Today was a long day at the oars, with a goal from my weatherman to reach a particular latitude in order to rendezvous with good winds tomorrow, but I was kept going by a particularly good audiobook – “Holy Cow!” by Sarah McDonald.

She is an Australia TV presenter, who spent two years in India when her boyfriend (later husband) was posted over there. She spent most of her time exploring the “spiritual supermarket”, as she describes India’s smorgasbord of religions.

I’d recommend the book, an entertaining yet thoughtful and thought-provoking account of her pilgrimages, retreats, encounters with gurus, celebrations of religious festivals and rites of passage.

It also got me thinking about my own version of spirituality. Although I am the daughter of not one, but two Methodist preachers, they both encouraged lively questioning and the use of intelligence in developing a belief system, rather than wholesale acceptance of any single “ism”. My father had little tolerance for “churchology”, in which people focused on the church or the preacher rather than the spiritual aspects. I hope I am not misrepresenting their views when I say they both believed there are many paths to the top of the mountain.

Of course, I had to rebel for a while during my teens and for about 20 years I didn’t even think about religion or spirituality. But it comes around again, especially once I started wondering what the point of my life might be. That search had a very direct bearing on my decision to start rowing across oceans.

But this is getting rather beyond the scope of a blog, and especially a blog after a long day rowing. It is way past my bedtime, my eyelids are drooping, my hands are sore and my backside wants some time off. But if this subject seems to be of interest – let me know in your comments – I can come back to it another time.

Wishing you a good night, and wishing myself sweet dreams of land, friends, family, and non-expedition food!

Other Stuff:

Hearing the audiobook narrated in an Aussie accent got me thinking about my friends back in Perth. A big hellooooo to you all, especially James and Jane, Steve and Ro, Margot, Sally, Clem, Geoff, Janet, James Lush, Brad Pettit, Danny and Bronwyn, Marian, Ben and Rachel, John, the UWA gang, and Rob, Nathalie and all the folks at Sea To Summit. I’m missing you and hope to see you again not too long after I’m done with this ocean – or it’s done with me!

Photo: a pic from the archives, taken by Jason Madara for the New York Times in 2007. Gives you an idea of what rowing at night looks like – but no photographer’s flash out here!

Sponsored Miles:

Christopher Senn, David Church. (Some sponsors pay for more than 1 mile; some miles at this stage are unsponsored – but plenty more scattered over future miles.)

30 Comments

  • Sweet dreams, Roz!

    Hey Rozlings, let’s try an experiment today and tomorrow:

    Everybody, simply say THANK YOU JUNE … and Roz, of course!

    I just read Day 27, Day 28 and Day 28 from past rows and, aside from some really intriguing blog posts by Roz, there were comments by 20+ … 30+ … 40+ individuals … 49 in 2010.

    Lately, the number is less than 10 of us.

    Let’s give some “space” to encourage the quiet majority to post.

    Tomorrow is June 1st, so let’s say THANK YOU JUNE for helping Roz get launched this year. And let’s encourage ALL ROZLINGS to join in.

    Rally, Rozlings, Rally!

    THANK YOU JUNE ;-D

  • Sweet dreams, Roz!

    Hey Rozlings, let’s try an experiment today and tomorrow:

    Everybody, simply say THANK YOU JUNE … and Roz, of course!

    I just read Day 27, Day 28 and Day 28 from past rows and, aside from some really intriguing blog posts by Roz, there were comments by 20+ … 30+ … 40+ individuals … 49 in 2010.

    Lately, the number is less than 10 of us.

    Let’s give some “space” to encourage the quiet majority to post.

    Tomorrow is June 1st, so let’s say THANK YOU JUNE for helping Roz get launched this year. And let’s encourage ALL ROZLINGS to join in.

    Rally, Rozlings, Rally!

    THANK YOU JUNE ;-D

  • Sweet dreams, Roz!

    Hey Rozlings, let’s try an experiment today and tomorrow:

    Everybody, simply say THANK YOU JUNE … and Roz, of course!

    I just read Day 27, Day 28 and Day 28 from past rows and, aside from some really intriguing blog posts by Roz, there were comments by 20+ … 30+ … 40+ individuals … 49 in 2010.

    Lately, the number is less than 10 of us.

    Let’s give some “space” to encourage the quiet majority to post.

    Tomorrow is June 1st, so let’s say THANK YOU JUNE for helping Roz get launched this year. And let’s encourage ALL ROZLINGS to join in.

    Rally, Rozlings, Rally!

    THANK YOU JUNE ;-D

  • Minor Things First… Great Picture! And “Roz Savage” now has almost 2 Million mentions/pages on Google – far-and-away the most for ANY “Roz”…

    “…Although I am the daughter of not one, but two Methodist preachers, they
    both encouraged lively questioning and the use of intelligence in
    developing a belief system, rather than wholesale acceptance of any
    single “ism”…”Aww Sweet Roz & @Rita:disqus , I have a feeling that we would have lots of amazing discussions… I LOVE fun, thought provoking, challenging conversations regarding religion and spirituality… You just brought back a wonderful pre-coma memory of two, with two different devout Catholics… One who responded to each of my questions with, WE DON’T ASK QUESTIONS LIKE THAT!!!” The other, a Catholic Priest at one of DC’s oldest churches, who answered the same question, “Wow! I don’t know! But it might be fun to try it!”

    Thinking of you all!

  • Hi Roz and your great community. I think there is a silent majority out here who read and care, but don’t comment (too new to the group).

    Roz you are an amazing inspiration to me to keep searching for ways to help the planet. I have given up using my car almost entirely – I walk everywhere (something that has happened over the last 10 years). I am consciously choosing to vacation at home (less airline travel) and I am looking at other ways beyond recycling to help ensure Mother Earth carries on in a healthy form. 

