Drastic Plastic – The World Wises Up

Woodside, California The environmental time bomb represented by plastic in the world’s oceans has at last come to the attention of the media. Thank you to the many people who have sent me links to recent coverage in the British press, much of it arising from the publication of a study by a team at the University of Plymouth. Dr Richard Thompson suggests that microscopic pieces … Continued

Lead Shot: A Satisfactory Conclusion

Woodside, California Many thanks to all who have exercised their minds and Googles to help me find lead shot to ballast my boat. It has been a huge assistance and much appreciated. I am happy to announce that, as of today, the problem is resolved. Ken, whose comments you may have seen on this site, put me onto a supplier in LA. So I then … Continued

A Weighty Matter

Woodside, California A few people have raised the very valid point that putting extra weight in my boat will slow me down. Fans of Rob Hamill’s book, The Naked Rower, will recall that he was obsessive about keeping excess weight to as little as possible, taking only the bare (!) minimum of personal items and even dumping food overboard when it became clear that they were … Continued


Woodside, California My friend Steve Roberts – gonzo tech-head and veteran of an epic 7 year recumbent bicycle tour- sent me a link to this article from the LA Times, reporting “A Primeval Tide of Toxins” that is affecting the world’s oceans. Apparently runoff from modern life is feeding an explosion of primitive organisms that is killing larger species and sickening people. And another friend, Sinead – she … Continued

P.S. on Lead Shot

Woodside, California Many thanks to all who have come up with ideas on where I can obtain lead shot – and also to those who have pointed out that it is an “enviro-nasty”, with bad effects on fish, water, and potentially me. I would like to point out that the lead would be basically “sequestered” – encased in resin, in a sealed compartment in the … Continued

WANTED: Lead Shot

Woodside, California Does anybody have, or know where we can find, between 100 and 200lb (50 and 100kg) of lead shot? Preferably in the Bay Area, as weight-based postage costs could be prohibitive! Today I was obsessed with weight – not mine, for a change. This was the weight of my boat. I took the Brocade and her trailer to a public scale in Hayward … Continued

Public Appearance at Tiburon Film Festival – THIS SUNDAY!

Tiburon, California This coming Sunday, March 16, I will appearing at the Tiburon International Film Festival. I will be taking part in a Q&A after the ocean rowing film Row Hard No Excuses, due to screen at 1.30pm at the Corinthian Yacht Club. I don’t appear in the film – it is about two American men who competed in the 2001 race – but I’m there as … Continued

Lemon Ladies

Woodside, California I like to shop local when I can, to save on food miles as well as ensuring I’m eating good fresh produce, so I was delighted when Karen Morss agreed to donate 50 lemons to the cause. Karen’s sweet Meyer lemons are organically grown just a few miles from my current temporary home in Woodside. A half dozen have now been incorporated into some … Continued

Safety First

Woodside, California Last summer my boat was nearly rescued by Steve Fossett’s yacht, the Cheyenne. Now the Cheyenne’s crew may be coming to my rescue in a rather different way… Last year’s Pacific bid ended prematurely due to large waves and the loss of my sea anchor causing my boat to capsize. It seemed to me at the time that the waves were no larger than … Continued

Who Will Save The Oceans?

Woodside, California This article in today’s New York Times asks when governments and global organizations are going to step in and save the oceans. It’s a valid question, and undoubtedly more should be happening at the highest levels. But governments and large organizations move slowly, and change direction even more slowly. In the meantime the oceans are deteriorating day by day. Individuals and small organizations … Continued