Okay, I’ve got over my whining phase, at least for now. I am actually feeling quite lucky to have made it out onto the ocean at all, when I compare myself with the two other solo rowers who had hoped to row the Indian Ocean this year.

Rob Eustace, who I met in Perth when he came along to help at the Saturday work party to get my boat ocean-ready, seemed well set up and ready to go. I didn’t see his boat before it left for Geraldton, but it sounded as if it had been in good shape when it left the UK and all he would have to do is hop in and go. But unfortunately he got a horrible stomach bug within the first few days, leading to vomiting and diarrhoea, and abandoned the attempt. I believe he intends to try again next year.

Keith Whelan,I haven’t quite managed to piece together the facts, but I gather that during a tow (either to the Abrolhos or to Geraldton, I’m not quite sure) his hatches leaked, resulting in various rechargers being damaged and having to be replaced. There was also some damage to the rudder.

It goes to show how much is involved in making a successful ocean crossing. Boat, equipment, rechargers, provisions, watermaker, and electrical system all have to be present and correct and functioning (and paid for, which can be one of the biggest challenges). The rower has to manage to stay healthy – with very basic bathroom facilities, more than one ocean rower before now has succumbed to stomach ailments.

Then you’ve got the navigational challenges – islands, currents and winds to contend with. Sometimes ocean rowers have even had to be picked up because they were falling apart mentally – being on a small boat out of sight of land isn’t for everybody.

I don’t say this by way of tooting my own horn. Rather, my intention is to say that I feel very lucky that my troubles were relatively minor, and were discovered while I was still within reach of land and able to get them fixed and get going again within a matter of a couple of days. And thank heavens for Aquapacs, Sea To Summit drybags, and Pelican cases, which I have in abundance and which so far have kept my portable electronics safe from water damage.

Since I left North Island in the Abrolhos, my progress may have been slow, but I’m still out here and still shipshape.

So far. But I know better than to tempt fate by taking anything for granted. Still many miles to go, and anything could happen….

Other Stuff:

There was no wind today, so I was able to make some slow but steady progress in the direction of my choice, which made a nice change. A few squalls around (it’s raining again now) which resulted in this rainbow. I don’t know if you can tell from this picture, but in real life it looked as if the rainbow continued beyond the violet band, heading back into red and yellow again. Is that possible?!

Richard in DFW – liked the Nessie poem! No, I don’t think the Nessie/Heffalump is a collection of creatures. But we may never know.

Jay – thanks for your thought-provoking questions. To pick up on just one aspect of that, it seems to me that much of our “reality” is about perception. We find inspiration where we look for it (Rolling Stones, ocean rowers, etc!) rather than where it actually exists. It is all about how we filter and process “reality” as we perceive it. So is there such a thing as an objective “spiritual reality”? Or is it what we want it to be?

Tumbleweed Truckers – Joe Hurley was superb as the other narrator on “Life”. Even (dare I say it) better than Mr Depp himself. He actually sounded quite like Keith Richards, but with teeth. I hope the skunk aroma has worn off your dog by now. You live in a lorry? Very cool! (except when shared with a skunky dog!)

I am now listening to “The Book Thief“” by Markus Zusak, which was highly recommended to me by James Lush in Perth. By “highly recommended” I mean it was pretty much a direct command to read it! But it was a good call. Excellent so far. Thanks, James!

Sponsored Miles: Grateful thanks to Judy Ebert, Connie Cook and Ian Malcolm – between them they have sponsored quite a number of miles.


  • As someone was mentioning here, a week of so back, Roz, you just broke the 2 Million “Results” mark on Google… That is HUGE!!! Look at some of the people that you have mentioned in your Blogs – who are inspirations to you – they do NOT come close 2 Million “Results”… Now Rozlings follow The 7% Rule. Get together with a group of friends, One Day Every Two Weeks, and – Rake a local beach of trash, Start a community Compost, Circle the neighborhood collecting plastic bags to take to the market for recycling, “Do Something” that you think is important – for The Environment for yourself AND for Roz for Her DOING this amazing thing – and reaching 2 Million “Results” on Google! WOW!

  • Wow, 2 million! Congrats!

    I LOVED The Book Thief! An amazing book, I am glad you got to read (or hear!) it!

    Go Roz!!

  • Your on top of it Roz.  We need to hear our own words to remind ourselves that we are OK today. Its a constant energy to stay in the positive while beating back the negative.  Gods grace shines on you

  • I’m glad the conditions a reasonable today, Roz (hoping for gentle Nor,nor,easterlies for you – is that right?)
    I too was sorry to hear of Rob Eustace’s illness that led to his pulling out of the row… I found him to be a gentlemen with a quiet confidence & strength that I’m sure will take him far on many a future adventure.

  • Hey Roz,
    You should be able to see double rainbows occasionally. If I recall correctly, they are caused by light bouncing twice round each raindrop. The second rainbow is inside the first.

