After yesterday’s rant about the environment and human irresponsibility, I was going to write a low-key blog about how I train for an ocean crossing. But then I was brought up short when I saw this eloquent and moving email sent to me by a friend in Oregon. I haven’t had time to ask for her consent, but I hope she won’t mind me passing it on to you. She is a wise and wonderful woman, and her words really resonated with me. I hope you enjoy them too. Happy Independence Day!

Roz,

As I think about the 4th of July and how we, in the US, will be celebrating our “Independence Day”, I can’t help but think about you rowing the Pacific and how you symbolize true “Independence”. You’ve taken on a challenge that to you is “real” and rather than just talking about what you’re going to do “someday” you’re doing it and with that you’re helping to make people more aware of the ocean, the environment, plastic, green products and the fragileness of life itself.

Most of us are afraid to leave our security, be it physical, material or mental. We hold on to things, possessions as well as ideas and thoughts, that we know to be disruptive and often destructive, and yet they’re familiar and so we cling to what we know, what we’ve done. We repeat patterns that work both physically and mentally to destroy us, in small ways or big ways.

Rowing the Atlantic and/or the Pacific might be a bit more of an adventure than many of us want to take on but reading your blogs and your sharing your day to day life, whether it’s pleasant or life threatening, can remind us of what it is like to live in the present and how simple our needs can truly be (being able to drink water daily as we want it without being dependent on one piece of equipment to make it for us and the importance of water daily is life itself).

I thank you for helping me to be more aware of life itself and the preciousness of what I have and being reminded that it is within me to change the things that I know to be harmful to me, ideas, eating, interactions…..so many things. Each day truly is an opportunity for a “new beginning” and being open to what comes our way and perhaps reacting in a new way and from what is presently happening, rather than from pictures of how things have been or what I think someone else expects of me, opens up doors to new possibilities, not only for me, but for those that I interact with as well.

So daily, as I read your blog, I not only wish you well and safety, I also wish all of us “Independence” from whatever it is that holds us back!

Other stuff:

Strange weather here today. At one stage, all around me I could see grey clouds close to the horizon, while I was bathed in glorious sunshine and above me were the wispy cirrus clouds (hopefully a signal that I am getting close to the trade winds). At times I ran into the grey clouds, which settled in around me like a San Francisco fog. When this photo was taken, the sun and the fine drizzle interacted to produce a faint smudge of a rainbow, its colours muted.

Rowing-wise, an excellent day. I’ve now passed 127 degrees west, and the trade winds are getting closer! Woohoo!

FREE! BLUE PLEDGES

In answer to some concerns, Blue Pledges are FREE!! You don’t have to pay a thing – in fact, most Blue Pledges will save you money because most things that are good for the environment are also good for your wallet. So do it now!

Go to www.theblueproject.org and click on the Make a BLUE Pledge button.

BE COOL, BE BLUE!

I’ve received a load of questions that we’re going to cover in the podcast tomorrow (you can listen live at 10am Pacific time, or download the podcast at your convenience). Jeff King, Joan in Atlanta (and thanks for your Blue Pledge!), Michael Faulkner, Ray Davis – listen in!

Alison C – thanks for your message. You’ve got it figured – one day at a time. I just try not to think about too much outside of my boat – if I thought of all the days between here and Hawaii, or all the places I would rather be, it would drive me nuts!

Jenny – thanks for the reassurance on the wildlife front. If you haven’t seen Jenny’s comment, she wrote: “the ocean is a very huge place, wildlife is not abundant throughout all over it, but in certain hotspots. The ocean is dynamic minute to minute as you well know and oceanographic processes affect food distribution. you happen to be crossing a great desert to Hawaii where likely sightings will be slim unless you cross over a seamount. I bet you will be a landing area for seabirds at times! take pics, such a cool opportunity to share with the world what truly is pelagic.”

Again concerning wildlife – Pippa, I see birds often, but so far no landings on board the Brocade. At least once a day a couple of birds will come and circle my boat – often one flying clockwise while the other goes anticlockwise. Not always the same birds, but usually this same pattern of behaviour. I always say hi!

Carol – don’t worry too much about the Marinetrack position sometimes getting out of date. I send my position to my mother and my weatherman twice a day, in addition to the MT reports – and I don’t move so fast that the positions go out of date!

Dick deVries – am aiming for Waikiki Yacht Club, but I’ll take whatever dry land I can hit!

Dana – no worries. I haven’t seen them, but I suspect that I might have been sympathetic!

Ben Eadie – thanks for your kind message. Definitely a vacancy in that department, and I’d love to talk when I get back to dry land. Thank you!

HELLOOOO! To Gus and Cathy. Nice to know you’re following. Be warned – I plan to give you a shout next time in London, and would love to see you for dinner. Errr, you’re paying! đŸ˜‰

Ron in Texas – thanks for the kind message, and for the great quote: “Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear.” (Ambrose Redmoon). By that definition, I will admit that maybe I do have some courage.

Eric Krueger – a chance to dance? Not really – would probably fall overboard!

Special hi to Sinead in NZ. Think of you often, facing your first Dunedin winter. Lots of love – and stay warm! And a special thank you to Cousin Russell for his message too.

Position Friday evening: 28 25 593N 127 02 628W
Nautical Miles rowed yesterday: 25.06

Click here to seeDay 41 of the Atlantic Crossing 10 January 2006

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