The drive to Geraldton

This morning the alarm went off early. My boat had been parked overnight in the front garden of our hosts, Don and Margaret Ferguson, and after a quick breakfast we were on the road by 7am and heading north to Geraldton in search of people with the skills to help us get Sedna back out to sea. Don drove the flatbed truck, while June and I followed on behind in a borrowed ute (Australian for pickup truck), reassured to see that Sedna didn’t budge from her position on the flatbed, set in position with tyres and straps.

We arrived in Geraldton a little after 9am. We didn’t really know what was going to happen next. We had a couple of phone numbers gleaned from contacts, but didn’t know who would be willing, ready and able to help us out on our ridiculously tight deadline to get me back out to sea before the weather window closes.

But it seemed a good start to go and park a large purple rowboat in the marina and see what happened. The strategy worked.

Sedna arrives at Shane Donegan's workshop - all looking good

We called the numbers that we had been given. Contacts led to other contacts. People dropped by at the marina to take a look at the boat and evaluate the work. By early afternoon we had a fibre glass guy, Shane Donegan, to sort out the damage inflicted yesterday, and a marine electrician, Glen Reeves, to relocate the watermaker pump.

Along the way, I had also managed to fit in a couple of TV interviews and one radio interview, still trying to emphasise the point that yesterday’s tow-in was NOT a rescue, but a pre-emptive move to avoid future problems with the watermaker.

Discussing plans with (L to R) Daryl Gangell, Don Ferguson and Shane Donegan

By the end of the afternoon, Sedna had been safely delivered to the fibre glass workshop, Don had been able to reclaim his flatbed truck, work was well underway to fix up Sedna’s hull and broken oar, and we had a detailed plan for the watermaker reconfiguration. I was infinitely more relaxed and optimistic than I had been around 3am last night. Things were looking good. We now expect that Sedna will be back on the water on Friday, and that I will restart my row on Saturday morning from Geraldton.

I am writing this blog in the kitchen of two new good Samaritans, the Gangells (appropriately, rhymes with angels), who are putting us up for the night. It’s hard to believe that this morning I had no idea how we were going to get me and Sedna back out to sea. I was in an unfamiliar town, in an unexpected situation, with nothing but a few new friends to help me out. But sometimes a few good friends are all you need.

Other Stuff:

One of the surprise bonuses of being back on dry land at this stage is that I got to see Colin Leonhardt’s fantastic video of the final preparations and departure from Fremantle. Great job, Col, and I am so pleased you are going to be coming up to Geraldton for Departure Take Two.


  • Congrats!!! Your Repairs seem to be going smoothly, My surgery did the same… No worries all around… Thought about you as they were working on me… This may be odd coming from just a cyber-friend, maybe even strange, but cyber-friends adore you!

  • Roz, it always amazes me how you are able to look on the positive side of just about any situation. I was disappointed to see some of the comments on your blog the past couple of days from people who obviously know nothing about you and who just wanted to criticize you based on faulty information. Glad to see you were able to try and set the record straight with the media. Those of us who have been following you for a while (for me, that’s since your launch from San Francisco) know your true character and are not surprised in the slightest that you have been able to make new friends in just 24 hours and make the best of a difficult situation! Looking forward to seeing you back on the water very soon.

      • Hey Tom, “The funny thing is” they are getting ready to make a film on me – My “Real Life Forrest Gump, Tuesdays With Morrie, Six Degrees of Separation, 127 hours life”, Leading up to a 28 Day Coma and Dying three times in 2008 – all of which I remember – much like, “The Diving Bell & The Butterfly capped by my Bucket List Non-Profit Environmental biz” that I thought up in the coma in 2008 – that fits very well with Roz’ projects… And the Producer/Director would like Roz to play Roz… We’ll see – They are beginning to write the screenplay in the next week or so…

  • Great, that you got to see the video, I watched it and thought to myself, it is a darn shame that Roz will not get to see that wonderful video for so long. Cudos to the production team on that one, beautifully done.

    Roz all things happen for a reason, remember when your laptop got stolen and the good things that came from that? Funny, but a great story, a story well told always has twists and turns and this situation is just a great example of that.

    It allows you to find more friends that can lead to a mountain of contacts and other friends in the future to share your outreach with in the future.

    You will be on the water again shortly and on to your destination, very best and great luck to you.

    Steve Teffenhardt
    Pure Moxie du Jour

  • Am happy to hear that repairs are in progress. Good to hear they can work on the oar as well – haven’t seen an Oars Depot store anywhere in my travels so was guessing it was probably a bit short notice to get that fixed. Restock on some fresh fruits in your few days on land. As they say, It takes two (launches) to mango!

  • I would be interested to hear how the oar repair was managed, too. Regarding your media coverage, as someone who’s sort of part of the media industry, I say don’t beat yourself up too badly over it. They never use the bit you wanted them to, anyway. Plus, it’s the adventure bit that gets new people interested in your story usually, and then they get really involved and start absorbing the eco message.

  • That’s what happens when one arrives unexpectedly with a purple vessel.

    BTW, reason #11,145 Rozlings love you is we get to … haiku time! …

    double our pleasure
    with double-double-launch Roz
    twice as effective

    Row repeatedly, Roz!

  • Roz, as a condition on any further interviews, please have a mention of your website so that any interested parties may be able to keep up with you. If Roz is written in articles or prints that allows comments made to it, please respond with a point to her website, especially if there is no link to her website offered.

    Row Roz Row!

