Seen from above.
It is the small hours of the night, and I am lying awake berating myself for not having made a better job of handling the media yesterday. I had enough warning that something was afoot, as the helicopter circled overhead as I was being towed in. So instead of expending my energy glaring viciously at the gas-guzzling helo, as if to shoot it down out of the sky with my eyes, I should have realized it was just the harbinger of a quite unwarranted press turnout. I could more usefully have spent that time preparing my lines.
The Crowd Awaiting

In my defence, I suppose I was tired. But on the other hand, the media, and in fact life in general, rarely waits until you are feeling at your sharp-witted best before chucking an unexpected challenge at you. “Success is what happens when opportunity meets preparation.” I had the opportunity, but I wasn’t prepared for it. Or, more accurately, I did prepare my lines, but when the time came I didn’t use them.

In my head, I knew exactly what I wanted to say. My thoughts during that two-hour tow were along the lines of what I posted in my blog last night. What on earth are the media doing here? Don’t they have anything better to do? Why are they burning all that fossil fuel for such a complete non-story?

As I sat in my boat, soaking and cold as water from the crayfish boat’s wake sprayed all around me, I was furious at the intrusion, and even more furious about the general triviality of most media (with notable exceptions). Why do they focus on the “human interest” stories when the really big news is, I suppose, the ultimate “human interest” story – what should we be doing in the best interests of the entire human race?

And yet as soon as I stepped onto the jetty at Leeman and had microphones thrust in my face, I fell back into that annoying good-little-girl mode. Be nice, be polite, answer the questions. Useless. I should be media-savvy enough by now to exert a bit more control over the situation, to use every opportunity to talk about my eco messages, not to drivel on about watermakers and leaky hatches.

Still, hindsight is a wonderful thing. I’m sure I’ll get the hang of this publicity thing eventually, but if anybody knows an expert who coaches people in how to handle the media, do let me know!

Other Stuff:

On a technical point, some people have suggested I should replace the entire watermaker. This will not be necessary – even if I had enough time and enough money to get an entire new unit shipped over from the US. It is only the electrical feed pump that needs replacing, and I have a spare one of those with me. The idea is to relocate the feed pump to a new location under the sleeping cabin, with watertight seals around any wires and pipes that enter or exit the compartment, so that it will be better protected.

We still need to figure out the details of how this can be done, and find someone to do the work in Geraldton. We are in a race against time. The weather is good for a departure any day between tomorrow and Thursday of the following week. After that, not so sure. So we are under pressure.

I haven’t yet found a rectangular hatch cover that doesn’t leak. These ones are brand new, but leak as badly as the old ones. No time to replace them all this year, but if anybody has any tried-and-tested recommendations for a truly watertight hatch cover, around 2 feet by 1, do let me know.

Sigh. Much to do today. First thing this morning we’ll be driving Sedna up to Geraldton on a flatbed truck (many thanks to Don Ferguson) and trying to find someone who is a) capable, b) willing, and c) available to do the work for a reasonable price. Not much to ask at 5 minutes’ notice, surely….!

Ready to go.

Thanks to all my online heroes. I am relieved that there has not been more negative comment in the press, and am very grateful to my supporters for setting the record straight where ill-informed comments have been posted. I really appreciate your love and support right now.

Photos of yesterday, courtesy of Jane Del-Bianco.



  • Don’t berate yourself, Roz. This event is just a drop in the bucket. There’s absolutely no harm done with this. You’ve been through MUCH more than this. It seems each ocean teaches a new lesson. Stay focused, stay positive. You still have a lot of work ahead of you.

  • Roz, You MUST stop berating yourself for not handling The Press better!!! “Don’t they have anything better to do? Why are they burning all that fossil fuel for such a complete non-story?” There is only so much news in a given day, and now hundreds of networks around the world that must fill 30 Minutes to 24 hours a day with this limited supply of news… SO, They MUST make a story out of “such a complete non-story”… If they don’t, In this day and age of ultra-competitive communications, their days are number – as Reporter/Journalists AND Networks… So see your “non-story” as the only thing that is keeping them employed and putting food on their tables – so it was a very good non-story!!!

