Now that we have such notable events as Chocolate Appreciation Day and Secretary Appreciation Day, it seems a bit measly to only give one day of appreciation to the entire planet without which we wouldn’t be here.

Chocolate and secretaries are, of course, very important and much deserving of appreciation, but in the overall scheme of things don’t really fall into the same category as this amazing lump of rock whizzing through space which has produced, among countless other extraordinary things, humans.

Yet far from thanking our lucky stars on a daily basis for this planet of ours, we seem hell-bent on trying to destroy it. Mostly in the last 200 years, and especially in the last 50, we have drilled it, mined it, polluted the water and the land and the air, felled its forests, and done our best to eradicate entire swaths of its inhabitants.

In short, we have treated it with a marked lack of respect, somehow overlooking the fact that we have to live on it, and on a finite planet, what goes around comes around.

I’m not especially worried for the Earth. When you look back over its entire existence, we have been here for a mere blink of an eye. The planet is going to be fine in the long run. It doesn’t need us, but we desperately need it, and we need it not to change too much. We’ve evolved to live on a fairly pristine kind of Earth, within a fairly narrow temperature range. Too much pollution or too much heat, and we’re going to be in trouble.

For all our many flaws, we’re actually quite special, and I’d like to see us be around for a while yet. For a supposedly intelligent species, wouldn’t it just be terribly embarrassing to be responsible for our own demise?

So on this Earth Day, I’d like to ask you to extend the day for the entire duration of my voyage. I (and more importantly, the Earth and its future inhabitants) would be really grateful if you would show your appreciation for our home planet by doing these things until I make landfall:

1. Carry your re-usable grocery bag, water bottle, and coffee cup with you and USE THEM. Even better if you can get hold of a stainless steel re-usable drinking straw and take your own silverware too, so you never need to use the plastic “single-use” versions.

2. Pick up at least one piece of trash every day from somewhere that it shouldn’t be (in a park, walkway, on a beach, wherever) and dispose of it properly in a bin or recycling bin.

3. Take just one minute each day to notice something special in the natural world – a tree, a cloud, a flower, a sunrise or sunset, a new constellation, a stream or river, a bird (or a chick, Joan) – and say a little thank you for it.

And remember that in a world where everything is connected, when you ask not what your planet can do for you, but what you can do for your planet – ultimately it all boils down to the same thing. What is good for the Earth is good for us.

Thank you.

Other Stuff:

Looks like I spoke too soon when I rejoiced having passed out of the Leeuwin Current. Looks like I’m now heading back into it. All morning I was struggling against a NE current, and this afternoon the addition of a breeze from the NW was enough to thwart any chance of westerly progress. The irony is not lost on me that the harsh winds and waves of the last few days were actually an enormous help, while this gentle, soft little breeze and an invisible current are rapidly undoing all my progress. Appearances can be deceptive.

Mum tells me the sponsored miles are selling like hot cakes. Thank you to everybody who has bought a mile of my Indian Ocean voyage. If only I was able to row them as fast as all you lovely people are sponsoring them! I sincerely hope not to have to row ALL of them twice over…

Michelle: thanks for the Maori quote: He nui maunga e kore e taea te whakaneke, he nui ngaru moana ma te ihu o te waka e wahi – A great mountain cannot be moved, but a giant wave can be broken by the prow of a canoe. Their way of saying “don’t give up too easily – some things are possible”. Indeed. Many things are indeed possible. Sometimes they just take longer than planned, and there are a few detours along the way.

UncaDoug and Joan – you asked about my sartorial needs for 2012. I have been thinking about them but no decision as yet. Awkward though it is to row in full foul weather gear, I think it may be necessary to try. Or maybe neoprene would be better. I will probably consult my friends at DaKine and Fourth Element and see what they come up with.

Doctorely – no, I don’t feather my oars. Of course I did when I rowed crew, but on the ocean I prefer to save the wear and tear on my wrists.

Drifterfour – hi to you and your daughters!

Joan – thanks so much for the list of Follett books. Very much appreciated. Will start Folletting once I’ve moved on from Outlanding.

Romy and Margot – thank you both for getting back to me on the salt. I eventually found it in the Sea To Summit drybag with the canned butter, which I’d put in the middle locker under the rowing seat. I also discovered a rather mushed avocado swilling around in the bilge water… yuck!

Thanks, Col, for the video you took of my departure. I hear it’s brilliant! So sorry I can’t see it from here. A strong urge to ask you to airdrop a USB drive of it! Anyway, really glad that everybody else can get to see it. I’ll only have to wait another four months or so…

Sorry to hear that Rob Eustace has turned back on his attempt to row the Indian Ocean. Rob is a great guy. He joined our Saturday work party in Fremantle to get my boat ready, and was an enormous help. I know he was really well-prepared for his expedition, so am sure this must have been a tough decision to make. Who knows, if the winds don’t change soon, I might yet end up seeing him in Geraldton!

Woody the Pirate in his natural element (the ocean, I mean, not my hand!)

