You can see ROZ’S ROUTE here. Each dot links to the blog from that day. 6.9 nautical miles to go to rendezvous with Team boat. Due to arrive Tuesday morning at Grand Bay Yacht Club

Roz's Team in Maritius

I thought that last night would be my last night on the ocean. I rowed on and off throughout the hours of darkness, taking catnaps as necessary to keep my energy levels up. The night was rough and blustery, and I snuggled my face into the hood of my orange waterproof jacket as the waves crashed and splashed around me. Stars shone hazily through the clouds, and phosphorescence glittered from the ocean as if in response. The only other lights were the faint glow of the compass between my feet – and the lights of Mauritius, glinting alluringly from the horizon behind me. At last, after 150 days at sea, land was in sight.

I ploughed on, hoping I would be able to make enough miles overnight in order to ensure landfall today. But by 5am local time, as sunrise approached, I still had 27 nautical miles to go. At current rates of progress, I would arrive in Grand Baie shortly after sunset tonight.

Making landfall in darkness is not ideal. Strong reasons for a daylight landing are dictated by safety, logistics, customs regulations and media-friendliness. But to make landfall before the sun sets at 6.05pm I would have had to average better than 2 knots all day – and the rare occasions that I’ve managed that on this voyage I’ve had a strong current helping me along, which I don’t have here.

Colin, Tony, Aenor, Rita.

I was reluctant to give up on my dream of making landfall today. I looked at my GPS, and my logbook, and back to the GPS again, optimistically trying to make the numbers work, but they just wouldn’t. No matter how motivated I might be to feel terra firma beneath my feet, it just wasn’t going to be physically possible.

I rang Tony Humphreys, my landfall logistics manager, to confirm my prognosis. Poor man – I’ve never spoken to him before, only emailed, and here I was calling him at 5am. But he sounded fresh and alert, and agreed with my calculations. We made plans for a landfall early tomorrow morning, 4th Oct, which will be exactly 5 months after I left from North Island in the Abrolhos.

As I write, I am about 20 tantalizing miles from the nearside of Mauritius, and 26 miles from Grand Baie on the leeward side. The wind is pushing me towards land, but I have to try and drag my heels to hold off my arrival until after sunrise tomorrow morning. I can’t put out the sea anchor to slow my progress, as there is a weak current flowing to the southwest, trying to sweep me onto the fringing reefs of the windward coast. The sea anchor would only exacerbate the effect of the current. I need to maintain a precise course due west in order to hit the bullseye of the narrow Quoin Channel.

Conditions are rough and grey this morning, so unfortunately I won’t be spending my day sunbathing. More likely I’ll be hiding out in the cabin, popping out once in a while to tweak the rudder. Once in a while, no doubt I will steal a look towards the silhouette of Mauritius on the horizon, and think of Mum and my team waiting there for me, and wish that I was with them.

Before I started ocean rowing, I thought it was mostly about rowing. But there is so much more to it than that. When you include all the land-based preparations, and the non-rowing activities that take place at sea, rowing is only a fraction of the whole. This present situation is an example of when it’s NOT about the rowing, but rather about seamanship, and navigation, and trying not to go crazy about the fact that I am so near, and yet so far, from shore. Looks like I’ve got another 24 hours before I can get to that hot shower, cold beer, and comfortable bed!

Quote for the day: “Adopt the pace of nature; her secret is patience.” (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

Photo 1: Left o right: Colin Leonhardt (photographer), Aenor Sawyer (doctor and friend), Rita (Roz’s mother), Tony Humphreys (logistics for arrival)
Photo 2: The Team at the Grand Bay Yacht Club.

Sponsored Miles: Very, very special thanks to all who have sponsored miles for Roz along the way, including these last names on the list: Larry Grandt, Jennifer Bester, Kamas Industries, Louis Girard, John Newson, Megan Lutz and Doug Grandt. I believe it was Rick Hyman who a long time ago asked for his name to be there sponsoring “the last mile!”
Recent additions, thanks go to:John Hayes, Ardith Januszewski, Alaia Leighland, Diane Freeman, Chris Walroth, Dominique Chantier, Charles Pell, Rick Paczewski,Robert F Harrison, John Miller, Terry Oliver, Kenneth Edding, Charles Uyeda, Patrick Seeholzer, Andrew Hedges, Joanne Pannone, Moni Law, Romy Shovelton, Leslie Layton, Graham Dickie, Green Drinks NYC, Annabel Arndt.

32 Comments

  • Roz, I can’t pass up the chance to be first comment, but how do you say congratulations any other way? CONGRATULATIONS. It seems ‘in the bag’ now, although please take care with the entry.  Bloody well done.

  • Roz…savour the last hours at sea…and then ENJOY all that is awaiting you on land. You are a very special lady .Wish I was there
    David Church

  • Roz, reading your blog about your amazing mother, all I could think of (apart from gratitude to her and your dad for creating and raising you) was whether “On Ilkley Moor Baht ‘at” would make a good rowing song for those last few, precious miles to a safe landfall!!   Funny, the tangential associations that come up at the oddest moments!  Seriously, though, Roz, I’ll echo Geoff in offering heartfelt congratulations to you on your amazing accomplishment–and not just the rowing of three oceans, but the awakening of so many minds and hearts to what each of us can do to make a difference for this beautiful blue planet.  THANK YOU!!!!

