This morning there were seven little birds on my boat when I woke up. In
fact, it was they that woke me up – a couple of them were tap-dancing on
the roof of my sleeping cabin and the unfamiliar noise brought me out of
zzz-land. I came out on deck to find there were two more on the roof of
the fore cabin, a matching pair on each end of the furled bimini, and
one perched on an oar.

Seven seemed like an auspicious number – and maybe they did bring me
good luck, because today many squalls passed by but none of them
actually hit me until this evening. By that time I had finally, finally,
after a lengthy ding-dong battle against the elements, made it across
the line of latitude at 4 degrees north. Until I reached the ITCZ I was
crossing each degree of latitude in about 3.5 days on average. To get
from 5 degrees to 4 degrees north took me over twice as long – 8 days.
So there were big hurrahs on board the Brocade, I can tell you!

I'm having to be very disciplined about not extrapolating or predicting
based on present rates of progress. I keep nearly falling into the trap
of thinking that if I've done x miles in my first shift, then by the end
of today I'll have done y miles and crossed z line of latitude. And it
just doesn't work that way. No sooner will I have finished my mental
arithmetic than conditions will change and I'll find myself going
backwards. So it's much, much better just to take it as it comes, and
regard any progress as a welcome bonus – and backwards progress as,
well, just one of those things. Swear about it and then accept it.

This reminds me – I once attended a course with a company called Mission
Performance, who use Global Challenge sailing skippers to help corporate
clients develop team skills. They introduced me to a useful concept. If
two members of their crew have a row, they tell them not to bear a
grudge but to "leave it on the wave behind".

So that's what I try to do. Rather than saying to myself, "if only I'd
managed to carry on at that rate then by now I'd be over there", it's
better to just forget it. Leave it on the wave behind. Things are
exactly as they are meant to be.

But it's easier said than done. I'm trying not to think about what lies
ahead – just take it one hour at a time, I keep reminding myself – but I
can't help hoping that the next few degrees are not going to be more
challenging still.

[photo: trying again to upload the photo that refused to be squeezed
through my slower-than-an-ocean-rower Iridium connection last night…]

Other Stuff:

Eco Champ of the Day! Well done Amy, on your consumer choices.
"You are a regular part of my day as I follow your progress and make
small, simple choices like not buying bottled water (I carry an alumnium
water bottle) and brining reusable bags to the grocery store."
It all helps!

Norman – I was very touched to receive your message. Thank you – and
wishing you all the best in your battle against cancer.

Aaron – you wish you could give me day off while you row instead? You
and me both!!

And thank you to all the other Rowsters for your comments, support and
feedback! Ooh, and your orders for my book – THANK YOU! (And thanks
again to Richard Cort of Austin, TX – Mum reminded me it was you who
first came up with the great idea of the Larabar bookmarks that is
catching on like wildfire – nice one!)

Quick answers to quick questions:

Q: Roz, do you have a plan if a typhoon should come your way? Do you
think your boat would hold together in winds of 150 mph and falling off
waves of thirty feet?
A: To be honest, yes, I do think that my boat would hold together in
those conditions. We've handled waves of 20 feet without problems since
we modified the boat in 2007-8, adding 200lb of lead to the keel and
increasing its depth by 5 inches. So if a typhoon hit, I'd retreat to
the cabin, put on my crash helmet, use the seatbelts in there to strap
myself to my bunk, and hope that it passes quickly!

Q: How do you stay "on course"…do you focus on a compass as you row?
A: Yes, I do use a compass mounted between my feet for navigating while
I'm rowing – although usually the wind (when not changing direction
every 5 minutes) keeps me on track. And I check the GPS at the end of
every rowing shift, but more to see how much progress I've made (if any)
rather than direction. The compass is battery-powered and has an inbuilt
red light so I can see it at night without losing my night vision.

Q: I am always intrigued at how supposedly humans need human
contact…and yet you seem to thrive without it..do you ever crave human
contact, a hug….
A: Not while I'm at sea – no. It's one of those things, like wine, that
I really appreciate and enjoy when available, but if not available I
don't even think about. But a massage, now that is another matter
altogether!

