Today has been a hard grind at the oars. Everything has gone a
bit wiggly. Conditions are conspiring to push me north and west, when
I'm trying to head south. So the wind and I are in a tug of war. Every
time I stop rowing the wind and current take over and undo the
pathetically small distance I have worked so hard to gain.
Regardless of whether I am aiming for Tuvalu or Tarawa, it is important
to get south as quickly as possible. The southern edge of the ITCZ is
like a barrier running from east to west, but it is a barrier with
holes, so I will have to keep attacking it, probing it while the winds
push me westwards until I find a weak point in the barrier where I can
get through. The sooner I get to the barrier and start this probing
process, the greater my chances of finding an opportunity to get through
to the promised land beyond.
If I extrapolated from today's wiggly-line progress I would be in
despair and trying to arrange a welcoming committee in the Philippines.
But the one sure thing about oceans is that conditions change, so I can
just hope they change sooner rather than later and let me get back on
course. Wiggling is a lovely word, but wiggles on the ocean wave are not
Meanwhile the good news is that the fragile truce with the boobies
continues. This morning was rather noisy, as two birds bickered over who
was top booby, but by this afternoon one of them had established
supremacy and spent the rest of the day quietly preening his feathers on
what is now known as the poop deck.
Once again trying to raise the tone of this blog from bottoms, boobies
and bird poop, I've started picking out some of my favorite quotes from
a list I compiled for the Atlantic row. I found the laminated sheets in
the Aquapac where I keep the ship's logbook and a few other documents.
Here are three goodies for you.
In honor of the boobies:
Endure what can't be mended.
In reference to trying to stay on course for a landfall this side of
The future depends on what we do in the present.
And to remind me to try and hold it all together:
What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared
to what lies within us.
(Ralph Waldo Emerson)
Post Script: Since I started typing this blog entry my course has
moderated slightly from a very alarming NW tilt to a more westerly
course. I'm hoping nothing too disastrous happens overnight. So as
always, the only constant in life is change…
[photo: today's track on my GPS – looking rather like a chart of average
yearly global temperatures…]
Eco Champ for Day 50! Beverly G posted this comment yesterday, which
really gave me a boost.
"Roz, following your adventure has caused my family to make some life
changes to reduce our impact on the Earth. Along with the things we've
read about on your website like getting reusable shopping bags and water
bottles, we have also stopped using our electric clothes dryer. We now
dry our clothes on a line. I was shocked by how much we were spending to
run it. We now give the money we're saving to our 10-year-old son in
exchange for hanging the clothes on the line and taking them down. He
loves the extra spending money, and we love the outdoor-fresh smell of
our clothes, all while reducing our impact on the Earth. It's a
win-win-win solution. Thanks for opening our eyes to environmental
responsibility, Roz. We're spreading the word to all of our friends and
Great job, Beverly, and hi to the rest of your family too. Tell Kevin
that in answer to his question we'll post photos of me when I arrive at
Island X and he can judge the size of my muscles for himself!
Congratulations to Mick Dawson and Chris Martin
(www.goldengateendeavour.com) on having crossed the International Date
Line. Their last blog showed their position to be 34d 7m 41"N 178d 26m
14"W. I was very sorry to hear that Mick's father lost his battle with
cancer yesterday. It must be very tough for Mick to be so far away from
his family at this time. My thoughts are with them all.
Thanks for all the helpful suggestions about my feathered foes. I had
already tried the water deterrent, but it was literally water off a
duck's back – not a blind bit of difference. Jack – loved the idea about
putting Rick Astley on the stereo! But of course I don't have any with
me… and wouldn't admit it if I did!
I doubt if I'll ever come to regard the smelly old boobies as friends,
but we have now achieved a reasonable state of acceptable co-existence.
As to naming them, the one most persistent resident is now known as
Birdbrain – which was the politest amongst the options that sprang to
mind. When there were the 3 of them, I considered naming them Dumb,
Dumber, and Dumbest ****ing ****er Ever. So Birdbrain is positively
affectionate by comparison, and a sign of my increasing acceptance of
the invasion of the boobies. I am zen(ish).
And finally, back on the subject of wiggling, if you're into eco stuff
and particularly composting, please check out the Wiggly Wigglers link
from my store at www.rozsavage.com. WW do a great range of eco products
including their signature product – the Can o Worms for adding to your
compost heap. Wiggle your way to a greener world! (BTW, they do a
fantastic podcast too – it's cult listening in the UK!)
Position at 2200 HST: 06 06.241N, 175 48.969W
Wind: very variable today. 5-20kts, E-ESE
Weather: hot, sunny, some cloud, no rainshowers today
Weather forecast, courtesy of weatherguy.com
As of Monday, 13 July 2009. Wind conditions should be highly variable
the next several days. Winds may have shifted to slightly south of east
today. As of this morning, winds over your position were E 10-20kts.
There is a slight chance the wind could shift to light Nerlies, in the
next five days, which should assist in pushing you southward across the
equator. Wind speeds from calm to 15kts. Seas flat to 3ft.
Sky conditions: Partly to mostly cloudy with low level clouds.
Scattered rainshowers, squalls, and possible thunderstorms. Wind speeds
in these systems 40kts.
ITCZ: The Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) has been quiet these
last few days as indicated by the absence of convective clouds . Still
you are in the prime generation area for heavy squalls and
thunderstorms. Southern edge of the ITCZ is drifting between 02 to 03
Ocean Current: North Equatorial Counter Current (NEEC). Still looking
for the current to become ENE or Eerly flowing south of your position.
Northern boundary of the NEEC is about 05 00N extending to the southern
boundary near 00 30S. Current speeds increases to Eerly 0.1 to 0.2, then
builds to a maximum near 0.6 to 0.7kts from 02 30N to 01 00N then fades
to 0.1 to 0.2 near the southern boundary. There are periodic
fluctuations in these
Recommendation: The light winds, lack of convective activity, and Eerly
flowing current provide and excellent opportunity to move eastward to
enhance an equatorial crossing. Suggest maximum effort to try to stay in
the Eerly flowing current as long as possible by rowing eastward. Or if
you have decided on Tarawa as destination, suggest rowing southwest
towards Tarawa to avoid the maximum NEEC current. You probably will have
an opposing current of about 0.5 kts.
Date/Time HST Wind kts Seas (ft) est
13/1800-15/1800 E NE-E 5-15 1-3
15/1800-17/1800 E-NW 0-10 1-2
17/1800-19/1800 NW-N 5-12 2-4
Next Update: Friday, 17July