Day 2: Can a Bird be Caught Redhanded?

I’d been a bit disappointed not to see more wildlife on my meandering way up the coast of Western Australia. There again, as most Australian wildlife seems to want to bite you, sting you or eat you (as Steve Irwin learned to his cost), maybe I was better off without it.

I did see a little bit of wildlife today, but I don’t think you’re going to be too excited about it. When I came out on deck this morning, I noticed a long, thin, black object in the ship’s all-purpose bucket (NB: NOT used for lavatorial purposes). Upon closer inspection, this turned out to be a fish like the one I found in the footwell on one of the Pacific stages. I can’t remember what it was called.

Whatever it was, it was very dead, and didn’t even have enough meat on it to make a decent breakfast.

I’ve seen various birds, which so far have defied my attempts to photograph them. I have also found incriminating evidence that birds have been roosting on the forward cabin, former haunt of the infamous booby birds, but I have yet to catch the culprits red-handed. Except that birds don’t have hands, so maybe I should say red-wing-tipped? Red-beaked? Red-footed?

Dearie me, only Day 2 and already I seem to be driveling. Onto something more edifying….

Other Stuff:

To get me back into nautical mood, my first audiobook of this third-time-lucky row was “Two Years Before The Mast” by Richard Henry Dana. My word, their ship makes my rowboat look like a luxury cruiser. Hard tack and salt beef. Not a moment to themselves. Tyrannical captains. Cheered me up no end.

Cargo Ship Sighting

There are long passages where he’s describing the set of their sails that made little sense to me, but I still loved them. There’s something very poetic about the old-fashioned sailing terminology, like the shipping forecast, that whether you understand it or not makes it lyrical to listen to – all that talk of topsails and fo’c’sles and royals and jibs and whatever.

It was also fascinating to hear his descriptions of the California of around 1830, before the gold rush. There was barely anybody there. Dana was definitely on the money with his top tip that San Francisco would make a superb site for a city. How right he proved to be!

I haven’t had any new comments through at the time of writing, so will respond to those next time around.

I chatted with Dane Golden at Hey! today – I think he does that as a podcast as well as a live show, so hopefully you can track it down.

Also recorded with Vic for our weekly podcast, which should be available for download in the next day or so.

So it has really been rather a chatty day for me. Two whole conversations with humans, plus a few words of consolation to the dead fish, and one tirade at a wave that gave me a badly-timed drenching. I’ve been positively garrulous!

Oh, and I suppose I should say something about rowing too. Lee, my weatherman in Minnesota, had set me a waypoint to try and position me well for upcoming currents. And I’m just about there. Hurrah!

Watermaker – check. Solar panels – check. Batteries – check. All is well on board the good ship Sedna.

Sponsored Miles

Thanks today go to: Walter Sedriks, Patrick Harney, James van Bemmel, Margaret Taylor, Todd Lowe, John Wasko, Jay Cosuico, Gail Brownell, Nick Black, Heit Poppinga, David Church, Doug Grandt, Kimberley Hughes, Mark Reid, Steve Penners, Tumbleweed and Jim Little.

  • Richard in DFW

    Wow Dear Roz, Sounds like you are really moving now… BTW Roz – and Rita, Second thoughts on something I said yesterday… Calling Roz “Sweet” as I did yesterday, has NOTHING to do with her strength and toughness… Real Strength and Toughness, Like Roz’, comes from the ability to be Sweet, Tough, Strong, Vulnerable, and the like, at times in Life, while moving forward throughout no matter what… So Roz IS Truly Strong and Tough – while being Sweet too… Nothing Negative implied by ANY of these terms for her…

  • colifis

    Dane has the podcast on his web page @ I’m wondering why Leo Laporte did not continue his Roz Rows podcasts.

  • Amy Olmstead

    Seems like all is shipshape! Enjoy your day Roz.Keep moving on the positive flow.Much joy for you today. AmyinAustin

  • Patricia Banks

    Hi Roz!! Love your blog. Can you tell me how that fish got into that bucket???

  • Stan

    Sounds like you are getting your “sea legs” (arms) again. Don’t forget that when Dana wrote “Two Years…” there were actually quite a few people living along the Cali coast – just not Western Europeans. I’m watching the series “Saving the Bay (SF Bay)” on PBS – it is quite eye opening – even for a water guy like me.

    Row on.

  • Anonymous

    Tried to kick it.

  • Anonymous

    It must be so nice to make progress. Keep it up!

  • Anonymous

    Have sea legs, will kick it.

  • anon

    Washed in by a wave? A bird thought Roz looked hungry and dropped it in?

  • Richard in DFW

    Actually Anon, I think you are fairly close… Roz mention birds roosting on Sedna… One bird often fishes, then drops fish to their partner back home… They left one for Roz in payment for their home for the night!

