Yesterday colour

I spent this morning lamenting the passing of my GPS chartplotter (model 265C, if you’re interested). I reminisced about the formative experiences we have been through since it was first installed on Sedna in Hawaii in 2008. I thought of the photographs I have of its little screen showing 180 degrees East (the International Date Line) and shortly thereafter, 0 degrees North (the Equator). I remembered how it has counted me down from an impossibly large number of miles to, eventually, zero, as I arrived at my destination.

By this afternoon I had set up my backup GPS (the very basic Garmin eTrex) with my route, and to use my preferred units for position and distance, and was pretty much over my faithful old 276C.

It’s not that I’m fickle. Just that there’s no point wishing I still had something that I don’t. I could choose to be annoyed by the demise of the chartplotter, or I could choose to lay it to rest and move on. The latter seemed the less emotionally exhausting option.

I thought my motivation might drop off when I couldn’t watch the miles or the degrees ticking down on the GPS display as I rowed, but in fact the opposite has been the case. Instead of focusing on the rowing and the numbers, more of my brain has been available to indulge in the welcome distraction of audiobooks (currently Bridge of Sighs“, by Richard Russo).

All of which has served to remind me of the endless and marvellous adaptability of the human animal. We tend to dread change out of all proportion to the reality of it. “Oh no, we couldn’t possibly do without….”, when in fact we very possibly can.

This is one of my arguments in favour of a simpler, less environmentally impactful life. I’m not saying we should return to the stone age – I like my toys as much as the next geek. I’m just saying that we might surprise ourselves what we can manage without, and how quickly we would adapt to our new “normal”.

And wouldn’t it be good if we made those changes as a matter of choice, while we can still select what we keep and what we can do without, before those decisions are thrust upon us?

Today - grey

Other Stuff:

Today has been grey. Unrelenting, unremitting, grey. Grey sea, grey sky. Thanks heavens for this big bold splash of purple.

Apparently my comms problems are due, at least in part, to solar activity, which is due to calm down after June 10. Here’s hoping…

George Sackett – you asked about the purple flash at sundown. I’ve heard of the green flash, but not a purple one. Are you sure you haven’t caught “purplitis” from my frequent mentions of all things purple?! Either way, alas, I haven’t seen a flash of either colour, despite always looking out for it. Maybe one day!

Jay – thanks for the plentiful supply of verbs. I will attempt to live up to them, and certainly felt invigorated after reading them.

Apropos of verbs, it’s funny thinking about the “Eat Pray Row” moniker. All three most definitely present and correct. During those two false starts from Australia, I made the most of my time ashore by having repeated “last suppers” (not to mention last breakfasts and last lunches too!). I just about ate the Davidsons out of house and home during my unscheduled pit stop on North Island (sorry, Mike, for scoffing so many of your hot cross buns!). During the knockdowns there was a fair amount of praying going on. And now, thank heavens, we’re into the rowing phase, although I am sure that there will be much more eating and praying too before the story is over….

Sponsored Miles: Donna Perry, Vicki Jackson and Don Lunge – thank you!


  • I have always thought that THINGS that “Plot” our courses in life stifle our mind’s – sub-conscious and conscious mind’s – view of what we can do and where we can get/go in life… Our mind is much more inspirational than a 265C – so I completely understand its demise being powerfully “inspirational”…

  • Roz, don’t bury the GPS chartplotter at sea. Ebay it, the connector can be repaired. Or try shaming Garmin into giving you a refurbished unit. Connector pins shouldn’t just fall off.

    • Somebody more computer savvy than I am should forward these last two blogs about the demise of their 265C to Garmin to …highlight the damage that this design can cause at the worst of times… Now that Roz has 2.2 MILLION “Results”/followers according to Google this morning – up from 1.9 Million less than a week ago, They will NOT like 2.2 Million people thinking that they make products that fail solo world rowers in the middle of The Indian Ocean…

  • Look at your shadow [sun or moon] raise one arm from the elbow to the vertical, look at it: that will be either N or S, depending upon whether you are looking easterly or westerly, left arm or right arm: also the Moon dips towards the Equator, because its poles are parallel to the earth’s poles, so the converge at a point below the horizon equal to your latitude.The POLE. I am sure that you will figure it out.

