Gyre by Chris Jordan

Today was another gorgeous day on the ocean. You know the Japanese painting of the wave, with the perfect curling white crest? Waves like that were all around me today, and a large swell would come along once in a while and lift Sedna right up, so I could see for miles, across a huge vista of whitecaps.

Of course, the waves that look so pretty sometimes choose precisely the wrong moment to peak and curl, and several times today the deck copped a boatfiller. And so it goes.

It was a good day to look around and appreciate the beauty of the Earth. I had a lot going on in my head, prompted by recent reading matter on religion, morality, spirituality, etc. Some of the ideas had really struck a chord, and I was trying to figure out how to assimilate them into my scheme of things. Mostly my thoughts seemed to raise more questions than answers, as I kept finding myself trying to hold two opposing views at the same time.

But I’m happy with that for the moment. There is a lot going into the melting pot at the moment, and I’m sure that at some stage that wonderful alchemy will start to happen and I’ll see things more clearly.

Until then, I simply enjoy the process of thinking about these things. I’m in no rush to reach conclusions. You may not know exactly where I am, but take it from me, I have plenty of thinking time left before I reach my destination.

Meanwhile, I will continue to enjoy the journey – and the views. Every time I reached the top of a big swell today, I would look around for those whales that are due to show up and tow me the rest of the way, but no sign of them as yet. I’ll keep on looking!

Other Stuff:

A huge thank you to the Rohrs family in Chatsworth, CA. I haven’t been able to see the pictures yet, but Mum described them for me: “Cyrus has a good representation of the purple boat, with a bright yellow sun just coming over the horizon behind it (therefore you are rowing due north!), fish, jellyfish and a turtle escorting you. Gwynne has you sitting there with a big grin on your face, the sun is a bit higher in the sky, and the sea creatures are all going your way. Woody the pirate is behind you. Both have a turtle motif on the boat.” And thank you, Dory, for the message and the blessings. I’ll let you know just as soon as I see any of the sea creatures.

Sharon Levin – great to hear from you! Thank you so much for the plug on “Talk of the Nation”!! You’re a star! I know it was only a brief mention, but you never know who might be listening…. BTW, Squishy the Dolphin is still on board as my faithful crewmate. He must be the best-travelled stuffed dolphin in the world! At least in terms of time spent travelling, if not necessarily miles travelled…

Rachel – I liked your mantra. Thanks for that. I have some similar ones, which (when I remember to use them!) really help.

Jim Bell – hope you’re having a wonderful time in Thailand. So if I understand you correctly, the Thai Buddhist teachings include taking responsibility, not waiting for someone else to look after us?

Janice – thanks for the suggestions. Cold toes still very much an issue, and my Neoprene socks don’t seem to help much. I do have some heat pads that can be reused if you boil them for 10 mins, but I don’t have enough fuel allowance to do that too often. For the next row, I’ll investigate drysocks (if such a thing exists) and waterproof gaiters. For the video camera, I finally found the spare recharger. But now the “on” button doesn’t work. Sigh!

Angela – yes, I remember meeting the other Angela. The display of sea creatures made from plastic debris sounds interesting – let’s hope it wins over a few more converts to the cause.

(Picture: “Gyre” by Chris Jordan: based on the famous Japanese painting, “The Great Wave off Kanagawa” by Hokusai. Instead of paint, the colors are composed of 2.4 million pieces of plastic – the estimated number of pounds of plastic that enter the world’s ocean’s every hour!)

Sponsored Miles: Thanks go to: Bleddyn Williams, Chris Lynch, Linda Leinen and Nils Mannerstedt.


  • Ha! An “Adventurous” Emperor Penguin showed up on a New Zealand beach near Wellington today.  The first one since another pioneerning Emperor in 1967.  Could be looking to catch up with you Roz., swam 4000 miiles but just missed Perth by a few nautical miles, but may head to the Indian Ocean soon.  It is a juvenile, and may be out seeking extraordinary experiences or re-thinking the ‘meaning-of-life in the antarctic’….! Promoting interest in climate change??
    Who knows…..

  • Those large waves will make a boat a bit tippy. It is a challenge to keep everything dry when Mother Nature can manufacture waves so large.  How do you air out the cabin to keep the fresh air circulating when the waves are soaking the deck?

  • Sounds probably strange, but to get more blood into your toes – (and so heat) – You probably have a cream with you for that. Something like a deep-heat cream? I’ve seen this in a handful row-boat-medical-lists. Wasn’t it suggested by Woodvale too for the Atlantic? You probably have some of it with you for your back. I checked Heparin – but this does not seem to work. There a re several medicals that increase blood flow locally. I am pretty sure you have something in your box.

     If all fails and you really freeze: l would cut a piece from your silver/gold emergency foil. Should be in your first-aid kit. Be creative with it 🙂

  • This is my favorite Hokusai print. I am a sailor and have Gelaskin copies on my MacBook and iphone.  Also have the Hokusai  HD app on my iPad. I’ve been following you since SF, good luck with this row.

  • There once was a rower named Roz
    Who wants to protect oceans because 
    Of the treasures down below
    There are fish that even glow!
    And that’s why Roz does what she does.

  • Wool socks keep feet warm when wet. Especially if they’re fresh off the sheep. That is, they have not been over-cleaned so retain plenty of lanolin. Mind you, they stink to high heaven after a few weeks of use. That Bag Balm, which I hope you still have, will keep your feet dry inside whatever you wear and that’s more important than keeping them warm.

  • GoreTex waterproof socks over Smartwool socks keep my feet warm and dry even in puddles, heavy rain, or slush.  Water simply doesn’t get through the GoreTex and yet air does.

  • I love how synchronicity works.  I’m on the road, and today toured through the Biosphere 2 complex just north of Tucson Arizona.  My interests were the synergy between pure water availability and plant and human growth and development, and also the possible lessons that closed-environment systems can teach us about long-term space colonization in the future.  But maybe of most interest … on this sweltering hot 110 degree Arizona day … was my discovery that Jane Poynter (one of the eight original people who populated this closed environment experiment in 1991-1993), recently wrote a book entitled “Champions for Change” which features Roz in one of the sections.  So this reminded me of the lesson that “everything is related to everything else”, or maybe the lesson is that “you just can’t get away from hearing about Roz”, even when one is on the road a thousand miles from home.   🙂

    Be safe, row well, be happy.

  • I’ve heard that the skin is thinnest on the wrists and ankles.  The advice for Raynauds sufferers is that if you’re trying to get your hands or feet warm, cover your wrists or ankles. So the equivalent of sweat bands for your ankles? Made out of the silver foil? xx

  • ICEBREAKER socks….wish I could air-drop several pair of these Merino wool socks to you.  Keeps feet warm when wet, and not smelly.  I wear them all winter with Chaco sandals, riding my bicycle around chilly and wet Dunedin.

  • You said: “Until then, I simply enjoy the process of thinking about these things. I’m in no rush to reach conclusions. You may not know exactly where I am, but take it from me, I have plenty of thinking time left before I reach my destination.”

    This easily ranks among the most beautiful words I have ever read. Thank you for saying them.

    Paul (in Salt Lake City)

  • Roz, you may have mis-interpreted the dream or premonition. It is the other way around, silly… Don’t you see? It is the whales that you are towing home… Row Roz Row

  • Hi out there,
    Hi Roz,
    I stumbled over two links, that – so I think – fit in here. First link is the theory, second… the cruel reality. We must not forget, that, while Roz is doing her formidable job, and Annie (1st link) is explaining the fundamental structures of our economy which consequences we can see in the second link….. it is all about you and me! WE keep this machinery working.



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