The value of things on an ocean rowing boat is very different from their value on dry land. Out here, the dollar/pound value of an object is totally irrelevant. If I can’t eat it, drink it, or row with it, then it’s worth very little to me, whereas there have been moments when I would have paid hundreds for a slice of pecan pie.
Actually, that’s a slight over-simplification. There are some items on board that I don’t eat, drink or row with, but which make my life that much more pleasant. Here are a few examples of things that are enrich my life out of all proportion to their monetary value (including some edible ones):
iPod – I actually have 4 iPods on board, but by far the most cherished is the one donated by Leo Laporte (who does the podcasts). It is loaded with 323 books, courtesy of audible.com. I listen to the books while I row, and they make the time pass SOOO much more easily than the total silence I endured on the Atlantic. Leo’s taste is very highbrow. I’m learning a lot!
Lock ‘n’ Lock boxes – simple food storage boxes with admirably watertight lids. I use them for everything from my Sanyo Xacti video camera (also an excellent item) to my various snacks.
Sleeping bag – my Ocean Sleepwear sleeping bag is my haven. Waterproof outer shell, fleecy lining. Fantastic.
Trusty latte spoon – probably purloined from a coffee shop at some time in the past. I eat every meal with it. It’s long enough to reach to the bottom of boil-in-the-bag meal sachets, or to the bottom of the mug I use for freeze-dried food, thus avoiding the unappetizing horror of lumpy, partially rehydrated food that managed to avoid proper stirring.
Tea tree oil – applied neat to the parts of the body (use your imagination) that are susceptible to the saltwater sores that caused me such misery on the Atlantic. It has powerful antiseptic qualities, and smells lovely and fresh and clean.
Boil in the bag meals – so much nicer than the freeze dried meals, because they have proper chunks of meat and veg in them (and even dumplings!) rather than the finely minced dusty rubble of freeze-dried food. Alas, I ate the last one a couple of days ago, so it’s freeze-dried from now on.
Sproutamo – my doughty seed sprouter (see photo). It lives in a mesh bag, tucked away in a corner of the deck underneath the gunwales. I’ve mastered the art of sprouting seeds using the absolute minimum of water, and in less than 48 hours I have fresh crunchy beansprouts. Super-healthy! And environmentally friendly too, as they are fresh and unprocessed so don’t have the carbon footprint of freeze-dried foods, nor the packaging.
(Roz was very tired last night after making the most of good rowing conditions – she was unable to attach the picture. I have added one taken on the Atlantic crossing but she uses a different sprouter now. Rita.)
From my ocean perspective it strikes me as pretty funny what people will pay for a Picasso or a rare stamp. Out here it’s all about survival and efficiency. Not enough room for a Picasso on the wall of my cabin, anyway.
Position at 2150 14th July Pacific time, 0450 15th July UTC: 25 56.708’N, 130 37.513’W.
Lovely conditions for rowing today, and I’m making good progress. I’ll enjoy it while it lasts!
Blue Pledges: today was the grand presentation of the pledges at the British Houses of Parliament. I’ve asked the BLUE Project to let me know how it went, and will report back.
Glad to hear about all the cool stuff on the internet – the podcasts, 1planet1ocean and so on. I just wish I could see them too!
Today I saw a tiny piece of plastic floating past – it looked like a square inch or so of plastic carrier bag. And there was one of the little blue crabs sitting on it! So now I don’t know if the crabs actually swim, or if they just hitch rides on passing debris.but either way I was sad to see the plastic so far from land.
Today I took my first saltwater sponge bath. I can’t spare enough fresh water, but I desperately needed a wash – it was hot and windless today and I was sweating. Further to John H’s suggestion, I made sure I wiped off all the saltwater when I’d finished to avoid that sticky feeling. And it seemed to work pretty well – I felt clean and refreshed. Thanks, John!
From BLUE Project newsletter: Anne Qu?m?r? (France): Ocean Kite Surfer
As our second BLUE Ambassador set to cross the Pacific Ocean this year, Anne will follow in Roz’s footsteps when she sets off alone from San Francisco in three months time. However, this is where the similarities between the voyages end as Anne will be using a kite to propel her tiny craft across the Ocean rather than oars and is heading for the French Polynesian Islands some 4,350 miles away.
That’s all for now. It’s been a long day at the oars. Thanks again for all the wonderful messages of support and encouragement that continue to pour in.
Click here to see Day 51 of the Atlantic Crossing Friday Night Dinner Party: the 4 guests she would choose for such an imaginary event.