    Row strategically, Roz and welcome to land!

  • Better safe than sorry, Roz. You mum and all your Rozlings would rather see you arrive in one piece! So take some time to savor what you have accomplished (because as far as I am concerned, you did it, you single-handedly traversed the Indian Ocean) and then work on your “Upon Arrival” list, which may read as follows: 

    1) Put clothes back on. 2) Attempt to trim “beard” on legs (yeah, you probably got what you wished for, just not on your face – and thank God for that!) 3) Remember to throw a line to shore before stepping off Sedna 4) Turn and give Sedna a parting glance of “thanks,” for she has served you well 5) Let yourself melt into the loving arms of your mum 6) Push all reporters aside whilst saying “Yes, yes, thank you, thank you so much!” and grab on to your family and friends and waddle yourself over to the nearest bar for some fresh water and a cold beer/Mauritini/etc. After that, you can decide in which order you will enjoy a hot meal, the shower, sleep on a real bed, more of mum, another hot meal, interviews, and so on and so forth.According to http://www.science.nasa.gov, the celestial planet-like object by the name of Sedna is “…unlike anything seen previously by astronomers. It resembles the orbits of objects predicted to lie in the hypothetical.” I think it is safe to say that you have taken Sedna into YOUR orbit and disproved the hypothetical. Congratulations Roz. And welcome back.      

  • Morning Roz, Congratulation on a portion of the journey well lived . This long puddle of salty h2O will forever have your name Scribed in the heavens ,clouds and rainbows. The fish and birds well tell there children’s children about an Ocean rower they once met. Thank you for the answer of -whom is the greatest MUM in the world-  Rita Savage.  🙂 I hope your heart is thumping with personal pride- yes , maybe for just a few minutes out of 6 years? You have made history, but are far from slowing your pace!  But more important you have brought environmental awareness and encouraged many thousands to jump beyond their smallest fears. A book seldom persuades as fully ,  as a Savage in motion. I hope our paths cross again some day. Until then , do keep us informed of your inner and outer plans. Savage smiles with pride to a Savage woman , friend and planetary gardener. I wish you a 1001 new friends in 2011 and beyond. In truth , Bill Savage

  • If you have a facebook account, Roz could use your help. She and her team are trying to coax the news agency Le Matinal to cover her landing. They are in the best position to cover her landing and broadcast it in as real time as possible. Her facebook pages have specific instructions on how to do this.

    Thanks all…

    I am down to the base of the quick of my fingernails…

    e-See you all in the morning 🙂

    ~Jay

  • Who could be patient at a time like this?
    Row safely.
    Roz rowed on through the night
    But landfall was out of sight
    She pulled on the oar
    To make it to shore
    Alas ’twas too far, try as she might.

  • Roz and Rita…been quiet these last few weeks but nonetheless following you both…had to get this post in while you were still in Sedna…wish you both the best–from the first embrace on shore, to meals and stories shared thereafter…can’t tell you how you have become apart of my world the last 2 years when I first saw on CNN.com a story about “this woman” who was crossing the Pacific…been hooked on you and your adventures ever since…and have passed on your story and website to many of my friends after passing on praises of you to them…

    While your rowing is now coming to a close (at least for now)…I pray you will continue your regular blogs and not let us (me) not know what you are up to…

    And now to plan my next 24 hours to participate as best as I can on your landing–safely, happily, and with that typical zest and smile that flows from your soul…thank again both of you–Roz and Rita for inviting us to share your shared journeys these last few years…

    • Done! (And I am practicing my limited French for the first time in 10 years!!)  

      But yes, there really aren’t too many requests on there, so as my 4-year old says, “C’mon people!!!

  • fyi, with Roz’s landing forecast on the 4th just after sunrise, here are some time references tomorrow for Rozlings in the US (-8 hrs/East & -11 hrs/West):

    Roz local sunrise: 5:49 am / US East:  9:49 pm / US West: 6:49 pm
    Roz local time: …. 7:00 am / US East:11:00 pm / US West: 8:00 pm

    Hopefully, there will be some live or near live coverage…times to tune in to her website later today around her landing…can’t wait…be safe Roz

  • SF Bay Group.  Plans are rapidly shifting for Roz’s Party in San Francisco. Now more likely to happen on Friday 14th October at 6pm until closing 🙂 Please mark you calendars and stand by for details or email me directly at outsidejay@gmail.com for direct news. (sent on 3Oct at 0543) Solidification of plans in next two days. This is most convenient for Roz.

    Row Roz Row!

  • A landing in the day sounds much nicer than at night. May your last day at sea be a wonderful one. Can’t wait for your landfall. I’ll be thinking of you until then and sending all sorts of love.

