Today was a rough day – literally and figuratively.

As I have done so many times before in trying circumstances, I called my dear old Mum. It was good to share. She and I are going through very similar emotions at the moment – me with the ocean, she with her broken leg. We are both in uncomfortable, occasionally painful, situations. We are both feeling frustrated and impatient for this phase to end. We both know that this too shall pass – eventually. And we both have (very approximately) another 2 months to go.

The big difference is that I volunteered for mine. She didn’t. And another difference is that her leg is mending, while here it feels like everything is breaking.

Maybe that is a little over-dramatic. Not quite everything is breaking, but after ten straight days of high winds and high seas, both Sedna and I are looking decidedly dishevelled. I can’t speak for Her Royal Purpleness, but I for one am very much looking forward to some calmer weather (due to start tomorrow, for a day or so) so I can get hevelled again. A bit of hevelment would most definitely have a restorative effect on morale. I would, indeed, revel in some hevel. Ideally on the level.

And on that decidedly nonsensical note, I shall shut up before I embarrass myself further.

Other Stuff:

It occurred to me today, while in this rather melancholy mood, that maybe this is how it feels to suffer from a degenerative disease, or to suffer effects of old age. One after another, things cease to function. Most things you learn to manage without, some you miss. There is a general feeling of decline, and a nagging anxiety as to what might go next. I am fortunate, in that I am only suffering the loss of creature comforts and a few electronics. But it did make me feel compassion for those suffering irreversible physical or mental decline.

Hoping my iPod lasts out long enough for me to listen to the next book – “Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet“, by Bill McKibben. He is quite a hero of mine.

RGJ: relieved to hear it was a wind-up. Just like undergraduate days. Me rowing, you winding up. Plus ca change.

Thanks to Doug and Aimee for the info about “An Open Letter to All Humankind”. It sound fantastic. I very much look forward to seeing it when I get back to dry land. http://bit.ly/tommoletter

Jay – my 430th day at sea? Yes, I had lost count. Wow, that’s a lot of days. I really am a glutton for punishment. Today’s quote in honour of your “failures” story.

Quote: If you want to succeed, double your failure rate.
(Thomas Watson, IBM)

Photo: looking forward to being on the level – note angle of boat to horizon (photo taken on Atlantic in 2005)

Sponsored Miles: Thank you Curtis Zing.

20 Comments

  • Losing a container of hot chocolate and having it get smeared over everything alone would put most people in the dumps I think. But you’re right, it will pass. Hope you’re enjoying some good hevelling by the time you get to read today’s comments. I’m envisioning calm waters, a favorable wind, things clipped to lines and drying in the wind, all surfaces (boat and rower) getting a nice freshening up.

  • I found Eaarth an encouraging book – in a maudlin sort of way. I’m sure you will too. There is hope for us but we will need to change a lot of ideas about what we can do. Roz, surprisingly I found your blog today quite uplifting. Yesterday was not a good day for me either and it made me feel good knowing I was not alone in my mental struggles.

    Keep up the good work, the sun will shine tomorrow.

    Row on Roz.

  • I wish I could say something other than the proverbial….keep going, we are all with you…you are not alone….if you suffer setbacks remember just makes achieving the goal worthwhile…etc etc But in truth I can’t understand what it must be like as never been brave enough to take on the elements like you!

    All I know is that my admiration grows with each battering you and your boat gets….and all I know is that nature might as well give up, because this little rower will live without chocolate, ipods, bucket and chuckets!…….because we can do without material things but not without the earth…..and this little rower is a beacon of hope to the rest of us that one day governments will realise that too….. 

  • You might think Sedna looks a bit messy, possibly untidy
    with a bit of the scruffy untousled uncomed and unkempt feel. But I am sure
    that with a bit of smooth glassy dead flat ocean the Sedna will be her
    efficient self, looking neat and tidy, with that precise painstaking smart trim
    that is the professional rowers vessel.

    Good luck with that!

  • Hey Roz, hang in there things will get better and you will be a stronger person for it all. That beautiful calm ocean will arrive. Matt McFadyen

  • hevelment …. to Google or not to Google … what the hell … and I got 106 results!!!!!
    Keep the tiger balm up to those bruises and we’ll look forward to you describing some beautiful calm drying days. 🙂
    Rrrr … Jim Bell (Australia)

  • You know, Roz, you really are an inspiration in so many ways. There you are, somewhere in the Indian Ocean, barely a third of the way across it, alone in a thoroughly soggy little boat, cold salty water outside it and inside it, even in your tiny cramped sleeping cabin, with only a vague hope that sometime in the forseeable future the sea will stop being so agressive and let you get hevelled again. And still you retain your sense of humour. Thank you; you are wonderful!

    This doesn’t apply to you but it’s worth a wry smile: “Don’t keep on repeating your mistakes or you’ll never have time for all the others.”

