Today's Journey

Ergometers are the rowing machines that rowers use for training. An ergo training session is generally tough, exhausting, and you don’t go anywhere. Today on the ocean was a bit like that.

The wind sprang up this morning from an unhelpful quarter. The usual ocean rower’s solution to this problem is to put out the sea anchor to preserve ground gained. So that is what I did.

However, I am in an unhelpful current, too, so the sea anchor only exaggerated the effect of the adverse drift. So I brought it back in again.

I spent the rest of the day carving a zigzag across the ocean. Slowly, slowly, I’d gain a bit of ground. Then I’d stop for a meal break and lose it all again.

You might imagine that this would be the ultimate exercise in futility and frustration, but actually I didn’t see it that way. Even if I wasn’t making much progress, at least I was limiting the damage, and getting a decent workout to boot.

And I’ve learned the hard way that there’s no point getting frustrated with the ocean or the wind. It’s not their fault, and they’re not going to change, just because I want them to.

Nope, I’ll save my emotional energy for people who are willfully contrary, refusing to accept the evidence that we are irrevocably changing our world, or refusing to do anything about it. It might often feel as pointless as arguing with the wind, but surely, one day, it will make a difference, and that hope keeps me going.

Other Stuff:

My purple ergo session today reminded me of the long ergo sessions I used to do with my friends at the South End Rowing Club in San Francisco. So in honour of them, I snapped this shot of me in my SERC beanie. Thanks, guys, and I hope to see you the next time I am in the city.

The other reason I went back to the oars rather that sitting it out on the sea anchor was that I wanted to carry on listening to “The Power Of One”, and the rule is that I can only listen to audiobooks while I am rowing. It’s a good rule!

UncaDoug – loved the story about the Peruvian villagers growing vegetables. Responsibility, empowerment, collective intelligence. Quite possibly the route to solving most of the (human) world’s problems!

Joan – thanks for the book recommendations. The Power Of One is going to be a tough act to follow, so I’ll have a rummage around on my iPod and see what I can find.

John – thanks for the miles, and well done on raising the money by the sweat of your brow!

Christy, and Rick in Colorado – you are absolutely right about the power of one, that in our everyday lives we are setting an example for others. It all contributes to that much-needed cultural shift. No action is too small. It ALL makes a difference.

Rico – good thinking. The placebo effect is mighty powerful.

TC – love the Thomas Jefferson quote. Thanks!

Sponsored Miles:

Joseph Kendall, Hans Verwey, Robert Marshalkowski, Chris Ferreira, Alexandra Stevens, Catherine Thomas, Courtney Elwood, Brent Malmstrom. Thank you for sponsoring these miles – it has been a hard day’s work for Roz.


  • “You might imagine that this would be the ultimate exercise in futility
    and frustration, but actually I didn’t see it that way. Even if I wasn’t
    making much progress, at least I was limiting the damage, and getting a
    decent workout to boot.” Roz, This is one of the most important lessons in life!!! I have learned this from 38 years of Cancer surgeries, and Post-Coma recovery “to boot”… “Life” will NEVER be on a perfect schedule – day-to-day… We will have good days – sometimes running together for several days – where huge progress is made; We will have good days followed by bad ones that negate or offset the progress made the day before; And we will have bad days strung together that will leave us feeling what a lousy week/month/whatever this has been… But, BUT our lifetimes are short enough in the Big Picture – a tiny blink-of-an-eye in time… To look at, and get frustrated by a TINY portion of that “tiny blink-of-an-eye” is nonsensical… Ten years – 1/8th of the average “blink-of-an-eye” life today – is still a tiny portion of the Big Picture… NOW, Look at what you have accomplished in that tiny 10-year period in the Big Picture – With ALL of the good days and bad days accounted for in that 10-year view… Things look better, eh? I know, I know, “One day at a time!” Yes, But look at the end result of the “One day at a time” NOT each of those days along the way… Just thinking about each day, if we do that, reduces the time we have to do “what we can do” – as Ms. Keller suggested…

  • Well, Rozita, here I am again, to boost you up from Colombia South America. I almost lost your Indian Ocean Voyage, being somewhat tyed up, but I have managed to read all yor blogs from the beginning. You sure are doing an important job, Rozita, for all humanity. May Our Lord help you all the way to Mumbai. Cheers,

    Alejo, from Medellín, Colombia  

  •  Roz, I’m reading a book by David Bornstein about social entrepreneurs called “How to Change the World”.  In it he talks about the fact that the even the best ideas have to be continually revised to become successful.  He then quotes Ralph Waldo Emerson who said, “The voyage of the best ship is a zigzag line of a hundred tacks.” 

    Of course this made me think of you because not only are you literally zigzagging your way across the ocean but you are also adapting to your ever changing circumstances and making peace with them on top of it!  Well done, rock star.

    • Hey @7b57d66ab3d7d31b49324de056d1a1d3:disqus … This could be just the stars aligning some way… Just last night I found my 30-year-old Journalism Final Exam… The course was taught by an amazing man, the retired Editor of the Boston Herald (American), who had just won 2 Pulitzer Prizes before retiring. His name was Sam Bornstein – amazing writer, One of several children, a daughter was too – Worked for The Washington Post… I wonder if David is a 3rd Generation of that amazing writing family – quoting Emerson was something Sam liked to do too… If so, It must be a great book! Sam was sort of my “Morrie” from “Tuesdays With Morrie” as far as being an inspirational teacher… Now I am bringing it full circle through the Tuesdays With Morrie aspects of my life in this film that is just starting to roll… So your comment is a good omen no matter what!

