Bilge Pump

Want to know what every accessory-conscious ocean rower will be sporting this season? Here it is, the must-have item for your spring collection…

A bilge pump!

It comes in a very fetching shade of blue, teamed with classic grey, and is invaluable for perking up any locker that is looking a bit wishy-washy.

I never go anywhere without mine!

Seriously though, this really is proving to be this voyage’s indispensable item. On the Pacific that award went to my 12-volt fan, which went everywhere on board with me, out on deck as well as in the cabin, and prevented me from overheating, or at least losing the will to live.

But this year the heat is not a problem, but water in places it shouldn’t be is (not very grammatical, but you get what I mean). The rubber draft-excluding tape worked for a while, but now it has squished down and doesn’t work so well. Luckily the bilge pump makes quick work of getting most of the water out of the lockers – much faster than bailing. Ah, the glamorous life of an ocean rower…

Other Stuff:

Thank heavens, today conditions have calmed down significantly. This has made life on board much more pleasant. Stress levels have dramatically reduced, along with the wave heights.

I hear that Missouri and the UK have also been having extreme winds. My sympathies. And another volcanic eruption in Iceland too. We live in interesting times.

Rochelle – fantastic to hear from you! And thanks in advance for the blog mention. I can’t wait to see the film “Cancerpants”. I’m sure it will be a huge inspiration to many, many cancer patients and their friends and families. I’ll be back in Dallas doing some Nat Geo presentations in Feb 2012. How about we get together then for a screening?

Pippa – my British ensigns usually look fairly weatherbeaten by the end of a voyage, with a few frayed edges – much like me!

Hey Team Steamy! How exciting to hear that Steamy has moved on to a new home. Ah, my word, I often think of those days, when I was a wet-behind-the-ears (and everywhere else!) newbie to seafaring. I wish you many fun-filled voyages aboard Steamy Windows, and hope that the hatches over the bunks don’t still leak on you!

Drifterfour – Devon is one of my favourite parts of the world. So excited to hear about your home-downsizing (or rightsizing!) and I hope you love your new abode.

Bruce – thanks for the info on the megafauna. I’m not quite sure how I feel about trying to lure giant squid up out of the depths at night. That might be testing my nerves a little far. Let me psych myself up for that one!

Richard in DFW – your poetry is terrible, but I’m loving it. Keep it coming! 🙂

Sponsored Miles:

Phillip Nixon, Brad McDonell – thanks for sponsoring several miles.


    • Roz, I just now received an email from my photojournalist friend Gary Braasch who recently visited several South Pacific island nations on a mission to document their plight photographically. He included Tarawa, Kiribati in his itinerary at my suggestion.

      In his email, Gary wrote: The World Meteorological Organization yesterday published an 11-page article from encouraging weather agencies and scientists to strengthen their communication with the public by using powerful photography and direct accounts of climate science and events.

      The article is on pages 23-33 of and there is a wonderful summary and slide show of the photos at

      I highly recommend these to Rozlings, as Gary explains: 

      “Images of change, of scientists at work, of people already on the edge of climate change – these give needed background to weather news and climatology research. They can provoke public discussion and political decision-making. Excellent, well-planned and science-driven photography is an essential tool for climate and weather services worldwide.

      “Pictures are not science; they can, however, provide direct evidence that global warming is happening now, all over the world. It is important to document this decisive, overarching event of the twenty-first century – one with no equal in the previous centuries of human civilization. This is truly a global change. Fortunately, there is a great deal we can do, and many of us have already begun.”

  • I’d have to get a bilge to go with the accessory!

    Roz, it has suddenly become quite cold over night here in Perth (well cold for us!) & last night, as I was shivering in bed waiting for my body heat to warm the bed, I was thinking about you & how cold it must get out there. Did you take you red Antarctic coat with you? How cold does it get at night?

    • Hey @9ded466cb37f14648c547bf3da0e14bf:disqus , I agree, The nasty weather wherever we are seems to always make me think of Roz at the same moment. BTW, Not sure what meds I am supposed to be on that you keep suggesting I should be? Over my lifetime I have been on so many after various surgical procedures, that I hate the feeling the produce. I remember the first time they gave me post-op Morphine for pain… Extreme Pain one second, NONE the next. It scared me – the “Power” it had, that I lost – if that makes any sense?

      • Yes, it makes sense. You said a couple of days ago something about being in a bad medicine mess? Just ignore me & keep up the “terrible poetry”!

        • Sweet @Pippa, You could NEVER PAY ME to “ignore” you, or Roz, Or Doug, Or… – All the Morphine in the world couldn’t do it either… Ooops, I’m sorry!!! Chalk up the “Meds” misunderstanding to the post-comatose haze, because you are absolutely right… You remember what made you fall off your chair laughing – That Texans are never wrong, We are just a little less right; We cannot learn from our mistakes, Because we never make any; And that I did think I was mistaken once, But I was wrong stuff? Well having grown up with, and surrounded by doctors, Doctors are never wrong, they are just a little less right; they cannot learn from our mistakes, Because they never make any either… NOW, Combine Texans With Doctors and you get a deadly combo – Texas Doctors… I died 3 times in what is considered one of the top two hospital systems in DFW, which, BTW, is rated 27 out of 100 overall Nationally – for hurting or killing 9 Times as many “Customers” as they call them at this hospital, as a result of “Error, Accident or Negligence”, as are hurt or killed in “The Average Hospital” in America – for one reason.  One of “The Best in DFW”, 27 out of 100, and hurting and killing 9 times the National Average – and they choose to not learn from any of this… Some things can never be changed – Especially here in Texas, “Because We are The Best” and We shoot anyone who does not agree with Us…

      • P.S. @9ded466cb37f14648c547bf3da0e14bf:disqus

        “You want a Bilge? Not sure why?”
        Roz might suggest, “Wild Berry Pie”
        “My current quest is oh so hard”
        “Make that crust with some pure lard”
        “I can almost taste it now, My Oh My!”

