A couple of days ago the wind turned against me, so I was stuck on the sea anchor for about 36 hours. I took this as an opportunity for some major clearing – or at least cleaning – of the decks. I wrote myself a To Do list in the back of my logbook, and then set to work.

You’d be surprised just how much I found to do on such a small boat – rearranging the contents of lockers, removing and stowing defunct electronics, pumping water out of places it shouldn’t be, mopping the bilges, scraping off barnacles, and cleaning rust marks off the decks. Now that I’ve consumed the contents of several lockers, I moved other items into them in order to keep the boat’s centre of gravity as low as possible to prevent capsize.

My To Do list kept me busy for the entire day, and kept my mind off the fact that I was heading in the wrong direction. In fact, by evening, I felt I’d really achieved something – if not miles, then at least a shipshape ship.

It has been about six years since I had somewhere I could call home, so I don’t often get to enjoy the simple pleasures of cleaning. And no, that was not an invitation for all of you to invite me round to clean your houses!

I’m just saying that when all else is beyond your control, you can do a lot worse than set yourself to cleaning out a closet or rearranging the kitchen cupboards. I don’t know enough about feng shui to say whether I believe in it or not, but I do know that to get old and broken things out of my way, and to restore a general state of order and cleanliness gives me a glow of wellbeing and contentment. Even when my living space is only 23 feet by 6.

Now, I’m just off to rearrange my “relationship corner”…!

Other Stuff:

By today the wind had gradually backed to a more favourable direction, and I was off and rowing again. I was listening to “Shutter Island” – quite possibly my second worst choice after “The Wave”. Not that it isn’t a good book – it is – but listening to a book about delusions and alternative versions of reality can really mess with your head when you’re alone in the middle of an ocean!

I spoke with Mum on the phone today, and she told me about the severe weather on the east coast of the US. My thoughts are with my friends in North Carolina, DC, New York, and the other affected areas. I hope that you and your homes remain safe, and that Hurricane Irene soon dissipates. These extreme weather events are expected to become more frequent as the effects of climate change kick in – so we had all better get used to the new “normal”.

Bruce – please don’t be sad. My boat is only a “thing”. I was me without a boat for 37 years of my life before Sedna came along, and I will continue to be me after I have found a suitable long-term home for her to retire to. It’s time for me to move on to the next chapter of my life – and I’m excited about what it might entail!

Karen – let me just check my store cupboard…. ah, I thought so. Clean out of peanut butter and hydrogen peroxide. Will have to nip out to the store… oh. BTW, I continue to find new uses for Meyer lemon marmalade and Santa Rosa plum jam in my weird and wonderful on-board concoctions. I’m not sure many people would enjoy protein powder + chocolate sauce + plum jam + sunflower seeds + TimTams, but I do!

Texino – a “squish” of squid? I like it!

Frank in Belgium – I am completely in agreement with you. I don’t like to think that our brains are entirely preprogrammed. As tentative disproof of that, how come that up to my mid-thirties I was utterly conventional, and then completely turned my life upside down and started rowing across oceans? Or maybe I am just proving Dr Swaab’s comment that we are not ready to hear his “truth”!

Quote for the day: “That’s the trouble with housework – you do it, and then six months later you have to do it all over again.” (Joan Rivers, quoted from memory, so I may not have it quite right)

Photo: This was the last place I called home – a rented 17th century cottage in Emsworth, Hampshire. Usually it was quite tidy, but here Mum is busy packaging my food rations for the Atlantic in 2005.

Sponsored Miles: Patricia Collins, Molly McCallum, Mike Daley, Todd Lowe, Connie Bergmark, Jan Kearce and Wayne Batzer – grateful for your sponsoring.

Roz’s latest podcast now available.

12 Comments

  • Hello Roz I share your blog daily with all my FaceBook friends and a few like to read it I’ve found out. Here is one response that I received yesterday. Claude
    Thanks for sharing the Roz adventures. I was surprised & happy to
    see her choice of energy bar. Larabar. We are in a partnership in a food
    manufacturing co. that produces the Larabar. Last yr. General Mills
    bought it. So now we make it for them. Now the bar is available
    nationwide. Anyway you made my day!!!

  • No peanut butter? Darn, you’ll miss out on my favorite: Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich without the bread. Another favorite is Nestles Quick ( powdered chocolate drink mix ) eaten with a spoon.
    You should keep track of your recipes if only to be amazed at what you ate years later.

  • turned 5 kg of beef into jerky 7 pemmican, last month: goes well with ships biscuit, I hear. Jars of jams sit on kitchen shelves; fresh pick greens & fruit through the seasons; alas, old men feel not hunger as when young, & I gather & store without great need. And, yes, Spring has come, & the vacuum cleaner must be readied for a run. Enjoy your days at sea!

