Day 17: Thirty Knots and Rising

Riding out a bout of thirty-plus knot winds might sound like a dangerously exciting, adrenaline-packed experience, but take it from me, it’s actually not. Or not on a rowboat, anyway.

I am still convinced that my wind gauge underestimates the wind speed. Today it registered 20 knots, but I reckon it was 30 at least. This gauge is a Silva. Has anybody found a really good handheld gauge that you would recommend?

With these kind of wind and waves running against me, all I can do is stick out the sea anchor and retreat to the Purple Palace and wait for things to improve, while watching my little icon on the GPS go somewhere I don’t want it to go. So I mostly leave the GPS turned off, as there’s nothing to be done about it until the wind shifts and/or subsides, and there’s no point in depressing myself.

Today has been quite pleasantly lazy, which makes a nice change. Somebody once said, “One of life’s great pleasures is to be a little bit ill”, meaning that kind of mild illness when you really have no choice but to lie on the sofa all day. You’re ill enough to justify it, but still well enough to enjoy it. Riding out a storm on the sea anchor is much the same. Guilt-free indolence and a good chance to let my body recover. The main difference is that this particular “sofa” has a nasty habit of lurching around somewhat violently.

It’s also rather inconvenient that the Purple Palace has an outdoor en suite. What a funny life, when the most hazardous part of my day is a trip to the bathroom!

Other Stuff:

Timothy Ray is the name of the young friend I mentioned a couple of days ago, whose unexpected death had affected me so profoundly. Thank you to Jessica Crawford for being thoughtful enough to let me know, and to Phil at Scripps for also getting in touch. Phil, I have given my mother a message to post to Tim’s tribute page. My sympathies to you and Tim’s other friends, who I am sure are many in number. We are lucky to have known him.

Woody the Pirate

Mariya – Woody the Pirate and I did have a good chat about Tim, and I think I might have seen a glint of a tear in his little plastic eye. He’s a good listener, to be sure.

Sponsored Miles:

Tom Cotter – Fresno Solar Tour, John Miller, Doug Grandt, Margo Linden Katz

  • John Kay

    Roz; you’re too close to the surface to get an accurate windspeed reading with anything. The wind buffets from the waves in varying directions and your gauge is far from stable anyway. You would need to be several times the greatest wave height above mean sea level to get a useful reading. (I think it’s 5 times). Your guess is probably accurate! Oh; and do hold on tight in the bathroom – remember what “three points of contact” actually means!

  • Richard in DFW

    Roz, The best hand-held wind indicator I ever used was the “Davis 281 Wind Wizard Simple Wind Speed Indicator”… I found it very accurate up to 60MPH… Not that it matters, But I used to compare it to the Coast Guard Annapolis Readings and it was VERY close… About $50 – Just Google it when you are back on land…

    Good Morning Or Night Dear Roz
    Never Quite Sure Which It Was
    Was It Just Getting Dark
    Or Morning’s First Spark
    This Planet Sets All Of The Laws

  • OutsideJay

    True grit! One day they will make a full featured movie about you… I will bite my nails until then… You have faced dehydration in the past. Now you face over-hydration consequences… with courage I can only imagine. Bravo Roz! … For theatrics, you ought visit the loo in fear of predators… So a knife between the teeth… Just kidding… Row Roz Row!

  • Galen in NH

    Hi Roz,

    Is it possible that part of the reason your wind guage seems low is that, being in a small craft, you are being blown with the wind you are measuring?  If you add your GPS drift data to your meter readings it might be more consistant with what your instinct is telling you.

