Day 44 – Too Fast!
Brief message from Roz’s mother, Rita Savage.
Tuesday evening Roz’s time – and she is planning to arrive in Madang on Friday. However, a strong wind has crept up on her, and is driving her along at 4 or 5 knots. Unless she keeps rowing she will be going towards land, so is out there now doing her best to keep on the right track.
She has asked me to do a quick message just to keep you informed. This speed would have been very acceptable out on the open ocean, but not now when she is trying to time her arrival in Madang.
Blog from Roz at 3am ship’s time.
Dictated by Roz and transcribed by Rita Savage.
When I went to bed Monday night, I set my alarm to go off every two hours. At one point, awaking from sleep, I opened one eye and squinted at the GPS and saw that I was heading straight for an island. I jumped out of bed in a hurry and started rowing. I ended up in a load of trash and general flotsam and jetsam that had accumulated into a sort of gunge. I had to try to row out of there as it is a bit difficult to row when you can’t actually get the oars in the water with so much stuff floating on the surface. Plus it was dark.
So that was the start of the day, and for most of the morning it didn’t get much better. I’ve never seen standing waves on the ocean before, a bit like you get on white water rapids. It was really strange, the sound, and the look and the feel of everything was completely different from what I am used to on the ocean. Progress was really slow. I wasn’t even managing to make one knot for most of the morning. It took me just over six hours to do barely six miles and it was a real struggle.
But then, when I got out of the standing waves everything completely changed. The wind picked up a bit and in the next six hours I did twenty miles. So all of this is making it difficult to come up with any kind of a sensible ETA for my arrival in Medang. Will I do six miles in six hours, or twenty miles in six hours?
It’s been generally quick for much of the day and the rest of the night, that is why I have been up so late to avoid a head-on collision with Long Island and if I carry on at this rate then I am looking at an ETA of 7am on Thursday morning local time. Unfortunately this is not good – the one day that I have been asked NOT to arrive is of course Thursday for local logistical reasons. But at the moment I can’t see how I can possibly avoid arriving on Thursday so I am not quite sure how we are going to get around this problem.
I did try putting out the sea anchor to slow myself down but that unfortunately just dragged me off course. That was what caused the problem with Long Island. So it looks like I really don’t have much choice but to push on regardless and just hope that people in Madang can fit in around my schedule, or nature’s schedule as I career rather wildly across the ocean towards their harbour. Isn’t it always the way that if I was out in the middle of the ocean I would be thanking my lucky stars for these fantastic conditions but then when they strike I am surrounded by islands and it’s a rather different story. I guess my priority has to be safety and at the moment it looks like the safest way for me to get to Madang is to carry on as I am and just hope that they can fit in around me or else we do a second ceremonial arrival after the actual event.
So watch out Madang, ready or not, here I come!
As Roz approaches the final stretch of the race we are hoping to reach the 10,000 dollar bench mark in her fundraiser to help pay for the remaining costs of her epic adventure and future foundation. For this last week all who donate 100 dollars or more will be entered into a drawing to win a memorabilia of Roz’s final Pacific row, putting her in the history books as, “The first woman to row the Pacific solo.” The memorabilia will include a pair of her well worn gloves framed, with an autographed photo of her arrival in Madang, Papua New Guinea. Please chip in and let’s give her a surge of support as she rows the final strokes of a world record title. Go Roz Go!