Calmer Ocean: Atlantic 2006

I finished listening to Bill McKibben’s Eaarth“. The next book on my iPod was “The Ecotechnic Future“, and the one after that was “Doomsday (Endworld)“, but I felt I’d had enough apocalyptic reading matter for now, so am listening to Alexander McCall Smith’s “The No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency“.

I enjoyed the end of “Eaarth”, in which Bill presents some ways to cope with life in our uncertain new world. It boils down to “live local”, which embraces everything from farmers’ markets to rebuilding a sense of community. And he advocates the use of the internet (ideally running on your domestic solar-powered electricity) to cushion the landing from our current over-stimulated lifestyles, and to save us from going nuts at the neighbours. All seems very sensible to me. Best of the old with the best of the new.

In fact (apart from the internet bit, although that could be included in “community”) it echoes the words of the Hopi Elders, which led to my own awakening in 2004. I’ll quote them here:

“You have been telling the people that this is the eleventh hour. Now you must go back and tell the people that this is the hour. And there are things to be considered:

Where are you living?

What are you doing?

What are your relationships?

Are you in right relationship?

Where is your water?

Know your garden

It is time to speak your truth

Create your community

Be good to each other

And do not look outside yourself for the leader.

This could be a good time!”

Wise words. Not much I can add to that. So I won’t.

Other Stuff:

Today was the calmest conditions I’ve seen in a while, so I seized the opportunity to do some boat maintenance. Various lockers have now been mopped and cleaned, and rearranged so that precious food supplies are kept well out of harm’s way, i.e. out of saltwater’s way, at least as much as is humanly possible on a rowboat where nothing is more than inches from ocean.

I even tackled the dreaded hot chocolate locker. Not just one, but two, bags of hot chocolate had disgorged themselves. It took several bucketfuls of water liberally laced with eco-friendly detergent to clean the chocolatey goo off all the bags and jars of food, and to clean the locker itself. By the end I, too, was liberally coated in chocolate. Not as much fun as it sounds, given lack of suitably attractive partner (or any partner, come to that) to lick it off for me.

Mileage was dismal. Adverse current sent me 10 miles backwards last night. Valiant rowing failed to recover much of the distance lost. And tomorrow the wind will also be against me. Boo. Still, at least I have a clean boat.

Thanks for all the great comments, covering everything from solving world poverty to chocolate-cleaning techniques. The poverty question is an interesting one. I will ponder.

I found another Diana Gabaldon book on my iPod, “An Echo in the Bone“, but I suspect there is a book that comes after “Drums of Autumn” and before this one. Can somebody please confirm for me?

Quote: “Courage is the price that life exacts for granting peace” (Amelia Earheart, quoted by Karen Morss on marmalade jar label found in hot chocolate locker today)

Sponsored Miles A number of miles from an anonymous donor.


  • Roz, excellent synopsis of “Eaarth” strategy … and thanks for your continued humor, you crack me up … waiting to see responses.

    Row lickety split, Roz!

  • Glad you have a clean, ship-shape boat, it makes everything better! Some things you are missing

    – a vegetable garden gets a lot of interest:
    The city of Oak Park in Michigan has protested against a neat, well kept raised vegetable garden in the front yard of a home. The owner faces jail time for planting it!

    -Casey Anthony was found not guilty of killing her daughter because no one could prove she did it (even though there was no one else who could have done it, she was out partying for a month after her daughter was dead, and she lied to everyone as to where her daughter was).

    -The US is about to get clobbered in the financial markets if the government does not pay it’s bills – no agreement yet on whether to spend more or stop spending in the future.

    Do you have The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam on audio? For us with a fast internet ( ) It is great reading from 1000 years ago!

  • Dear Roz,

    Your entire blog is such a gift!   Also, thanks for sharing the wisdom from the Hopi elders.  My favorite quote being, “And do not look outside yourself for the leader”.

    I wish you a productive, safe, and enjoyable journey.


  • Roz, I wish we could all fly out to greet you with big hugs and BEER when you make it to your destination. Wouldn’t that be fun?! Maybe for London… But for now keep hanging tough. You ARE going to get there. Your courage, resilience, and long-term FOCUS are amazing. I’m learning so much from your work. -Bruce 

  • I don’t read Diana Gabaldon and I don’t see the answer above so I googled. There are two books in between the ones you mention. So … I think you are out of luck if you don’t have them. “Fiery Cross” and “A Breath of Snow and Ashes”

    I love the wisdom that you shared from the Hopi Elders – particularly “do not look outside yourself for the leaders”. Change is up to each of us – each day. And we need to do it in a non-evangelic ‘must’ ‘should’ way. “Incite change by doing and explaining when asked” is the best motto I can think of.

    Hoping for good rowing conditions! Glad to hear everything is clean.

  • Roz . . . I love the wisdom of the Hopi Elders . . . thank you for sharing!

    Here’s a few quotes I thought apropos this a.m.

    Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much. 
    ~ Helen Keller 

    The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart.
    ~ Helen Keller

    Row well and be well!

  • Hi, Roz.  So sorry to hear of backwards progress, it must be frustrating.  You have our love and hugs, and if we could, our rowing miles with fresh shoulders.

    That being said, there is a great web site that you can use in the future to track the series you are reading:  Wayne and I use it all the time, and your mum can check it for you whilst you row.  The Outlander series in order is:
    Dragonfly in Amber
    Drums of the Autumn
    The Fiery Cross
    A Breath of Snow and Ashes
    An Echo in the Bone

    And then laird Jamie disappears.

