Dictated by Roz at 21.34 on 25th May and transcribed by her mother Rita Savage
Position: -07.82018 151.47119
A real treat today, I washed my hair for the first time in five weeks. Bliss!
It took about 20 minutes to brush out all the tangles, but then it wasn’t much of a hassle at all to wash it. In the past I have knelt on deck leaning forward over the bucket which was very uncomfortable on the knees and shins. Now I found a better approach. I kept the watermaker running into a bucket and used a jug to pour the water over my head. I shampooed, rinsed, conditioned and gave a final rinse and thankfully the watermaker production kept pace with the proceedings.
It really didn’t take too long and it felt just wonderful to have clean hair. I might even make a habit of it.
Generally, when I am at sea, my standards of personal hygiene are pretty good. I bathe at least once a day, brush my teeth, floss etc. but these things are all necessary for health – which is necessary for rowing. Dirty hair doesn’t make much difference one way or the other and washing it is time- and water-consuming, so it tends to get shoved under a hat and ignored.
I really appreciate the change from land-living. It is so nice to have a break from thinking about what I look like, or what to wear. Out here my body is just a rowing machine and its ability to perform that function is all that matters. I have a tiny mirror somewhere on board but I hardly ever use it.
I don’t think I am excessively self-conscious while I’m on dry land, but it has just recently struck me how much I try to second-guess what other people think of me, based on my appearance. Is my outfit appropriate? Will they notice my hair needs cutting? Am I shorter/fatter/older than they expect me to be? It’s not so much that I judge myself but that I expect others to judge me, based on my looks and I see myself through their eyes.
I doubt that I am alone in this. Our society generally makes superficial evaluation based on appearance, and it is hard to rise above that.
So it is a really welcome change to be in a place and a situation where there is nobody to see me, nobody to judge, where that insecure little voice in my head finally shuts up and lets me just get on with being me, no matter what I look like.
Other Stuff: I got a warning SMS from Lee my weather man to alert me to certain east-flowing currents. If I am not careful and get caught in them, I could end up doing another lap of the Solomon Sea which would be distinctly embarrassing .
I finished listening to Dies the Fire by S M Stirling. Very good. A thought-provoking story of what might happen if all of our technology stopped working: no communication, no computers, no motorized transport, no food deliveries – made me want to retire ASAP to a small-holding to grow my own food. Maybe one day.
Another solid forty mile day today despite time out for hair-washing. As of tonight I have 473 nautical miles to go to Madang.
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By the end of this row Roz will have spent over a year alone at sea in a space smaller than a jail cell, more isolated than a Tibetan monk.
Why? Because we can no longer ignore the pollution and environmental damage to our planet.
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Another way you can let Roz know that you are following her journey is by making a contribution in the dollar amount of the days she has been at sea, one month and counting so far. “The energy of your support does reach her out at sea.”
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