  • OutsideJay


    — probably inaccurately attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson

    To laugh often and much;

    To win the respect of intelligent people

    and the affection of children;

    To earn the appreciation of honest critics

    and endure the betrayal of false friends;

    To appreciate beauty,

    to find the best in others;

    To leave the world a bit better,

    whether by a healthy child,

    a garden patch or a redeemed social condition;

    To know even one life has breathed easier

    because you have lived.

    This is to have succeeded.

    Row Roz Row!

  • Richard in DFW

    Not quite sure why I do this – it is the only lingering effect of the long coma I was in, in 2008. I leave written words unfinished, the order twisted, and the like. Interesting – if somewhat worrisome and depressing for someone who used to enjoy writing – and was better at it… Sorry for the incomplete word above corrected here, “…Roz mentioned birds roosting on Sedna…”

  • Rico

    Your shipboard terminology (topsails and fo’c’sles, and jibs, and even all-purpose-buckets) makes me think that you need a “shipboard persona”. Obviously on land you’re Roz or Rosalind, but I think we need to come up with a nautical or pirate-y name for you. Don’t you think? Since you’re now into reading these nautical books? Captain Hook and Captain Blood have already been used in various novels. Captain Jack Sparrow has already been grabbed by your friend Johnny Depp. But I think that the field is wide-open for coming up with your own Captain name, to symbolize your position as “master of your ship”. So, do we want to give this a try? Various possibilities could include Captain Amphitrite, the Greek sea-goddess and wife of Poseidon. Or maybe Captain Ganga, since Ganga is the goddess of the Ganges River, and it’s related to water and the general direction in which you’re headed. Personally, I like something simple and meditative like Captain Calm, for maybe (to borrow from Rudyard Kipling) Captain Courageous. Anyway, I know this is a personal choice and something that only you can decide. But maybe sometime during the journey, some official nom-de-row (or I guess if we want to be purists in French, it would be nom-de-rame) will come to you. What would you like to be called, if you were the heroine of your own nautically-based fiction novel?

    Be well. You’re doing wonderfully.

  • Richard in DFW

    I Like It! I think we go in one of two directions here… Goddess: AMPHITRITE was the goddess queen of the sea, the wife of King Poseidon… Amphitrite Savage – Kind of cool… Or one old way of coming up with a pseudonym – nautical or otherwise – is the name of her first Pet, Followed by the name of the first Street she lived on… I had two “First Pets” Tommy & Fat Cat, and I lived on Turner Lane… So the people getting ready to write my story are thinking about Tommy “Fat Cat” Turner… Hers could be a mix of the first Pet, Street and/or (First, Favorite, Or Last) Ocean she crossed?

  • Anonymous

    Rico (aka TAFKARIA), I get confused with ‘nom-de-plumes’ on the internet … like Kukla, Fran and Ollie you never know which one is actually talking. Especially confusing when Kukla and Ollie start talking to each other. Who is really talking? BTW, why did you create “Rico = TAFKARIA. The artist formerly known as Richard in Austin”? It’s confusing ❦,_Fran_and_Ollie

  • Ted K.

    Rowing and Rodin

    You chisel the seas daily
    With oars in hand
    As a sculptor marshals their tools
    Such primordial passions are sprung
    From a Divine Trinity of
    Eye, hand and self-determination
    Your destinations confidently awaiting your arrival
    By an unknown but clear and curious path
    Revealed to only a trusted few
    The likes of Roz and Rodin

    ~ Ted K ~

  • Beverly Wu

    Hi Roz,

    Been steadily following your inspiring adventures. Thanks for the consistency of your blogging!

    On another note, I erged my first marathon yesterday on the Concept2 indoor rower, because I thought, if Roz can do this every day, maybe so can I (but just once!). Brought the erg outdoors at my university and got a marvelous uni tan/burn after four hours steady. Happily no ocean waves to deal with, for me though!

    The erg marathon gave me a better understanding of things you mention like…sunburn, blisters (although i’ve got a good callous base from crew rowing, it still hurts after a few hours), sore bottoms and seat rash!

    Question: do you do much stretching after each day of rowing? I can imagine how unhappy the body must become after such gruelling days of activity.


  • Tumbleweed Truckers

    If a booby had poopied would they be caught red-breasted?

