessary flights. And also dithering about what laptop to use during the race - whether a ruggedised laptop was really necessary, and whether to forsake Mac for PC for compatibility reasons.

But no more deliberations. Based on the information I have right now, Brighton, Steamy Windows and PC it is. Onwards and upwards!

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Roz Savage
23 Jan 2005, Yorkshire

Wholebake's 9 Bars are just the best. They're full of good stuff, and no nasties like preservatives, artificial colours, or trans fats. And most importantly, they taste good.

Evidently the guys at Blockbuster thought so too. My parcel of assorted snack bars, generously sent free of charge by Wholebake, went astray in the Christmas post and ended up at the video shop up the road. By the time I found out about it the staff had already scoffed a substantial proportion of my goodies, including ALL the 9 Bars. Bummer.

Never mind. The carob-coated Nourish bars come a pretty close second. And once I get out to sea, there'll be nobody around to plunder my food supplies, unless pirates get wind of how good Wholebake bars are...

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Farewell, fair Priscilla
Roz Savage
21 Jan 2005, Yorkshire

Priscilla, Queen of the Road, is mine no longer. She was fun for a while, but a high maintenance woman (or camper van, if you want to be pernickerty). So I sold her back to the Irishman I bought her from, and am now smugly vehicle-free again.

It's nice, now, to actually get to meetings on time - there were SO many occasions when I had to phone people to say, sorry, broken down, will be late or may not make it at all...

The worst incident was when I was moving from London up to Leeds just before Christmas. Had all my worldly goods in the back of the van. And Priscilla utterly disgraced herself on a busy roundabout - she stalled and flatly refused to restart.

I had a good idea what the problem was - she had a loose connection into the starter motor, and I knew that if I jiggled the wire I could probably get her going again. The problem was that to get to the starter motor, conveniently located underneath the bed in the back, I had to deposit aforesaid worldly goods all over the road so I could get to the engine bay.

The police found it all very amusing...

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Roz Savage
20 Jan 2005, Yorkshire

I'd scurried back to Yorkshire after a hectic few days in London, keen to get back to serious training and a healthy diet. But 'twas not to be. After a mere 36 hours in Leeds, I had to dash down to Devon to shoot some footage of my rowing boat for the showreel that we're putting together in hopes of selling a documentary. But I wasn't TOO reluctant - it was good to have an excuse to see the beauteous Solo again. She was every bit as gorgeous as I remembered her, despite being liberally spattered in birdshit due to unfortunate location below a beam of the boatshed.

Once we'd scrubbed the poo off I shot a few minutes of video, of me trying (and failing) to clamber elegantly in and out of the cabin hatch, me burbling on about the boat, and me keeping my gob shut (for a change) and wandering around the boat admiring her sleek curves. My favourite bit is the Woodvale slogan emblazoned just in front of the rowing position: One Life. Live It.


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