  • Captain Purple was her new name
    Because “Roz” felt too Plain Jane
    A zig over there
    A zag to nowhere
    “Bad Days” were never the same

  •  Roz, by the photo it looks like you’ve lost weight–shows how difficult your work must be. Regarding those who are as stubborn as the wind contrary to the evidence, may aunt calls them “Flat Earthers.” The next generation will look back on ours and wonder “What the *** were they thinking?” 

  • Hey, I just had an idea… An “Unknown Destination Pool” – IF this could be set-up on Roz’ donation website, and IF it does not violate any laws? $5 allows you to pick a longitude and latitude location of Roz’s eventual landfall… $2.50 of that goes to Roz immediately – to cover current expenses – and future monies to her causes if there is an excess, the other half of the total pool monies goes to the person who guesses the closest landfall longitude and latitude upon arrival “wherever”…

  • I was impatient to get this ordeal over with, but my impatience was only making life harder. The ocean does not respect ambition or schedules- the only way for me to get to Antigua sooner rather than later was to row more hours in the day, and the extra burden of my self-imposed deadline weighed heavily. Lack of sleep and endless days of toiling across the sea were taking their toll on morale. I was utterly fed up.

    I would often come to a point in my rowing shift where the boredom, discomfort, and frustrationwould reach a tipping point, and I would swear loudly to myself and throw the oar handles down in disgust. Then I would remind myself that I had to keep going and I’d take them up again…
    Rowing the Atlantic by Roz Savage is available through
    It is not only a great read while she is out on the open sea. It is a wonderful re-read with sublime information of why she now mid Indian Ocean row… 

    This is not her first rodeo!
    Row Roz Row!

  • Well Roz…yes it does feel some days all we do is go round and round…but eventually conditions permit us to head toward our desired course…the trick is knowing how to embrace both circular and linear planned courses…hmmm…

    FYI, the space shuttle Endeavor just launched today and appears it is tracking in your general area each hour or so…in fact, between 6 and 7 pm (West Aust time) you might look for them at about 11 degrees above N (Geraldton, WA locations)…looping across your Northern skies Tuesday through Thursday evenings at that time… just a another little distraction for you just after sunset…enjoy if you have time…let us know if you catch a glimpse…

    Hope you aren’t getting too dizzy…but tomorrow is another, new day…my best to you each and every day…

  • Yayyy, Roz. So nice to “see” you in that great red SE Rowing cap. Great smile, as always! Looks like you and Sedna are taking up a new avocation: Etch A Sketch® rowing art. Deciphering your course is like cloud gazing, seeing Einstein or Bart Simpson hair, bunnies, ducklings, a white tornado….

    This looks like the beginnings of a wistful winged passenger, perhaps? Suzy might see a cwazy wise wabbit in it.
    Which harkens back the words a wise person recently reminded me …

    ocean row wisdom
    scale back to see big picture
    wisdom goes around

    Row the big picture, Roz!

    • Doug, I thought the EXACT same thing when I saw that… Hope no one turns her upside-down and shakes her to erase her course record…

      • Hahaha … only Poseidon could attempt that, and from the looks of the water, he appears to be sleeping right now.

        Oh! Look! There is my name sake in that cloud next to Roz’s left ear … UncaDonald ;-D

        Sleep soundly, Poseidon!

  •  You are a real positive thinker and the message you are carrying is extremely important. Such and inspiration for others. Well done and keep going.

  • Hi Rozlings. I wonder if someone far more technologically competent than I can attach a photo for Roz to see. Today a woman awakened during her flight from Florida to New York. She looked out the plane’s window and captured the launch of the space shuttle with her cell phone camera. It is a great story and a wonderful photo making news here in the USA. I think it is fitting after yesterday’s cloud photo.  Many thanks…

    • Good idea, CA Rower! Perhaps Rita can grab the original images at or the20KB and 21KB cropped images below. Sedna and Endeavour are both shuttles, they just operate in different space-time.20KB and 21KB cropped images below. Sedna and Endeavour are both shuttles, they just operate in different space-time.

    • Aawww! ‘Onya for pointing out she is not wearing any clothes….you can’t tell?!….touche! Seriously…whenever I lose a bit of weight the first place people notice it is in my face, funny enough.  😉

  •  Hey Roz,
    Glad you’re liking the “Power of One”, an awesome read.  Don’t be tempted by “Tandia” or any of the follow on books… 
    Great to track your progress again.  
    Be safe,

  •  You are a real positive thinker and the message you are carrying is extremely important. Such an inspiration for others. Well done and keep going.You are a real positive thinker and the message you are carrying is extremely important. Such an inspiration for others. Well done and keep going.

  • Hey, Roz. I thought I would share this with you. It’s one of Mary Oliver’s poems from her collection, “Red Bird.” She has lived most of her life on the New England coast.


    I am in love with Ocean
    lifting her thousands of white hats
    in the chop of the storm,
    or lying smooth and blue, the
    loveliest bed in the world.
    In the personal life, there is

    always grief more than enough,
    a heart-load for each one of us
    on the dusty road. I suppose
    there is a reason for this, so I will be
    patient, acquiescent. But I will live
    nowhere except here, by Ocean, trusting
    equally in all the blast and welcome
    of her sorrowless, salt self.

    I don’t think I’ve ever read a Mary Oliver poem I didn’t like. The way she expresses her observations on nature and the way things are beautiful, cruel and perfect when not marred by the trampling of interfering humans, and the rhythm and pace of the words she uses always amazes me.

  • Well if it’s any consolation, my crew rows on a lake that is just over 2000m from start to finish, so we have to turn around quite a few times every practice, whether we want to or not. Ha. And I was bowing a 4x with some newer rowers yesterday, so we spent a lot of time doing zigzags around the lake too! Hard port! 

    So really, you’re just doing the mega version, with bigger zigzags…


    p.s. I’m really looking forward to the day when an edible fish flings itself into your boat.

    Beverly from Vancouver, Canada

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