Day 32: Fantasy Day Off

Today I entertained myself with thoughts of what I would do if I could take a day off and teleport myself to anywhere on the planet for 24 hours.

As it’s June, and my favourite time of year in England, I think I would head back to Blighty to enjoy the blossoms and fresh foliage on the trees and long hours of daylight.

I’d love to go for a good long walk, as I find walking very therapeutic and the two steps to my rowing seat and back just aren’t doing it for me. Maybe I’d do part of the coastal walk in Devon, or more likely head to the Lake District and go for a long yomp with my sister. We’d have a hearty English breakfast to fuel us up, and then head out for a good fifteen-miler or so, enough to work it all off again.

We’d enjoy a picnic lunch at the top of a mountain, enjoying views of the cloud-dappled countryside below us – lakes, villages, farms, and fields full of sheep and newborn lambs. We’d natter on about this and that as we walked. The nice thing about spending time with my sister is that we don’t have to work too hard at conversation. We can talk, or not talk, and it’s all okay.

In the evening we’d meet up with a few others and have dinner in a country pub, with real English beer enjoyed in front of a cozy fire. Oooh, that beer would go down well after a long day’s walking. And maybe game pie with veggies. Followed by sticky toffee pudding. (This is a fantasy day, remember, so I don’t need to worry that all that rich food would keep me awake.)

And then, just to round it all off, a massage. Ah, what wouldn’t I give for a massage right now! Followed by a night of the deep and dreamless.

But then it would be such a rude shock to find myself back on board my boat. That would be the trouble with a fantasy – the bump back to reality.

So maybe I’d best just get on with this, and save up my fantasies for fulfillment once it’s all over.

Other Stuff:

The weather has been turned back on. Thanks to whoever it was who paid the bill and got it reconnected. Not sure if you went to the right supplier, though – this isn’t the kind of weather service I was used to. It used to be mostly sunny, but today was overcast and grey. As I am typing this, rain is drumming on the roof of my cabin, and I am glad to be inside. Can you take a look in the Yellow Pages and see if you can find a sunshine supplier? And see when they might be able to schedule the connection?

Thanks for the feedback on my blogging foray into matters spiritual. I feel encouraged, and will occasionally season my ocean blogs with a smattering of spiritual-ish type musings.

Thanks especially to Rico for his thoughts on religion (blog for Day 28). I acknowledge your point about the benefits of sticking to one religion, while still being well-informed about others. I’m probably not the best person to respond to that comment, having an aversion to organized religion – or, in fact, having an aversion to authority figures, particularly male ones, which most religious leaders seem to be. I make an exception here for the Dalai Lama, of whom I am a fan. Having been very obedient and unquestioning in my early life, I now seem to be making up for lost time, and react poorly to instruction. Maybe in time I will find a balance between the two extremes.

Cornelia – interested to hear you are reading “Conversations With God”. I read it in 2004, and it was VERY formative for me. Especially powerful was the concept that everything you think, say and do says something to the world about who you are. Wow. Powerful stuff!

Karen S – a 24-foot sailboat? That is TINY! Only one foot longer than my boat! Where are you planning to sail to? All sounds very exciting. Good luck with final preps, and bon voyage!

Karen – congrats on (mostly) giving up use of your car. And living in Western Canada, I am sure that you have some absolutely awesome places to vacation without ever needing to get on a plane. Lucky you! An idea for further ensuring a healthy future for Mother Earth – when/if I have more geographical stability (aka a home) I intend to look at ways to become more self-sufficient food-wise. Even on a small scale, it would help to reduce food miles, food packaging, and would also be a great way to ensure that my food is truly organic. Just a thought….

Hi to Penny, one of my old OULRC crewmates. Thanks for the message, and congrats on the Jura Fell Race. Sounds gruelling. I am VERY impressed! We’re not doing badly for old women, are we?! I wonder if you’ll run into my cousin at one of these races. She is a fell runner too, based in Yorkshire. Diane Haggar (nee Savage) is her name. I’ll introduce you two when I’m back on dry land.

And finally, a thought-provoking quote to leave you with:

The man who sticks to his plan will become what he used to want to be. (James Richardson)

Photo: my solar panels had woefully little to work with today

Sorry to hear about Keith Whelan‘s misfortunes, but am glad to hear he is safe on North Island. I expect he is staying with Mike and Cath Davidson, who also kindly took me in. At this rate they will have to start charging B&B rates for ocean rowers! The Indian Ocean is proving challenging for rowers this year.

Sponsored Miles: Tim Williams – more than one mile sponsored.