  • BTW, Your Heffalump, “No, I don’t think the Nessie/Heffalump is a collection of creatures. But we may never know.”, is probably a Southern Right Whale… As this picture indicates, being “Filter Feeders” they love to swim near boats that stir-up supper for them… And there are at least 1300 of them in The Indian Ocean – so this visitor is not unusual, BUT great to see conservation-wise…


    So Roz, You are helping the whales survive too… Keep paddling – Heffalump enjoys the menu, that you are stirring up, that is changing along the way… BTW, No worries either – very docile creatures, and you and Sedna are too big to make it through their Baleen…

  • Double rainbows are not uncommon – You should see the order of colors reversed in the second rainbow. 

    Have you ever seem the rare “purple flash” that occurs right at sundown?

  • re: “We find inspiration where we look for it (Rolling Stones, ocean rowers, etc!) rather than where it actually exists. It is all about how we filter and process “reality” as we perceive it. So is there such a thing as an objective “spiritual reality”? Or is it what we want it to be?”The floor is open for others to jump in. But since the discussion has been started, I kindly offer my opinion. In your case in particular Roz, I am certain I was not looking for inspiration. I simply stumbled upon it. (I saw Roz’s documentary at the Banff Mt Film Festival last year, http://www.journeyfilm.com/servlet/the-50/Rowing-the-Atlantic-%28Film/Detail ) Even in a subconcious world, I doubt that actively seeking out, first an ocean rower (I did not know you people existed prior to then) and then finding the greatness in her conservation efforts and then seeking ways to help her, as a trade off (Helping Roz is far more efficient than trying to save the world on my own:) …It is all a tad far fetched.

    Second, you really do exist. Of this I am sure!

    How boring: “objective spiritual reality”. Sounds colorless to me. Personally I think that there is a reason why people believe in so many different things and even the opposite of things. I also believe that some mystreries are best left unsolved. And then there is my belief that the action and adventure is in the attempt at solving the mystery and not the destination. (yes, a pun on destiny implied).

    All I do really know is this.. You decided to call this row “Eat, Pray Row” and that I  wish you the best in all three endeavors.

    Nothing else would suit my reality than waking up tomorrow morning and finding that I had dreamt this year, entirely. If I could hasten my day so that I sleep, then wake, as proof that this is NOT a dream, I would.

    I found a few more nouns overnight: Perservering, enlightening, soul baring, effervescing, sowing, braving, contemplating, steeping, screaming….Row Roz Row!

    • Big whoops… Verbs, I found a few more *verbs* overnight: perservering, enlightening…

      not sure why formatting changes and paragraphs are combined sometimes… but her documentary is available through her website…

      and I highly reccommend it!

      Keep rowing Roz, and don’t be afraid to chase rainbows, we can’t wait to find what’s at the end of one of those things!!

  • Roz,

    I try to separate luck from good fortune. Luck might be attributed to pure happenstance, while the fortunate succeed with hard work and perseverance. No doubt that Rob and Keith will persevere and succeed.

    Your hard work and perseverance continues to inspire countless people, and is making a difference every single day.

    Row on Roz!

  • Hey Roz, Don’t know if this might inspire you in the roughest of times? You currently have 2,010,000 “Results” on Google… That appears to work out to one new “Result”, based on a new entry being made about you by someone, for each 3 or 4 Oar Strokes that you have made in all these ocean crossings… So, 1, 2, 3 – There’s another one – you inspired someone to write one more thing about you… Keep it up – That also means that there are OVER 2 Million chances that you will inspire someone else to Do something great themselves…

    • Paul,    Roz chose to not have her track posted to the web site for this trip, due to the security problems ranging from Somalia up and around the Arabian Sea all the way to northern India.

      One way people are getting some idea of how she is doing is by donating specific miles, such as the 250th mile, the 503rd or whatever, and then noting when they see their names on this blog. People are being asked to not publish the miles they select for donation.

      People can donate by going to the Sponsors page of this web site.

  • Roz, you say you feel lucky for your situation … all things are relative, and you are in a relatively better place than other rowers, for sure.  But it is an interesting conundrum to consider whether you are lucky to have attracted rare and precious sea life, or that the sea life has kept a safe distance. Where there is yin, there is yang — we just have to figure out which is which.

    Just for the joy of creating imponderable  juxtapositions …

    good fortune or luck?
    diversion or attraction?
    hungry Heffalump?

    Enjoy the row, Roz!

  • An Irish adventurer is being rescued off the coast of Geraldton after attempting to row solo across the Indian Ocean naked.
    According to his website, Keith Whelan was trying to become the youngest man, and first Irishman, to complete the 6000km crossing.
    He was undertaking the row naked to raise money for Keep a Child Alive, a charity dedicated helping children and families affected by HIV/AIDS.
    A police spokesman said Mr Whelan set off from the Abrolhos Islands yesterday but banged his head on a protruding bolt on his row boat this morning.

    • Here is the link … http://bit.ly/KWrescue

      Roz, please keep your helmet handy, and your seat belt tight and low across your lap … well, except when you are in the doldrums — you may move freely about the cabin.

      Seriously, I know you use all safety precautions available.

  • The oceans are sooooo beautiful! I just returned from a three day regatta on the baltic sea….and man…the sea is amazing, colourful, never the same. It´s worth any efford you can imagine. It worth every single oarstroke. Go on, Roz 🙂

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