    • I hope this isn’t a silly question, but does this apply in the southern hemisphere in the same way as the northern? 

      • Rita it should, But I am not sure it would be accurate enough to navigate by because, as you know, where Roz is, just about every degree is 70 miles give or take… Using this method, Even at 1 degree off, for several days, could mean a huge mistake course mileage-wise…

  • Loss of a screen is actually a blessing in disguise. As you said you are in no danger of losing your way without the broken GPS–so consider this an opportunity to try to extricate yourself just a little from the distraction of the digital interface or digital blizzard. In my opinion, Roz, you’re in a privileged situation (which you’ve earned!), and attachment to screens and ephemeral culture is not making the best use. 

  • A Garmin 265? Just in case …. If things ever chance and you want to see your miles ticking off again: It’s really easy to fix the problem with this device. You can easily open the screws on the back (use a very small screwdriver or knife – some may be hidden under labels). Remove back plate by using a knife or screwdriver between cover and backplate. Push and turn it a little bit to open. You will see the big battery and logic board. You might have a 99% change to get the pin back into the old plug it belongs to and reattach the wire on the back. Or twist wires as suggested yesterday and seal with PU or epoxy. Trust me, this is not really a huge problem. There is nothing you can make worse. Once you opened the device you will find a solution in a minute. 

    • Just being funny… Whoever sends these last two days’ blogs to Garmin, ask them please to send one of their techs out to do this for Roz in the middle of the rolling, tossing, tilting, rocking Indian Ocean immediately if not sooner…

  • The “Green Flash”:
    Having lived north of San Francisco on the north coast (Stinson Beach) I have been privy to many, many sunsets. The GF is real – not one of those “…are you sure…”? things, but unmistakable. Keep watching the sun go down to the end & one of these daze . . . 

    • All of this talk of the Green Flash is evocative of one of my favourite literary endings. There is an idea that there is a green light out there for each of us and it is of our own design. Striving for a future that lies in the past could be at the heart of the environmental message of living uncluttered, simpler and ultimately more fulfilling lives.

      believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year
      recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter—tomorrow
      we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther. . . . And then
      one fine morning—

      So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly
      into the past. ”

      F.Scott Fitzgerald

  • Even Google has been bitten by the solar flare induced communications snafu – and we all know what snafu stands for… A moment ago it showed Roz had 2,190 “Results”… I thought, “That’s a big drop from 2.2 Million this morning…” I clicked on it again, and it was back to 2.2 Million… Tomorrow things should get back to “normal” communications-wise…

  • Roz,  I just found out about you and your big adventure last week.  Hope to sponsor one of your miles soon. If it is any consolation is was a gray day in St. Paul, Minnesota too.  May the sun shine and the wind be at your back tomorrow.  

  • Roz,
    Just listened to the podcast where you lamented the corrosion on your charging cable.  

    Question:  Do you have anything acidic on board?  i.e. vinegar (balsamic not a good idea), citrus juice, powdered drink mix (citrus flavor), vitamin C, or even a carbonated beverage?  We used to use Coke/Pepsi to remove corrosion on car battery terminals.

    If so, you can soak the cable in the acid source, scrub with the toothbrush and then rinse in water from the watermaker (not salt water… duh…).  

    If not, you do have another source of acid… urine.  I wouldn’t be using the tooth brush following the aforementioned procedure…

    Just a thought.  Keep Pulling!

  • Roz just think about all the other great seafarers that HAD to get by without a 265C or a Garmin or even a sextant!
    Just follow your nose forward and your bassackwards! OH! That’s just what you have been doing! It’s just that the (now kaputt) 265C was telling you all along!
    I have the upmost trust in you and your judgement with or without GPS’seses! So dip your best oar forward and row liketherowything that you are; And to each and every wave it goodbye!

    ps (or should it be gps) West is best!

  • Oops, while catching up on your blog, Roz, I burnt the brown rice I was cooking for lunch.
    Another beautiful sky, thanks for the photos. 

  • Roz’s latest Podcast is now available: – More about the technology problem.

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