  • “Richard in DFW – your poetry is terrible, but I’m loving it. Keep it coming! ” I know it does Dear Roz! I look at life as making the worst of times – including poetic times humorous.

    Roz says Richard in DFW’s poetry is BAD AT BEST
    Ha! At least I am not stuck in some Wet Nest
    She suggests it makes her giggle
    He loves that little orange squiggle
    In spite of her finding fault with his quest

    • Don’t ever go into a coma – you can say what you want to say, You just can’t type it any more… Interesting?!

      “Richard in DFW – your poetry is terrible, but I’m loving it. Keep it
      coming! ” I know it is Dear Roz! I look at life as making the worst of
      times – including attempts at poetic times – humorous.”

    • Always nice to see when someone’s found their calling in life and you seem to have found your (second) calling–selling bilge pumps and bilge pump accessories. SEXY. I want to be the first to have one. I need it for my bicycle. Do they come in maroon to match my helmet? 

      Love your blog. Humorous, philosophical, happy, sad, inspirational. Must be cathartic and sanity-preserving. Keep them coming. 

  • Hi Roz, I have been reading your blog from day one and I admire your guts, determination, stamina and conviction. I sailed close by you recently and I wanted to call you on the radio but I thought you were miles away and now I regret it, but at the time I didn’t know your position. If I get another chance I might sail past again but this time stop to say hello. Stay focused and good luck on your endeavor.



  • Hey Roz & @Rochelle:disqus “Rochelle – fantastic to hear from you! And thanks in advance for the
    blog mention. I can’t wait to see the film “Cancerpants”. I’m sure it
    will be a huge inspiration to many, many cancer patients and their
    friends and families. I’ll be back in Dallas doing some Nat Geo
    presentations in Feb 2012. How about we get together then for a
    screening?” Having lived with Cancer for 38 years – with stories and perspective to share if you are interested, A movie being made on my life – The Exec. Producer & Director of Photographer are BOTH Nat. Geo. award-winning, and living near Dallas at the moment, If I am still here, can I invite myself along to this “screening”?

  • Top-ten bilge pump multi uses: 
    1. Timekeeping sundial 
    2. Snorkel device
    3. Hat adornment (replaces feathers from endangered birds)
    4. Professional musical instrument
    5. Kid water toy
    6. Hair beautifier AND cosmetics remover
    7. I-Phone converter tip (prototype)
    8. Reverse turkey baster
    9. Dog groomer (but no poodles or other long-hair breeds)
    10. Rosebush pruner 

    • 11. Shoe tree (size 17 AAAA)
      12. Manual pneumatic release
      13. Draft-excluding tape tester
      14. Whoopee cushion un-inflator
      15. Bernoulli distribution protractor
      16. Statistical chi-square inflatulator
      17. Air-time stretcher (organic blue)
      18. Keel hauler jib down cleat dryer
      19. Blue moon toe jamb shucker
      20. Diagnostic analog dispeller
      21. Budget balancing ploy

      Bruce, it must be something in the *bottled* water LOL

  • Hi Roz,

    So glad to hear the weather is calming some. Now you just need a friendly current. Too bad you can’t work the pump with the rowing seat action.


  • Yes, Roz- that hatch still leaks! It’s on our to-do list! Together with stripping her to bare bones, re-doing her electrics, plumbing and 25 year old upholstery! You wouldn’t recognise her though- she looks more like a creche these days with netting around the sides for our two small children, one of whom was conceived on her before our Atlantic crossing! I had been sailing on her for over a year and couldn’t work out why I was so sea sick… 8 months later, we had to stop in the USA en route to Australia for a while to give birth! Steamy Windows lives up to her name! If you are ever in Brisbane, look us up at the RQYS! Enjoying your blog- keep it up! You’re inspirational! Some pics to make you smile- we spent many days being deluged, pooped and rolled with 10 metre following seas and 40 knot winds off the coast of Africa, and have a tiny tiny inkling of some of the fears you have- when we made it through, we never felt more alive. It is worth everything you are going through just for that feeling- that’s what life can be like if you are prepared to work for it! Caylie

  • Roz, about the Water in your lockers: Do you have Polyurethane Sealant with you in your repair kit (Sikalfex or something?) This should probably work perfect to create a boundary around your hatches. It’s working under water, so just clean the area a bit from salt and dirt and squeeze a thick line under the hatch opening. If not: In your repairkit for the desalinator should be some grease or at least oil to treat the o-rings. Get grease onto the rubber  sealings inside of the hatch (clean it with sweet water first). Maybe this will help. If you are sure the sealing is old and brittle – i would try your canned butter if you have no grease. If the hatches are leaking under the frame/mount: Use epoxy if not Polyurethane. You should have epoxy in your rerairkit – in worst case the little two-component knead bars. Get some foil on you fingertip and spread it around the mount with some pressure. Janice

  • Roz et al: You are NOW the #1 “Roz” on Google’s “Search Engine” – with over 1.7 Million mentions of your name. Congrats!

  • I forwarded your Day 22 Blog and photo of your bilge pump to my friend at West Marine… Heard that the memo went on to the VP’s- with good responses. Hoping that you will hear from them soon!

  • YAY! Something to look forward to FEB ’12 it is 🙂 I hope we can get you to Austin this go around… But I will go anywhere for you. Stay strong. I am so proud to know you.

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