Living on a small boat, I’ve become very aware of my inputs and outputs. For example, if there isn’t enough sun to power my solar panels, I don’t get enough electricity. The only food supply is what I have on board (or what I manage to catch). Water has to come from reserves, rainwater (none so far) or handpumping.

And rubbish has to be stored and carried back to land.

Fortunately I don’t generate much. Food wrappers form most of it, and they fold down small. Then there are a few empty bottles of toiletries, propane bottles for my cook stove, and that’s about it. So far my “trash can” (the hatch underneath my rowing position) contains just two small trash bags – biodegradable ones, of course.

But for immediate purposes, there is no “away” – when something is thrown away, it is still here, on board.

If only more people were brought face to face with their trash this way, it might make them think twice before consigning something to the bin. But in our “civilized” world, we put out the rubbish, it gets taken away, and we probably don’t give it another thought.

If you had to keep three months-worth of rubbish in a corner of your kitchen, I wonder if you would try to generate less. Or figure out ways to re-use some of it – composting, mending, finding another use for things. It would be an interesting exercise.

Other stuff:

Position at 2200 16th July Pacific Time, 0500 17th July UTC: 25 38.815’N, 131 50.136’W.

Today has been HOT, and I’ve been glugging water like, err, like I had a working watermaker on board. It’s been a long day too – many hours at the oars. Am now dead beat, and writing this blog with my last ounce of energy…

My friend Margo Pellegrino is on a 500-mile journey by outrigger canoe from New Jersey to Washington, DC in support of Oceans 21, a Healthy Oceans Act to save our seas. Well done Margo!

Hi also to Paul Gleeson (Atlantic ocean rower), Aleksey (amp still going strong!), Elena and Konstantin.

Tom Goodman asked what kind of watch I am wearing: a G-Shock Pathfinder. Solar powered, barometer, compass and altimeter. The last not much needed at the moment – I think we can safely say I am at sea level!

Click here to view Day 53 of the Atlantic Crossing Day 53, January 22 2005, A Funny Kind of Freedom – rather different from freedom on land.

Watch Leo Laporte talking to Roz live on on Thursdays, Saturdays and Tuesdays at 10am Pacific Time, 6pm GMT

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