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
Glad to see you are making a more southerly track..
I also liked your writeup on renewable energy yesterday.. I am a HUGE fan! We powered our entire boat for 5.5 years on wind and solar power (I'd love to calculate the carbon credits for THAT). Yes at times it could be a little bit inconvenient, cloudy/rainy days are great movie watching days.. but we had to conserve power or run the engine (uggh).
In the world of modern convenience, monitoring consumption and waste is difficult, especially on a daily basis. Even the simple things like water consumption!! Trust me when you make your own (watermaker), you know where every last drop goes. How many people leave the water running while they brush their teeth?
You also become acutely aware of your waste (trash) when you have to store it during long passages. Even now I noticed that our week old son uses his own VOLUME in diapers in a DAY.. Yikes, I've GOT to do something about that!!
If people had to lug diesel cans to run the generator to power their house, they'd be a LOT more energy conscious. Change can only come about through awareness.. becoming self-aware of your consumption and waste is a HUGE start.
all the best
ps. I've got 460 watts of solar and I run a fridge and freezer.. you must be "chock a block" (full) all the time. Although I guess "your engine" doesn't make electricity. Have you ever thought of a small towing generator?
I am glad to see you moving south. I will have a cold glass of wine in your honor.
@ chris Why would Roz need a generator if the solar panel are doing a fantastic job?
Roz have seen any Rays or Skates thus far? What person has inspired you the most on the ocean rowing chapter in your life?
RE: Larabar wrappers–in the 70s we used to fold gum wrappers and weave them into chains ( http://victoryseeds.com/candystore/nostalgiagum_chain.html ) Seems to me you could make some delightfully colorful bracelets.
I'm sure her system was designed for worst case conditions (getting enough power on extended cloudy days etc). On sunny days, the extra power goes to waste and has to be dumped into a heat sink (not what you need at the equator) or it can cause extra heating (and potential damage) to the solar panels.
I guess I'm always thinking of backups and redundant systems (broken charge controller, fat bird lands on a panel, knock down). At sea panels can't be easily replaced.
It's just the worst case sailor and engineer in me talking.
Larabar jewelry would probably make a great fundraiser for your next endeavour!
re: Chris' kid's diapers – hope he's using cloth, and we found a Seattle diaper service more ecologically sound than running them all through our laundry and septic system!
Joan from Vashon Island, WA
P.S. Really appreciated the post about what you eat. I'd searched all through your blog (using the word "food"; perhaps I should have used "eat") and not found anything other than an occasional mention of items, crackers, dried mangos, etc.
Hi Roz, Although you said there would be a minimal chance reaching American Samoa, I did check to see if there was a place to store the boat. My Samoan friend with family in AS told me there is no one he would "trust" with the boat. It seems that Islanders (not just in Samoa) have a different sense of ownership; ie. not one person owns something, but the whole community does. You may need to store your boat separately from ALL items in and attached to the boat.
You also know that you will need to do something about the mold situation during storage. Nicole will probably research that for you. Lots of cruisers leave their boat in the So Pacific islands during hurricane season. When they come back, they have a lot of cleaning to do because the inside of the boats get "furry". Ewww.
Is rowing an ocean
A metaphor for life?
If indeed it is,
It is rather lonely.
Something magical, mystical and wonderful happened!
How did it happen? Heck if I know … I know … I know!
You rock! You walk [ON H2O]. We love your wizardry!
Roz, you will probably notice … between 11 PM and 1 AM tonight (depending on which time zone you are in synch with) the moon will become 100% full … so I have a special request, not that we impose too much … now that the moon is full, we'd enjoy a moonlight paddle vicariously, if you don't mind … if a photo is out of the question, your description would be extraordinary … and much appreciated.
Good site to find out how to spot the International Space Station. They'll see it over Hawaii tonight: http://twisst.nl//facts-and-figures
Katharine in Half Moon Bay, CA
So all of that made sense except the change in computer. So why are you a Mac on land and a PC at sea?
"Ocean feral" – LOL