  • http://twitter.com/PerkQuotes Steve Teffenhardt

    Hey all you Rozlings at https://twitter.com/#!/rozsavage/followers there are 8,600+ followers on http://Twitter.com/rozsavage One of the easiest ways to help spread Roz’s message is to just retweet (RT) her tweets on your twitter account once in a while.  If we all have on average 100 followers on twitter, we could help her spread the word to over 860,000 on just the first round. Many of us have much more than that, so the numbers are really up there on reach to others.
    Thanks, Steve
    If you haven’t followed Roz yet on your twitter, just goto http://twitter.com/rozsavage
    PS GO ROZ GO!

  • Outsidejay

    Today, last year, Roz arrived in Madang Papa New Guinnea. She became the first woman to Row across the Pacific Ocean.

    Row Roz Row!

  • Rita

    Thanks Steve! 

  • OutsideJay

    Go visit Hawaii!

                ***
    If you are from California or the mainland, watch the sunrise on the summit of the volcanoes on day one of your visit. The locals have to get up at four in the morning to drive up to the top to see the sunrise. Since you are on CA time, then it’s like waking up at seven for you! Watch the sunrise then take a nap on the beach and wake up on Hawaii timeJ
              ****

    The wet season is from November thru March. (more waterfalls)
     
    The Hurricane season is from
    June thru November (cheaper fares and larger discounts)
     
    The whale migration season is from December to April.
     
    The “tourist season” is from December thru March. Prices increase during this “peak season” for tourists.
     
    Best times to go based on weather alone is September and October, April and May.
    (but less waterfalls on the road to Hana)
     
    Tourists from Japan usually visit Hawaii the last week of April and the first week in May.
    (A cultural holiday for them…kinda like our summer break from school, called “Golden Week”)
     
    Waves are bigger November thru March and smaller June thru September. So it depends on how good of a surfer you are or if you are trying to learn.
                ***
    If you are from California or the mainland, watch the sunrise on the summit of the volcanoes on day one of your visit. The locals have to get up at four in the morning to drive up to the top to see the sunrise. Since you are on CA time, then it’s like waking up at seven for you! Watch the sunrise then take a nap on the beach and wake up on Hawaii timeJ
              ****
    Watching the sunset from the mountain top is very sketchy as the sun warms the humidity and often forms a cloud layer to obstruct your view. But sunsets from the beach are absolutely perfect! Google the “Green Flash” phenomenon.
     
    It’s pretty dang cold up at the summit at sunrise so go to a thrift store here on the mainland, buy a cheap winter parka, watch the sunrise in Hawaii , then donate your cheap parka to a thrift store in Hawaii . Another tourist will buy it from thereJ.
     
    Plankton follow the light (of the moon at night). On a no moon night, they head towards the lavish hotels we have built close to shore. The hotels have many lights pointed directly into the ocean. The Kona Surf Hotel is the one I like in particular.
    Giant Manta Rays feed off plankton. On a no moon night, they migrate towards the hotels too (so they can scoop up food more easily). Go to Jack’s Diving Locker and dive shop and shell out a whopping $145 to go to a “beach” fifty five feet under water under the silhouette of the Kona Surf Hotel. Turn on the massive flashlight that they provide for you and you will have the GREATEST underwater aerial show imaginable!!! Giant Manta Rays have wingspans between 12 and 15 feet long!
     

    This information can all be googled!

    http://www.outside-365.blogspot.com

    a blog to share in exchange for supporting Roz!

    Row Roz Row!

  • Rico

    I realized the other day … right after posting that short piece on spirituality … that I probably should have used the word “path” instead of “religion”, because, like you, I’ve been conflicted over organized religion at various times in my life.  I am reminded of the story of Mohandas Gandhi, who, when he was trying to pick a religion for himself as a young man, briefly flirted with Christianity.  And he finally concluded that while he sympathized greatly with “the message of Christianity and the words of Jesus”, he was much less enamored of the corporate entity of the Church, and all of the things it had done along the road of corporate aggrandizement.  And I think that one of the challenges of our being on any religious path, is staying true to the underlying purpose and message, while not being distracted by the more secular and often annoying trappings (membership drives, fund-raising, endless proselytizing, etc.).  All religions have some great truths as their underpinnings.  And ironically, most of a religion’s great truths can be written on one side of a sheet of paper:  love God, love yourself, love the people around you, treat others as you would be treated, be tolerant, take care of the people around you, take care of the world around you.  It’s all pretty simple when you come right down to it, in terms of the “foundation” of all religions and spiritual paths.  But then humans get involved, and as always need to over-complicate everything, and we end up with libraries full of books purporting to “clarify” while actually “obfuscating” the messages in order to delineate the so-called differences between “our religion” and “all those other religions”.  But then, there is another dimension, and that is the world of the mystic.  The man or woman who leaves all of this endless chatter behind, and walks (rows?) away from it all to actually have a connection with God.  Not just to read about God, or talk about God, but actually to connect with God.  And you Roz, are presently out in a place where such a thing could happen.  All religions and spiritual paths have their people (the mystics, Sufis, shamans, etc) who have heard a calling to go away into the “wilderness”, and often they haven’t understood why they were being called, nor by whom they were being called.  All they knew is that they heard a calling to solitude, and ended up in a place where they thought they were alone, and that there is where they met their God.  I know that your immediate answer would be “That is NOT the kind of call I’m hearing.”  “I’m not out here because God is calling me, I’m out here for other reasons (the environment, etc.)”.  But is that really true? Are you sure that you’re not out there in the middle of the Indian Ocean because you’ve heard a calling, because God wanted to spend a little time alone with you?

