Santa Fe, New Mexico

Yesterday we got an early start once again (5am) and made good progress west – such good progress, in fact, that we decided to make a quick detour up to Santa Fe. It amply lived up to my expectations with clear skies, clean air and bright sunshine, and a natural-looking city blending into the landscape. Even the Dunkin’ Donuts is adobe.

Suzy and I have got our gas station routine down pat now. I go inside to prepay for the fule, while Suzy opens the petrol cap and cleans the squashed insects off the windscreen. By the time I come back out a few people have usually gathered to ask about the boat (usually along the lines of, “What the hell kind of a boat is THAT?”). I join Suzy in fielding questions and handing out flyers while the tank fills up.

We’ve been going through this routine 4 or 5 times a day, as Quackers can only do about 250 miles on one refill, so we’ve had plenty of opportunity to practice. Even when I’m being asked for the fortieth time what I ate and how I slept, I try always to answer courteously. It’s good of these people to show an interest and I constantly remind myself of that. I am also aware that I may be the only ocean rower, and possibly one of only a few Brits, that they will ever meet, so I try to be a good ambassador for both.

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