Sponsored Miles:

Chris Walroth, Megan Lutz, Larry Grandt ( for Rica) Roz has been blown back some miles towards Australia – again.

21 Comments

  • Hey Roz, When you think of it, Your hand IS quite a “Natural”, Amazing and Unique “Element” – Look at what YOU have done with it…

    And Roz, Totally Agree, I Love Chocolates, I Love Secretaries even more (Sorry, Couldn’t resist), But there are MUCH more important Big Picture things than Treats, Sweets, and the like… Earth Day As One – Nothing is, or should be, more important to anyone than this planet and all of the people, critters, plants, and the limited assets and resources that this rock in space has to offer us BECAUSE we will all be gone pretty soon, and there will be many, many more generations to come after us who need to have this planet left to them in good shape…

    Folks, Let me put this in somewhat humorous perspective, Dinosaurs, Those helpless lizards, were on this planet for 74 Times the amount of time that man has been on this planet so far… Personally I would like to see us make it to second place BEHIND these helpless lizards… BUT that will take A LOT of work to make that work for another 180 Million years to catch up with them…

  • am hoping you get those gusty SE winds back to give you a bit of a push to get over the hump! wooohoo!!! you go girl!! regardless of the wind, you’ve got the power (and a ton of folks behind you!!)

  • Excerpt from Chief Seattle’s letter to President Franklin Pierce 1855:

    This we know: the earth does not belong to man, man belongs to the earth. All things are connected like the blood that unites us all. Man did not weave the web of life, he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself.

  • I can’t believe that the ocean is being such a bully! Tell it to shape up – and I don’t mean as waves! I do carry my own grocery bags, coffee cup, and water bottle. I only use a straw approximately twice per year (I don’t eat out very often at all). I use a DivaCup and carry silverware with me. We compost and recycle. We pay our electric bill at the rate for 100% renewable energy (via the power company). Hmm. What should I do next? Someone challenge me!

    Hang in there Roz. My entire family is cheering for you. That’s a ton of positive energy since I’ve got myself, my husband, two teenagers, two elementary-school aged children, and an infant in my house!

    • Hey Jen et al, One Challenge that could be good for all of us… And I speak from being in the non-profit, renewable energy biz… I am thrilled that you are paying for 100% renewable energy… Some suppliers guarantee those who do that will be served only by Renewables… Unfortunately MOST do not… It is very rare that a “For Profit” Energy Company produces more than 20% of its energy from Renewables… And that is 20% better than nothing… But, If we pay for 100% Renewable Rate, and only 20% of what comes to our homes, offices, hospitals and the like comes from Renewables, then we are simply paying them 80% more Profit than they are already making… Do some research… There ARE 100% Renewable Energy Suppliers out there – then tend to be costly… There are others that guarantee to put the difference between what you are paying and what they are delivering – 80% in this example – toward Renewable Energy Development and Delivery in the future… Either is fine – but the latter is a VERY slow process at this time to get Big, For Profit, Energy Suppliers to change their fossil and nuclear fueled ways… It, Self-Sustaining, Renewable Energy Production and Delivery can be done MUCH faster, and at much lower cost, on a community by community basis – and to the world in that process…

      • I think when I looked into it at the time, ours is the latter. They pledge to put the extra money towards development of renewable energy in the future. I’m pretty certain that we don’t have any opportunities in my area for pure 100% renewable energy suppliers, but I could be wrong! 🙂

        • That’s Great Jen!!! You deserve Emeralds for doing this!!! There are VERY FEW 100% Renewable Energy Production & Delivery, “For Profit” Companies out there – Because there is no “Profit” in it for them – Yet!!!

        • Jen, Still not quite sure how this all works??? Just posted this to your post yesterday regarding your family accomplishments so far… “Wow!!! Amazing Dear Jen… You are a tough act to follow, and you are “nowhere near 40″… You will be so amazing when you reach 40, No one will be able to stand anywhere near you… ONLY KIDDING!”

  • Wow, thanks for the shout-out to me and the chicks on Earth Day, Roz! (I’m bragging with some linkage on my Facebook page.) The new ones are growing super fast, and so far there are no signs that one or both could be roosters, which is good. We have three more coming Tuesday or Wednesday. They will be just a day or two old.

    My thing to appreciate today was how wonderful it is to be able to go out to the garden and pick the lettuce for my lunch salad.

    I take my reusable coffee mug every time I visit Caribou Coffee, and they give me 50¢ off (which equates to more than 25% discount)! When I take my reusable to-go container (one of the sturdy plastic containers from Whole Foods’ hot bar) to the sushi restaurant, the servers give me extra large portions to show their encouragement for that practice, and I end up with enough side dish food to last two meals.

    And I hadn’t made it a daily goal yet, but it has been a frequent practice of mine to pick up stray garbage and dispose of it properly. It will be a daily routine from now on, not just for the length of Roz’s voyage.

    Hope the rowing goes well today, Roz! I know you’ve got the tenacity to get through it.