    • Joan, Chalk this up to my post-op, pained attempt at humor… This is good for the Rozlings, But I hope Roz doesn’t paddle back to the nearest water fountain to fill her reusable water bottle from the middle of the Indian Ocean… Hey!!! Get Thermos to list Roz as the nearest water fountain once she gets everything working again, and is back at sea… Then we can track her with that app… No one will know what that water fountain is in the middle of the Indian Ocean except us – her Rozlings…

  • Hi Roz,
    Hope things get sorted soon and that you’ll soon be on your way again. Just remember……..all the best have a “warm up lap” first!!!!
    Onwards, upwards and Go GO GO.
    Love and HUGS
    Helen ( Sarah’s Mum ) ….hope you’ve got your happy sox at hand. They always make things feel better.

    • Thanks, Helen. It did occur to me that Sarah and I now have the warm-up lap in common! Happy sox indeed to hand (or foot) – cosy toes do indeed make the world a better place!

  • It was the right move to return and fix the water maker situation after the troubles you had crossing the Pacific. That makes great sense mounting the vulnerable pump in a more secure position. You might even want to consider adding some desiccant packs in the vicinity of the pump to absorb moisture. Silica gel, I looked and there are no hazards to it except maybe breathing dust.

  • YIPPEE!! It’ll work and you’ll be back at sea soon enough.

    We always called those people Road Angels – what do you call them when you’re rowing? Sea Angels?? It seemed like each and every time we needed help in any form, people appeared out of the woodwork to help us out. Maybe it was somebody helping us fix a busted brake or helping us get water in the middle of nowhere or arranging a place for us to stay – but it always worked out.

    Good to see it’s the same the world over and that it’s not only related to cyclists!

    Take care and get some rest!

  • I’m a West Australian, familiar with the Leewin Current…say no more. However, I do believe that things happen for a reason and this was yours. Had you left from Geraldton instead of Fremantle, you may not have had the opportunity to pull in for repairs. Don’t forget to stock up on Electrolytes. Good luck tomorrow as you set off with peace of mind.

  • Happy to hear about the fix to your water maker. Great (positive) attitude Roz, on behalf of your friends from California, Row Roz Row. Are thoughts and prayers are with you!

  • Hey Roz, it kinda brings back some memories of the launch from California awhile back only different. Looks to me like a minor little setback from where I am though. Good luck with things Roz.

  • The video is great to see! it shows that there are good hearted friendly helpful people in our word, people like your self that are doing good for others.

    What you are doing to help people become aware of what the human race is doing to the Oceans environment is very important, I’m with you all the way where Marine Conservation needs help, our world s waters are as important as the air that we breath!

    You are a star ROZ!!

    Remember what I told you in a tweet, when I was sat next to an elderly lady on her flight to Mexico ” There’s more to life than Mortgages & Babies”
    how true those ladies word are!

    Are you still planning on rowing up the river Thames in 2012? I’d love to be on the Thames in my kayak among the people who will be there to greet you!

    Continued success “The Big Three” Good on Ya!

    Terry E Oliver

  • There once was a girlie called Roz,
    Who got herself into a toz,
    She rowed every day, but could not get away,
    From the colourful land of Oz.

    A girl called Roz got quite glum,
    on account of the size of her bum,
    She got a row boat, started living afloat,
    and soon had a six pack for a tum.

  • Roz, I have been forgetting to mention this ever since your return for repairs… So I hope you or others have thought of this before now – or I fear it may be too late to try this… Perhaps someone with more direct access to Roz can ask her if she has thought of this before it is too late… Have you thought of suggesting to those who have helped you with these repairs that you will add them, their businesses, to your amazing list of sponsors, that is now being seen by people around the world? Their Business Name/Logo could be added for the rest of this leg and your 2012 Homecoming leg in exchange for part or all of the various repair bills??? Could save you quite a bit of money, and allow them to trade/barter work for advertising tied to a great cause that they are now part of – thanks to the good and fast work… Hope someone has remembered to ask this before now – sorry I kept forgetting…

  • Hey, Another idea to help Roz’ causes just hit me… The Rozling Network – What Helps Us Helps Her… I bet some of us Rozlings are business owners, Private consultants, and the like… Well I for one would give half of what I make on any client who mentions Roz’ name to Roz – to go towards her causes… I am a Certified Gemologist, who has been in the Gem & Jewelry biz, helping clients buy everything from simple graduation gifts to the rarest of the rare gems, jewels and watches – of all “Periods” and by all the big name makers, at huge discounts – generally 50 – 80% off what the same things would cost anywhere else – including online, including my fee, for over 30 years. They pay me a brokerage fee, of 10 – 20%, to find them these great things at huge discounts at auctions around the world. I have been in the auction biz too since 1972 – saving my clients millions literally while getting them better things than they can find online or in brick-and-mortar shops… I would be happy to give Roz half of my brokerage fee from anyone who mentions her name when they contact me and make a gem, jewelry or watch purchase… – Pass the word – anniversaries, graduations and engagements are coming up in the next months

  • Roz, I do apologise for the ignorant attention of the Australian press. The West Australian were clumsy in attracting attention to personality without regard for cause, I guess that is the way they think to attract readers.
    Best wishes for the relaunch. Jay

  • Good on you Roz. Hope repairs go well. Remember where you put the salt this time and watch out for loose mangoes in the bilge! … I’ve been catching up on the podcasts. Can you get Loe to add your feed on to the TWiT “Roz Rows” or have you stopped talking to them now you have your own EXCELLENT podcast. (I say this because I’ve been watching the TWiT feed for the new episodes and only just noticed the different feed on your blog, that may also account for the drop off in numbers) Jim Bell (NSW Australia)

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