  • Richard in DFW

     BTW, Not sure how the Davis unit does it, But even held near sails buffeting in the wind, while at sea, stirring things up, It seemed to give very accurate readings compared to those Coast Guard Readings from their station, “At The Surface”… But, The rougher the seas were, the more we had to watch it, the hand held one in the cockpit, for a few minutes keeping track of even a momentary high reading… The highest reading was always the most accurate at sea – compared to the wind speed indicator at the top of the tall mast… So NOT HAVING a tall mast, watch and record it for several minutes when things are rough – and the highest MPH will be the most accurate…

  • Richard in DFW

    There Roz Sits Upon The Thrown
    In The Midst Of The Great Unknown
    One Wave Comes From There
    Then Another From Nowhere
    Her Loo Was Nothing Like Home

  • Richard in DFW

     Bloody Hell, There goes the post-comatose stupid typos again!!!

    There Roz Sits Upon The Throne
    In The Midst Of The Great Unknown
    One Wave Comes From There
    Then Another From Nowhere
    Her Loo Was Nothing Like Home

  • Rico

    I liked John Kay’s comment today about how to get an accurate wind reading.  Of course, now I have this image implanted in my head about Roz using a tethered balloon or kite to hoist the wind gauge 5-times the wave height above the Purple Palace, and trying to get a reading in the middle of a typhoon.  Which, of course, leads me to the obvious conclusion that “Sometimes we are better off NOT knowing certain things.” 

  • Nancy @Familyonbikes

    I couldn’t help laugh about your heading to the toilet dangers… I remember trekking in Nepal in the middle of winter years ago and my nightly trips to the outhouse were treacherous in the snow and ice – had to go out and down a ladder, then up the road, around the corner to the bathroom. I feared that ladder more than anything else we faced!

  • Anonymous

    Poets and non-poets alike are probably perplexed by today’s nexus of wild raging winds, bathroom humor, lurid and languished laying on a lazily lurching sofa (Roz is not your typical “couch potato”) and subliminal thoughts of comfort food, but Richard in (is it Dallas or Ft. Worth? Can you be in two places at once?)’s  persistence presents a challenge … so here goes:

    I know a fair maiden with oars
    Her loo and her indolence soars
    When the winds would whip up
    Roz sprouts beans in a cup
    Treating us friends and strangers onboard

    Row smiling, Roz!

  • Richard in DFW (Unfortunately)

     @UncaDoug:disqus you hit the nail on the head as far as one of the things I dislike most about DFW/TX (Now I am in three places at once). As they say, “Everything is bigger in Texas!” I always finish that sentence, “Especially Talk, Hair and Boobs – in every sense of the word.” One Place – Dallas of Ft Worth – is not Big Enough to hold our immense egos, so we have to have both at a minimum… But TEXAS is the only thing that is really important to us – and if anyone, anywhere disagrees, that TEXAS is the Best Thing God Ever Created, then they are wrong – and should leave if they are here, or be shot elsewhere with our guns that The Constitution says we can carry at all times… Can’t wait to get back to a nice, small, unimportant, New England town as soon as this nonsensical hospital mess is resolved… TEXANS also never pay for their mistakes, Because we never make any… We many not always be right, But we are never wrong – We are just a little less right… I thought I was mistaken ONCE, But I was wrong! Odd place, But very good learning experience – glad I had it before TX ceases to exist in the next 50 years or so… 165 years ago, some say, “We were our own country!” Today we are in the bottom 10 States of all 50 in everything important – Environmental, Educational, Poverty Levels, Medical Services, Social & Legal Services… So, As I said, At this rate, in less than 50 years, Poof!

  • Richard in DFW (Unfortunately)

     @64b3ee3bcb0621898d750013264c4365:disqus At a “Canoeing Survival Camp” I went to in N. Canada the Summer after 7th grade, We referred to the outhouses as the “110″, “220″ and “440″ and we had a song about them… “The 110, 220 & 440, We sure are glad you are there, For without those little buildings, We’d get eaten by a Big Black Bear.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ken-Bloomquist/1500617561 Ken Bloomquist

     Hi Roz, It seems the most popular wind gage in our sailing club is the Speedtech Skymate SM-18. Nice little unit and easy to use.
    On another note Marilyn and I just bought a new fan it came disassembled in five thin plastic bags. We immediately thought of you when we read the warnings on the bags in three different languages to not put it over children’s heads as it may cause suffocation. Wouldn’ it be nice if it had more warnings on how to properly recycle or dispose of the bags? Better yet wouldn’t it be great if the bags weren’t there in the first place? Best of all would be to put the bag over the heads of the idiots who instructed the people to put the bags on in the first place!
    Thanks for makings us be ever more vigilant and do the right thing :-)

  • Pippa

    I’ll never complain about my bathroom again. 

