Woodside, California

This morning I have packed my bag and tidied up the cottage (as much as I can with boxes of kit, technology and expedition rations piled everywhere) – for today I leave for Ottawa and my visa interview. I keep having nightmarish flashes of “Terminal“-type images, me lost in a bureacratic no-man’s-land and doomed to live forever in Macdonald-Cartier International Airport, while my beautiful boat slowly deteriorates in San Francisco…

But I’m sure I’ll be fine. As I’ve already been approved for a US 12-month visa in London, and it was only time constraints and logistics that prevented me getting it physically placed in my passport, it would seem quite contrary if the Ottawa embassy refused me a visa.

It will definitely be a relief when this is out of the way.

Meanwhile, many good things happening. Yesterday I spent the afternoon with my favourite photographer, Jason Madara. Last time we had met was when he shot me (so to speak) for the New York Times, on a gusty, rain-soaked, pitch-dark Saturday night. This time we were basking in sunshine on a glorious summer’s day by the Golden Gate Bridge, while he took portraits of me and Sedna for German MAX Magazine.

Then I dashed over to the KRON4 TV studios for a quick guest appearance on the Gary Radnich show.

While I was out and about, my new rowing seat and runners arrived from Seattle, and although we didn’t get the boat in the water yesterday, I had a chance to do a dry test of the new outriggers that Rich Crow built for me – and they seem to have solved the problems with the oars. The balance (between inboard and outboard) is now much improved, and it appears likely that the oars will now reach the water – always a bonus.

[photo: a picture from Jason Madara’s previous shoot with me and Sedna]

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