Rita in 2005

No, I haven’t wandered grievously off course. Krakatoa is the book I was listening to today, not where I am. Simon Winchester’s book was, as all his books are, informative, interesting, and well written. I bet he’d be a great dinner party guest.

In 1883 Krakatoa, a volcano in Indonesia, erupted. That is probably rather an understatement. It exploded, rather than erupted. Four cubic miles of rock – the entire volcano – vanished. The sound of the eruption was heard up to 3,000 miles away. The shock waves registered on instruments all around the world. The dust lingering in the atmosphere created dazzling red sunsets worldwide for up to three years afterwards, and caused a dip in global temperatures.

It’s just staggering, the sheer energy of the explosion. Terrifying though the destruction was, there is something quite awe-inspiring about such a magnificent display of raw natural power.

I find it reassuring, in a strange way, that nature can be so powerful (although obviously I prefer to be reminded of this by proxy, in a book, rather than by being tossed around by huge waves). It gives me hope that when humankind is dead and gone, having made a right old mess of the world, nature won’t have any difficulty obliterating any trace that we ever existed. I’d just like that to be later, rather than sooner.

Other Stuff:

The sea anchor is out. All good things come to an end, and my few days of good progress have temporarily stalled. Such is life.

Speaking of life, I didn’t finish “Life”, by Keith Richards. I got rather bogged down in the minutiae of Richards’s early years. Even Johnny Depp’s narration couldn’t get me through it. I may well try it again later, but it’s on hold for now.

Great to get a message from Sarah Outen on my Day 23 blog. Sarah is busy doing a human powered trip from London to London via the world, with limited internet access, so honoured indeed that she checked in to comment on her Tweedles!

Eric – the towel you sent me is indeed coming in handy, although I have a confession to make. It is no longer in its original form. It is a perfect fabric for seat covers – absorbent when in use, and quick to wash and dry so I can keep a constant rotation going. So it is now chopped up into multiple rectangles, and is very much appreciated by my bottom. Thank you!

Pippa – thanks for being concerned about my warmth at night. I didn’t bring my Antarctic jacket – hopefully it’s on its way to Mum’s house along with my other luggage. It does get quite cool at night, but I have a lovely snuggly sleeping bag by Ocean Sleepwear, lined with thick fleece. It’s great, but can be very difficult to get out of in the mornings! 🙂

UncaDoug – interested to hear about your friend Gary Braasch’s photographs of Tarawa. I’ll have to check them out when I’m back on land. It’s quite a unique place.

The comments on the bilge pump blog made me laugh out loud. Thank you! Bruce, I’ve been trying to get a tune out of it, but no luck so far. I don’t think I’ve got my embouchure quite right yet. Maybe I’ll have time to practice while the sea anchor is out. Maybe it will sound like a cross between a bassoon and a didgeridoo.

Our latest podcast has gone live. “Today I Am Quite Fond Of The Ocean” (did I really say that?!) is online at Roz Roams.

Photo: There was nothing especially exciting to photograph today, so I thought you might like another picture from the archives – a pic of my Mum, working on my boat in 2005 after she decided “if you can’t beat them, join them”.

Sponsored Miles:

Not many miles rowed today. Gary Stanley, Brad McDonell.


  • And here I thought you had broken a toe …. Krakatoa. As I’ve said before, I learn something new from you every day, Roz.

    Thanks for mentioning Gary Braasch’s pix of Tarawa. For Rozlings, the url links to Gary Braasch’s work are on Day 22 at http://bit.ly/iCaCfG

    Roz, I am humming a little ditty by Herman and the Hermits … thought I’d plant this into your  medial prefrontal cortex, cerebellum and superior Temporal sulci … LOL …

    Mrs. Brown you have a lovely daughter
    It’s a song the words I shall not launder
    I know it’s Sunday
    And hope it’s a fun day
    Wishing you and Sedna, chose not to wander

    Have a wild and wacky windy wavy day, Roz

  • I’m glad you “join ’em”, Rita!
    Glad to know you’re not shivering, Roz.
    Apparently we are about to be hit by some foul weather in Perth too, so we’ve battened down the hatches (we’re such wimps here as 364 days of the year the weather is beautiful). We’ll be thinking of you Roz & hoping the storms blow over quick & won’t blow you off course.

  • I am guessing this will be of no interest, But, I hope that it is to some… Artists from around the world Loved painting Krakatoa… The Italian artists that did so loved depicting the volcano – and its after-effects – in various series of egg-gouaches (sort of egg-thickened water-colors) on paper that they sold for pennies once they got home… These are beautiful and NOW very collectible – and many small shops and auction-houses around the world do not know what they are… A year or so ago, I bought a series of 20 of these in a little auction… Their estimate was $30 – $50… I paid $200 for them against other competition. The auction house was thrilled. I sold them at an auction house in Boston, correctly described, a month later… They brought $11,000. I was thrilled… Rozlings’ Assignment for today and ongoing, around the world, go look for these in little antique shops and the like… They are unmistakable – Pink Sunsets, Smoking volcano in the background, and the like…

  • Public Broadcasting has been replaying the excellent piece on the eruption of the Santorini volcano in 1450BC, and how the resultant tidal wave etc was possibly responsible for the destruction of the Minoan civilization, which was at the time the most advanced culture around.  I remember visiting Crete and Knossos many years ago, and marveling at the connection the people had with the sea (Mediterranean), and the beautiful images of blue dolphins painted on the walls of the buildings.  Today, we seem to use events-of-nature as a form of spectator sport, on television and in the media, but we forget the power of nature in this form, and how earlier civilizations were prematurely ended (Krakatoa, Pompeii, Santorini, etc) when they ran afoul of the destructive power of volcanoes and the elements.

    There was also another show recently on how the area around Mount St. Helens has come back, environmentally-speaking, since the 1980 eruption.  What looked, at the time, as catastrophic destruction, is now characterized by nature and “greenness” reclaiming the area.  As Roz says today, the recuperative power of nature is spectacular.  I’ve long believed that our planet itself is NOT really in danger, but that the planet might need to wipe out humans in order to ensure it’s own survival, if humans are not living in accord with the fundamental laws of nature.   🙂

  • Roz laughed at her Rozling’s Bilge Jokes
    She thought, “What a bunch of silly blokes”
    Pictures of @Rita:disqus danced in her head
    While she dozed in her snuggly fleece lined bed
    Then dreaming Humbug asked her, “Got any smokes?”

  • Roz had a friend @9ded466cb37f14648c547bf3da0e14bf:disqus in Perth
    Others Rozlings were scattered ’round earth
    We all supported Roz along the way
    And hoped to all meet one-another someday
    And when we do, Oh what great mirth

  • Roz,

    Your use of the towel is both ingenious and proper. If you recall in the letter I sent with it: “To determine what to send I consulted various survival books to include the SAS Survival Manual and the US Army Ranger Handbook. However, I deferred to a more appropriate authority: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.” I can’t help but think Douglas Adams would approve. I will send another. Cheers!

  • Hey Roz~ I highly recommend that you give Keith Richard’s book another try. I’m not sure how audio books work, but if you can, just fast forward through the tedious bits. It really is a great book overall. I read it from cover to cover, and he does have some bits where he gets a touch over~detailed, but if you skip over the parts that don’t interest you, you won’t miss anything. The majority of the book is fabulous.

    On another note, hoping wishing thinking and praying that your journey is as smooth and safe and amazing as it can be. When I look out at the ocean on a day like today (we’re having super high winds and high surf here in L.A.), I can’t possibly imagine ROWING out there! Your strength and determination inspire me to no end. I am in awe! *Cheers!*

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