Dictated by Roz at 22.48 Tarawa time and transcribed by her mother, Rita Savage.
Position: -05.99745 147.96181
Today seems rather hectic by comparison with the calm of recent days. I was up and rowing before sunrise and as it got light I could see the outline of Papua New Guinea to the south west looming high on the horizon. As far as I can see it looks quite green and mountainous, a little like Hawaii.
As I got closer to the Straits of Vitiaz there was considerable marine traffic including the Golden Shui which got rather too close for comfort passing about 100 yards from my bow. A miss is as good as a mile, as the saying goes, but I would have preferred the mile thank you.
Then later there was a wild commotion among the fishy followers under my boat. A large shape lurked beneath. I got some fleeting footage on my video camera which might allow identification later on. I think it was a shark. As I was leaning over the side, filming, the critter made a sudden movement towards the bow of my boat, briefly breaking the surface of the water and making me jump about three feet in the air. It was like a scene from Jaws only smaller. Steven Spielberg has a lot to answer for.
Then this afternoon the wind picked up considerably resulting in the windiest day I have had so far. Probably only about 25 knots which is not that impressive but it was coming out of the south, and made for very choppy rowing conditions. The good news is that it helped to put me exactly where I wanted to be, to the north side of the straits and hopefully out of the main shipping route.
Tonight it is almost eerily quiet and dark. In daylight I could see land all around me, Papua New Guinea, New Britain, Umbai Island, and various low-lying rocks. Now it has all disappeared into the darkness. No lights, no ships, no moon yet, just the occasional flash of distant lightning, and my little boat, an oasis of light in the darkness.
As of tonight, 137 nautical miles to go.
Other Stuff: Steve Tomczyk asked if I had any comment about the oil spillage in the Gulf of Mexico. We have discussed it a couple of times on the Podcast and I suppose my comment would be this: It is a shame that we have chosen to rely so heavily on a source of energy that is a) going to run out b) concentrated in certain geographical areas leading to scarcity and/or war c) causing ocean acidification d) increasing the amount of co2 in the atmosphere e) creates particulate pollution that is damaging to human health and f) lethal to wildlife when a sudden glut of it is released accidentally.
At the time that oil was discovered, maybe we didn’t have alternatives but now we do, and the sooner we move to them, the better. The disaster unfolding in the Gulf of Mexico is appalling but even that is minor in comparison with the bigger impact that carbon-based fuels and their combustion is having on our world. Let’s use this very visible symptom of the bigger problem to catalyse the change we so desperately need to the cleaner, greener fuels of the future.
Roz’s Ebay Store:
Turn your used plastic bottles into unique solar powered light fixtures with the Hymini Solar Powered LED Lamp. The HYmini Solar Powered LED Lamps are marked down by 15% and are available at the Roz Savage eBay Store. The HYmini Deluxe Wind+miniSOLAR all-in-one green charger and the HYmini miniSOLAR panels are also marked down by 15%.