Following my blog about my ocean detox diet, Christa posted a comment
with this question: "I was wondering about what other opposites you have
from water to land. You said as far as your eating goes that you are
more of a 'opportunivore' on land. What are some other aspects of your
life that change when you reach land?"
Good question, and I will try to give a good answer.
What aspects of my life change? What aspects DON'T change? In so many
ways my two modes of life are like chalk and cheese, night and day,
Laurel and Hardy (?!).
Hectic life on land vs simple life on boat
Sociable vs solitary
Late nights vs early nights
Enjoying a few glasses of wine vs teetotal
Living out of a constantly-moving suitcase vs living out of a boat
Every day different vs most days pretty much the same
Serendipity galore vs predictable routine
Clothed vs naked
Hair and make-up vs the "ocean feral" look
Mac vs PC (seriously!)
And there are more subtle differences too. When I decided to row the
Atlantic, one of the things I really wanted to find out was how strong
and self-reliant I could be. I'd struggled for many years with a lack of
self-esteem, and I decided it was time to put myself to the test.
I struggled psychologically on the Atlantic crossing, but not so much
because I lacked the qualities I was looking for. No, the problem was
that it took me a while to realize that I already had those qualities.
All I had to do was relax and let those attributes shine through. The
resulting effect on my self-esteem was amazing. I started to respect
But I was concerned that when I got back to dry land after the Atlantic
crossing, I would revert to being the same insecure person I'd been
before, held back by my fears of being inadequate. I was worried that
once I got back to the familiar situations on dry land, I would fall
back into the same old life scripts.
So I worked hard at it, to figure out how to integrate that stronger,
more capable ocean-going, ocean-rowing version of me into the land-bound
version. It's taken time and effort, but I think I'm getting there.
So although I live this weird life at two extremes, I would like to
think that I approach both lifestyles with the same inner compass that
guides me through each day. I hope that I do the right things for the
right reasons, regardless of where I am, on land or at sea.
As a final thought, would I say I prefer one over the other? Life on
land is certainly a lot more comfortable and, on the whole, more fun.
But I appreciate it all the more for the contrast with this strange
ocean life. I no longer take things like running water and fresh food
And now that I am more comfortable in my own skin, I'm pretty happy
wherever I am.
[Photo: to make a change from sunsets…. Here is a sunrise. OK, not a
radical change. But it gets a bit challenging finding new things to take
photos of out here…]
Close watchers of the RozTracker might notice that my course today has
taken a sharp turn for the southerly. This is good news – the more south
I can get, the easier it will be for me to make landfall. I'm just a bit
puzzled as to why it has been possible, as there has been no apparent
change in the winds. The explanation may possibly lie in this clue,
gleaned by Nicole from the blog of Jason Lewis, a fellow Brit and the
first person to complete a human-powered circumnavigation of the world
(in a whistle-stop tour lasting 13 years…). He traveled across the
Pacific in a pedal-powered boat with a crewmate.
June 13, 1999
Hawaii to Tarawa Voyage, Update #42
Day 41. Sunday 13 June 1999 0255 GMT
Wind E 3-4. Heading 220M.
Latitude: 07deg 08.333N
Longitude: 176deg 30.618W
According to my calculations we are just shy of 2/3rds of the way,
which means if the progress continues like it has, we could be making
landfall in Tarawa in three weeks (original estimate 65-70 days). The
main unknown at this time is how easy it will be to punch through the
south side of the ITCZ – whether the current runs north from the
southern edge like it seems to be running south from the northern edge
(I should know the answer to this within the next 6 days). Then once
we're south of 4 degrees north we should under the influence of the
southern equatorial current (running west) and the southeast trades
which will gently assist in cranking out the remaining few hundred
miles to this far flung island of dreams.
The Moksha motor
So maybe I have crossed over the northern edge of the ITCZ, although
that wasn't predicted to happen until I get to 7deg 30N – still a degree
of latitude away. Anyway, whatever the reason, I'm a happy rower
Thanks for all the comments on my last blog – particularly to UncaDoug
for offering constructive suggestions on how to overcome the lobbyist
effect. I'd like to add my endorsement to his words, and urge those who
care to speak up and make their voices heard.
If we all pull together, we CAN save the world!!
Position at 2115 HST: 08 34.833N, 173 08.203W
Wind: 12-15kts E
Seas: 6ft E
Weather: mostly sunny, but high cirrus and stacks of cumulus too
Weather forecast, courtesy of weatherguy.com
As of Thursday, 02 July 2009. The easterly trade winds have turned more
ENE still around the 20+kts. Expect brief periods of lower winds to
around 15-18kts, then abating to the 15kt range on July 6th. Seas abate
to 6-7ft. Winds south of the ITCZ are E to ESE 10-12kts or less.
Sky conditions: Partly to mostly cloudy with mostly low level clouds.
Isolated rainshowers. Convective clouds begin about 07 30N and that
means vertical development extending to 30-50,000ft. Increased chance of
rainshowers and thunderstorms.
ITCZ: The most active part of the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ)
is now along 170W to 180W between 2N and 7 30N. There remain widespread
areas of wind 30-40kts in heavy rainshowers and thunderstorms. However,
last 24hrs, the ITCZ has become less active, but you will likely
experience squalls and thunderstorms.
Ocean Current: You are currently in a west setting current of about 0.2
to 0.3kts so that is not helping your southerly progress. The good news
is the current changes direction at about 06 00N to eastward flowing at
about 0.4 to 0.5kts; ie the North Equatorial Counter Current. That
should help in hindering your westward movement. The NEEC extends to
about 00 30S. In the lighter winds south of the ITCZ, it may be possible
to row/drift eastward. We don't quite yet know the full impact of the
current and the opposing wind on your boat, but hopefully it will
benefit your goal of getting south of the Equator before Tuvalu.
Forecast below is for a SWerly course.
Date/Time HST Wind kts Seas (ft)
02/1800-04/0900 ENE 17-22 7-9
04/0900-06/0000 ENE 15-20 6-8
06/0000-08/1800 ENE 12-17 6-7
Next Update: Monday, 06July