This is a different kind of serendipity than the one mentioned in my last blog. This Serendipity is a small ocean rowboat formerly owned by my friend, Sarah Outen, first woman to row solo across the Indian Ocean (her book is available here). Serendipity, aka Dippers, was her trusty craft for the 124-day crossing.
And to be strictly accurate, Dippers wasn’t in Sedona, but 20 minutes down the road in Cornville, where she is now the property of Romano Scatturo, runner, triathlete, and aspiring ocean rower. I was introduced to Romano by Chris Martin, director of the New Ocean Wave rowing race from California to Hawaii (due to take place for the first time in 2014). Romano and Chris had been exchanging emails in connection with Romano’s plan to celebrate his 50th birthday by visiting all 50 states under his own power.
The first email I received from Romano, on 2nd Feb this year, included this tempting invitation: “If you find yourself coming through Arizona while stateside here I’ll extend the same invitation to you as I did to Chris…a delicious Italian meal at my restaurant.” Well, wasn’t that serendipitous…. as I was due to fly to Phoenix just 3 days later.
So the other Friday I found myself with Jan and Grace sitting at a table in Romano’s cosy family-run restaurant, Vince’s Little Star in Cornville. Romano’s wife Patrice was waiting on our table, while Romano was in the back cooking. After a tasty traditional Italian dinner, washed down with a delicious Chianti, Romano escaped from the kitchen to come and chat. Romano expanded on his plan – check out his website for the full mission statement.
I saw Romano again on Monday afternoon, to take a look over the former Serendipity and offer suggestions on equipment, comms, and safety provisions. Dippers is still in good shape and should prove seaworthy for the Hawaii crossing – but my word, she is a tiny boat, a mere 19 feet compared with Sedna’s 23 feet. The sleeping cabin is about half the length of what I am used to – but this is not necessarily a bad thing. Stuff expands to fill the space available, so Romano will probably end up lugging a lot less junk across the ocean than I did.
If you are in the US, there is a good chance that Romano will soon be coming to a town near you. You can find his itinerary here. Please, if you can, keep an eye on his progress and give him a hearty cheer (and maybe a hearty dinner too) as he pedals past. Even if you can’t get to see him in person, please consider contributing to his cause.
Meanwhile, Sarah is in Japan with her new boat, Gulliver, preparing for a spring launch on the Pacific. You can follow her adventures online here.
Thank you, Romano, for your hospitality – and very best of luck with your epic adventure!
Crazy-busy times. Since I left Sedona, I have:
– Spent 2 days in Washington, DC, with my good friend Ann Luskey, champion of ocean causes
– Had meetings in New York and New Haven
– Given 2 more presentations for National Geographic – in Dallas
– Filmed interviews with MacGillivray Freeman for One World One Ocean
– And with Wyland for an upcoming film project featuring various oceanic superheroes (and me)
– and a lot else besides – more of which will shortly become public…. Watch this space!