Today ended in rather discombobulating fashion. The wind decided to start pirouetting round all the points of the compass, and to kick up to around 18 knots at times, then die away to nothing. This capriciousness made steering very difficult. On more than one occasion when I took a snack break I returned to the oars to find the boat had done a full 180 about-turn. It was most disconcerting to find the sun or the moon on the wrong side of the boat.

I’ve tried various steering mechanisms over the years. On the Atlantic I had foot steering but found it awkward to row with my foot cocked at a strange angle. For the first stage of the Pacific I experimented with an autopilot, but it wasn’t robust enough to stand up to conditions on board. During my unintentional capsize drills of 2007 the autopilot ended up split down the side with its O ring hanging out like disembowelled intestines.

So I have ended up with the simplest of all steering mechanisms – two bits of string tied to the rudder and trained through eyelets back into the cockpit. usually this is all I need – it’s not a big deal to stop rowing and correct the course when you only have to do it once a day, if that. But it’s a bit more of a pain when the wind decides to dance the docie-doe (spelling?!) all around me. Let’s hope it’s back to better behaviour tomorrow.

Other Stuff:

Alf the spider ran up my leg today. He’s quite pretty actually, with nice black and white markings.

The birds are back in town. I came out on deck this morning to find about 6 noddies in residence. At least they poop less prolifically than boobies, although there was still a distinct aroma of guano about the boat today.

Abigail – thanks for the cartoon! Mum had to describe it for me, as she couldn’t send it, but I absolutely get it. SO true! I know there is so much interesting wildlife out there (although sadly not as much as there used to be) but it’s all down there and I’m up here and rarely do the twain meet!

If you haven’t checked out my eBay store recently, please do. I know Carina has been hard at work adding new items for sale – including the e-book of my Atlantic blogs, the raw material on which my book was based. The e-book also includes photos, the official race press releases, and notes from my mother. And it’s an absolute bargain at $4.25! (I think, but working from memory here – anyway, I remember it was incredibly cheap!)

[photo: another blue, blue day]

11 Comments

  • Morning Roz and Rita,
    Sounds like the winds are taking everything for a spin. One moment glass, the next – Brocade is a wind tunnel test site. Yikes. Alf might need just a few more classes on rudder duty. He has been watching the captain at the oars and figures- size does not matter. It is spirit and heart that runs this boat. A crew mate with 8 legs can keep up boat spirits with great dance moves. Ha ha . I could see he might be nervous when it’s his day to mop the solar panels clean, with silly birds about. Wisdom with age on the Brocade crew.
    Nice selection of items on ebay. My white ball cap arrived just fine. I am tempted to sharpie on “be “ above the “Savage” on the front. I just can’t decide. I guess I should stop using a marble , when I flip for yes and no questions. One of those congressional / senate, powerful decision making aids I bought when I visited Washington, DC -….. not. It was embarrassing when the Ouija boards showed up on video clips during an important environmental senate vote.
    World leaders- too much college, not enough out of doors volunteer work.
    Word for the day: bonhomie- (bohn-uh-MEE) a pleasant disposition.
    Quotes:
    The most difficult task of the medical profession is to train patients to become sick during office hours only.
    There are three types of memories: good, bad and convenient.
    Poetry provides the one permissible way of saying one thing and meaning another- Robert frost
    If you can speak what you will never hear, if you can write what you will never read, you have done rare things. Thoreau
    hmmm for the day:
    “When God Made Me, He Was Just Showing Off” – Elsie H. Clarke of Silver Spring.
    “Make It Idiot Proof, and Someone Will Make a Better Idiot” – Jennifer
    “Rowers do more before 8:00am than most people do all day.” — Rowing Shirt Logo
    “Real athletes row. Everyone else just plays games.” — Rowing Shirt Logo
    “Rowing is the only sport that originated as a form of capital punishment.” — Old Rowing Truism
    “Without Struggle, we would never be forced to exceed our limits, to stretch ourselves, to achieve our potential. We would never be forced to search for the best within ourselves-and find it. Without Struggle, we would never become the kind of people who can make our wishes come true.” — from The Magic Lamp
    Have a great day rowing Roz. You already have left many ripples in your wake.
    bill

