Stop Drifting, Start Rowing: One Woman’s Search for Happiness and Meaning Alone on the PacificStop Drifting US cover

 

“Heroic, epic, inspiring, historic.”  

(Sir Richard Branson)

 

In 2007, Roz Savage set out to row 8,000 miles across the Pacific Ocean—alone. Despite having successfully rowed across the Atlantic the previous year, the Pacific presented the former office worker with unprecedented challenges and overpowering currents—both in the ocean water and within herself. Crossing Earth’s largest ocean alone might seem a long way removed from everyday life, yet the lessons Roz learned about the inner journey, the ocean, and the world are relevant to all of us. She shares tales of the ups and downs of her voyage across the waves, while offering insights on how to find happiness through a meaningful and rewarding life.

“So far from the nearest light pollution, the stars sparkled across the night sky like a jewel-encrusted cape. The Milky Way swooped diagonally across the heavens, reminding me of my utter insignificance, and at the same time my complete interconnection with everything. I was just a tiny speck of consciousness, and yet I was consciousness itself, omnipresent and omnipotent.”

 

Rowing the Atlantic: Lessons Learned on the Open Oceanrowing the atlantic

Roz’s inspirational book about her solo Atlantic row, entitled Rowing The Atlantic – Lessons Learned on the Open Ocean, is published in the US by Simon & Schuster. It tells the story of a thirty-something’s journey from an ordinary career woman to an adventurer facing the most intimidating challenge of her life. We hear about her struggles, her shortcomings and fears – and how she discovered that she had it within her to rise to this seemingly impossible task.

“In case you have formed the impression that I am some kind of athlete, adventurer, or adrenaline junkie, I should make clear at the outset my near total lack of qualifications for this undertaking.”

Stuck in a corporate job rut and an unraveling marriage, at the age of thirty-six Roz Savage sat down one night and wrote two versions of her own obituary – the one that she wanted and the one she was heading for. They were very different. She realized that if she carried on as she was, she wasn’t going to end up with the life she wanted. So she turned her back on an eleven-year career as a management consultant to reinvent herself as a woman of adventure. She invested her life’s savings in an ocean rowboat and became the first solo woman ever to enter the Atlantic Rowing Race.

Her 3,000-mile trial by sea became the challenge of a lifetime. Of the twenty-six crews that set out from La Gomera, six capsized or sank and didn’t make it to the finish line in Antigua. There were times when she thought she had hit her absolute limit, but alone in the middle of the ocean had no choice but to find the strength to carry on.

In Rowing the Atlantic we are brought on board when Savage’s dreams of feasts are nourished by yet another freeze-dried meal. When her gloves wear through to her blistered hands. When her headlamp is the only light on a pitch black night ocean that extends indefinitely in all directions. When, one by one, all four of her oars break. When her satellite communication fails.

Stroke by stroke, Savage discovers there is so much more to life than a fancy sports car and a power-suit job. Flashing back to key moments from her life before rowing, she describes the bolt from the blue that first inspired her to row across oceans, and how this crazy idea evolved from a dream into a tendonitis-inducing reality. And finally, Savage discovers in the rough waters of the Atlantic the kind of happiness we all hope to find.

Here is what readers on Goodreads said:

Funny, honest, heartfelt, inspiring – a fantastic read. Highly recommend!

I am inspired by Roz’s courage and perseverance. A tale well told–interesting and exciting. She’s an inspiration to me as she gets what life’s about; the days are long, life is short!

Spellbinding account of her reasons, thought processes, fears, hopes, obstacles, triumphs.

I read this in one sitting. I couldn’t put it down…. her story is an inspiration to all of us who want to get free of our inner critical voices.

Excellent + interesting journey – proof that the only thing stopping someone from achieving lofty goals is themselves. You can do anything if you put your mind to it – cliche but true. This is a woman who has done just that.

Amazing, thrilling, inspiring.

 

More Reviews

“Bold and invigorating”
Kirkus Reviews

“A great armchair adventure.”
Publishers’ Weekly Online Review