    • A P.S. Chuckle – I hope!!! This need for The Press to fill countless hours with non-stories is why I always respond to statements such as the following – “I have to go to the bathroom!”, “I’ll take out the trash!”, “My head hurts!”, “I’m Hungry”, “I’m Tired!”, “I’m going to bed!” and the like – the same way… “I’ll alert The Media!” So now I have a new one for you – You said, “I have to make water!”, and they responded, “We’ll alert the media!” – and they did…

  • Dear Chief Rozling, I suppose it’s in the nature of reporters to look for stories encapsulated in just a moment of time. Much easier to write in sensational prose. So, they rush to the edge to witness events.
    Remember that for every Rozling submitting their message of support, there are thousands holding you in their hearts. Our support is unwavering, and the real message will get out. The course remains steady!

  • Hi Roz.

    I had similar hatch leaking problems: even one small drip per minute adds up to a total soakout after 3 lumpy days. Totally dry boats downstairs are awesome. Inspect the apertures very closely, and cut something like fridge seal material to suit exactly to the mm, and epoxy it in. Any soft plastic should bond at the glue surface and compress where needed. Take some spare to fine-tune or replace it en route if needed.

    ps: Belated many thanks for the book. Sorry for such a long absence in reply – I was away from cyberspace until recently.

    • Hey DT, I was just going to make the same suggestion from my ocean sailing days… Yours will help a lot… BUT, Boats leak – always have, always will, and holes through their hulls, even perfectly sealed hatches will leak more than a solid hull… So proper storage of sensitive things is a must…

      Funny but true story… A friend could hear water sloshing between the outer hull and the cockpit walls of his boat… The sound bothered him, So, he wanted to get the water out… Without thinking he drilled a hole in the cockpit wall… The water that was coming through a tiny crack in the hull, that WAS stopping at the cockpit wall until he drilled the hole, flooded the cockpit and the boat sank to the bottom almost instantly – while still at the dock… So nothing was hurt beyond his pride…

  • You’re only human, Roz… go easy on yourself. Ask someone there for a hug. You deserve it for handling this all with dignity. People like drama in their news anyway, so when you head back out, you’ll have that much more attention. Let’s figure out how to turn this negative into a positive!!!

  • Roz! You did just fine, the packaging, “pun intended”, is very important, when it comes to delivering a message like yours. You are the complete package and your message is spanning the globe…Wishing you a quick turn around….

  • Sorry for all the babble folks… Lots of surgery dark and early tomorrow morning – and I guess I am a bit nervous… So, and I know this is selfish of me, Roz, I am just as happy to have you on terra firma as they will be working on me tomorrow – one less worry…

    Off to bed, More babble soon, I hope…

    • We’ll be thinking of you tomorrow, Richard. We’ll be looking for your next post here to know you’re recovering. 🙂 Hope things are quiet for you tonight – my nephew in LA said there were tornado-generating storms heading down I-20. Hugs and prayers!

  • Roz, my 2 by 1 feet hatch is leaking as well so i was looking for alternatives a few days ago. It’s the hatch for the desalinator too, so i consider you have the same?

    First thing: I think you speak about the outer measurements, not about the size of the hole that was cut, right? You need this measurement too, but it should be somewhat 25cm of 53cm then. (mine is actually a bit shorter)

    If so … questions is if you can afford a few more inches to the short side? I can’t find a picture of your boat showing that hatch. Almost all of the white Luran hatches are not seal. You should go for a Lewmar or Gebo Hatch or need to find a modification. There is a new revision of the old hatches that claim to be waterproof

    It’s 60 by 35 … but no profen solution


  • Roz dear, you are your own woman and much of your charm lies in the fact that you never try to act as anything other than what you are. You respond as Roz Savage, never as as what you think others might expect. Don’t change!

  • When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
    When the ocean you’re rowing seems all uphill,
    When the funds are low and the debts are high,
    And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
    When care is pressing you down a bit-
    Rest if you must, but don’t you quit.

    Life is queer with its twists and turns,
    As every one of us sometimes learns,
    And many a woman turns about
    When she might have won had she stuck it out.
    Don’t give up though the pace seems slow –
    You may succeed with another juggernaut blow.

    Often the goal is nearer than
    It seems to a faint and faltering wo-man;
    Often the struggler has given up
    Whe she might have captured the victor’s cup;
    And she learned too late when the night came down,
    How close she was to the golden crown.

    Success is failure turned inside out –
    The silver tint in the clouds of doubt,
    And you never can tell how close you are,
    It might be near when it seems afar;
    So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit –
    It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit.

    Three Cheers for Roz!!!

