Dictated by Roz at 21:32 local (Madang) time and transcribed by her mother Rita Savage.

Position: -05.47589  146.30901

Photograph from Helicopter

I had visitors this afternoon. I had spoken earlier today with Sir Peter Barter, former Governor of Papua New Guinea, who has been so helpful in arranging local arrival logistics for me. He warned me that he would be dropping in this afternoon in his helicopter to make a delivery. So about 4.30 I was on the alert and listening out for it when the small helicopter loomed into view from the blue sky. They lowered a bucket, just out of reach of my boat hook. I know that I promised never to go more than an arm’s length from my boat ever again but this one was important – there were beers at stake, so I quickly dived in and made my way over to the bucket while they hovered overhead, in confidence that  they would not let me drown having come this far. I got to the bucket and with a few strokes managed to make it back to the boat safely.

I waved goodbye to Sir Peter, and I am looking forward to seeing him again tomorrow.  Inside the bucket was an assortment of goodies: mobile phone with a local SIM card in it, so that we can liaise on final arrangements; three beers as promised; a ham and cheese sandwich, made by Sir Peter himself, I believe; and some information about the Madang Resort which is going to be my home for the next four weeks. There was also an assortment of local information, a newspaper announcing my arrival, and a letter from Sir Peter himself. It was a bit like Christmas, opening up my stocking-full of goodies and everything in it was extremely welcome, especially the beers which had been very thoughtfully packed in ice, so they were still nice and cold.

While I sipped my beer I read through all the information, including the stuff about the Madang resort which looks absolutely gorgeous and I am very much looking forward to making its acquaintance. So, now all I have to do is get there. A slight hitch there is that the conditions here have really calmed down. The winds and the currents have died away since yesterday, so far from having to drag my oars metaphorically to delay my arrival until Thursday afternoon, I am now actually having to row through the night in order to get there in time! But from what I’ve seen of the Madang Resort, it is going to well worth the extra effort.  I am stoking myself with chocolate-coffee-flavoured Larabars, the only form of caffeine I have on board, and in for the long haul.  Now 33 miles away from Madang, and will keep rowing until I get to about 20 or so miles away, and if there is any time between then and the time I have to get up I will have a quick kip at that point.

Now I am well and truly into the home stretch, and apparently a great welcome awaits me in Papua New Guinea, with Jan Messersmith, a photographer, and local canoeists due to come out, and hopefully a few people coming down to wave to me as I approach the Medang Resort.  Am now really looking forward to making landfall and after a full night of rowing it is going to be a very welcome sight.

For more pictures see: http://malumnalu.blogspot.com/

PS Request from Roz: As she does not have voicemail set up for the satphone, please do not try to leave messages for her – she won’t receive them.

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16 Comments

  • Enjoy the nap, Roz. I can’t imagine how you can sleep, though I guess exhaustion would be a big help in being able to nod off for a bit. I’m so excited that you’ve got so much great local support there. And I bet that tasted like the best ham sandwich in the history of ham sandwiches.

  • And Roz thought just a few weeks ago that there might not be anyone there to greet her when she arrived. I knew that had to be wrong. Sounds like the locals are really going to be turning out. That’s so wonderful to hear.

  • Let me be the first on your blog to welcome you to Madang! It sounds like a lovely place with a wonderful greeting party for you. More importantly “Congratulations” on being the first woman to row solo across the Pacific Ocean, what a feat!
    Now the hard part, while relaxing and recovering we all need to figure out a way to keep the oars stroking and your movement going ahead. Hopefully all your faithful followers here will help keep the dream alive.

  • Roz,

    We all knew you’d do the trick. Now watch out for those container ships and land safe. I’d say have a beer for me but then everyone of us would ask the same and if you complied, you would be in a state.

  • Roz,

    I’m so glad to hear you’re so close to finishing! And that you got a free beer out of it.

    Cheers,
    Eric

  • Congratulations Roz! Once again you inspire and amaze us with
    your incredible journey. Enjoy Madang and get some much
    needed rest. Thank you for all your great stories.

  • WOO HOO!!!!! What a great ride it’s been (well, especially for those of us who read your blog while sipping hot tea and wearing our jammies – certainly easier for us than for you). You are an AMAZING woman and role model Roz. YOU ROCK!!!!!

    Falafel are waiting upon your next visit to the Bay Area.

    Your fans and friends,

    Sharon, Ismayil, Elise and Sasha (Squishy’s mom) 🙂

  • Fantastic – well done Roz, enjoy the rest for a few days before the “must-do” bug hits you again!

  • So very excited for you. Sounds like you’re going to get a well deserved hero’s welcome. I await news of your safe arrival in PNG and Madang!

  • Wow…the home stretch…congrats…hope you get that “kip” (had to look that one up), but the cold “brew” should enhance the effort…have fun…enjoy…will be following you closely today online…can’t wait to see photos of your arrival…and your always delightful comments

  • Roz, I couldn’t wait to boot up the computer this morning and find out what’s happening! Congratulations on being on the very last leg of crossing the Pacific–what an amazing thing you have been doing, and all the while waking people up and inspiring them to do what they can to make a difference to our beautiful blue planet. I know it’s very un-British of you to drink iced beer but darned if that wouldn’t taste like the best thing on earth (aside from a hand-made ham and cheese butty) after you just rowed solo across an entire darned ocean! Crying and cheering over here!

    Have a wonderful and well-earned rest in Madang–at least you don’t have to embark immediately on a book tour this time!

    Claire in the desert-near-LA

  • Very exciting update! I wish you well on your last push to land. Rowing across the whole Pacific! It’s on the impressive side of wow! 4 weeks at a resort sounds like a recipe for great recovery.

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