You remember a couple of days back I compared life on board with trying to live on the back of a bucking bronco? Well, the aspect I forgot to mention then is that alongside your bucking bronco you have a lineup of between 1 and 10 people who take great delight in chucking bucketfuls of cold salty water over you at unexpected moments.

You’re lucky if you get just one person on bucket-chucking duty – that’s just a little splash. But once in a while, all ten decide to clobber you at the same time, simultaneously with the bronco making an extra-dramatic tilt to one side.

Red ensign wind guage

There have been quite a few ten-bucket waves today. The forecast was for winds of 20-25 knots, so although I can only get my silly wind gauge to register 15 knots, it certainly felt like 25 knots at the very least. This has whipped the ocean up into white-streaked frenzy, and I have spent most of the day drenched. Around sunset the waves took it up a notch and crossed the line from “exciting” to “rather scary” and it was with considerable relief that I stowed the oars for the night and retreated to my cabin.

The rather charming Frenchman who made and applied the stickers on my boat for the Atlantic, and became a regular blog-commenter during that crossing, used to refer to being splashed by a wave “salty kisses”. If they are indeed salty kisses, then I feel like I’ve been snogged nearly to death today.

Salty Kisses

Other Stuff

June, Margot, Romy – can anybody remember where we packed the salt?!

Had my first hot meals today – despite the physical challenges involved in cooking in such rough conditions, it’s amazing what heights of achievement a desire for a good hot meal can inspire me to. This morning I had delicious porridge (Oats 2 Go, very kindly brought over from Britain by Rob Eustace – how is he doing on his row, by the way?) embellished with freeze dried blueberries, banana slices and sunflower seeds courtesy of Wilderness Family Naturals. Then dinner was freeze-dried Bobotjie (a South African dish) by Back Country Cuisine. Many thanks to Rob McSporran and the rest of the gang at Sea To Summit for sponsoring the BCC meals.

I used the Jetboil stove to boil water for my hot meals. What a fantastic piece of kit! So much faster, easier, and safer than anything else I’ve tried. Definitely a keeper. I’ve got two on board, one provided by Sea To Summit, and one a Christmas present from my sister. Thanks, Tanya!

Our first ocean-bound Roz Roams podcast has now gone live. Thanks, Vic.

UncaDoug and Claire – thanks for the limericks…. I think! Macaws??! Very entertaining, but I wouldn’t give up the day jobs just yet!

Marks-the-Spot asked if people’s sense of humour changes after long periods alone. Will bear it in mind, and keep you posted.

Right, my battery is going to go flat if I don’t send this soon, and I don’t want to leave my MacBook out of its case overnight. Looks like it could be a bouncy one, so I want to make sure everything is properly stowed. So I’ll sign off now. Till tomorrow!

Photos: the red ensign wind gauge (also a drying seat cover and an aboriginal Australian flag – I hope that is the politically correct term, but please forgive an ignorant pom if not!)

Sponsored Miles:

Nick Watson., Diane Freeman, Allan Larsen, Nathan Gray, Nick Perdiew, Dane Golden, Anna Wildy, Barbara Henker, Donald Lindsay, Ugo Pistacchio, Bill Morris, Bernadette Bean, Deoni Castle, Michelle Cartwright, Nancy Bowman, Doug Grandt – for Keith, Perry Clarke, Patricia Kitto. Many thanks to these supporters.


  • Hey Roz et all: “Salty Kisses” can be very nice – Roz, “et al” and I send you thousands of those by the hour. And, No one knows better than I what the thought of a good, hot meal can do to soothe, comfort and rejuvenate us – 4+ months of lukewarm, over wilted, gray and green hospital mush, post-coma, had me dreaming of such… A little confused about the salt question… There are portable desalination systems out there that collect the sea salt, removed from the water, for use on food, as an antiseptic, and the like… Carrying salt, in such “moist” conditions would seem to lead to one big clump of salt very soon, otherwise… Hope you find it though – salt intake, not just kisses from “et al” and me, is very important in such endeavors…

    BTW, Weekly Cancer surgeries starting tomorrow – so I may not be here babbling away as much for while, But I will be here in spirit, sending you “salty kisses” non-stop no matter what…

      • Aww Sweets, No Worries – Just my VERY old “Nuisance Routine” as I call it. I hope to post a “Food For Thought & Perspective” comment to Roz’ Morning Blog before I go off to go bald in a little bit – I am the only person who knows the day, hour and minute that he is going Bald… So the next time I babble after that, I will sound Bald…

  • How you decide to view something really does make a difference. A salty kiss sounds so much more delightful than a salty sock in the eye. Glad your new stove is making hot meals easier to enjoy – it sounds like you can really use them!

