Another strange day in the ITCZ. No rowing this morning – the sea anchor
was out while the wind blew from the southeast. It's pretty boring being
on a rowboat when you can't row – there isn't a lot else to do. And
I didn't want to just sit and dwell on how many miles I was losing.
So after tinkering around a bit, writing a couple of emails, I decided
to take on a major challenge – to brush my hair.

If you've never tried leaving shoulder-length hair unbrushed for two
months, during which time you also take frequent swims in salt water,
toss and turn in a constantly moving bed, spend your days outdoors in
brisk sea breezes, and swivel your baseball cap around to try and shield
your face from the sun… then I don't recommend it. It leaves your hair
looking like a thatched roof and feeling like an oil slick. I had put my
hair in braids shortly after leaving Hawaii, but by now the two braids
were more like two dreadlocks. There is a very good reason I'm always
wearing a hat in photos.

It took me half an hour to persuade my hair that it was indeed made up
of individual strands rather than being just a solid mass of coagulated
straw. And having got that far, I thought I may as well go ahead and
wash it too. And condition it. And give it a lovely thorough rinse in
generous amounts of fresh water. By the time I had done all this, I had
quite satisfactorily managed to pass an hour, and felt like a new woman.
Clean hair is surprisingly good for morale.

By mid afternoon the wind had backed around to the East, so it was in
with the the sea anchor and out with the oars. It's slow going – the
wind still isn't exactly helping me – but I've managed to claw back a
few of the miles south lost over the last two or three days.

And having said that, I'm going to cut this blog short. The sun is
setting – I know that because my GPS has just this minute switched over
to its night-time color scheme – but I'd like to get in a bit more
rowing, so I must go. I have to take my chances while I can.

[photo: Scary. This is what was hiding under the baseball cap.]

Other Stuff:

We haven't yet had a chance to set up the email address for the Larabar
bookmarks – see yesterday's blog. I believe it is going to be set up
tomorrow when Evan gets back to the office in Hawaii. So patience
please, kind Roztafarians!

Laurey from Asheville, NC – I am absolutely all in favor of supporting
independent booksellers and local businesses. Unfortunately Asheville
won't be on my book tour – it's up to my publishers, not me, to decide,
and I believe that so far they are focusing on the big cities – New
York, DC, San Francisco, Portland OR, Seattle and Boston. Maybe LA. But
thanks for the reminder to think global, buy local!

Weather report:

Position at 2240 HST: 04 38.599N, 175 10.731W
Wind: 10-18 knots SE this morning, 20 knots E from mid-afternoon
Seas: 6-8 ft SE – E
Weather: sunny, slightly overcast, passing light squalls

Weather forecast courtesy of

Using your position from Day 56 from Feedblitz blog email, you reported:
05 08N 175 29W as of 19Jul 2220HST. This is almost due east of your
position yesterday. It is interesting to note the wind direction is from
the NE, you are rowing south, and the current is heading east your
overall motion is towards the east.

As of Monday, 18 July 2009. Wind predictions will still be with an
added level of uncertainty due to the naturally occurring spatially and
temporally variable conditions in the equatorial regions. According
measured data over your area, there is NE winds 7-12kts 05N and north
veering clockwise to E 7-12kts to 03N, then veering to ESE 7-15kts south
of 03N.

You are almost through the southern boundary of the ITCZ. According to
satellite imagery, there is minimal convection south of 05N. The further
south you get the more accelerated the east flowing current will be up
to possibly one knot. Any progress eastward should offer a better line
up on potential landing spots in the southern hemisphere. However, at
some point, you should be making some southward progress.

Sky conditions: Partly to mostly cloudy. Isolated rainshowers, squalls,
and possible thunderstorms.

Forecast (low confidence due to extreme variability in Roz's position
and the fluctuations in wind direction/speed in the Doldrums)
Date/Time HST Wind kts Seas (ft) est
20/1800-23/1800 NE 7-15 2-4
23/1800-25/1800 E 5-10 2-4


  • A "thatched roof"? Sounds painful. Did you see any of the eclipse? And what is the update on the birds?