  • Pippa

    ……oops, I just fall off my chair laughing….  

  • Pippa

    I like the one with the typo better! 

  • Pippa

    Well done UncaDoug! 

  • Anonymous

    Thanks, Pippa! I take it you are in Oz. Where abouts? 

  • Anonymous

    Thanks, Pippa! I take it you are in Oz. Where abouts? 

  • Richard in DFW

     Hey Sweet @9ded466cb37f14648c547bf3da0e14bf:disqus , OMG, You are right, The Typographical Double Entendre is kind of funny at that – The post-comatose haze made me miss it…

  • Anonymous

    p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 13.0px ‘Lucida Grande’}
    p.p2 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 13.0px ‘Lucida Grande’; min-height: 16.0px}

    Good point Ken. It’s taken me a while to figure out that businesses *normally* do only what is required by law, ordinance, regulation … what the government tells them they have to do … to do any more costs money or impacts the market robustness, or ability to compete for market share. 

    In just two years working with my town’s Sustainability Committee, my eyes have been opened … 

    The good news is that just a handful of residents can influence that small group on the City Council.

    One person can turn the tide by speaking in favor of a proposed City Ordinance related to building, energy conservation, plastic bags, styrofoam, you name it …

    Like Roz who is turning the tide by uniting us, and we by supporting her … ahhh … inspiration:

    Ocean row’rs must have community

    To protect emotion’s immunity

    To broaden the base 

    All over the place

    Encourages loving conspiracy

    Row with wind beneath your wings, Roz!

  • Mariya Kai

    Roz- I’m glad you’re beginning to confide in Woody.  He is not much for conversation, but he sure is a darn good listener.  He appears to be pretty unbiased, nonjudgmental, and able to give support when need be.  Sending good kine aloha wave & wind vibes so that you may head in the direction so desired.  Much light, love & aloha to you and Woody.  Yarrrrrrrrrrrgh*

  • http://www.facebook.com/jjakait Janice Jakait

    The best handheld you can get for baro and wind is the JDC Geos: http://bit.ly/lATlJ5. It’s really not the cheapest handheld weatherstation, but worth any penny and logs lots of data you can use later. Is swiss made – so what could go wrong :-) If you just need wind data, you might better get an cheaper hand-anemometer that is used by commercial weather obersvers. Also consider a external wind sensor and an internal screen like this one i have in my boat: http://bit.ly/lU3aVD. Install the screen insides so you don’t need to open a hatch. As you also want to see routing data in your cockpit (to what i could read) you can get a fully programmable remote display for your chartplatter: http://www.rowforsilence.com/upload/is20.jpg – it will not just show your route, track and waypoints – it also will show wind data on the outside too. There are devices with a solar powered, cablefree display just for wind and log. You can mount it flexible insides or outsides where ever you need it this minute. The advantage of a windsystem: You get more as just windpeed. You get easily a direction (true and appearing) and can use this data in your internal network for plotter (will also show the data!) and route planing. Even an auto helm could use this data – technically. It’s great to check wind before going out. See my mount here: http://www.rowforsilence.com/upload/wind.jpg (right besides the switches) No way to get easier and precise informations about wind.

  • Pingback: Day 17: Thirty Knots and Rising – Roz Savage, Ocean Rower | MLManley

  • Pingback: Day 17: Thirty Knots and Rising – Roz Savage, Ocean Rower | MLManley