    I am an explorer of spirituality and beliefs so would love to hear more about your search. 

    Row on – a few of my friends and I talk about your progress every day so just know that Western Canada is with you (in spirit)!

  • Ditto Doug, Thanks June, Rita, Roz – and The Oceans for showing their greatness, powers and gifts, and for showing Roz that they are both powerful and forgiving so long as you understand that they are both…

    An aside… Several Rozlings have asked about my health situation – and several Rozlings, out of her millions, are dealing with Cancer themselves in one way or another – as I have for 38 years now. Yahoo just published my Cancer Life-Story. It is NOT dark or frightening – to the contrary I hope… Here it is, Hope it helps –
    http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/8087491/38_years_with_cancer_not_cured_living.html?cat=5

  • Roz, best of luck with continued good health and strong callouses!  I haven’t commented here before, but enjoy (and am inspired by) your posts.  Lots of my friends have heard of you and are following your progress.  Being one month away from setting off from the Pacific Northwest on a multi-year voyage in a 24-foot sailboat, I too can identify with some of the joys and challenges you are encountering.  Good on you!  As the movie saying goes, “Row well, and live!”  Cheers.

  • http://www.london2012.com/games/olympic-torch-relay/carrying-the-olympic-flame/nominate-a-torchbearer.phpThe link above is to nominate a torch bearer for the 2012 London Olympics. Roz would make a wonderful example. This does require some fore thought and conviction on your part as you will need to write about 150 words about why you believe Roz is deserving. I offer my assistance to anyone. The deadline is June 27th!

    Envision this: Roz getting off her rowing seat on the River Thames, grabbing the Olympic Torch, running it to the next stage… all under camera scrutiny with a world of reporters telling the world who Roz is and what she stands for.Roz, how many torches can one girl carry 😕 no reply 🙂

      • 150 good words 🙂 … just sayin 🙂

        Roz Savage is a British ocean rower and environmental campaigner, who on 4 June 2010 became the first woman to row solo, self supported, across the Pacific Ocean. Coupled with her solo, self supported row across the Atlantic Ocean in 2005, she has now rowed over 11,000 miles, taken 3.5 million oarstrokes, and spent cumulatively 395 days alone at sea on a 23-foot self righting ocean going rowboat. She is currently rowing across the Indian Ocean. She battles rogue waves, sleep deprivation, saltwater sores, equipment failure, dehydration and muscle wasting.

        She is steadfast and focused on ecological issues and the achievement of sustainability through awareness. She applies the lessons she has learned in the crucible of the open ocean to the
        challenges facing us all at this pivotal moment in human history.

        Roz Savage is inspirational, intelligent, enthusiastic, energetic and positive.
        more information can be found of her at http://www.RozSavage.com

    • Here is a Tweet I put out, you can cut and paste this:

      Hey to my #UK Tweeple, can you nominate @rozsavage Solo Ocean Rower -’12 London Olympic Torch relay. Read Blog comments http://bit.ly/mDQm45

      That refers to this blog page here, so people can read the thought behind the idea (good idea Outside Jay).

      Steve T.

  • On spirituality.  I’m much more interested in how the sea (and your time of solitude and contemplation) is influencing the development of your own spirituality.  But I’ll make a few generalized comments just to get the ball rolling.  First, it seems to me that people make the most progress spiritually when they stick to one general religion.  I’ve known a lot of people who hopped around among various religions, never picking one and sticking to it.  And while I agree that there is benefit in studying comparative religions (especially while trying to pick one religion to pursue), I think it is tough to really “walk the walk” that any religion recommends unless you stick to just one for a certain period of time.  What seems most important is that you come to an understanding of “who is God”, and “who am I”, and what is the relationship between the two.  Second, having said that, I also believe that coming to terms with your one religion can be also assisted by “stepping outside that religion” and looking at it from afar.  In the same way that expats sometimes come to an even deeper love of their native country when they live abroad, so too is it frequently valuable to look back at our chosen religion from a position of “not being so intimately involved with all the issues and conflicts” that exist within that religion.  I am constantly reminded of Bede Griffiths, the British-born Anglican-turned-Benedictine monk, who spent many of his years in India.  He wrote some really terrific insights about how looking back through the prism of Hinduism and other religions made him truly appreciate the spiritual beauty of Christianity.  My third point is that “spirituality is where you find it”.  I’ve known surfers in California who possessed a spiritual wisdom that was quite remarkable concerning the deep immeasurability, the inexhaustibility of “the mystery”, and how difficult it is to put a label on something that may have no label.  The surfers (and I’m just using them as an example) found their spirituality in the sea, in the vastness of nature, in the timelessness of their environment.  Too often, I think we try to capture, to intellectualize something that is simply beyond our ability to understand, much less analyze or control.  OK.  I’m through.  Over to YOU.

    You’re doing wonderfully Roz.  Row on!!!
    Rico

  • Thank you June and thank you Roz!

    Roz, I’m following your blog with enthusiasm as before!

    My friend has just sent me a book by Neal Donald Walsch: “Conversation with God,  an uncommon dialog”. I’m halfway through the questions the author asks God personally and through the surprising, thoughtful ‘answers’ .  It’s like reading someone’s diary. Concerning spirituality, it’s actually a good way to just write down any thought that comes up to your mind…it will end up somewhere. 

    At least, it’s something personal. I would love to hear more of it in coming blogs…

    all best,

    Cornelia

  • Spirituality would definitely be an interesting topic, especially since that is one of the reasons that I follow your blog.  Awe of the vastness of the ocean you row on, your physical and mental strength to embark on such a journey, the work you have done to build this community — these are all the things that inspire me to keep going in my own more mundane (but not unwanted) life as a mid-thirties PM in IT..  🙂

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