My New Ocean Steed

I am very pleased to present my new ocean steed, Gulliver – a custom built 21 ft rowing boat. Built by the same brilliant team who designed and built Dippers, my Indian Ocean boat, Gulliver is a slightly larger and improved brother to Dippers.

It was really satisfying to be involved in augmenting the design based on experience, rather than guesswork. Modifications include raising the internal flooring to accommodate more supplies; adding solar panels to increase my power output; incorporating a floodable ballast tank to aid stability in rough seas; building a ‘trench’ in the aft cabin for me to sleep in and help protect me in rough water as well as harness points in that same cabin.

He has taken 6 months to build and is now safely stowed in Rutland, having journeyed up from Global Boatworks in Devon, where he was built. My team at home will be packing him up with kit and food later this year ready for shipment to Japan, where I will meet him and start getting him ready for our jaunt across the North Pacific. This phase is scheduled to begin with the late spring 2012 when I shall push out from Choshi, Japan, bound for Vancouver, Canada.

I chose the name before he was finished after watching the hilarious Jack Black in Gulliver’s Travels with two very special friends – Kris and Maren Hallenga. As a reminder of good times and as a kindred seafarer, Gulliverseemed a perfect choice. I hope you will join me in cooing admiringly and smiling proudly at him too – I know he is going to be a fabulous partner for this gruelling leg of the journey.

PS: He is in fact a bullet proof boat, complete with a Kevlar skin.

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13 Responses to My New Ocean Steed

  1. Peter Booth says:

    Well done Sarah. I suppose it was a sad occasion when you said goodbye to Gao. He did very well to say that he had not trained for the trip. Gulliver looks a nice boat. I wonder how long it will take you to cross the Pacific.Have not looked on the map yet to see how far you have to row. Hope you are now refreshed after your rest. Will continue following you. I think timewise you are doing very well. Ahead of schedule I should think. Keep us updated and good luck. Would appreciate a small E-mail from you. God bless Peter Nottingham

  2. Rob Thomson says:

    I was trying to figure out where Choshi is in Japan, to see if I could come see you off (I live in Sapporo, northern Japan)…Choshi City is in Chiba Prefecture, I see. Just north of Tokyo. The first to see the sun in Japan, apparently: Approximately when do you expect to be launching off?


  3. Christine & Kathleen says:

    Hello Sarah

    Missed a few days of your travels but caught up again. Sad to see Goa not with you but will hope to meet him one day on your return. What an incredible person like you.

    Gulliver looks great and as before you will do us all proud when you start that part of your journey. In the meantime you may be by yourself but you are not alone and never will be.

    Take care and happy pedalling


    C & K

  4. colin says:

    Hi Sarah,
    Although not a regular contributor to this section, I have followed your journey ever since you left London in April. I look forward to every one of your blogs and am so pleased for you that your adventure has already brought you (and us) to some wonderful places and people, like the indomitable Gao. I’m beginning to think I have to be there when you return to London in 2013!
    Just a question; how will you combat shipping traffic when you cross the oceans? Does your route already account for it, or will you have constant data on the traffic in your area? Will you be visible to them on their surveillance systems, even the huge transport containers? Sorry if my questions sound supremely ignorant, but I have no experience of the kind of logistics involved.
    Anyway – happy trails to you and take care.
    Colin Walford x

  5. Mike Weber says:

    Wow!! That is a fantastic journey you are planning. I look forward to following you when you leave Japan. Will you be taking any electronics that transmit your position so that those of us on land can track your position?
    Good luck!


  6. How does this boat compare with the one Roz Savage is rowing right now? It looks a lot bigger.

  7. christina watts says:

    Brilliant growth of “experience” from Dippers external and internal design as you rowed across The Indian …

    “more comfort when sleeping, safety, and of course Chocolate space – all the other important additions for your trip across the Pacific are looking good”

    And of course this will help others as they decide to embark on Ocean
    Rowing !!!
    Big Hugz

  8. mike says:

    A lovely picture of your boat- well named indeed- an image of “daring do”.
    May he be a good companion for you, being swift and sure on your extraordinary journey.

  9. Currin says:

    A very fine looking craft…if only this ‘new born’ knew what you have in mind for his adventurous life! Looks ideal for these ventures. (May be the ‘Saab’ of the oceans)(coolestcar!) P.S. you will love Japan, too.

  10. Annie Hall says:

    The new boat looks so smart! I suspect that once it gets into the ocean it will soon look more used!
    It’s such fun keeping track of you and the people you meet along the way, sad though as you say about the tigers.
    As always you’re an inspiration, thanks, we land-lubbers who go about our day to day lives need people like you!

  11. Sarah says:

    I’m glad everyone likes Gulliver -I for one cannot wait to get him out on the water in Japan.

    Paul – I think Gulliver is 2ft shorter than Sedna, Roz’s boat

    Colin – My boat has various bit of technology to make us look bigger and I also have a piece of kit which tells me what other boats are in the area, along with their name and callsign. This should help though slashing by traffic is still a major risk. I recommend my book about my Indian row for some tales on near squashing!

    Rob – Support, I think I shall be pedalling that way later this year. As for Chose, my weather man Lee Bruce reckons sometime in May or thereabouts

    Mike – Yes indeed. As now, I will be using a Yellowbrick tracker for my tracking at sea. Go to the page which says ‘Trucker’s under the banner

  12. Ian Clark says:

    Hi Sarah,
    Curious as to which you find the most inspiring, riding or rowing? I have done 5 Atlantic sail boat crossings(South Africa to Carribean and others) plenty of other deep water sails. I love those nights quietly sailing, how does it compare to rowing? I am planning a trans USA bike ride as well as a European London to Greece and possibily on. Wishing you all the best for the rest of your trip.

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