First, a quick brag:
Voted #3 in Top Ten Adventure Twitters by Outside Magazine – woohoo!

Now, on to the news…

The Brocade is now comfortably ensconced in her new home at Pacific Shipyards International on Pier 41. I had spent much of the last 8 months, almost ever since I landed in Hawaii, trying to find somewhere suitable to store her – with absolutely no luck. But like London buses, after none for ages, two come along at once…

Yesterday afternoon I was holding the fort in our “downtown office” at Waikiki Yacht Club while Nicole and Joel took the truck to tow Brocade from Pier 21 to Pier 41 so she could be repainted. Pier 21 was supposed to be for storage only, and we had already been pushing our luck by doing so much boatwork there. I had just received a rather terse note from the owner, asking me to move all my “crap” (his word) from the area around my boat. So painting there was definitely out of the question – and besides, the warehouse was so filthy that her pristine post-painting appearance would not have lasted for long. No point making her all pretty if she was just going to metaphorically roll in the mud. So as I Tweeted yesterday, a new location was urgently needed.

As I was catching up on my emails I came across a suggestion from Sindy Davis, blog reader, supporter, and now an in-person “real” friend as well, who suggested aircraft hangars. We had already tried a few such leads, but she sent me a link to Air Service Hawaii, which we hadn’t tried before. Not an immediate win, but a relatively short trail (only 4 phone calls) led me to Dan Espiritu, who immediately offered me space near Honolulu Airport at a huge discount.

My text to Nicole, celebrating the good news, crossed with a text from her saying that the guys at Pier 41, Pacific Boatyards, had welcomed the Brocade with open arms and offered her accommodation for as long as she needed – plus paint, under cover storage space, crane services, etc etc. This rather trumped the airport option, as the extra manpower and free paint would save us loads of $$$. Fantastic!

So now Joel is busy at work, prepping and painting the boat (see pictures), while Nicole and Conrad, local filmmaker and our new best friend, shoot footage of the works in progress. And I try to figure out if I have everything I need to sustain me for 100+ days at sea. Ocean rowing is almost unique amongst expeditions in that it is impossible to pop down to the corner store for anything that I have overlooked. I know of a crew of two guys who had to share a toothbrush the whole way across the Atlantic….

So here is my packing list so far – let me know if you see any omissions, but within reason, please. Every pound of weight is another pound I have to row across 2,600 miles of ocean!

Sawyers oars (4)
Rowing seat + spare wheels
Cushion pads and packtowel covers
Para anchor x 2
Leecloths for bunk
Manual bilge pump (in addition to fixed bilge pump)
Tripod mount
Handheld VHF radio x 2

Compass x 2
GPS x 3 (plus the one in my iPhone)
Toughbook PC x 2
Iridium satellite phone x 2
Tracking beacon
iPod x 5
iPod headphones and waterproof bag
Spare batteries for everything
Inverter (US)
Pentax waterproof camera
Ricoh 500SE waterproof camera with geotagging

Axe (don’t ask – was required by Atlantic Rowing Race rules, and is now part of the furniture!)
Marine flares
Immersion suit
Grab bag
Type-4 Coast Guard Approved Flotation Device

Vitamins, minerals, supplements
Nuts and seeds
Seeds for sprouting
Freeze-dried food
Tinned fish

Pillows for bunk
Ocean Sleepwear sleeping bag
Silk inner sleeping bag
Rowing shoes
Sun shades for hatches
Red ensign
Hawaiian flag

Grease pencil (for marking up miles on whiteboard)
Reading glasses & case
Log book
Knife and sharpening block

Knife, fork, spoon, teaspoon x 3
Mugs with lids
Water bottles
Seed sprouter
Measuring jug
Wooden spoons/spatulas
Hand pump for jerry cans x 2
Bungee cords
Assorted food storage jars
Jerry cans for water
Spare water bags for extra ballast
Thermos flask
Clips for sachets of food
Drybags for storing rubbish
Ziplock bags

Washing powder
Washing up liquid
Hospital-grade antibacterial cleanser
Windproof lighter x 4
Brush and dustpan
Cloths and pot scourer
Bottle brush for water bottles
Scrapers for scrubbing bottom of boat
Bucket x 3

Baseball caps
Fleece and long trousers for evening shift
T-shirts, shorts, sports bras
Rowing gloves
Anti-UV sunglasses & case

Cord (lots)
Sewing kit
Snorkelling mask

Soap/shower gel
Dental floss
Alcohol/tea tree oil wipes
Cream to prevent chafing
Body lotion
Body scrubber/ chamois leather
Sun lotion by Green People

… and cuddly toys!

Grab Bag containing:
4 chocolate bars
4 small bottles water
Anti seasickness tablets
First aid kit
Fishing kit
Glucose sweets
Emergency rations
Grab bag
Lightsticks (6)
Personal EPIRB
Pocket strobe light
Red hand flares (2)
Signal mirror with whistle + float
Silva compass
Spare torch bulb
Thermal foil blanket
Tool kit
Waterproof torch
Fishing line and weight

Toolkit comprising:
10″ mole grips
5 piece screwdriver set
6″ adjustable spanner
6″ pliers
Alum keys
Any specialised tools for equipment on board
combination spanners 94 – 10mm
junior hacksaw and blades
Stanley knife and blades
marine sealant
Amsoil Heavy Duty Metal Protector
epoxy repair kit
pack of metric drills
penetrating oil, WD40
reflective tape
self amalgamating tape
duct tape
small hand drill
set of metric drills
cable ties
Wet & Dry Sand Paper
Tape Measure
Alligator clamp, C-clamp
Electrical spares:
20 by 5mm 2 amp Fuses x 3
10mm nylon P clips x 4
10 amp fuse x 3
Twin pole plug ( cigar ) x 2
Nav light and bulb
Spare bulb for internal light
5 amp fuse x 3
Insulated Crimps x 5
Yellow Male Crimps x 6
20 by 5mm 1 amp Fuses x 3
Liquid Electrical Tape
20 by 5mm 3 amp Fuses x 3
20 by 5mm 5 amp Fuses x 3
Ties 3 sizes x 40
Mini Torch
Female Crimps x 4
Fuse wire 10m
spares for bilge pump
spares for watermaker
spares for steering system
spare seat
spare rowing gates
spare CO2 bottle for lifejacket
spare batteries
spare rudder pintles

First Aid kit:
Anti inflammatories
Dioralyte (for seasickness)
Ibuprofen gel
Micropore (tons!)
Seasickness patches
Deep Heat
Ice packs
and a lot more besides – thanks to Expedition Doctor Aenor Sawyer!

Other stuff:

Happy Shiny Boat

Thanks to all who took part in a lively debate on Twitter and Facebook about what colour to repaint the Brocade. I took all these votes into consideration, but in the end had to come down on the conservative side and go with silver again because:

– it looks good with any colour sponsor stickers
– it doesn’t get too hot to the touch
– if we have to do any creative editing with the video, using bits out of sequence, it will avoid having glaring continuity errors
– and, ultimately, I just couldn’t imagine her being any other colour!

But there will be little “accents” of colour (she says in her best camp-interior-designer voice) with sponsor logos, seat cushion (orange), and so on.

Pacific Paddler

I went paddling with the outrigger canoeists of the Waikiki Yacht Club last night – earning ourselves a beer or three (and WHOSE idea was the tequila?!) in the yacht club bar last night. And paddling is meant to be good for your health?!

About to dash out of WYC to go do a live interview with Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central – catch it here!

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