  • Been away from the blog for a while and missed your takeoff the first time. … lots of luck for round 2 … better put some tape over Woody’s mouth so he can’t call his mates. 😉 Jim Bell (NSW Australia)

  • It’s never a good idea to be hostile or belligerent or accusatory towards the press. The best idea in press relations, as in most other things in life, is to demonstrate decorum and respect for the job that other people have to do. At the end of the day, sincerity, kindness, and poise, will win out over most other behaviors. Although, having said that, remember also that they are in the “entertainment industry”. So feeding them little tidbits about how life-threatening it is to be without a watermaker on the high seas, or how coastal rocks could smash Sedna to bits, will give them the kind of human interest drama that they are looking for. And … as with cats and dogs and other animals … once you have “fed” them, they will like you.

  • ‎”Nothing in life is so exhilarating as to be shot at without result.” ~Winston Churchill~

    good show!

    • As Churchill also said about the Americans – “America Always Gets It Right, No Matter How Many Attempts It Takes Her”… Roz is the same way! (Thanks Oj for the memory of a Pre-op Chuckle.)

  • Actually, what you need is the same kind of seal as on my Casio watch. I’ve not had so much as a drop of water out of it since it was new.

    Once it’s in, it stays there.

  • While most people above are offering goodwill, I am not. I get really sick and tired of self-indulgent people ‘following their deluded dreams and world saving missions’… Fine if you take responsibility and not requiring support from others outside your ‘team’. When will our Government make it illegal to undertake these pointless missions unless you can show a fully funded, fully insured disaster plan. I recall Tony Bullimore, we spent tens of thousands on him, not insured and then he writes a book and banks the dough! As for your critism of the media and their fossill fuel guzzling choppers etc, are you joking, what about the carbon footprint you leave building the canoe, transporting the water purifier, hmmm glass houses!

    • Steady, Bruce: What makes you so sure that Roz doesn’t have insurance? Also, she is one of the least self-indulgent people I have met.

      Roz has supporters in many countries and many of us are keen to help her whether or not we are part of her actual team.

      If you don’t care about what she’s doing, then go and watch someone else.

    • Bruce, You Goof!!!

      First, My father was one of the top Maritime Lawyers in the world, so I know the basics… INTERNATIONAL Maritime Law REQUIRES all countries with ships at sea – Military and otherwise – to come to anyone in distress at sea, and to absorb that cost themselves, IN EXCHANGE FOR THE OTHER COUNTRIES AT SEA DOING THE SAME FOR THEIR CITIZENS IN DISTRESS AT SEA… So, PLEASE study before ever posting any nonsense about anything ever again…

      Second, I was in the insurance biz for many years… Always a slimy business, became unbearably shady with the repeal of Glass Steagall here in the U.S. – and I got out then… I am also an ocean sailor… And I am in the midst of dealing with nonsensical insurers and insureds – buoyed by Tort Limits to do nothing until the last minute, as we speak, on another matter .

      Last, Getting back to Maritime Law above, Therefore, Other than Life Insurance TO SUPPORT loved-ones IF NEEDED, and a bit of inexpensive liability insurance, no one in Roz’ situation needs ANY insurance to speak of for such a voyage… Trust me – having been both in Insurance Sales and having sailed the seas, I know… If you were trying to sell her some, “Next!!!”

      Off to surgery!

  • I’m relieved this happend now while you were still close to a port, rather than when your half way to India… You’ll be back and rowing in no time..

  • Knowing nothing about boat hatches, but having had sunshine roofs cut in cars that didn’t leak and having a husband who grew up on a farm and therefore manages to fix things in amazing ways I’m going to give it a shot. Hardware stores sell weather stripping to go round doors to seal them – we have various kinds (husband bought every kind in an attempt to seal a door to save energy) – some are like rubber gaskets that squish when the door is shut and some are more spongy. Possibly the rubber kind glued down hard with epoxy (so the glue doesn’t come unstuck when wet) might just work. I have no idea what your repair kit contains, but maybe carrying a tube of goo that seals round the bath, or running shoe cement, chewing gum or some epoxy tubes (the kind that sets under water for leaking swimming pools) might come in useful.

    PS I gave myself an Easter Monday treat – biked up Mt Diablo one pedal stroke at a time – 3849ft – great weather – cloud plus sun and 47 F at the top – 40 mile ride in all – 4 Golden Eagles came out to see me – thanks for the inspiration.