    That’s it.  That’s all I’m planning to say on this topic.  Let’s see what happens over the next few months.  I’ll be interested in if, and how, your feelings evolve over time.  Especially about your months out there in the “wilderness”.

    Happy rowing!
    Rico

  • Michael

    Why bother with Hawaii when you can have Yorkshire in the rain?

    Even better than the Lakes (which are after all on the wrong side of the pennines) ;)

    That said, when you get round to having that fantasy pub meal try the Fountain Head in Branscombe (since you were on about Devon), I have a week of being forced (completely against my will you will understand) to live just down the road from it this summer.

    Sunshine is on back order but will be delivered as soon as; maybe even before you make landfall.

  • Julianhapel

    ‘Simple’? Solitude’? Wilderness’? …Nah.

  • Pingback: Day 32: Fantasy Day Off – Roz Savage, Ocean Rower | MLManley()

  • Bruce

    I emphatically identify with male authority figure discomfort (unless the authority figure is genuinely benign and philanthropic). I see our patriarchical society and the predominance of male authority figures as one and the same. Patriarchy is a relatively new invention, showing up with the agricultural revolution about 10,000 years ago. Before that most societies were matriarchies. (good read: Beyond Power by Marilyn French.) At that time increased populations made possible by increased calorie-per-acre yields resulted in stratified societies, basically a few “haves” and many “have-nots.”  The agrarian groups basically swallowed non-agrarian groups whenever they came into contact, a trend that continued up to the middle 19th century in North America. The switch to agriculture from nomadicism brought lots of headaches for humanity, including environmental problems, crowd diseases and class elitism. Prior to 10,000 years ago human societies were without individual property, almost entirely egalitarian, longer-lived, better fed, healthier and had much more leisure time. The switch to farming ultimately brought us all the things we love: books, space shuttles, gummy bears, Labrador retrievers, purple rowboats, I-Phones.. It also brought us our problems: overpopulation and overconsumption which together are resulting in a very serious biological extinction event and cascading interconnected environmental problems. The question is, Can we have our cake and eat it too? I believe the Earth can support our folly if we get our act together–stabilize population growth (that’s coming in the next few decades), and consume more efficiently and a whole lot less (this one just doesn’t fly well with most people.) 

    How did I get that out of a discussion on religion? Not sure! 

    -Bruce 

  • JohnH

    Roz,
    Your upbringing was like mine, 16 hours a week in church and endless hours of Bible study at home as I was actually preparing for the ministry. We were not allowed to have music, play cards or board games (considered gambling), dance, or do anything other kids did. When I left home I found that my dad’s belief that only the most devout Baptist was going to Heaven (and the rest of the world was going to Hell to be tortured for eternity) was abhorrent to me. How could a good God torture 99.99999% of the creatures He made. This did not make sense.
    I realize that I am eventually going to die, as many of my friends already have, and I am in favor of a life after this one. That does not mean that I believe that there is an afterlife, I just do not believe the men who wrote the Bible had any clue any more than I do about that eventuality, especially in that each had a different formula for getting there (believe; believe and be baptized; believe and do good works; good works won’t get you there; tithe, don’t tithe, give everything; don’t wash your hands, do good, etc.–were these disciples all listening to the same guy?). So, we are left with the certainty that we do have a life, and that we should live it to our best ability, the future will take care of itself.
    So, for now you are doing great feats and including broadcasting a good message that we need to take care of this planet. You, more than most, have a close affinity to this planet, you can see how large it is firsthand. You can see how wind, waves, rain and heat affect you. When you complete the Indian Ocean and tackle the Atlantic back to England, you then will still have half of your life still to go! What to do then is a great question. How does one “keep the candle burning bright”? Only you can answer that question, but there are numerous possibilities. Marry a very rich man would help, but I doubt that that is on your mind. Go to work for the Peace Corps or other large organization is probably out too.
    I am retired and am in somewhat the same position, how can I contribute to the best of my abilities? I am volunteering in many venues, but my calling Bingo for the Senior Center and shuffling papers for Habitat for Humanity do not really contribute very much. I know, maybe you could provide a service as a clearing house matching up those who want to contribute with those who need help. Give it a catchy name and build a website where everyone could go and find something worthwhile to do!
    I am sure that you will figure it out, and do something outstanding! Best of wishes on the remainder of your crossing.
    Your friend, John H.
    PS, I still have the paddle from Hawaii and a set of your gloves if you need them for your paddle back to England!  :)

  • Susie Slanina

    I’m so glad to know this. I post a line from her blog on my facebook profile everyday. 

