Dictated at 21.40 on Thursday 6th May.
This blog was dictated by Roz and transcribed by her mother, Rita Savage.
Position: -3.12780S, 160.85564E

Barnacles under the boat, August 09

So far this voyage has been remarkably mellow. I was starting to feel that I was getting the hang of this ocean-rowing malarkey, enjoying the journey as much as the destination. My progress has been eased by generally favourable winds and currents so I have been taking time out to enjoy ocean life, admiring cloud formations, snorkeling around the boat and gazing up at the stars at night.

However, that all might be about to change. The harbinger of the new phase arrived tonight in the shape of a pinprick of light on the horizon. I tried to convince myself that it was just a low-lying star. But no, it was definitely a vessel on my ocean. Huh!
It doesn’t seem to be getting any closer so hopefully we will just be ships passing in the night, but it did make me get out my chart to see how far I am from land. The answer is: not far enough.

This morning I had called Lee Bruce, my weatherman, to discuss my route. We agreed that Australia is (and probably always was) out of the question, and that my best bet is to make for Madang in Papua New Guinea. The challenge is going to be the obstacle course of islands, atolls and reefs between here and there. My chart of this area, given to me by Captain Vince of the White Holly is rather old but hopefully not too many new features have sprung up in the last 50 years.

After 1961 (not clear what Roz said – any ideas, anyone?) I come to a scattering of small islands including Nuku Manu Frindsbury and Tauu islands. I need to try and weave my way through these and then pass through the straits between Bouganville Island and the southern tip of New Ireland. Then I want to skirt the bottom of New Britain before turning North West to follow the coast of New Guinea up to Madang.
All this is very much easier said than done. Ocean rowboats do not like land. They lack maneuverability and

There’s not much point in stressing about it yet because I don’t know from this far out what the weather conditions will be like by the time I get there. According to Lee the winds should be relatively light by the time I get in amongst the islands, improving my chances of slaloming my way through without running slap-bang into anything.

Its all part of the adventure.
Gulp.

Other stuff: Alf the spider has made a dangerous foray into the area around my feet today. I had to be careful not to tread on the little fellow. It would a shame for him to survive the hazards of an ocean voyage only to be trodden on by his ship’s captain.
Some larger fish with yellow fins and tails have joined the community of little yellow fish beneath my boat. I suspect that their arrival may lead to a reduction in the population of little yellow fish. It is turning into quite an eco-system down there.
Thank you for your comments both on this blog and on Facebook. Mum is passing on as many as she can in our phone calls and by SMS to my satphone. All much appreciated. Keep them coming.

Thanks to latest contributors to the Foundation: James Salzman, Grandad Larry Grandt and Steve Maskell.

10 Comments

  • Morning Roz and Rita,
    Company on the high seas, yikes .Let’s hope they are traveling the horizontal – west to eastward.
    Looks like Roz will be seeing the north tip of Nukumanu Island in about 4 ½ days. Then pass between Buka and Nissan Island ?A few welcome fireworks would be fun for her to see. The oceans have only risen a handful of cm”s the last hundred years or so. Last sub surface (very deep volcanic)activity was april 2007, near the Solomon Islands. Yes it will take careful routing by the captain. Any chance Alf can man the bow and carry a whistle?
    What is the draft on the Brocade?
    What distance will Roz have to remain away from shore to have a safe buffer for nightly rest?
    Will the current and wave speed drop off once in the Solomon Basin?
    I do suppose the Paparazzi will be lurking about when you get within zoom lens distance of the Islands? Shhhii. Captain you will have visual contact to soon and not soon enough.
    Word for the day: seriocomic (seer-ee-ohKOM-ik) having both serious and humorous characteristics.
    Quote of the day:
    The world is round and the place which may seem like the end may also be the beginning.
    Ivy Baker Priest
    The only people with whom you should try to get even, are those who have helped you. May Maloo
    Don’t be afraid of the space between your dreams and reality. If you can dream it, you can make it so.
    Belva Davis.
    Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage. Anais Nin

    All work and no play makes for a dull journey. Thank you for remembering your lighter self Roz. Be safe and strong rowing.
    bill

  • Rita; if there’s time, can you read this one to Roz please?

    A young bagpiper was asked by a funeral director to play at a grave-side service for a homeless man, with no family or friends. The funeral was to be held at a cemetery way back in the country, and this man would be the first to be laid to rest there.

    He was not familiar with the backwoods area, became lost; and being a typical man did not stop for directions. He finally arrived an hour late and saw the backhoe and the crew, who were eating lunch, but the hearse was nowhere in sight. He apologized to the workers for his tardiness, and stepped to the side of the open grave, where the vault lid was already in place. He assured the workers he would not hold them up for long, but this was the proper thing to do. The workers gathered around, still eating their lunch. He played out his heart and soul. As he played the workers began to weep. He played and like he’d never played before: From My Home & The Lord is my Shepherd to Flowers of the Forest.