  • It sounds to me as if you were being true to you in the interview. I can’t see anything wrong with that.

    Let’s hope the next departure goes like clockwork. xxx

  • Rock steady, rock steady Roz. You can second guess yourself all you want, but you wouldn’t have gotten this far if you didn’t have the right stuff. You handle the media just fine. You are answering the greatest question of all time through your actions, “To be or not to be.”

  • Oh Roz – you sound so much like me! I can ride my bike from one end of the world to the other and take care of my children at the same time, but I’m useless in the media. Just tell them the truth and let it go – that’s really all you can do.

    I do hope the repairs go swimmingly and you’re back on the ocean soon!


  • Roz, you are doing something that others cannot do, so that is why the interest, you do perfectly well with the media, I know.. You will find a way, I am sure, best of luck, and if you do not get off for another month, who cares? But you will be more secure, and that is what counts. Love. John H

  • Roz…a few “step back thoughts”…glad you are safe, sounds like you made the right decision, but wet, tired, stressed, probably embarrassed and definitely filled with mixed feelings from being “over-exposed”… your plate has definitely been full the last 24 hours, but, I suspect, in the end, aside from yet another learning moment, this effort may turn out to have a silver lining for Sedna, and your journey…maybe too soon for hindsight to fully be appreciated…like previous comments that called for a few “hugs”, maybe a beer or two, a good night’s sleep, and ready for a “do-over” launch…I guess “roll-over waves” happen in more places than on the ocean…recover, refit, and head out renewed…my best to you during this lull…

  • I support you in what you’re doing and am in awe of your courage. I’d have to agree with @Wright118 about Geraldton and the Leeuwin Current. There are a lot of “Carbon” arguments in the world today but it’s the “big picture” in the long run that we must start doing something about. Maybe not in any of our lifetimes but I would hate to live in a world where SCUBA diving is a thing of the past. My favourite saying goes something like this…”when all is said and done, there is more said than done.” I must say, what you are doing is bound to make a difference to the planet in the long run. Think how many people you’ve inspired…more than one.

  • I don’t want to seem harsh, but face it, you had a helicopter with your own cameraman when you launched a few weeks back. Unfortunately, it’s not possible always to control your image, and bad news always plays better than good. If it’s any consolation, I don’t think it would have made any difference whatever you said to the press. The story was set in stone as soon as they heard you took a tow.
    This is a setback, not a failure. Roll with it (in as many senses as you like), shake yourself down and push on.

  • The BBC had a photo of your boat.
    Your boat had your web address on the side.
    I typed your web address typed into the browser.
    Your message (above) was delivered louder and clearer than if you’d said anything into as microphone.
    result: One new appreciative member of the public, and probably many more like me.

    • Rich and Zetaseeker, welcome to the Rozling community ;-D
      The BBC put together a rather good report extracting from the local news. This is the one I found — probably the one you read too. The photos BBC used (below) are more becoming than Channel 7 News’ shot.

  • Hi from a new supporter. I found your story through BBC news. I suppose you didn’t want to be discovered this way (people reading about the tow), but the story put you in a good light, helped me find your blog and even better: the story is not a fail, it’s a win – you’re continuing despite a set-back! Best of luck and godspeed to you.

  • Well to actually have the guts to go in the open ocean like you have is awareness enough and as far as coaching for the media, I would just say be yourself and all you stand for will shine through to those willing to look and listen.
    Best wishes in all your future oar strokes.

  • If it were easy, everyone would do it and it wouldn’t be interesting.

    Also, w/r/t the media, consider judo. Use it’s strengths to your own advantage.

  • I did get online this morning. I did upload three pictures. All was well for the first couple of hours, then somehow it all reverted to just the words. ‘Tis a mystery.

  • Roz, I commend you on your courage and your cause and wish you total success.

    I assume that you did as much as you could to publicise your row across the Indian Ocean to promote your important cause. Why are you then surprised that the media are interested in whatever happens to you? There are thousands of people who are following your adventure and wanting you to be safe and succeed and they want to know what’s happening.

    I hadn’t been following your blog and the day before this story broke, I thought to myself I wonder how that woman is going who is rowing across the Indian Ocean?

    The rescue of Tony Bullimore cost the Australian taxpayers $6 -$7 million. How many people’s lives could have been saved with that money? How much money did he repay to the Australian people from his book sales? Zip.

    I wish you a safe and successful journey.

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