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Fort Baker, San Francisco

Today I had my first sea trial in Sedna since the arrival of my new (very strong, very wooden) oars. Not only would this trial reveal whether the oars worked, but it would also be immortalised on camera by CBS for Phil Keoghan’s show, “Keoghan’s Heroes”.

I was determined to avoid the problems that I had on the Atlantic, when all four oars broke before half way. But a dry run on land last night showed that there may be a problem with the new oars. The measurements seem to be a bit off, so the balance between inboard and outboard is not right.

And it was uncertain whether they would reach the water. You don’t need to be a rowing expert to know that this would be less than ideal.

So I was nervous enough anyway, and early events did not seem to help. But after a few initial hiccups (the tide was so far out that the bottom of the boat ramp was a long way short of the water, so we had to drive a few miles to find a ramp more closely connected to H2O, and then find a new launch for the camera crew as the original launch was not able to come to the new location) we finally had boat, me, camera crew, launch, and water all in the same location.

And finally we put out onto San Francisco Bay.

By this time we had missed the nice calm conditions of early morning – but this made the TV footage all the more authentic, as we battled choppy waters and strong winds (and less-than-ideal oars) to do an interview under the Golden Gate Bridge. We talked for a while on camera while I rowed, then Phil took his turn at rowing.

Phil’s concluding comment? “Me? I wouldn’t do that. But good luck to you!”

[photo: me and Phil Keoghan back on dry land. Waterborne photos to follow shortly]

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