Sunday, April 19, 2009
This is now the fourth time that I've prepared for an expedition - once to Peru, and 3 x ocean rows - and I'm coming to understand how it works. Here is my general guide to expedition timelines in the countdown to the magical T - the Time when it all comes good and you embark on the next great adventure...
T minus n months (or years): Create To Do list of everything you need to do and buy in order to make it happen. The list looks very long. Get used to it - it's only going to get longer before it gets shorter.
T-n months/years until T-2 months: work, work, work. Pursue sponsorships. Get a few nice donations of product from friendly firms, often repeat sponsors from previous expeditions. Get a few chunks of money from benificent angels, both friends and strangers. Pursue corporate cash, and get fobbed off, passed on to someone else, and often turned down. Pick self up, dust self off, keep on trying.
T-2 months or less: hit the wall. Max out credit card (happened to me this morning in West Marine). Wonder how on earth it's all going to come together.
And then the magic happens. The stars align. New friends turn up to help out. The expedition bank account starts to fill up again. And every time a need is met, or a new friend is made, I get those chills running up my spine as I am reminded that if I carry on doing the right things for the right reasons, life will look after me.
Fortune does indeed favour the bold - but she can be a cruel, teasing she-devil who tests my resolve to its very limits!
Ian and Joel are working hard on the Brocade. We have decided to repaint her. I had originally been quoted $12,000 for this job, but we're doing it on the cheap for a fraction of this cost. It might not be quite as pretty, but it will be effective and will protect the carbon fibre hull.
But this led to a difficult decision in the West Marine store - what colour? I am so used to her being silver that anything else seems unimaginable. Blue, red, yellow, black - all seemed too, well, un-Brocadey. So I've gone for "Seattle Grey" - subtle, light enough to deflect the heat, dark enough to reduce reflection and glare, and inconspicuous enough that I won't attract unwanted attention from passing ships.
Having said that, if any potential sponsor would like to throw a large amount of money at me, I'd be happy to paint her sky blue pink with yellow polka dots....
Boatworks by iPhone
Here at Team Roz we love our iPhones. Ian (Director of Boatworks), Joel and the Brocade are at Pier 21 in Honolulu. Nicole (Program Director) and I are 4 miles away in our "downtown office" at the Waikiki Yacht Club. So today, as Ian and Joel have been preparing the boat for painting, he has been using his iPhone to photograph various mystery bits of ironmongery from the boat and then emailing them to me to ask what should be done with them. SO much easier than trying to describe things over the phone. (And if Apple would like to specify the new colour scheme for my boat, I am ready to take their call....)
Sailing, I am Sailing
Last night Nicole, Ian and I went sailing with the merry crew of the Blue Lady, and were treated to the most amazing lava-coloured sunset, followed by an extended version of the usual Friday night fireworks.
A gorgeous evening, but also a strange feeling to be back out on the water with my departure so imminent. As I looked out across the sunset-tinted waves, I couldn't help thinking back to the last time I was out on the ocean... and thinking forwards to the next, when once again, for around 100 days, it will be just sea, sky, and a little silver/grey/Apple-coloured boat...
My book is now available for pre-order on Amazon. A bargain at $16.32! (Nice round number - not! What is that all about? Anyway, excellent value at any price....) Click here to order.
Stranded in Starbucks - Sorry, on Starbuck Island
My friend Dr Enric Sala continues his Ocean Now adventures in the South Pacific on behalf of National Geographic. For those who love the ocean, do check out the Ocean Now website and their Facebook Fan Page.
Tomorrow there will be a guest blog from Nicole, all about our new Education section at rozsavage.com. Stay tuned!
Nicole and Barry aboard the Blue Lady. And a very pretty sunset. See more of my photos at Flickr!