You can have a project done:
a) cheaply
b) quickly
c) well
Pick two.

So the corporate saying goes, and generally it’s true. Do something
quickly and cheaply and the quality suffers. Do it well and to a tight
deadline, and it will cost you. Do it at low cost and high quality, and
it will probably have to be fitted in around more lucrative projects and
will take a long time.

And today I realized that something similar applies to ocean rowing. You
can do a voyage:
a) quickly (relatively speaking, ocean rowboats not being renowned
speed machines)
b) easily (again, relatively – it’s never easy, but we’re talking
10 hour days vs 18 hour days)
c) accurately (i.e. to a very specific destination)
But you only get to pick one, not two.

The inevitable conclusion from this realization was that I was going to
have to take a more flexible approach.

The trouble with going quickly, i.e. downwind, is that downwind may not
take you anywhere you want to go. If I go downwind from here I’d end up
in the Marshall Islands, which would make Stage 3 very tough.

And I don’t want to put in 18-hour days at the oars. This would be
brutal, and would leave me no time for blogging, videoing, etc – and I
regard sharing my adventure online as a high priority.

So I would have to consider compromising on destination. I realized I
had become fixated on Tuvalu, stressing if conditions were pushing me
west making a Tuvalu landfall more difficult. I was spending time on the
sea anchor going north, obsessed with keeping as much east as possible.

But by mid-afternoon today I was bored with being on the sea anchor, and
fed up with seeing my hard-won miles south ebbing away. Something had to
give. So, with wind and currents conspiring to push me away from Tuvalu,
the time had come to reconsider Tarawa as an option. I pulled in the sea
anchor and started rowing, a southwesterly course the best I could
manage in the conditions. I certainly haven’t given up on Tuvalu as a
destination – it may still be possible – but by considering Tarawa I was
able to break the stalemate that I’d got myself into.

As I rowed, the wind lessened and I was able to make a better course. So
I haven’t regained much – I’ve ended today at about the same latitude as
I was this morning – but at least I’ve stopped feeling that I was
banging my head against a meteorological brick wall – and it feels good!

[photo: Double rainbow from yesterday morning. I will probably post some
another picture of a whale tomorrow, which I hope might identify it as
Minke vs Sei vs Pilot vs False Killer Whale – thanks for all the
comments about yesterday’s visitors!]

Other Stuff:

*What’s in a name?*

My seven little birds are the subject of conflicting opinions – storm
petrels, or brown noddies?

Storm Petrel sound really cool. Like an avian superhero, maybe like one
of the X-Men. X-Bird Storm Petrel.

Whereas Brown Noddy sounds terminally unglamorous. Reminds me of Noddy
and Big Ears – a little children’s character with a round face and
pointy hat. And not even an interesting color. Just… brown.

Given the choice I know which I would rather be. But it could be worse.
Even being a brown noddy is surely better than being a booby.

*Update on the Website*

Following our problems with the new version of Internet Explorer (which
has affected quite a number of websites, not just mine) our Geek
Superhero Evan at Archinoetics has been slaving away to create a new
version of my website on the WordPress platform. It will go live soon –
hopefully within the next week. I am amazed at how quickly he has been
able to turn this around, despite a heavy workload. I will let you know
when the transition to the new site has been completed. Thank you,
faithful Rozionados, for your patience!

Eco Champ of the Day! At long last, UncaDoug, after many eco-comments,
has acquired real life champ status!
“Until several months ago, ]soup in my work cafeteria] was served in
styrofoam bowls, until … the good news … they switched to
biodegradable bowls. Normally (in my town of Hayward) to recycle dirty
food containers (plastic or fiber), you just have to wash the food away.
I learned that this building or this town where I work (Sacramento) does
not recycle plastic or fiber food containers, period.

So I now take my own washable porcelain coffee cup and save a quarter,
too! Next tasks: talk to the food service management to post the option
and savings, and talk to the City about recycling policy.”

Ellen/chep2m – lovely to hear from you. I’ve missed you!

Naomi in NY – wow, sounds like you’ve got some serious momentum going
there – keep it up!

Weather report:

Position at 2245 HST: 03 36.278N, 175 25.053W
Wind: 20 knots this morning, decreasing to 8 knots now, ESE
Seas: 6 feet decreasing to 3 feet, ESE
Weather: sunshine and some clouds. No squalls or rainshowers. I think I
am out of the ITCZ now.

Weather forecast, courtesy of

Feedblitz blog email reported your position as: 03 36N 175 08W as of
29Jul 2200HST (6hrs ago). Eastward motion is the preferred direction
while in the equatorial counter current.

As of Thursday morning 30 July 2009. According to measured data, there
is ESE-SE winds 7-17kts in your area with moderate to light rainshowers.
South of the equator, more of the same. Uncertainty remains, as
previously discussed. Forecast is for wind direction to shift more
ENEerly 5-15kts today then, SE 5-15kts on 01 Aug becoming light and
variable and possibly SW 5-15kts.

According to satellite imagery, there is light to moderate convection
with heavy rainshowers and squalls overhead and south to the equator.

Sky conditions: 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
30/0600-01/0000 E-ENE 5-15 2-5
01/0000-02/0000 ENE-SE 5-15 4-6
02/0000-02/1200 Variable direction 1-5
02/1200-03/1200 SW 5-15 2-5

Next Update: Monday, 03 August


  • I was beginning to wonder if you would ever surrender to the moment, give up all thoughts, any kind of concepts and go with what ever flow was happening at the time it happened, the future does not exist any more the the past, do what you have to do to get some where so you can get off that f@$&#@*boat and have a cold beer!!!!!

  • Roz,
    We are all pulling for you and know that you can do it – even on these hard days. You got though the ITCZ and its challenges and you can do this too. You’re doing great on the small and big pictures.

    Congrats on over 2,000 and congrats to the entire team on a great re-design!

  • The new word press theme website sucks! The designer are hungry for credits for a low quality design. shameless

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *