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Interview with Andrew Halsey by Kenneth F. Crutchlow half an hour before Andrew's departure.
November 25th
La Punta
Callao Peru

QUESTIONS
from Kenneth

How are you preparations ?

ANSWERS
from Andrew

Everything is packed in already to go, I am a little nervous as I normally am just before departure, my stomach is playing me up a bit, but I think that is all the coffee I have been drinking, not to mention I had a seizure yesterday afternoon. So I pretty much slept from 5.00 o'clock yesterday afternoon till 5.00 o'clock this morning.

Q
Last time when you left San Diego headed for Australia you had a seizure after you left
A
Chances are I will have one after I have left today, yesterday it had been pretty much hectic like all previous days since I have been here, the people of Callao and the Rotary Club here have been absolutely fantastic. I have met pretty much everybody in town from one end of the scale to the other, it is natural to get a little stressed before you go.
Q
Do you know from your personal experience: does stress bring on your seizures ?
A
To an extent - yes. There are trigger effects, like flashing lights, escalators have always been a trigger for me.
I know once I clear land and get 200 miles under my belt my seizures will decree by 70 to 80 percent.
Q
You have told me you have to leave today, is it because the press and a crowd of people are here to see you off you feel obliged to leave today?
A
No, not at all - the preparation is done, I have sussed (means checked out) out the weather for the upcoming days and weeks, I believe this is the best time to leave, it is just the right time to go, there is a nice lull in the wind, tide and everything is just right, I do not know what it will be like here in next couple of days, the winds here are generally Southerly but occasionally you get them from the North, we have recently had a few days with winds from the North which is not very promising, right now everything is just right for departure.
Q
What about the watch and pager that is coming from Corps Communications: if it does not get here
are you going without a watch
A
No, arrangements have already been made to make sure I get the gear from Corps Communications, the local harbour master and Naval authorities will be tracking me, so I imagine boats will be following me for a couple of days, so at worse it will be a temporary inconvenience.
Q
So, today is departure day, which is November 25th 2002
A
Yes, yes, it is what I expected between 20th and 25th November , so - yes, it is fine.
Q
How long do you think you will be at sea?
A
I am estimating between seven and nine months, I mean nobody could have predicted the weather I had on the last Pacific attempt from San Diego , and the advantages of leaving from the southern hemisphere have made things a lot better as well.
Q
Where are rowing to?
A
Australia! I want to head for South of Brisbane in Queensland: as you know, once I get anywhere on the coast - I will be fine, if I hit mainland Australia - I will be very happy.
Others in the past made it to the Barrier reef or an Island off the coast, so it will be nice to row into Sydney Harbour, or any harbour on the East Coast of Australia will be fine.
Q
You recently met your daughter for the first time in 10 years, how has that made you feel?
A
Ah, tremendous! She has been visiting me in UK and she has had the time of here life, she would like to stay there but for her schooling in U.S. I will be speaking with her in a little while.
Q
Will that be on your Iridium satellite phone?
A
Yes, on Iridium. I will have a conversation with my family - Mum, Dad, sisters, brothers.
Q
How are they all feeling about your trip?
A
That's a good thing all the family has always been 100 percent behind my voyages in the past
Q
You have made no secret of the fact that you have this condition known as epilepsy, how does that make you feel in your oceanrowing compared to the other ocean rowers?
A
Well, like yesterday: one minute it is 5 o'clock in the afternoon and the next - it is 5 o'clock the following morning,
I woke up with a swollen tongue, blood, and other things I do not want to go into know, and I have no knowledge of yesterday afternoon or early evening, so it is a blank of memory. When I have them at sea I wake up and I have no recollection of what happened, it is a disadvantage, that's why I am always harnessed to the boat.
Q
When you have a seizure at sea, do you have a fear of being separated from the boat ?
A
I always keep my self-harnessed to the boat - port and starboard, - so that's never a problem, same as before: I am more liable to hurt myself on land than I am at sea.
Q
For parents of children with epilepsy - is it that you want to encourage them to do things?
A
Yes, there is no reason at all why people who have seizures, obviously depending on the type and the severity, but there is no reason at all why they can not at least attempt to lead a full and active life.
Q
I know you have the good wishes of the British Epilepsy people
A
Oh yes, and not just the British - world wide I have had responds from,
Q
So, you are just about to board you oceanrowboat and leave..
A
Yes, all the packing is done other than putting on the three CLS Argos satellite tracking beacons,
and then - that's it

I wished Andrew bon voyage and within 30 mins of this taped interview Andrew had left The La Punta Yacht Club and was rowing toward Australia.

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