After many weeks of anticipation, I am very pleased to reveal who my title sponsor is: a leading technology company called Brocade. Though you've probably never heard of Brocade before, you're certainly being impacted every day by the work they do.
Brocade is the world leader in helping companies to connect, share, and manage their critical business information. Walk into any data center in the world, and chances are that Brocade equipment is at the heart of their information network.
I had the pleasure of meeting Brocade's CEO, Mike Klayko, at the Tech Museum in San Jose just a few months ago. We chatted briefly about how both companies and individuals have a responsibility to preserve our environment and reduce pollution and energy consumption. Mike explained to me that Brocade does their part by reducing the power consumed in companies' data centers with products that are far more energy-efficient than their competitors. I was especially impressed when he told me that he was installing solar panels on the roof of his own home.
I quickly realized that Brocade would be an ideal sponsor - I knew that any company I partnered with had to be conscientious about green issues and truly committed to reducing their impact on the environment. The folks at Brocade understand that over the long term, small changes in the way we live and conduct business do have a big impact. We might increase our recycling efforts or install energy efficient appliances in our homes. We might just turn off office lights at the end of the workday, or use public transport for our commutes.
I've recently learned that 2% of the energy consumed on this planet powers data centers and computer rooms. And this is rising daily as our needs for storing and managing information grow. My own need for information storage is increasing as I use more and more space for video, digital photography and music for my iPod. So multiplying this up globally, and across companies as well as individuals, data storage offers huge scope to make a real difference to the amount of power consumed across the planet.
Brocade chose to sponsor me because they hope that my voyage across the Pacific will inspire other companies and individuals to do their part, too, in the ways that best suit them, to take on the challenge of protecting and preserving our environment.
During Tuesday's ceremonial launch at the Presidio Yacht Club, my boat will formally be renamed The Brocade. She's already decked out in shiny new livery for the occasion, and nearly ready for the big journey ahead. I'm thrilled to have the Brocade team cheering me on board and supporting me as I make my way across the Pacific.
[photo: Sedna/Brocade in her new livery, photo by Jason Madara for Max Magazine]
My Mac has now been restored to health. Karl, my Mac guy, didn't get much sleep over the weekend, but I now have a fully functioning laptop that also runs Windows, using the Bootcamp application, in case my PC (which is due to be fixed today) expires on the ocean.
I spent yesterday morning packing up the cottage where I have been based on-and-off for the last 12 months, and yesterday afternoon packing the boat where I will be based non-stop for the next 3 months. A couple of friends helped me pack industrial quantities of LaraBars, nuts, and freeze-dried meals.
So good progress was being made. But this morning, another setback. I need some extra handles for the two cabin hatches, as the "door" to the forward cabin, especially, leaked like a sieve on the Atlantic, so I had inches of water swilling around the cabin floor. Not good.
But my hatches seem to be imposters. They claim to be Plastimo, but today I got this email from the American agent:
"Below are the responses I received from Plastimo in France and Goiot. They both claim they do not know what brand or type of hatch you have. According to my manager, she thinks Plastimo might have carried a line of hatches close to 20 years ago. From the reply I received from Plastimo, it sounds like it has been so long, that they do not carry them any more or any parts for them. There might be someone that can make the handles for you, but I am sorry our company can't help you with this."
So we'll just have to make our own - but it all takes time, and time is something that is rapidly running out for this present window of calm weather.
[photo: this is what three months' supply of LaraBars looks like...]
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...??!!]
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.