  • Anonymous

    JohnH, thank you for your comment. I agree entirely! When I read “I am retired and am in somewhat the same position” you REALLY grabbed my attention.

    We are sort-of in the same boat (no pun intended), although I am looking forward to ceasing “going to the office” real soon. How to effectively occupy my time has been on my mine for a while, and last week, I think I have found a big piece of that puzzle.

    While visiting Vermont for the SlowLivingSummit.org I met a woman who is a local trainer for TransitionUS.org in New England … After chatting with her, I believe working with http://www.transitionnetwork.org/ in my local town, county and region may be a good use of my time.

    Roz tweeted http://bit.ly/RozTwit7Jan10 which stated:

    http://bit.ly/874uei “we used huge amounts of creativity, ingenuity & adaptability on energy upslope; we can do the same on downslope”

    That URL link no longer exists, but I believe this is a similar page http://www.transitionoxford.org.uk/node/20

    Check out http://www.transitionnetwork.org/ and the US page http://www.transitionus.org/ 

    Just something to consider if you want to join a powerful movement that is spreading and seems to be very effective on a local level.  I have already begun to move in this direction, and may well dedicate my retirement to this Transition.

  • http://www.stillthinking.org Michael O’Hara

    Hi Roz,
     
    Stumbled on your blog when i clicked on a tiny icon perched upon a big blue nothing in the Indian Ocean. What a surprise to find not only a great, big adventure but also an interesting discussion thread. Well done for keeping that up while you are dipping those oars so incessantly into the deceptively malleable water.
     
    Maybe the rock-star celebrity pathway is still an option but regardless, what you are doing is a valuable method for spreading your word – and testing your own willingness to find sufficient value in it to keep those oars moving. i am deep into the mid-section of a doorstop book “The Shield of Achilles” by Philip Bobbitt. In amongst some fairly heavy reading on international strategy and constitutional conflict is a suggestion that the global political process of the last 500 years has moved from state-nations to nation-states, and we are currently entering the market-state driven world. Not a very good distillation of a 900 page book but the point the author drives at is that the system that delivers the greatest choices to its constituents will triumph. Or something like that. After reading what i just wrote, my point seems a bit tenuous… but the idea is that in a market driven world celebrity points count, and by the choice of rowing, your efforts will most likely reach a rather different group than those attracted to the rock star or the super-model. So you are actually doing more, in a sense, through your efforts on a small boat than you would achieve by adding 1 to the current number of rock stars and supermodels. I say that even though my male inclinations are to encourage more to strive for supermodel status. Nothing like being a slave to your gender.
     
    Was very interested to read your pondering the Big Questions, and tentatively tip-toeing across the religion/spirituality pathway. Politics and religion are twin dangers, so i’ll simply include a link to my own thoughts.
    http://www.stillthinking.org/phiddling-with-filosophy/how-do-i-find-god/
    No problems if you never get around to looking at it – the post is just my own attempt to come to grips with some of the basics surrounding the first step in “finding God” (don’t worry, i didn’t find anything). 
     
    It is hard to imagine just what multiple days in a small boat would be like – especially a row boat. My own paddling has been limited to a wave-ski off the coast of Perth. Mind you, i can always see the land on the horizon, and know that there’s a warm shower and a comfy bed a few hours away, so it doesn’t even allow me a brief glimpse into what you are doing.. but it does poke a bit of admiration into my thinking of your efforts to promote your cause.
     
    As for a fantasy day off – i love the idea of your day off including a 15 mile hike!

  • Tim Scarrott

    Hi Roz- I am working offshore Nigeria at present- following your tale with wonder – return to Perth, WA on Friday and will be thinking of you, 35000ft below the Emirates flight between Dubai and Aus Coast (Friday pm) – hope the crew will give you mention and send some good vibes down ! — can you give rough long/lat to make it more real for us spoilt buggars ! ? All the very best -fine effort and keep at it- Tim Scarrott.

  • Tanya Savage2

    Hi Roz
    Your fantasy day sounds great to me! We’ll book a day like that for when you’re back this way (minus the lambs, they’ll be dull old sheep by then), I’ll order up some autumnal sunshine too.
    Tanya