I almost wish I was on dry land, just so I could check out all the cool things that are happening around this website – I can’t see them from here!

When I get back to dry land, I’m especially looking forward to checking out the podcasts. If you’re following the blog but haven’t clued in to the podcasts, you might want to go to Twitlive.tv and take a look. I thoroughly enjoy my thrice-weekly chats with Leo Laporte, and you may enjoy adding another dimension to your Pacific-rowing-by-proxy experience.

I haven’t been able to watch them myself, but apparently if you check in while we are recording (10am PST, or 6pm BST on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays) you can actually see Leo sitting in his studio, talking to me, along with all the comments and questions coming in from the chatroom. My mother just discovered this a week ago, and she’s hooked!

Plus, you can get a FREE audiobook from audible.com, (I suspect that this only applies to people in the USA – Rita.) AND by downloading the podcasts you help me raise funds to finance the next stage of my row. See the bottom of this blog for details.

I was introduced to Leo last summer by his long-term friend Bill Chayes, who is the producer of our Pacific rowing/environmental documentary. We, and assorted others, were guests of Bill and his wife Michelle for dinner at their beautiful arts-and-crafts home in the rolling golden countryside outside of Petaluma, close to California’s wine country. We had a wonderful meal sitting outside at a table on the deck, eating and drinking and chatting. (Ahhhh, how I LONG for an evening like that right now – nothing I like better than a good dinner party.. But I’m 1300 miles and at least 40 days away from any opportunity..)

And Leo was sufficiently interested in what I was doing to offer to do a regular series of podcasts with me. I have to confess, I didn’t really know who Leo was at the time, but now I’ve been in North America for a bit longer I am starting to appreciate just what a lucky break this was. Leo has introduced me to a whole new audience via the podcasts and Twitter, as well as securing sponsorship from audible.com.

So what this means is that the more people that download the podcasts, the more audible.com pay as part of the sponsorship arrangement. And when you sign up, you can get a free audiobook. I listen nonstop to audiobooks while I row – Leo gave me an iPod loaded with 323 books that I’m steadily munching my way through – and during our podcasts he always asks me what I’m “reading”. So you can even listen to the same book I’m listening to, and share my experience in a whole new way!

Other stuff

Position at 2100 22nd July Pacific Time, 0400 23rd July UTC: 24 28.173’N, 135 24.224’W.

Conditions the same as for the last few days – grey, chilly, windy and rough. I shall say no more in case I lapse into grumbles. I should be pleased that I am making good progress, and not mind about being constantly wet, salty, and bounced around. But it’s sometimes easier said than done. Only those audiobooks are helping me through it – today, on Leo’s recommendation, I listened to The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennette – excellent!

It’s good to be past halfway, but last night I did feel a little bit lonely. My weatherguy was most insistent that I had to have a halfway party. I looked around my boat. No company. No treat foods left. No bottles of anything interesting. Not much to start a party with at all. I briefly considered making some party decorations out of the silver wrappers from my expedition meals, but then gave up and went to bed. I will make up for it by partying extra hard when I get to Hawaii.

Thanks again for all the messages – especially to Margo, my East Coast enviro-sister! Looking forward to re-toasting with a glass of red wine next time I see you.

Thanks also to Jenny at KWMR – would love to get together for an interview once I’ve delivered the message in a bottle to the Hawaiian Islands Sanctuary. You’re on!

And to Jim, John, Chris, Rod, Currin (why is everybody telling me about what delicious wines they’re using to toast my progress?! Making me envious!!), Eric, Karyn, Rodli, Tim, Toni, Gene and Sindy.

Click here to view Day 59 of the Atlantic Crossing 28 january 2006: Fishy Business – flying fish, that is.

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