The Voyage: Roz Savage
Dead Calm
13 Jul 2007, Woodside, CA

I had a call from Gordie Nash, one of my weather gurus, yesterday. "It's nought to three knots out there, with two foot swells ten seconds apart."

In other words, conditions were dead calm - perfect for an ocean rower trying to get away from the California coast. Unfortunately, my boat was not on the water, she was in the helicopter hangar where she is being refitted.

But it's good to know that these conditions do occasionally happen, and also that Rick Shema, my other weather guru (, had forecast them to a stunning degree of accuracy. So I hope that when he tells me that conditions look good for a 5am departure next Thursday, he proves to be right again.

(It must be tough being a weather guy - you get blamed for the bad weather, ignored during the good weather, and if, heaven forbid, you get it wrong...)

The other good news is that Erden Eruc has managed to get away successfully, after six weeks of trying. I didn't want to go head-to-head with Erden, because being in a race situation was one of the least enjoyable aspects of my Atlantic row - so I am relieved that Erden has a good head start over me, and wish him a bon voyage.

[photo: this is what I want for the first few days - flat seas and no wind. Photo taken on the Atlantic crossing, 2006]

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Departure Delayed
12 Jul 2007, Woodside, California

The weather window will close at midnight tomorrow - with me still on the shore side of it. My boat won't be ready in time. Despite the best efforts of Spectra Watermakers and Rich Crow (a helicopter engineer, temporarily reassigned to be my boat engineer) we have been delayed by problems that we had with the watermaker and various other necessary but unforeseen modifications.

So my weather guys tell me that the next possible window will be July 19. This looks good - it will give us enough time to get the boat 99% ready. Brocade will never be 100% ready - it is the nature of big adventures that if you waited to be 100% ready you would never go - so 99% is good enough.

And it is not just the boat - there are so many other exciting developments going on - the extra week will give me a chance to follow up on some of these opportunities, so that Stage One of the Pacific Row will be EVEN BETTER than it would have been if was leaving tomorrow.

So I am feeling zen, relaxed and composed - with a lot of hard work and powerful focus, this adventure will begin in its own good time.

[photo: me and David Helvarg, of Blue Frontier Campaign, at yesterday's launch event under the Golden Gate Bridge]

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Day of Contrasts
11 Jul 2007, Woodside, California

What a day.

On the plus side, my "ceremonial launch" at the Presidio Yacht Club, on the day that the press release of my title sponsorship hit the news wires. An amazing level of interest from press and TV (especially given that I was competing with the All Stars baseball game), and a wonderful turnout at the launch event co-hosted by Blue Frontier Campaign and Ogilvy PR on behalf of Brocade. NOAA were also present, and gave me a message in a bottle to take with me to Hawaii. I was overwhelmed by the enthusiasm and effort that everybody had put in to make the event such a resounding success.

On the minus side, the news that my boat's Spectra watermaker has corroded beyond repair, a result of it being mounted low in a hatch that got a half-inch of water in it on the Atlantic crossing - enough to rust the engine. So what was anticipated to be a quick health-check has now turned into a full-scale transplant operation. The wonderful guys at Spectra are doing their best, but their work will extend into tomorrow - robbing valuable time from the precious last 48 hours that we had to try and get the boat ready before the weather window closes on Thursday night.

The chances of a Thursday departure have receded from 50/50 to 80/20 against. Not yet impossible, but increasingly unlikely.

But I remain zen and calm - whether faced with the excitement of a barrage of cameras, or faced with the frustration of a broken watermaker.

A friend sent me a wonderful message, in the form of a drinks coaster:


He knows not where he's going
For the ocean will decide
It's not the DESTINATION
It's the glory of THE RIDE

And life is certainly a gloriously wild roller-coaster ride right now.

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09 Jul 2007, Woodside, California

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]

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