The Voyage: Roz Savage
THIS Is How Ready I Am....
08 Aug 2007, Hayward, California

I have all my ducks in a row - see the five little plastic ducks arrayed above the hatch inside my cabin. I transferred them yesterday from Quackers the truck to Brocade the boat.

This might sound cutesy, but in fact the ducks are an important visual reminder of all the hard work that I have put into getting to this stage of readiness. When I am out on the ocean and finding it tough going, I can look at them and know that I owe it to myself to see it through.

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How Much More Ready Can I Be?
Roz Savage
07 Aug 2007, Brocade, Hayward, California

[This is a test blog, written on board Brocade and transmitted to my website via satellite phone.]

While I sit and wait for the weather to come round to my point of view, I am tweaking and fine-tuning my preparations. I thought I was already ready, but it's amazing what extra bits and pieces I keep finding to do - another sea trial, another media interview, another page for my website, another dry run with my technology - 'dry run' being the operative term here. It's easy to do physiological tests, psychological questionnaires, blogs, video editing and photographs while I am sitting in the relative comfort of a nice dry hangar in Hayward. It will be considerably harder from a pitching, rolling boat, especially in the first couple of days when I will probably be battling seasickness.

My boat, Brocade, is now looking beautifully ready. Everything is stowed where it should be; spare fuses, batteries and bulbs are attached conveniently in little boxes fixed to Velcro patches, and Wilson has arrived on board. I was very touched when Rich, my long-suffering engineer, presented him to me last Friday.

In case you haven't seen the movie Castaway, starring Tom Hanks, Wilson the basketball becomes his best buddy in the absence of anybody else. One of the saddest moments of the film is when Wilson disappears out of sight across the waves. Hopefully my Wilson, signed by various wellwishers, will be spared the same fate. He is securely bolted to my rollbar, alongside various antennae and cameras and other essentials.

Wilson and I may be the best of friends by the time I reach Hawaii. This is worrying.

[photo: introducing Wilson]

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The New Explorers
04 Aug 2007, Oakland, California

A couple of times recently interviewers have asked me about how, after 11 years in the office, I reinvented myself as an explorer. I've had to confess that I don't regard myself as an explorer - maybe an adventurer, at best.

Explorers, surely, are the ones who have pushed back the frontiers of human knowledge about the planet on which we live, who have forged new trails where none have been before, who have stepped off the edge of the known world into the unknown.

Or maybe there is a new kind of explorer. Now that the world is mostly mapped, and the only new frontiers are the depths of the ocean or the wonders of outer space, maybe we need a different kind of exploration - an exploration of the human spirit, to rediscover of how we should live.

It seems that we have lost our way - we no longer know how to eat without getting fat or suffering eating disorders, how to enjoy the fruits of the earth without raping the planet, how to be happy with what we have, or how to live in a sustainable and fulfilling way. Ancient people knew all these things, but we've got so caught up in our egos and our technology and our agri-business that we've forgotten our fundamental life lessons.

So maybe we need spiritual explorers, who will help guide us back to a better way of life.

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The Sea Fights Back
03 Aug 2007, Oakland, California

A friend sent me the link to this video of a Smirnoff commercial - a film of the sea spitting back at us all the junk that we've dumped into it over the centuries. If only it could....

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