These two weeks in Perth are speeding by all too quickly, and soon I will be hitting the road again, not to return until just 3 weeks before my launch date.
The goal of this first visit was to do as much as possible to get the boat and attendant technology ready. We’ve made good progress. Yesterday we unloaded everything off the boat and moved it to secure storage at the Royal Perth Yacht Club. It’s not only the boat that is looking a bit ocean-weary. A lot of my kit looks rather the worse for wear as well. But looks aren’t everything – provided it still works, not everything has to be new and pristine. Reduce, reuse, recycle….
A few new shiny goodies have been turning up, though. Many thanks to Pippa McErvale of Jerdon for the Belkin iPhone/iPod accessories (pictured). Thanks also to my friends at Green People for the sun lotion and other organic skin products (I use their After Sun as a body lotion year-round) , Biocare for the vitamins and minerals (I use Mineral Complex, Jointguard, Vyta-Myn Complex and Calcium EAP), and Kakadu for the golf/rowing gloves. All essential!
The plan is that progress will continue in my absence. Next week the Spectra watermaker should be reinstalled after its overhaul. I’m also looking forward to receiving a quote for repainting the boat.
I’ve decided on a change from the silver paintwork. It makes me wince when people describe Sedna as a “high-tech rowboat”. She’s really just a basic boat, with an extremely low-tech engine – me. I do have technology on board, sure, but it doesn’t make the boat go any faster.
My theory is that you can make anything appear high-tech if you paint it silver. The BBC Special Effects Department banked on this fact in the 70s when silver paint was used liberally on otherwise very dodgy sci fi sets. So I’m going to go for the reverse effect, and go for a nice, low-tech, highly spiritual purple. The painting contractor didn’t even bat an eyelid when I made my request. So purple it will be.
Thanks to the gym staff at the University of Western Australia. Pia in particular has been very helpful, and June and I have been making the most of the facilities. It has been good to have June here to train alongside me. I don’t find motivation too much of a problem when on my boat. After all, there isn’t much else to do on a rowboat in the middle of the ocean. But it’s harder when on dry land, with so many enjoyable distractions around, so having a training partner most definitely helps. Training has focused on strength sessions alternated with cardio interval workouts. And lots of core. Oh, don’t we just love the plank (not)!
Thanks also to Clem Rogers and all at the Royal Perth Yacht Club, for their hospitality and kindness towards me and the Sedna Solo. Very much appreciated.
I found out yesterday that I shall be going to Hawaii in March for the fifth International Marine Debris Conference, run by the United Nations Environment Programme. The timing will be tight – it punches a hole in that final 3-week period in Perth – but it is an unmissable opportunity to connect with like-minded people who are working to reduce the amounts of toxic plastic getting into our ecosphere, to learn from them, and hopefully to offer some insights of my own on how to get the message out to a wider audience.
A book recommendation: I’ve been reading a borrowed copy of A Voyage for Madmen, the story of the 1968 Golden Globe round the world solo yacht race. This was when Donald Crowhurst, in an attempt to avoid either death in an unseaworthy boat or bankruptcy by pulling out of the race, decided to fake his race position reports. Ultimately, unable to sustain the deception, he took a long walk off a short boat. The other competitors are equally intriguing characters. Bernard Moitissier is my favourite – an amazing seafarer, and fabulously eccentric. A great read. The documentary of the same story, Deep Water, is incredibly moving too.
Today the voting for the National Geographic Adventurer of the Year closes. Enormous thanks to all who have been faithfully voting every day for me. I have no more idea than you do who might have won. Jessica Watson is a national hero here in Australia, so I expect that she has done very well. We will all find out in February. Regardless of the outcome, I have been very touched by all your messages, and I am deeply grateful for your loyal support. In my view, we’re all winners!