Weather report:

Position at 2100 HST: 03 55.627N, 175 04.024W
Wind: 5-20+ knots E
Seas: 4-8 feet E, short and choppy at times
Weather: Light overcast this morning, pleasant rowing conditions.
Squalls increasing as day went on. Sunshine very intense when it came
through.

Weather forecast, courtesy of weatherguy.com:

Using last night's Feedblitz blog email (26 Jul), reported position was:
04 09N 175 04W as of 26Jul 2145HST. Making good progress eastward. This
is the preferred direction while in the equatorial counter current.

As of Monday 27 July 2009. According to measured data, there is ESE
blowing squalls with winds 20-40kts have been in your area. South to the
equator and east of your position to 171W, squalls continue. Otherwise,
winds have been mostly ESE 5-17kts. Uncertainty remains, as previously
discussed. Forecast is for wind direction to shift more ENEerly 13-18kts
then, NE 5-10kts on the 28 Jul becoming light and variable.

According to satellite imagery, there is over cast skies and deep
convection overhead and south to the equator. Embedded thunderstorms
possible. You can expect more heavy rainshowers.

Suggest rowing towards the east

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

Forecast (low confidence due to extreme variability in equatorial
regions and naturally occurring small scale fluctuations in
direction/speed in the Doldrums)
Date/Time HST Wind kts Seas (ft) est
27/1200-28/0000 ENE 13-18 3-8
28/0000-28/1200 NE 5-10 4-6
28/1200-01/1800 Variable direction 1-8
0-10kts

Next Update: Thursday, 30 July

32 Comments

  • When you arrive at shore after a crossing, How long does it take to get your land legs? Do you weave as yo walk?

    Cheers
    ~Greg

  • Good news for those who have already applied for a special signed Larabar bookmark, made from wrappers that Roz has eaten while crossing the Pacific: all applications to date, July 28, have been successful. There are still places left for further names. If you have ordered a copy of Roz's book, then do apply for a bookmark, at bookmark@rozsavage.com We will need to ask for some donations, as mailing is going to be quite a price, especially to customers in China, New Zealand and other far-flung regions! See how to donate on http://www.roz.savage.com All kind offerings will be gladly received. If you are ordering from a local bookstore instead of Amazon, also notify me on the same email address. Rita Savage.

  • Hi Roz,

    I understand you have no choice but to keep rowing as squalls and current impede you, set you back…it is wonderful that you could celebrate this progress! High Five!!

    Seven is a number of completeness (I'm sure you know)…perhaps a harbinger of your passage through the ITCZ…let's hope you get beyond it soon, anyway.

    Watching for your post everyday, now.

    Rozta' Bill

  • The vast majority of humans live well within shouting distance if not touching distance from another human being for their total life. Roz is alone, ok, the birds are with her, she can stand up in her birthday suit and scream at the top of her lungs and no one will hear her. I speak in the physically not the metaphorical.
    Roz, fair winds and calm seas.

  • Roz, you are so right! Let the waves in your wake carry your concerns. Be in the moment and what comes you'll deal with when it arrives. Meaningful for me are the observations of bird, fish and shark you take time to share with us along the way. I trust you'll continue to enjoy and rejuvenate in the little details and episodes along the way. Supportive thoughts and prayers from afar go with you. It's a new day.

  • Roz, judging from the background in your photo, it appears you have clear blue skies and beautiful broken clouds once again … or is it just a break in the squally weather?

    Congrats on finally breaking through the 4th parallel!

    Those 7 little birds who greeted you yesterday morning were a good omen!

    Rozlings … late yesterday (9:49 PM GMT) Joan suggested we Rozlings send Roz a rousing sea ditty about her tweet "7 little birds on boat this morning" and the trials of punching through 4N. Go back to Page 64 and read what was concocted then add a few lines or a few stanzas, or start a new ditty (copy and paste here on Page 65 if you like).