  • Anonymous

    LOL – Probably “red-faced” would be more like it ;-D

  • Beverly Wu

    I thought I’d try to get in on this limerick game, so here are a few limericks along the lines of your first “reducing girth” limerick from April…also inspired by burning a whole day’s worth of calories in that marathon erg yesterday, which I was pretty happy about =D

    the thing about rowing is that
    if you’ve got e’en a spare bit of fat
    go row a whole ocean
    you’ll find a potion
    for making salt water nonfat

    (hmm, used the same word to rhyme twice in that one)

    the thing about rowing an ocean
    maybe two or three to show devotion
    is that two weeks from your launch
    you’ll be rid of your paunch
    oh the power of backwards motion!

    (yay for travelling backwards!)

    If you’ve got a few pounds to lose
    join up with the rowing crews
    they know how to eat
    and diminish that seat
    and take care of raw blisters that ooze!

    (it’s all true)

  • Richard in DFW

    Goddess Amphitrite married Poseidon for Life
    They ruled The Seas as Husband and Wife
    Then along came Daring Roz
    Challenging them for her caring cause
    Together there was no reason for strife

  • samurai

    Ever seen a fish with wings? They’re quite remarkable. Flying fish is my theory. They’re quite tasty when fresh or good for bait. :-)

  • samurai

    hahaha! You missed it…. :-))

  • samurai

    Hi Roz… just wondering if that cargo ship can actually see you on her radar.
    Thinking of you and your cause out there in the beautiful wide blue yonder. Take care ans stay well….Sam

  • Richard in DFW

    I am guessing, Even if their radar can’t see her – which it probably can, Other signals that she is both transmitting and receiving (GPS Location and the like) are being picked up by any ship within 20 miles or so of her?

  • Sarah W

    good luck Roz! still following your adventures. come visit us when you are back on dry land. xxx

  • JimBellofBelmont

    Looks like you are getting back into the swing (rock, sway, bob, splash etc….) of things… Jim Bell (NSW Australia)

  • Gene Capeder

    Two Years Before the Mast is a great book. American classic that begun a mass migration of folks to the West coast, before the discovery of gold. Additionally, (due to the recorded atrocities) helped institute maritime law along with Jack London’s Sea Wolf. After witnessing a flogging aboard ship, Dana vowed he would help to improve the life of an common seaman. Enjoy your audio book! My thoughts and prayers are with you Roz!

  • Pingback: Day 2: Can a Bird be Caught Redhanded? – Roz Savage, Ocean Rower | MLManley()

  • Kevin

    Where is the Roz tracker?

  • Stpn

    Cpt. Rozswell: Unidentified Floating Object

  • Anonymous

    Rico, I slept on it … unfortunately, these came to mind when I woke — admittedly a bit corny — but maybe you can do something with: Skipper Roz, Courozeous Roz, Matey Lady Rozmyth, Bard Defender Roz (known for her Rhythmic Rowing and Limey Limericks).

    Also, I’d like to expand your idea to include

    Rita: perhaps you could describe this beautiful song by Peter Mayer and the theme of the images for Roz …

  • Rita

    For reasons of safety in the Indian Ocean Roz is not using the tracker. Sorry about that, I know you must miss seeing where she is. But certain inhabitants on this planet should not be allowed to find her.

  • Rico

    Doug, that’s a beautiful song, with spectacular images. I was getting into a wandering mood just by watching the video. Although did you notice how “rural” the images are, as opposed to “urban”, so it’s hitting chords close to my own heart. Thanks for posting it, and thanks to Peter Mayer for the song. I think Roz will enjoy seeing it in a few months.

  • Richard in DFW

    Hey Rita: I guess this touches on something that MAYBE could be settled “automatically”… As new Rozlings join the flock, or school, or whatever we should call it, They may have missed the reason for the “Tracker” being off – which makes perfect sense to me… Roz is dealing with enough, no need to worry about what can be prevented… But, What about setting up an “Automatic” Headline that tops each Blog, “For security reasons Roz’ Publicly Broadcast Tracker has been turned off for the duration of her Indian Ocean leg – Her team knows where she is at all times…” or whatever… Then when new people sign on looking for the Tracker they will understand “Automatically”…

  • Dane Golden

    @3d45754903bebd92b43e6359f9ab2278:disqus I loved your poem. I’m a big fan of Rudyard Kipling’s “If” myself. Also, my interview with Roz is now posted here:

  • David Tangye

    Probably either jumped in while trying to evade a predator, or flew in if it had “wings”.

  • David Tangye

    The cargo ship must be only a few hundred yards off. and as long as Roz has her reflector up, should pick her up in that relatively flat sea from a few miles away.

    Roz: I have never asked, but I do assume that your weather/routing guy helps get you out of shipping lanes as much as possible (as well as heading for good currents). Shipping is notorious for not keeping good watch visually or on radar. Its much better for you to be well out of shipping lanes, especially when you are asleep.

  • David Tangye

    I have seen them fly for 2 or 3 hundred metres at times, although mostly they go far less than that.