  • the three forces of nature in vedics are called gunas. creative, destructive and maintainance. the last is usually most neglected but by far just as important as the other two because of that fact. also i feel that  maintainance is probably a function of the more wholistic side of the brain as creating and detroying seem to require an inner focus, but it takes vision to project a clean surface and the need for one.

  • Really? No peanut butter? Check your medicine chest. Bet you have peroxide. Try that and soap mixed. Glad the jams add a little sweetness to your days!

  • Feng Shui,  heard somewhere it is two Chinese words, wind and water.  I think it is about the flow of the life force in the universe and the balance between harmony and discord.   Thanks for reminding me,  I have lots of cleaning and maintenance to do.  Good to hear the wind has turned favorable and that Sedna is in trim.
    Go like a water strider Roz,       Stephen

  • Feng Shui,  heard somewhere it is two Chinese words, wind and water.  I think it is about the flow of the life force in the universe and the balance between harmony and discord.   Thanks for reminding me,  I have lots of cleaning and maintenance to do.  Good to hear the wind has turned favorable and that Sedna is in trim.
    Go like a water strider Roz,       Stephen

  • Regarding battening the hatches on the right coast:
    and preparation for the next ones;
     
    This is the Red Cross Disaster Safety Checklist for People and Pets
    http://www.redcross.org/www-files/Documents/pdf/Preparedness/checklists/PetSafety.pdf
     
    and this is FEMA’s disaster check list
     http://www.fema.gov/pdf/library/epc.pdf 
     
    Also, have an out of state central contact to notify of your status and location in case of separation from your local family. San Francisco has a little enforced law that you cannot sleep naked and you must have shoes next to your bed for earthquake reasons. Work gloves for glass and debris are also good things to easily locate. About $20US in one dollar bills should buy you emergency items until atm’s go back online. Keep fresh chocolate on top of the first-aid kit!
     
    THEN: let the bellyfloppin begin:)
     
    Guillaume Nery (base jumper) at Dean’s Blue Hole (underwater) Bahamas, filmed on one breath hold by Julie Gautier (French, female freediver):
    an exceptionally cool video that I wish for Roz to see when she makes landdfall.
     
    http://youtu.be/uQITWbAaDx0 
     
    Row Roz Row!
     
    ~Jay

  • Regarding battening the hatches on the right coast:
    and preparation for the next ones;
     
    This is the Red Cross Disaster Safety Checklist for People and Pets
    http://www.redcross.org/www-files/Documents/pdf/Preparedness/checklists/PetSafety.pdf
     
    and this is FEMA’s disaster check list
     http://www.fema.gov/pdf/library/epc.pdf 
     
    Also, have an out of state central contact to notify of your status and location in case of separation from your local family. San Francisco has a little enforced law that you cannot sleep naked and you must have shoes next to your bed for earthquake reasons. Work gloves for glass and debris are also good things to easily locate. About $20US in one dollar bills should buy you emergency items until atm’s go back online. Keep fresh chocolate on top of the first-aid kit!
     
    THEN: let the bellyfloppin begin:)
     
    Guillaume Nery (base jumper) at Dean’s Blue Hole (underwater) Bahamas, filmed on one breath hold by Julie Gautier (French, female freediver):
    an exceptionally cool video that I wish for Roz to see when she makes landdfall.
     
    http://youtu.be/uQITWbAaDx0 
     
    Row Roz Row!
     
    ~Jay

  • Glad you are thinking of folks who suffered Irene, Roz. A friend in VT told me her county was hit very hard by rising water, and one town declared itself “destroyed” while others only had their farmers market or road beds swept away by rushing water, as though an earthquake had hit … and a few deaths … VT is a small state with at small population.  Wind was not the issue, but accumulation of water. For some, the category 1 tropical storm was a nightmare.  For others, it was a fun project removing a downed tree from the driveway. On average, not so bad (??)

    Unlike the kids in Lake Wobegon, where “all the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all the children are above average,” somebody has to be below average and get stuck with the short weak end of the stick.

    Row strong for the weak, Roz!

  • Roz, have you ever seen- “Alien Visitor” ? Done in 1997 , now free on hulu. I believe the message  in the film is very close to the one you share with us. I am very grateful for your daily effort to create spontaneous awareness. With a spoonful of humility , cup full of hope and Willey adventure. You are anti-fiction with oars…… and so much more. You have without a doubt Captain, the cleanest vessel in the Indian Ocean. I do hope you have seen the last of the flying squid  Olympic try outs?
    “The universe is made of stories, not of Atoms”. Muriel Rukeyser

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