  • Roz, I have been meaning to go shopping and have kept putting it off … until this morning. Thanks for the reminder. I just now bought “Blogs From The Blue” and “50 Ways to Save the Ocean” — I had no idea the latter was autographed by you. BTW, one reason I have been procrastinating is I’ve never bought an e-book before so am a bit reluctant. Hoping to become more familiar how to read a book on my iPhone or laptop … breaking new ground, this will be my next big adventure — small in a secular sense, but a big mental breakthrough! Is it serendipity or what?! The total including shipping is $23 and change. This is starting out a good day ;-D

  • Thank you Roz for the update once again. I love the word of this day.I am out this morning to row and shall be thinking of you Why improve on perfection with the string and rudder? Its worked for many a man and lady making their way. Hold on to those oars! AmyinAustin

  • To Rita,
    I contacted Jim Stillwell at arrdvarkstraws. We exchanged emails. If folks want to proceed with this business. Here is the email and contact info:
    later,
    bill

    William,

    We own the original patent for the paper drinking straw since 1888. We re-introduced it about 3 years ago to a select audience of high end restaurants, cruise lines, theme parks and zoos. The product is made in eitehr College Park, MD of Fort Wayne, IN where the bulk of the straw manufacturing takes place. All products have an FDA approval and are available for sale to individuals at http://www.aardvarkstraws.com

    Should you have any further questions, please feel free to reach us at 260-484-4111 ext. 223 attention Stacey Shake.

    Jeff L. Stillwell
    Director, Sales & Marketing
    Precision Products Group Inc.
    Stone Industrial Division – Paramount Tube Division – PPG International
    314-852-8100 mobile
    301-345-2367 fax
    Email: JStillwell@PPGIntl.com
    http://www.ppgintl.com; http://www.aardavrkstraws.com; http://www.ppgfs.com

  • To Rita,
    I contacted Jim Stillwell at aardvarkstraws. We exchanged emails. If folks want to proceed with this business. Here is the email and contact info:
    later,
    bill

    William,

    We own the original patent for the paper drinking straw since 1888. We re-introduced it about 3 years ago to a select audience of high end restaurants, cruise lines, theme parks and zoos. The product is made in eitehr College Park, MD of Fort Wayne, IN where the bulk of the straw manufacturing takes place. All products have an FDA approval and are available for sale to individuals at http://www.aardvarkstraws.com

    Should you have any further questions, please feel free to reach us at 260-484-4111 ext. 223 attention Stacey Shake.

    Jeff L. Stillwell
    Director, Sales & Marketing
    Precision Products Group Inc.
    Stone Industrial Division – Paramount Tube Division – PPG International
    314-852-8100 mobile
    301-345-2367 fax
    Email: JStillwell@PPGIntl.com
    http://www.ppgintl.com; http://www.aardavrkstraws.com; http://www.ppgfs.com

  • There is something about Nah-oo-roo
    That makes me think of you-oo-oo.
    And though you’re far away,
    And it’s only your eleventh day,
    All this makes me feel much less blu-oo-oo.

    (I know, I know. But I’m just getting warmed up.)

  • Greetings Uncadoug. Thank you for the video heads up . I really enjoyed it!Please keep sharing with us all when your time allows.
    in truth ,
    bill

  • For those who missed Roz’s blog right after her TED talk, get a peek behind the scenes, read Roz’s April 14 blog: TED Mission Blue: Mission Possible? This explains the 40 second gap beginning at minute 15:30 and the big happy smile at minute 15:32. http://j.mp/RozTEDblog

    The jitters suddenly and miraculously gave way to apparent euphoria in the end.

  • Roz, your TED talk was amazing! A little bit of Jitters — but hardly noticeable — and a wonderful smile all the while. You showed total confidence and did not miss a beat. Well done, Roz! A very important message delivered by the perfect woman, aka solo ocean rower extraordinaire. Now we know “R” is for Ripples and Responsibility, as well as Roz. Brava !! I have downloaded the file and will put it into a keynote slide to show to the GAIA (Global Awareness, Investigation and Action) kids at the International School of Monterey next Friday.

  • Hey Mrs. Savage and Roz!
    Ten days in already! Wow, great progress!
    Is there any way you could attempt to describe the night star canopy?
    It must be an incredible experience, and you see it every clear night.
    Can you see the stars all the way down to the horizon?
    Can you see individual stars clearly? Is it a mass of Milky Way?
    Would love to hear.
    Peace to You

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