  • In regards to plastic bags….the bags that stores provide are not the best bags. So I plan to try and use my Timbuk2 messenger bag or my back pack. I'm a bag snob and can't abide by the re-usable store bags so this will work for me.
    —–
    Roz: have you ever read Arthur Ransome's Swallows and Amazons?
    —–

  • ROZ!
    Awesome work so far. I am enjoying your journey and again becoming inspired by your determination and mindset. Thanks for the great promotion of Massage Therapy! It is such a great way to recieve touch and healing and human contact. Maybe give your self a head massage before you go to sleep and rub your hands and feet when you think about it. Cheering you on here in the hot hot summer of Austin, Texas! Thanks for making it possible to virtually join you on your ROW!
    best,
    Rochelle
    Looking forward to reading your book!

  • Roz,
    I met you at The Climate Project Summit in Nashville and have been following your amazing journey. As a fellow oceanic soul, I wish that I was there with you to see all the amazing things that you have seen. Whale sharks, turtles, birds, the silent majesty of the sea, and the tempests, too. I am inspired to live my life ON PURPOSE the way you are. I have begun working on the obituary exercise that you spoke about. I will let you know how it goes when I am done. So far, I am happy to report that my two obituaries are one, and I am on the right track, I think. I credit Paulo Coehlo for setting me on the path a decade ago, with his book The Alchemist, which you have already written about. Maktub. Many thoughts of joy, power and beauty to you as you cross YOUR Sahara.
    Peace,
    Jess Reese
    TCP Presenter and Roz Savage Cheerleader.

  • Here's a fund raiser idea I had; Roz could lead and organize rowing adventure tours. That would be cool to row somewhere in a group and have some of these experiences in a safe environment, like a camping expedition except on the ocean. I don't think there is anything like it now, and you could charge a hefty price, because of Roz's growing fame used as leverage.

    If you take 10 people for 5000 each (which is in line with high end eco vactions), for a couple weeks, that's $50,000. If you do that 3 times a summer, that's 150,000. Of course, there is the environmental message that can be taught as well. It would appeal to the adventure athlete and environmentalists as well, I think. For the super-rich adventurer you could lead an expedition from California to Hawaii for, say, $20,000 a pop. It would be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Anyway, just an idea.
    Poof

  • ? rowing adventure tour? How do you keep all the boats together? Roz hangs over the side when nature calls, would you want to hang your backside over in full view of the other adventurers? Her boat is not cheap, where are the boats coming from? Wait, maybe one could do this with a knarr, a Viking ship. Roz could be the drum beater and the rowers are the ones that pay 5 grand each. That might work.

  • Little Bridie's tap dancing? that sounds so cute. They do not sound as annoying as the boobies you had awhile back. Do you have disaster insurance? I remember reading about a pair of women who crossed Antarctica, and one of them was forced to cut a previous expedition short due to a lack of it.

    Also, you might do well to do some kind of vacation like that. When I was younger I went on a number of camping trips like that for teenagers.

  • Beneficial drift overnight — hurrah!

    I learned a new term with today's post: embedded thunderstorms. I'd never heard of it. Very interesting to research online.

  • Roz…I have been following you since your Hawaiian departure. I can't stop spreading the word and message. " No plastic thank you, have you heard of Roz Savage rowing alone across the world to build awareness of OUR environment and the damage that plactics can do?"
    The response from the younger set, is usually a big, " Wow," " COOL"

    I leave with Google Roz Rowing…

    There are many layers to your journey, the message, the personal goals, the single voice having an impact. It is all very inspiring.

    I love how the journey you have chosen translates to so many levels for so many people. We are all one, we all make an impact no matter how small or large, it adds up.

    Those of us who are aware of the plastic mess in the middle of the Pacific need to also be aware that most people don t know about it.

    Searching for how my journey can be that of environmental respect and integrity.

    Thank you for sharing your journey…
    Margaeux

  • More thoughts on the Roz Adventure Tour Co. I guess it doesn't have to be restricted to rowing. Roz has a list of other adventures she'd like to do. If she went with well-paying co-adventurers, she could at least make some money to cover the costs of this Pacific journey, as well as raise money for environmental causes and/or fund her fabulous idea for starting a foundation to help other adventurers achieve their goals. Hey, she could even pitch the idea for a syndicated tv show, I would so watch that! I love that show "Departures", those two guys travelling the world, having one adventure after another. Roz is far more photogenic the those two.
    Poof

  • Anonymous suggested setting up a rowing adventure tour – but did not get the facts right. You can't make guesses about what Roz does and state them as though they are facts.
    From another anonymous comment sender!