    He closed the lengthy session with Amazing Grace and walked to his car. As he was opening the door and taking off his coat, he overheard one of the workers saying to another, “Jeezuz, Mary’n Joseph, I never seen nothin’ like that before – and I’ve been putting in septic tanks for twenty years.”

  • Morning Roz and Rita,
    Company on the high seas, yikes .Let’s hope they are traveling the horizontal – west to eastward.
    Looks like Roz will be seeing the north tip of Nukumanu Island in about 4 ½ days. Then pass between Buka and Nissan Island ?A few welcome fireworks would be fun for her to see. The oceans have only risen a handful of cm”s the last hundred years or so. Last sub surface (very deep volcanic)activity was april 2007, near the Solomon Islands. Yes it will take careful routing by the captain. Any chance Alf can man the bow and carry a whistle?
    What is the draft on the Brocade?
    What distance will Roz have to remain away from shore to have a safe buffer for nightly rest?
    Will the current and wave speed drop off once in the Solomon Basin?
    I do suppose the Paparazzi will be lurking about when you get within zoom lens distance of the Islands? Shhhii. Captain you will have visual contact to soon and not soon enough.
    Word for the day: seriocomic (seer-ee-ohKOM-ik) having both serious and humorous characteristics.
    Quote of the day:
    The world is round and the place which may seem like the end may also be the beginning.
    Ivy Baker Priest
    The only people with whom you should try to get even, are those who have helped you. May Maloo
    Don’t be afraid of the space between your dreams and reality. If you can dream it, you can make it so.
    Belva Davis.
    Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage. Anais Nin

    All work and no play makes for a dull journey. Thank you for remembering your lighter self Roz. Be safe and strong rowing.
    bill

  • Two things, tell me roz didn’t leave with 50 year old charts? Thats crazy, Old charts are like old maps, things change and new charts have all sorts of new info. I know Roz and her money spending habits so I guess I answered that myself. The other thing is the bottom growth, she is in apart of the ocean she has not been in before and in those waters stuff grows fast. that last pic of the starboard rear bottom looks like a corral reef!!! and she just started. She must stay on top of that, it can slow her down tremendously!!! Check with any one you know who has spent lots of time at sea in a small boat, Its HUGE, its like dragging a bucket. Especially if she has to put some steam on rowing to get around one of the atolls or reefs and anything that is in between her and where she decides to go for. Other than that, as always, good on ya roz, how is the weight loss going? xxoobutch

  • Robert — Note that the barnacle picture is from 2009. Roz can’t currently send photos, so I’m guessing that Rita is posting relevant ones from the past. I think Roz mentioned scraping barnacles recently.

    Also, Can someone get word to Dr. Kiki of the podcast that Maarten Troost’s “Sex Lives of Cannibals” has practically nothing to do with cannibals? I listened to the audio book on vacation last year and it was fantastic. It’s about everyday life and culture in Kiribati and on Tarawa, and it’s hilarious and informative. I remember there was some tiny mention of something in the book that the title grew out of, but it was so minor that I can’t even remember that part now.

    The parts I remember laughing about most were the author’s scheme to get revenge on the islanders for loving and constantly playing “La Macarena,” and the custom in which any islander can walk up to another and say a certain phrase (slips my mind) like, “I blah-blah your bicycle,” and you have to give that person your bicycle. It works for any possession. Oh, and the part where Maarten and his wife were guests on another island and their choice for dinner was extremely large tasty lobster (which their host thought was a pitiful offering because they consider lobsters to be disgusting bottom feeders) or something corned-beef-hash-like in a can from China (delicacy!). They asked if they could have lobster every night of their stay.

    I highly recommend it.

  • Rita — “1961” could have possibly been “161” degrees longitude, which is roughly where Roz would have been in the past day or two.

    Joan — I, too, cringed when Dr. Kiki mentioned cannibals in the podcast a couple of weeks ago. Also, now that I know the letters “ti” are pronounced “s” in Kiribati, Betio, etc., it grates on my ears whenever someone pronounces it the way it looks, even though I can’t really blame them for not knowing.

  • I never remember about the live Roz Rows broadcast on twit.tv, so I’m always listening to the podcast several days late. I see there’s a broadcast tonight, so I’ll try to catch it this time.

  • Robert (or is it Butch?)I think that Roz was relying on her chart plotter, not expecting it to fail! She was not unprepared, and had spent money on something that would provide the most up to date information. And yes, the date on the underwater photo was last year – I like to brighten up the blog with a picture if I can!

  • Hi Roz / Rita,

    I am reading the blog day by day, Sorry not being a big contributor in the coments,
    But Sometimes I get a bright idea and need to write it down.

    your question was “not clear what Roz said – any ideas, anyone?”
    For us (readers) hard to know..

    Why not post the audio file (voicemail from Roz) on the blog as well on the blog.
    It will almost look like a daily podcast.

    Keep on transcribing, and for Roz keep on rowing

    Baldwin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.