The Voyage: Roz Savage
Bad Tech Day
08 Jul 2007, Woodside, CA

Who invented that sensor, apparently present in all computers, that just KNOWS when you don't have the time for any nonsense - and picks that precise moment to let you down?

With the clock ticking for my departure - before the weather window closes next Thursday night - I really didn't need techno-hassles. Yesterday, we tested my laptop PC with the OmegaWave physiological testing unit, the Davis weather station, and the satphone. All worked perfectly.

Today, the PC crashed. Terminally. The setup disk is required to fix it, and because I was given the Toughbook by a supporter, I don't have the setup disk. I can get it, but not until Monday.

So, I thought to myself, this is a good lesson to learn. The PC cannot be trusted. So therefore I should make sure that my trusty Mac can do all the things the PC does, in case the PC fails.

So Karl, my tech guy, starts setting up the MacBook so it can run Windows. And it, too, fails - requiring a total rebuild.

To lose one laptop in a day may be regarded as unfortunate, to lose two starts looking downright irritating.

But I am remaining zen about the whole fiasco. It is good that we are encountering these problems now, so I will go out to sea with two newly cleansed, refreshed computers. Or on the other hand maybe I should go out with no computers at all, and thereby avoid any future frustrations. But that would be a shame, because I have put so much effort into obtaining all this fun gadgetry that will hopefully help bring my voyage alive for people too sensible to leave the safety of shore. I have faith that we will prevail over the gremlins, and get all this working in time.

Whether we manage to get the truly vital things working in time is another matter. Computers are a way distant priority behind steering system, watermaker, and watertight hatches - just a few of the other things still to be done. But I am zen about this too. I will go when I am good and ready, and not a moment before.

[photo: with this much technology on board, what could possibly go wrong...??!!]

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07 Jul 2007

If you are trying to call in for the BlogTalkRadio Q&A podcast, unfortunately it seems that the system has rescheduled us from 9am to 9.30. So please try again in half an hour!

This is rather inconvenient for all concerned - I need to get back to the hangar to carry on working on my boat, but have to stay by a land line for the podcast. Apparently this happens quite often with these prescheduled podcasts. The system doesn't like half-hours.

But it could be worse - this would be a lot more inconvenient if I were in mid-ocean, hanging on the line at $1.50 a minute!

While you're waiting, maybe you'd like to watch again my appearance on the CBS Early Show - see blog below. And there are videos of my Atlantic row available too - click here to view on YouTube.

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CBS Early Show: Extreme Trans Atlantic Rower
07 Jul 2007

If you missed my slot on "Keoghan's Heroes" on the Early Show last Monday, click here to see it on YouTube.

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The Pressure Is On
06 Jul 2007, Woodside, California

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]

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