The Voyage: Roz Savage
Update on the Brocade: a Guest Blog
John Kay
04 Dec 2008, Hawaii

This report on the condition of the Brocade - from our man in Hawaii, John Kay...

"Roz's boat is basically in fine shape but does need work to prepare her for next May.

She needs to be completely rewired and new navigation and communication equipment installed. All of it has suffered from flooding, or splashing, or condensation since she was first launched in '05. The fact that things have (mostly) worked so well for so long is a credit to the people who worked on her. This is the most expensive item on the to-do list and also the most vital. Herb Fuller (our marine electrician here on Oahu) is being very generous with his time but we still have to pay for equipment and materials. We need several thousand dollars for that.

Most of her metal fittings show signs of rust, some quite severely, so we must remove all of them to check for hidden damage. Only then can we see which to reuse and which must be replaced. Unfortunately there are a lot of metal fittings, not only on the outside (such as the antenna mounts, cleats and safety grab-handles) but also in both cabins and some of the hatches. I estimate that we shall need two or three people for a couple of days for that. The cost of parts will depend on what needs to be replaced.

Her paintwork needs a lot of work too and we would love to repaint her entirely. That would cost far too much, so we can only retouch the places where it is chipped and worn away. This is essential to protect the hull material from sunlight and is one of the last things to do. It will keep someone busy for a day or two.

All the cordage needs to be checked. For example, the grab lines may be fine but they look worn and they are an essential safety feature. We need the help of an experienced boater who is obsessive about safety. The cost will depend on what he or she finds.

That, briefly, is where we are now. We have enough time to do all that's necessary; what we need are qualified volunteers. Oh - and money! So if you can help in some way, please let us know. Use the Contact link on the Home page at, and there's the PayPal link if you would like to contribute money."

[photo: rust on the rigger of the Brocade]

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Wiggly Wigglers
02 Dec 2008, South Milton, Devon

This morning anybody working out in Fitness First in Exeter might have seen a pink-faced woman, sweating away on an elliptical trainer with an iPhone strapped to her arm and earbuds in her ears - laughing quietly to herself. That was me.

And no, I had not gone crazy. I was listening to the Wiggly Wigglers podcast.

It featured none other than me - although that wasn't the bit that was making me laugh. It was young Ricardo, aka Richard "Frugal" Fishbourne, referring to me as "charismatic", while Heather Gorringe insinuated that it may not have been my charisma that first caught his notice...

Anyway, you have to listen to it really. It's a brilliant podcast series - a glimpse into life on a farm in rural Herefordshire. You may come for top tips on how to deal with a rat infestation, but you'll stay for the sheer entertainment value of the banter between Heather, Farmer Phil, and Ricardo.


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Happy Thanksgiving! And A Book Title...
27 Nov 2008, London, UK

A very happy Thanksgiving to all my American readers. I expect that right now, as we approach dinner time in the UK (it is 6.30pm and I am sitting in a coffee shop as I write this) you still have your turkey dinner ahead of you. Enjoy!

As promised, I am publishing the results of my little straw poll to find the most popular title for my book about my 2005-6 Atlantic row. I received a magnificent 387 responses - a huge thank you to everybody who took the time to submit their views.

Here are the scores on the doors - in reverse order:

0.8% Fly Like A Fish
2.3% I Row
7.8% Savage Solo
8.5% Rowing Across The Atlantic
9.8% The Unlikely Adventurer
11.4% Notes From A Small Boat
20.9% One Stroke At A Time
38.5% Other (no, not as a title! your alternative suggestions - see below for the best)

- The Savage Rower
- A Change in Course
- The Savage Quest
- Me, Myself and 3,000 miles of Ocean
- Waves of Change
- Naked Determination
- My Life As a Bobber
- Away from the drips and into the drink
- Solo Savage
- Pull
- Sea Savage

There were many other imaginative suggestions too - some amusing, some intriguing, and some, errr, well, the less said the better....

There were lots of suggestions of "Savage Seas" but this is already the title of a book. And another ocean rower, Maud Fontenoy, also published a book called "Alone Across the Savage Sea" - so this is definitely out.

"The Naked Rower" was also suggested - but this, too, has already been used - by my friend Rob Hamill, who with his crewmate won the first ever Atlantic Rowing Race.

But there are also issues with the current winner - One Stroke At A Time - that I have only just discovered. Copied from the internet...

Canoe Tripping and Life: One Stroke at a Time $10.75 - Barnes &
Female Masturbation : Orgasm One Stroke at a Time $21.99 -

What can I say? It's all very unfortunate.... and the debate continues.

Meanwhile, much activity here. Jim Paulson, my new Director of Technology, is over here from the US for an intense week of meetings. In the pipeline: a new-look website including many features suggested by participants in my last survey, and also an iPhone app that will allow users to "Race Roz" in a virtual race across the Pacific. Details coming soon, but all very exciting!

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My Atlantic Book Title - Help Me Choose!
20 Nov 2008, Wales, UK

The swiftest straw poll ever - just one question to answer. We've been looking for a killer title for the book about my solo Atlantic row. It's harder than you might think to come up with that title that will make the book leap off the bookshelf at your average bookstore browser.

So I need your help! Please go to my one-question survey and pick your favourite from our shortlist - or use the free format box to make your own suggestion if you think you can do better.

Thank you!!

[Photo: I am staying for a few days with my friend Romy Shovelton at her 250-year-old farmhouse in Wales, where she lives with her Canadian husky, Qimmiq. We recorded a podcast today - coming soon to an iTunes near you - just as soon as I've had time to edit it - but I was busy today with a potentially very formative meeting at the Centre for Alternative Technology in nearby Machynlleth.]

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