  • It’s called “the wall”, and it hits people emotionally or physically in just about every undertaking.  You and I both know that the key is to just push through “the wall” and you will feel a lot better on the other side.  And yes, there may be another “wall” later on, and maybe one after that.  But as long as you know what it is, it’s not scary.  It’s just an emotional state, generated inside of you, and something that needs to be overcome.  And there’s always that state of euphoria, on the other side of “the wall”.  Someday, when you’re stuck in some conference room, listening to the tenth presentation of the day, you’ll “long” to be back out at sea once more.  And you’ll miss exactly the things that are now driving you to distraction.  So, enjoy it while you’ve got it.   🙂

    And I know it’s not really funny, but your situation and predicament reminds me of life in modern civilization.  We spend so much time taking care of our “stuff”, that sometimes it seems as if our “stuff” is controlling our experience of life.  Sometimes allowing our “stuff” to fall apart, and ourselves to get a little dis-hevelled, may actually be good for us.  Endlessly trying to “hold everything together” gets to be very tiring.

    You’re doing terrifically.  Just press on.  The finish line is waiting for you.

  • I am getting to you site for first time. I was watching an old podcast from 2008 (Smart Energy) and the host was interviewing you for your current voyage. I will start reading your messages today, and I hope weather gives you a break for the next few days

  • Roz, I met you in Asheville and wrote you a poem on a napkin. Just wanted to tell you that I really appreciate both your humor and your thoughtfulness. Been sharing your blogs with my niece and she is truly inspired by your journey and wisdom.  I think young women really need to see how ordinary women can do extraordinary things.   Thank you for the gifts you are share. You are making a difference in the world.  Doc

  • Rico talked about you hitting the wall.  I had that experience when traveling solo in Africa.  Discouraged and worn out at another late night border crossing, I put “superstar” as my occupation on the South African immigration paperwork.  I was a bit nervous they’d notice and I’d be in for a lot of explaining but they didn’t and I crossed into SA officially as a superstar.  It did wonders for my spirits.

    Please know that you are a superstar for having undertaken this journey and for pressing on.  If I could stamp it on some immigration paperwork for you to make it more official I would.

    Hang in there, superstar! 

  • Roz, Just know that you are inspiring a multitude of young men and women in all over the world with your incredible journey.  Today I entered both of my children; Shawn 13 and Caroline 12, in an a local sailing club in Quantico Virginia.  Home to the United States Marine Corps University.  Get Some!!! Never Quit!! 

  • Roz,

    Sending you positive thoughts, courage, hope and thoughts for good and calm weather.  You are such an inspiration to so many people.  I’ve followed your rows since the 1st stage of the Pacific and admire all that you have accomplished as well as all of your dreams and plans for the future.

    Wishing you fair winds and following seas,
    Amy

  • Roz, you are a very critical and poignant thinker, e.g., “… maybe this is how it feels to suffer from a degenerative disease, or to suffer effects of old age” and your feeling “compassion for those suffering irreversible physical or mental decline.”  Few have the fortune — or misfortune — to experience and sort through these issues first hand, or even vicariously. Thankfully, you have the circumstances that present the challenges and koans, and you have the ability to internalize and to translate your thoughts and feelings to empathy and compassion for the human condition.  Our normal reaction is to brush off tough issues to later, but later has a tendency to arrive unexpectedly sooner than we’d ruther. Having faced the hard reality with my father recently and being forced to confront it in the moment without preparation, I am glad you planted this thoughtful seed.

  • Roz, you are a very critical and poignant thinker, e.g., “… maybe this is how it feels to suffer from a degenerative disease, or to suffer effects of old age” and your feeling “compassion for those suffering irreversible physical or mental decline.”  Few have the fortune — or misfortune — to experience and sort through these issues first hand, or even vicariously. Thankfully, you have the circumstances that present the challenges and koans, and you have the ability to internalize and to translate your thoughts and feelings to empathy and compassion for the human condition.  Our normal reaction is to brush off tough issues to later, but later has a tendency to arrive unexpectedly sooner than we’d ruther. Having faced the hard reality with my father recently and being forced to confront it in the moment without preparation, I am glad you planted this thoughtful seed.

  • I want to thank Roz for the new word “Hevelled” I will strive to use it this next week as a segue for telling people about Roz’s adventures and causes.
    Keep up the great work Roz
    Steve T.

  • Had the same thing happen during an 8 month off-road motorcycle ride in South America Roz – everything was always a little bit broken. But only just a little bit. Nothing was a show stopper. Kept me on my toes. Some days I would experience the whole spectrum of emotions from high highs to very lows. The one thing that kept me sane was my connection to my family and my community through the internet.  We love getting your posts each night via email and feel like we’re there with you (to an extent). We hope that through our support and comments you can feel us there you too! You might be out there alone, but you’re not by yourself!

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