I have just waved goodbye to the competitors in this year’s Atlantic Rowing Challenge. I had wondered how I might feel, being the one standing on the dock for a change, instead of being the one in the boat. Would I feel a pang of envy? Or relief?

With Nick and Toby

I’m happy to say that my main emotion was a vicarious excitement for the crews. I am so happy for them that they have made it this far. They have worked hard to acquire their boats, get their qualifications, raise sponsorship and plan their logistics. Many may dream of rowing an ocean, but only a small percentage make it even this far. They have already achieved more than most.

Conditions were fine for the start, but if I have learned anything from my years at sea, it is that the ocean (in fact, life in general) is full of surprises. I can only hope that most of them are good surprises. Now we must entrust the crews to Neptune, and wish them a bon voyage. Be safe, be happy, and be fulfilled. I wish each and every rower the very best for the weeks and months ahead.

The Atlantic 4

I am writing this blog on the ferry from La Gomera back to Tenerife. As we pulled out of the harbour, I strained my eyes trying to spot any rowboats still within sight. I could see a couple of masts – was that the escort vessel Aurora? Maybe. I recalled the video of my own departure on 2005 as a novice ocean rower, feeling the flutter of nervous excitement, trepidatious yet eagerly anticipating the adventure ahead. I have come a long way since then – in every sense.

Waving bon voyage

But the complete absence of envy today confirmed to me that for now at least, hanging up my oars is the right thing to do. I know that some of you are awaiting to hear an announcement of my next move – an expedition, a campaign, a foundation or some other project. Trust me – you know that I am not sitting idly by while our world rushes ever faster towards crisis. There is much (possibly too much!) in the pipeline, but nothing that is yet ready to be announced. My feet have barely touched the ground since I made landfall two months ago, but an opportunity for quiet contemplation and strategising is coming up soon. Watch this space.

Meanwhile, some exciting news about my visit to meet the Queen at Buckingham Palace this coming Sunday. I have been invited to an afternoon press event as well as the evening reception. Also present in the afternoon will be: Sir David Attenborough (legendary naturalist and BBC TV presenter), Sir Ranulph Fiennes (Britain’s most distinguished explorer), Sir Chris Bonnington (legendary mountaineer), Dr Alice Roberts, Michael Palin (ex-Python, TV explorer/presenter, and President of the Royal Geographic Society), Andrew Eavis, and Ed Stafford (first person to walk the length of the Amazon, and fellow National Geographic Adventurer of the Year 2010). Distinguished company indeed!


  • Well…..more teasing from you Roz. 🙂
    Await your next “move ” with anticipation.
     I agree that all the other adventures  joining you and  Her Majesty The Queen are fantastic examples to us all …. SO ARE YOU 🙂 !!
    Hope the visit to Buckingham Palace is all you expect..
    All the best

  • I am so glad you felt no pangs of envy and/or regret at not being among the rowers.  It bodes well for this transitory phase in your continuing journey to help the planet.

    That was an amazing list of dignitaries you’re going to be sharing company with.  You must be quite chuffed!
    Looking forward to your report of your day at Buckingham Palace and your moment with the Queen!

  • I posted a video made by Pierre-Yves Cousteu in Tenerife on 11.11.11. On your face book. Simply amazing.

    The queen’s court will be in awe, the lot of them, I am sure.

    Will your mum be far away? What exciting times!

    In solidarity then, I bow to you 🙂

    ~ Jay

    Btw those planning way ahead for a Roz event in the San Francisco Bay Area may want to circle September 7th, 8th and 9th, 2012.

    And don’t forget her tour in Phoenix and
    Dallas in February 2012.

  • What a very exciting Sunday, Roz! I’ve always wanted to meet David Attenborough so am deeply envious – I also love Alice Roberts’ work (for some reason she reminds me of you when I see her on TV so I hope you get a chance to talk to her!) and of course lovely to be in the company of so many other distinguished explorers. You totally deserve your own place there.

    Hope it’s a thoroughly fulfilling day – I’m sure it’s one you’ll always remember, among the many you’ll probably always remember!

  • You look so tiny between those two men! Who would have dreamt that you have done three oceans – are they just setting out on their first?

  • today is the day the Queen is a lucky lady to be entertaining such a fine group of adventurers.
    Row regally Roz:)

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