    Joan

  • Roz, I remember being on holiday in Antigua, standing on a friend’s porch overlooking the bay. We noticed a few people gathering on the jetty and a tiny boat appeared, slowly entering the harbor. It was your arrival from the Canary Islands, and the wind carried the voices of your fans singing “row row row your boat” all the way to the house. We found out what was happening online, and got so excited we drove out to your landing area to see you getting used to solid ground again! While I didn’t get to meet you I have always been inspired by your journeys and incredible dedication to maintaining environmental consciousness – thank you for taking these journeys and inspiring so many of us. Sending my best wishes and hopes for cooperative currents!

    Josselyne Price

  • Great Earth Day blog, Roz. Thanks. I’m doing my part… 1 use plastics have been cut (including the foods that use them!) to a bare essentials only; being retired young I only drive out of my woodsy enclave 2-3 times a month to do food shopping. Retirement can save fossil fuels! The rest of my time I’m holed up in my music studio not much bigger than your boat! Unfortunately, it doesn’t go anywhere (building the sail boat next time). I can testify as a Florida resident for 35 years the oceans were cleaner years ago. Way more plastics in them and coastal States and Countries are just criminal in ocean dumping… no damn it, no matter how you compress your trash, it will not stay on the bottom, many fathoms down!

    And as for those little bits of plastic that come into everyone’s life: bury them in your yard NOT in the trash. IF you don’t want them on your property, the Earth sure doesn’t need them washing into her waterways! There is no safe landfill anymore. I know I’m a surf fisherman, they are washing up on beaches worldwide. Yesterday was 1 year since the BP Gulf oil disaster and far too many people are complacent again…Nature’s sea creatures paid the biggest price not man, support OCEANA or your favorite Eco organization dedicated to the oceans…

  • Hi Roz, enjoyed your earth day blog and the vidoe of you departure. I am inspired by you and passing your website on to all I know as my contribution to earth day. Watching your departure I was reminded of the calming music that is played on BBC Radio 4 just before the late night Shipping Forecast….. ( approx. 0045 GMT +1)…. “Sailing By” – by Ronald Binge – peaceful and spiritual as you move through those waves. We are all waiting for those SE winds to move you on.

  • Free caramel latte!? … May I have a rain check… For landfall… About four months from now? … Your amazing Roz! You too Rita! Happy day, indeed! 🙂

  • Links to what Roz mentions in her blog:

    Dakine:http://www.dakine.com/

    Fourth Element: http://www.fourthelement.com/index.php

    Stainless steel straws: http://www.amazon.com/KegWorks-Stainless-Steel-Drinking-Straw/dp/B002TMOA4Y

    Rob Eustace: http://2hopes.org/

    My hospital, yes, hospital! (University of California) recently went biodegradable (based on a petition by a small group of visiting Medical Students) I am sure there are other companies out there. But this first one sells Earthstraws 12,000 straws for US$33.00 and 2000 for US$9.75.
    http://earthstraws.com/index.php3

    Row Roz Row!

  • I woke up to Tully’s French Roast brewing; the Viking Husband preparing a breakfast for two in the garden, seated next to the Camellia bush in full bloom, Japanese Maple covered in new spring growth, Cherry Tree blossoms overhead, gorgeous sunrise = Happy Earth Day Roz!! : ) We lifted our Mimosas and toasted You and Sedna (and your Mum)!
    To celebrate Earth Day, I’m dedicating the full day to work on yOur Cause. Row Roz! Row!! And, remember Roz,
    “People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.” — Zig Ziglar

    (I know you’re smiling…I hope you’re laughing! : )
    Cheers!!
    Sandra

  • Roz, dismayed to read your tweet: looks like i am caught in the leeuwin current, and heading south. 🙁

    You must feel like that little guy in the “frogger” video game … trying to cross the river with all those obstacles … but the river you cross is invisible, disguised as an ocean. Hoping your current situation changes for the better.

    Row tenaciously, Roz!

  • Hi Roz,
    yep, it’s one of my better video’s and can’t wait till you get a chance to see it. By the way, we ended up with 73gig of photos and footage from your time here.

    Good luck, Col.

  • Roz,
    I enjoyed reading “The Wave” but my enthusiasm was some what dimmed after learning that Ms Casey was required to pay Mr. Hamilton for access. Perhaps the reason for Hamilton’s recent switch to the “Stand up paddle” school of wave riding is simply to protect his feet of clay from the salt water.

  • Hi Roz,
    I am a new follower of your mission and am really touched and impressed with the efforts you are making for this dear world. I (we-the family) already do a number of things suggested by you on the Earth Day and will be happy to make adjustments in my and my family’s life to make a difference.

    In an effort to promote the outdoors and nature I just started a group “Nature and Outdoors” on Facebook. And guess what I posted this as the first posting on this group i.e. “http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-13059207”, which is an article about yourself on BBC. This is where I got information about your efforts for the first time.

    I know you are having a tough time out there but stay put and it will pass. Wish you a very happy going in the coming days.

    Best of luck,
    Adeel

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