  • Hi Roz and Rita,

    Thanks for the "thanks". It just seemed like a relatively easy-to-implement idea, that would bring great pleasure to a large number of your fans (myself included). In the meantime, you've already thanked me by giving us The Alchemist to read. I've just started it. I remain unbelievably impressed by the focus and lucidity of your daily blogs. You're doing a wonderful job of inspiring people, on an enormous number of levels. Safe rowing, and know that you have a whole world of us rowing along with you.

    Richard, in Austin

  • Hi everyone,
    Thanks so much to all who have sent in requests for Larabar bookmarks. It will be a fun and unique memento for you!
    If you have ordered a bookmark, might you consider making a donation to Roz's PayPal account to help us offset the cost of producing and shipping them? The cost to produce each bookmark will be pretty minimal, but since we are doing so many, and we'll be shipping all over the world, we'd be grateful for donations to help offset that cost. I estimate it will be approximately $200 total.
    Many thanks from Team Roz!
    Nicole

  • Nicole,

    I think there are people (myself included) who are following along on Blogspot, but can't get into the main website (because of the IE thing) to click on the PayPal button. Do you want to give us the PayPal account name (for donations) here on the blog?

    Richard, in Austin

  • Hey Roz!

    I know you get a lot of inspirational quotes, and one of my favorites is:

    "The winds and waves are always on the side of the ablest navigators."
    ~Edward Gibbon from Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.

    It works for me metaphorically, but I guess in your case it can sometimes be interpreted in the literal sense too 🙂

  • Other Anonymous(es), I was just expressing an idea I had for Roz to make more money for her to be able to continue these adventures. I didn't mean to step on any toes, say things misleading things about Roz, or whatever, or suggest that people should crap out the side of a row boat. It was just a dumb idea and I'm sorry, and I'll be sure to refrain from posting any constructive ideas here again.
    Over and Out,
    Poof

  • I support Anonomous' 7:12 PM +00:00 statement.

    Nicole, there is a fine line between expressing a supportive sentiment with a sense of humor, and making fun at the expense of a person. In my opinion, "Poof" and his "puppet" friend are walking that line intentionally, and the statements in today's blog in no way support Roz's efforts. Now I understand why previous posts might have been deleted and understand why "Poof" said what he said recently. I say poof to "Poof" and other "Anonymouses" of his ilk. Tongue-in-cheek condescension is not appreciated, by this Rozling at least. This is Roz's row, her effort, her life … and she does not deserve to be hijacked by detractors.

  • rozsavage.com is still not working with Internet Explorer. It makes me question whether there is a technical team. If my clients website is not pulling up in IE, I would be in trouble and will fix it until it works.
    no one in this blog seems to care that. I don't know if Roz reads some post or selectively skip my posts but it's been weeks now and the problem lingers on. are they waiting to fix it when Roz reach Tuvalu?
    geeze get with it boyz and fix it.

  • Dear Bill Gates,
    Thanks for Bing.com, I found Roz because of Bing.com but now I can't use Internet Explorer to get to the website.
    Please help!

  • Hi Richard,
    I'm so sorry you're still having trouble viewing Roz's website. We're working on a fix, but there are persistent problems viewing Roz's site through Internet Explorer.If you haven't already, I'd like to encourage you to download the Firefox or Chrome browser – they work so much better.
    In the meantime, YES! We would love to accept donations for Roz via her PayPal account, which can be accessed on her homepage.
    I'm afraid I don't have direct link to her PayPal account – you must access it via the widget on her homepage.
    Many thanks for your continued support and enthusiasm!
    Best,
    Nicole

  • I just read entries in facebook of non-IE users Elite about IE users can't get to the site.
    Sam: I did not know anybody still uses IE
    Deb: Yeah, no kidding, I ditched IE years ago.

    ok, only elite can follow Roz no masses pleazze

  • Nicole:

    Re. the IE problem. The site does not render correctly with Firefox either so without spending any time on the problem I would say… Get your tech. people to fix the error and stop bashing IE.

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