  • I suppose this is a good warm up (if you’ll pardon the term when used in reference to cold water splashes) for the North Atlantic. Did you ever get to take time to start improving circulation in your hands, following Royal Navy medico advice, while you were ashore?

    • Joan, I am visualizing Roz rowing the North Atlantic encased in a yellow slicker … cannot imagine what would be appropriate — let alone comfortable and effective — for weeks on end.

      Roz, have you considered your sartorial needs/desires for 2012?

  • If one of the smaller below-deck compartments were to be fitted with thermal insulation and a liner, and the liner filled with circulated concentrated brine from the water-maker, then an insert in the middle should be cooled below ambient, thereby providing a simple refrigerator. The discarded brine will be slightly warmer than ambient, so if sprayed over a black dimpled surface the water evaporating will leave behind fresh salt. Lo! Two otherwise unrelated problems solved; preserving fresh fruit and providing salt!

    Sheer genius!

    Unless I’ve overlooked something in there.

    Oh; and Roz; watch for rust on the gas containers; the ubiquitous bag-balm will help.

      • OK then, mount the thing on gimballs. Oh, and fit a cover that extends below the evaporator to protect from spray but leaves a space for air circulation. There’s always an answer. Stupid, maybe, but an answer nevertheless.

  • Well, it sounds like Sedna is NOT wasting anytime embracing and smothering with “kisses” her namesake and its captain! Nice she allowed you the simple comfort of a hot meal. Tell us how you “manage” to sleep during your rock and roll periods…and shut down and/or manage your “rather scary” moments to ones of reverie and sleep…or maybe endure until dear ol’ Sedna decides on “her own time”… with you in spirit–giving us again a taste of riding with you…be safe…

  • Rob Eustace is back in Geraldton. According to his blog he was suffering badly from a stomach upset early on and after resting on sea anchor made the decision to head back in and recover in safety. He’s put the row on hold for now but the boat will be shipped back for her Atlantic crossing with Rob’s friend later this year. Rx

  • I am thinking that it would be fun to be one of the bucket brigade and chuck pales of water on Roz as she rides the bronco. I might enjoy that!

  • Loved this post, read your updates to my daughters, they got a good giggle out of the snogging comment having an English mother they get some of the lingo even though we live in Canada…keep inspiring us all to step out of our comfort zone, you certainly have me and my daughters !

  • On the feather. I notice Roz that you seem not to feather your oar. This aves your energy and tendons, but any resistance in the wind? Or perhaps you do feather. Wondering about technique

  • Well I hope you are doing OK. I am concerned about this trip and can’t seem to fire up the Texino wit. I read “The Wave” and am haunted to a high degree. Do take care

  • You don’t have to worry about mile 417 – got that one sorted for ya! So here you are again, out in that big ol’ ocean – just you and the wild life. All speed to you. Here is a maori whakatauki (saying) for you: He nui maunga e kore e taea te whakaneke, he nui ngaru moana ma te ihu o te waka e wahi – A great mountain cannot be moved, but a giant wave can be broken by the prow of a canoe. Their way of saying “don’t give up too easily – some things are possible”. You can do it, no doubt about it!

  • I can relate…your acount of bucketfulls of cold salty water being thrown at you at unexpected moments was a blast from the past for me, sailing through Bass (bash, bash,bash!) Strait once…salty kisses much better than salty smacks. Go well and stay safe…Sam

  • Great blog and title. Evocative of Eugene O’Neill’s ‘Free’. I like the middle verse:

    I have had my dance with Folly, nor do I shirk the blame;
    I have sipped the so-called Wine of Life and paid the price of shame;
    But I know that I shall find surcease, the rest my spirit craves,
    Where the rainbows play in the flying spray,
    ‘Mid the keen salt kiss of the waves.

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