  • Dear Roz,   Great news!  You are almost there.   Please be sure your rowing room has lots of sea room.  I know you will.  If you look to larboard and starboard forward and aft, up to the azimuth, and in the water you will see you are surrounded by fish in the sea, birds in the air, phosphorescent plankton and land animals (when you get there) and people in all sorts of boats flying great banners and shouting Go Roz Go!
    All the best to you and Rita and the crew,      Stephen

  • Safe landing, Roz! It’s about 6 p.m. Mauritius time as I write this, so just a relative few more hours to go. I hope you can get some sleep tonight, and that the trip over the top bit of Mauritius and into Grand Bai goes extremely well in the morning. I’m so thrilled that you’re finally completing this long, long voyage and that you’ve shared so much of it with us. However large the crowd or group is that meets you in person, I’d like you to envision the thousands of us who’ve been with you virtually through the thousands of miles (in spirit if not in the comments) there, too, to cheer your accomplishment.

    Your friend,
    Joan

  • Hi Roz,
    I’ll echo Nancy – better safe than sorry. You can begin and begin any way you want. But you can end it all properly just once. I’m so glad you’re nearly there!

    Cheers,

    Eric

  • “People do not decide to become extraordinary, they decide to accomplish extraordinary things.”   (Sir Edmund Hillary, 1919-2008, Mountaineer, Explorer and Philanthropist)  You, Brits are astounding!  Safe into shore, Roz.  Seeing angels all around you as you glide into the pier!

  • Rita…thanks for inserting your “team” photos in today’s blog…

    we are getting “really” close…I am sure you are all getting very exciting…along with the rest of us…wishing all the best to a smooth and gentle landing for Roz

  • If one would think about Roz Savage’s highly eventful journeys across the Atlantic Ocean, the Pacific Ocean, and now the Indian Ocean, it is truly an amazing thought to imagine how she mustered courage and determination to survive these adventures alone through the storms and unpredictable weather which have capsized her beloved Sedna several times and challenged her resolve to always remain faithful and hopeful.

    One would only need to imagine how Roz grew her own food and desalinate her own water to last her for months; how she would drift off course while she slept and have to recover lost nautical miles first thing upon waking up; how she dealt with solitude and lapses of self-confidence plus fatigue and moments of weakness. In the middle of all these challenges and the momentous work she did, one row at a time, she managed to offer us inspirations and insights through her blogs she wrote and uploaded daily  while being in the middle of the ocean. Simply fascinating!

    Not only will Roz Savage be the First Woman to Row Solo the Big Three, but she also serves as a beacon of inspiration for many of us to follow our heart’s desires with all our being.

  • I’d be knocking people down to get to the shower…and a beer!! But you are way more gracious than I!! Cannot wait to read your blog-the one you’re gonna write after you get some space to yourself after making it to shore! Yea, night landings suck for sure-hard enough sometimes even in the day. wooohoo!! you did it girl!!!!

  • To the “Queen of the 3 Seas”,

    Congratulations on getting in with such great navigation in a narrow channel. I would think that’s the fun part over the rowing! Now that you’re retiring, you can row for fun with lots of stops like island hopping in the South Seas and Cook Islands. You just need a new boat! I was reading  a new history “Dover” book today of William Bligh’s original account of his Bounty voyage (not the novel). His log of the expedition in the Bounty then of the mutiny and then of the incredible “ROW” in the 23′ foot tender (that’s the size of Sedna isn’t it?) with eighteen starving men over 1200 leagues to Australia and Timor! Great history and much more interesting than the novel. And I’m thinking how much nicer it is to row with plentiful food. But I guess you had to do some “sea-rationing” along the way… well, that part is over. Don’t gain too much weight now!

    Somehow, I never doubted you would not complete. It will be great to be dry, I’ll bet.
    To your future. Last one from
    Mike in Florida!

  • Whoo Hoo!!  Congratulations, Roz. The amount of coordination you have had to put forth with the organization of it all is a phenomenal feat in itself. Your teams over the years have done a fabulous job. I can’t believe you are hanging up your oars, but after 5 months of doing nothing but that…well I guess I can believe it and understand it.  I’ve had a great time blogging along with your followers. Bringing people together for a common cause is a noble reason for your rowing the oceans. I’m truly glad you are safe. You’ve been an inspiration to me on several levels. See you soon.  -Sindy

  • Way to go, Roz!  You did it!  From Woodberry, to Woodside to Asheville… we’ve been cheering you on all the way.  What an inspiration you are.  With love from Michael, Deb, Madison, Sallie & Buddy
    Here’s a favorite in honor of your arrival…  “Tho’ much is taken, much abides, and tho’ We are not now that strength which in old days Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are;One equal temper of heroic heartsMade weak by time and fate, but strong in willTo strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.”                                         ~ Alfred Tennyson, Ulysses

  • It is 2230 pst and 0930 in Mauritius. Roz has made contact with team boat and now enters the most difficult part of her journey. She has several advantages that other boaters did not have. A bottom heavier boat and a monster amount of experience.

    Now is the time to send your good vibes. Whether by prayer or wish, or crossed fingers and toes, whether by moment of silence or with a raised glass of beverage of your choice… Now is the time to hold that Solidarity Party in time honored tradition!

    ~ ROW ROZ ROW ~

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