  • Roz, you don't talk much about bare essentials, but it is obvious that shampooing ones hair is not on the list … omg 2 months! I just gotta shower and shampoo first thing every day … you put into perspective where the priorities lie. This is a glimpse into how your list of daily activities must fit into a complex jigsaw puzzle that is constantly changing and rearranging with time, wind, seas, squalls, currents, fauna, sun, moon, blisters, rashes … and emotions I would guess, too.

    Accepting a bad situation of high winds blowing you way off our course — your inability to overcome nature — and taking advantage of the "lull" in your rowing to freshen up really demonstrates flexibility in setting and resetting priorities. And with a great positive attitude all the while.

    You Rock Rowing Roz!

    We'll see you on LIVE! at 10:30 AM Hawaii time (1:30 PT, 4:30 ET) — today Thursday, July 23. Thanks, Nicole for the day and time change reminder ;-D

  • Re: live on today — "Lord willing and the creek don't rise," or, in this case, the sat-phone link is maintainable. Just doesn't have the same ring to it.

    So glad you took the opportunity to do something that felt good and lifted your spirits.

    Greg, I believe Roz reported sometime last week that the boobies had finally flown off and not returned.

    Does anyone know what time zone Roz is actually in right now? I think it's GMT -11 or -12. As I figure it these days, as we east coasters are getting up for the day, she is hitting the bunk.

  • Dear Roz, We loyal fans want to reassure you that we are
    certainly sending Sir Winston along with you. Given your directional problems in the doldrums, he has asked us to remind you “If you are going (he meant “rowing”) to go through Hell, keep going.” And we’re sure you will!

  • Joan in Atlanta, RozTracker is using Hawaii time (GMT-10) but because she is only 5 degrees from the IDL, I believe she is actually in the GMT-11 time zone. Maybe somebody can confirm the actual time zone of her physical location, Rita, Nicole or Evan?

    Because Hawaii does not use Daylight Savings, that would make the times on RozTracker — for example — 3 hours behind me here in California (PT, GMT-8), and 6 hours behind you in Atlanta (ET, GMT-5)

  • Hey Roz. Long time reader, first time commenter. So glad to hear you'll be stopping by SF, would love a chance to meet you, or at least, catch glimpses of you through a large crowd.

    Have you considered cutting your hair into a short bob for the next leg of the journey? Might make it a bit easier to manage.

  • Hi Roz, pre-ordered your book from Amazon yesterday. The "lessons learned" verbiage in the title is soooo project management. I'm sorry you didn't get to pick a more creative title. Some of us from my office will attend any book signings you have in LA – if you come here.

    It's amazing how tan you aren't in your photos. If it were me, you'd wonder about my true nationality. I'd look like the islanders within 2 weeks. Are you wearing any sunglasses? That would be a good sponsorship for the next row. Sunburned eyeballs are no fun. Check out BUGZ. I use those for sailing, as well as some funky looking half jackets by Oakley for kayaking.

    We are experiencing a heat wave in So Cal at the moment. Everyday has been over 100degF for the past couple of weeks. We can see the monsoonal clouds forming in the east, but they aren't quite bringing rain to us.

    I understand about the fresh water feel after being in salt water for so long. It's very creative of you to write an interesting article (blog) about that. Some of us might not know how wonderful fresh water can be.

    Be safe!

  • Roz, I reported to that I did not observe the crescent here last night due to some clouds on the western horizon. I also reported on your behalf that you did not observe the crescent last night, it was partly cloudy and your location from RozTracker was 04'41"N 175'13"W.

    Hoping you observe the crescent tonight. Please let me know cloud conditions and the time if you observe it. Depending on the clouds, it should be faint but clearly visible for about two hours after sunset.

  • Hi Roz,

    My 8 year old son would like to know how many bottles of sunscreen did you take with you and do you use it much, if so, how many layers thick is that stuff?

    Keep up the flexibility, a mighty strong oak will snap in the storm but the flexible sapling will bend in the wind to grow another day. That is about all the Zen I can muster for you. LOL Keep up the great work. Steve at the

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