Last night it was a full moon. Unfortunately I didn’t get to see it, as it has been overcast for several days (and nights) now. I would have loved to have seen it – one of my favourite Atlantic memories is rowing along on a calm ocean under a full moon, admiring the stars and generally feeling at one with the world.
Rowing across an ocean really does give me a sense of my place on the planet, and that planet’s place in relation to the sun, moon and stars. It’s evident, as I head west and south, how the times of sunrise and sunset (when it isn’t overcast) are shifting.
And although I don’t have a sextant on board, I had to study celestial navigation as a prerequisite for the Atlantic Rowing Race, and I can still remember enough about the subject to conjure up an approximate image of the earth turning as it circles the sun and picture how it all fits together.
There is a quote I found today on a list of inspirational quotes I’d prepared before the Atlantic, which I think comes from a Michael Crichton book:
Modern city-dwellers cannot even see the stars at night. This humbling reminder of man’s place in the grander scheme of things, which human beings formerly saw once every twenty-four hours, is denied them. It’s no wonder that people lose their bearings, that they lose track of who they really are, and what their lives are really about.
This really rings true with me. In ordinary life on dry land, I get so wrapped up in the general busy-ness and bustle, and it’s only when I get out on the ocean, or into the mountains, or otherwise into the wild, that I am reminded that in the overall span of time and space, my little life – although very important to me – is smaller than a grain of sand on a beach.
Position at 2130 20th July Pacific Time, 0430 21st July UTC: 24 40.470’N, 134 19.458’W.
Within the next few hours I should cross the halfway point of my journey. I will have rowed 1304 nautical miles, and will be the same distance from Hawaii. Now that I am in the trade winds, the second half should go faster than the first half. I have to confess – I very much hope this is so!
Conditions today have been grey, cold and rough. Not really the sort of day that makes me yearn for more of the same. Thanks for all the positive vibes heading my way – either through messages, comments, or just positive thoughts!
A special note to Tim: I’ve been using my “positive, energetic, enthusiastic” mantra here on the boat, too. It’s a bit harder doing the hand gestures here though. I like to do it this way:
I am positive (fling arms out to sides) I am energetic (shoot arms forwards) I am enthusiastic (stretch arms up overhead)
And I tend to do repeat it several times, in an increasingly silly voice (especially on enthOOOOsiastic!) which at least puts a smile on my face at the start of the day!
Click here to view Day 57 of the Atlantic Crossing 26 January 2006: Sad Day on Sedna Solo – Roz finishes her favourite food.
Sedna was the name of the boat before Brocade became the main sponsor – the boat is now called Brocade.