Paddler's Pet Pacific Passions
As the flipside to yesterday's gripes about my pet peeves, here are some
of the compensations to life on an ocean rowboat (and in case this is
all a bit too Pollyanna for you, skip to Other Stuff where I once again
get something off my chest…)
Good things about ocean rowing:
7. Getting an all-over suntan – I even alternate my feet in my rowing
shoes now so that they get a bit of color. Didn't have this figure out
on the Atlantic crossing and arrived in Antigua looking like I'd stepped
up to my ankles in whitewash.
6. I get to eat as much as I want without getting fat. Quite the
opposite in fact – I tend to lose about 25 pounds on a crossing.
5. I do what I want, when I want, with very few restrictions apart from
scheduled calls on the satellite phone.
4. But having said that, I like having the steady routine that I never
seem to find in my nomadic existence on dry land. I even remember to
take my vitamin pills.
3. Glow of virtue from eating healthy food and getting lots of fresh air
2. The stars at night have to be seen to be believed – so bright, so
many, so very humbling.
1. Simplicity and purity – I have what I need (give or take a few tubes
of shower gel) and not much more. I often think of my boat as my little
floating nun's cell, in a good way. My time here reminds me what is
important in life – and what isn't.
Eeeeah. Aaarrgh. Eeeaawww. (Imagine lots of Jim Carrey-like face pulling
to indicate inner conflict.) I'm going to have to do it. I know you're
not supposed to dignify negative comments with a response, but I just
can't help myself. Two days ago someone (and we all know who you are)
posted a comment on this blog that I just have to reply to.
So you feel like this voyage so far has been "flat"? Disappointed
because so far I haven't been airlifted by helicopter (2007), had both
my watermakers fail (2008), broken all my oars or lost my communications
(2006)? You may be disappointed, but personally, I am quite happy about
this state of affairs, and would like it to continue. Dramas? Been
there, done that, got the press clippings.
Before every voyage I catch myself thinking "I hope it's not boring" and
then very quickly tell myself to be careful what I wish for. At sea,
drama = bad. It is life-threatening, stressful, and sometimes very
This is not a Hollywood movie. It is REAL LIFE – you know, that thing
that happens when you get away from your computer keyboard and go and do
something more interesting instead. I am not a screenwriter, I am a
blogger. I don't make this stuff up.
I bare heart, soul and backside for your entertainment and edification.
I invite you to share my life, thoughts and adventures, and to abuse
that invitation strikes me as bad manners.
But just to keep you happy, I have arranged for some dramatic new
developments. In a few weeks time I will be hit by a giant killer
tsunami, resulting in an unrecoverable capsize. Then I get rescued by a
galleon, only to discover that it is manned by bloodthirsty pirates.
Luckily I manage to melt the heart of the ruthless pirate captain (who
bears an uncanny resemblamce to Johnny Depp). He whisks me off to a
tropical island where we make our own rum and live happily ever after.
I booked the tsunami for July 23, 6pm UTC. I do hope you can wait that
long for things to get less "flat".
I think I've made my point.
Meanwhile, thank you to the vast majority of people who have been
posting lovely, supportive, encouraging and entertaining comments on my
blog. I truly appreciate them. Especially enjoyed yesterday's comments
from Maria Pomponio, Anna Farmery, and the Old Man. Thanks also to
chep2m for the link to the Google Blog. Sindy – keep up the good work, I
know you'll find a way to fit those steps in somehow – and even if you
don't make it to 10,000 steps in a day, know that every bit helps!
On the question about sharks – yes, every time I go for a plunge I check
for ominous shadows around my boat. Haven't seen any yet, but can't be
too careful. A big shark bite is one drama I could definitely do
And hello to Guam and India!
OK, time to get this blog posted. If you haven't yet checked out
yesterday's video RozCast on YouTube, please do. It took me 2 hours to
get the 30 second ocean bit uploaded because I kept losing the
connection to the satellites, so please make it worth my while! Easiest
to find it via the RozTracker. Enjoy!
Position at 2030 HST: 13 50.199N, 165 59.602W
Wind: over 20kts – very inconvenient. Lots of walloping around the head
by sun canopy until gave up and took it down
Seas: 8-10ft, often coming over side of boat
Weather: overcast morning, blistering afternoon
Weather forecast courtesy of weatherguy.com:
The easterly trade winds persist in the 20kt range throughout the
forecast period. Seas 5-8ft.
Temperature: Hot and getting hotter with increasing humidity heading
towards the equator.
Sky conditions: Partly cloudy and consistent cloud cover next five days.
Very isolated rainshowers. About 11-10N latitude, increasing clouds
approaching the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ). These clouds
become convective clouds which increase the chance of heavy rainshowers,
thunderstorms, and lightning normally associated with the ITCZ.
Currently, the convergence area of the ITCZ lies between 11N and 4N
Next Update: Monday, 22 June