If you missed my slot on "Keoghan's Heroes" on the Early Show last Monday, click here to see it on YouTube.
Until last night I thought I still had at least a week to get ready for my departure. Then I got this email from Hawaii-based Rick Shema, my weather router:
"Winds begin to slacken to 10kts or less on or about July 8th. This could open a window for you to leave any time on July 8th through July 13th, after which the winds begin to increase above 10kts.
If you can leave on the 8th, there will be more time rowing in light winds at the critical point to get off the coast and away from land and the land effects, which can be severe."
These windows of opportunity are rare. Erden Eruc has been trying to leave from San Francisco ever since June 2, and he's still here. So I should jump at this chance.
But unfortunately it's not going to happen. I have a media event, hosted by Blue Frontier Campaign, NOAA, and my new title sponsor, on Tuesday 10th July - and it would be rather rude to miss it.
More importantly, my boat is not yet ready. We will push as hard as we can to try and get the refurbishment completed in time to make the most of this small window of opportunity that slams shut on the 13th. But we are really up against it. There have been problems getting hold of certain essential items, so there still remains much to do.
I am trying to be philosophical. If the window closes before the boat is ready, so be it. I will wait. Better to delay a while and go off fully prepared, than rush off half-cocked and live to regret it. Or die as a result of it - and that is what is at stake. But if I miss this window, it will be at least two weeks until the tides are in my favour, and the winds could then be too strong again for me to depart.
[Click here to see all the factors that influence my departure decision.]
I see Erden Eruc, meanwhile, has decided not to leave from San Francisco. He is planning to leave from further north, in Bodega Bay, within the next few days. Good luck Erden - I hope you get a clean getaway this time around.
[photo: Sedna on the freeway, en route to a sea trial last week]
On Saturday, July 7, you will have the chance to dial in and ask me questions "live" on air, in an interview that will then appear as a podcast on my website. Or, if you're shy, you can just listen in while we record it. Or, if you're shy AND busy at that time, you can listen to it once it's published to the site.
To dial in with your questions, call (646) 652-2542 if you're in the US, or +1 646 652 2542 from outside the US. The moderator, Laurie King, will choose which callers get through.
To listen in, click on this link.
The call-in number is also listed on this site, where it says "Dial In Number" in the upper left part of the web page. The same link will take you to the archived show after we have recorded it.
This is all a bit experimental at this stage, but if it works well we plan to repeat the process while I am out on the Pacific. Your participation in this experiment would be most welcome, so we can iron out any glitches before I start rowing.
It is not a good day to be a British ocean rower about to embark on a Pacific row. It seems the entire US of A is too busy celebrating their independence from Britain in 1776 to help a modern-day Brit to get away from their shores. My last-minute shopping - for bilge pump, extra hatch handles, jerky, and sundry other items - will have to wait.
It is probably also the worst day I could have chosen to be flying back into the US from Canada, where I've been in exile on a last-minute dash to get a visa (click here for the full story) - airport security is possibly going to be more over-the-top than ever. Ocean rowing may have many drawbacks as a means of transport, but at least I don't have to endure security checks...
By the way, a big hello to all the new people who have been subscribing to my blog since Monday's appearance on the CBS Early Show. I will try to keep you entertained, enlightened and inspired over the months ahead. Welcome aboard!