    Stay well, keep the faith.  We will try to get some more gunk away from the gyre for you.


  •   Oops, sorry.  Looks like I missed Catastrophe Tuesday (because I was traveling) and will have to wait until Philosophy Friday.  My only comment on that topic would have been that “colony collapse disorder” (when a whole system destructs, as with bees or possibly with humans) is never due to just one thing.  There is always a sequence of things that starts going wrong.  Sometimes it can be caught in time, and sometimes the participants are unable to see what is happening to them, or “get it wrong” in terms of figuring out the cause or developing remedial actions.  Life isn’t just a light-switch, where things are either “on” or “off”.  It’s more complicated than that.

    And I’ve never read any of Alexander McCall Smith’s books, but I borrowed the entire DVD series of the seven episodes that appeared on television, and by the end of the first hour I had gone out and bought some Numi Rooibos tea to drink along with the cast.  I’m still drinking Rooibos, it’s excellent and healthy.

    I wish I could get you a box of Rooibos to drink while you listen to the book.  It’s refreshing and energizing, even though it’s caffeine-free.

    • Hey Rico – I drink rooibos tea – a habit acquired in South Africa. In a recent food and drink survey in the UK, I was interested to see that rooibos tea was in a category all on its own. It is widely available in the UK in most supermarkets.

      • Hey Rita – It is likewise available widely in the US, either as rooibos or red bush tea.  Sometimes it’s also mixed with honeybush.  Either way, it’s a very energizing and healthy beverage, especially since it is non-caffeinated.  Very cooling in summertime.  And as I mentioned above, it was the Ladies Detective Agency DVDs that got me into it.  I believe in “audience participation” while watching movies, and this was one of the healthiest things that movies have gotten me into in a while.   🙂

  • I enjoyed the # 1 detective audio book myself. Thank you for the local and life’s thoughts. The local life is the seed that will bring us all , best tasting , full lives. Love the daily quotes. Your friends and followers are a daily joy . Warm rowing  thoughts to you by way of the full moon beams over head.
    I thought whipped cream was one of the worlds most dangerously fun play foods. I will never look at a bite of chocolate quite the same. Be careful Roz – you might unexpectedly be starting a new  keep your skin young and happy campaign? I am enjoying the news that woman’s soccer is having a great following and very tough competition this year. One of my all time favorite tennis champs said this ( she might have done some rowing).
    “Just go out there and do what you’ve got to do”.
    Martina Navratilova

  • Sorry to hear about the cruddy currents.  Hope it changes for you and pushes you in the right direction at night.  I had to laugh at the chocolate locker.  We had the cabbage locker – rotten cabbage has an odour that just won’t leave.  I guess it didn’t help that we took our time cleaning it out.  Good luck, we’re always cheering for you! 

  • My my Roz…today’s post is from the sublime to the ????…from the beautiful words of Hopi elders to what to do about all that chocolate all over you and no one to help you with it… but what the heck, it is “full moon” time…I guess we can all howl abit about what we might like during such times…

    all that aside…reading daily and enjoying…hang in and hope for some favorable light winds sending you west or there abouts…

  • On the first night of a four day sea kayak expedition class, one of my students had a very leaky tent. It was raining pretty hard (not sideways yet) so I lent her a side of my tent. Hearing the sound of rain all night, niether one of us realized that she had “popped” the gallon of orange juice that I was stowing for the group for the next morning…

    camping has never been the same…

    I hope one day you open up a box of chocolates and it brings back some special memories of your exploits. Cheers Roz! Row Girl Row!

  • On the first night of a four day sea kayak expedition class, one of my students had a very leaky tent. It was raining pretty hard (not sideways yet) so I lent her a side of my tent. Hearing the sound of rain all night, niether one of us realized that she had “popped” the gallon of orange juice that I was stowing for the group for the next morning…

    camping has never been the same…

    I hope one day you open up a box of chocolates and it brings back some special memories of your exploits. Cheers Roz! Row Girl Row!

  • I had remembered a longer version of your Hopi quote. I add it here because after finding it and re-reading it, … well I think you will see why it gave me a shiver 🙂

    “You have been telling the people that this is the Eleventh Hour, now you must go back and tell the people that this is the Hour.  And there are things to be considered . . .
    Where are you living?
    What are you doing?
     What are your relationships?
    Are you in right relation?
    Where is your water?
    Know your garden.
    It is time to speak your Truth.
    Create your community.
    Be good to each other.
    And do not look outside yourself for the leader.”
    Then he clasped his hands together, smiled, and said, “This could be a good time!”
        “There is a river flowing now very fast.  It is so great and swift that there are those who will be afraid.  They will try to hold on to the shore.   They will feel they are torn apart and will suffer greatly. 
        “Know the river has its destination.  The elders say we must let go of the shore, push off into the middle of the river, keep our eyes open, and our heads above water.   And I say, see who is in there with you and celebrate.  At this time in history, we are to take nothing personally, Least of all ourselves.  For the moment that we do,  our spiritual growth and journey comes to a halt. 
        “The time for the lone wolf is over.  Gather yourselves!  Banish the word struggle from you attitude and your vocabulary.  All that we do now must be done in a sacred manner and in celebration. 
        “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.”

    — attributed to an unnamed Hopi elder
    Hopi Nation
    Oraibi, Arizona

  • Roz, I’ve been away for a couple of days so I don’t know if anyone has answered this yet but there are actually seven books in the Outlander series so far:OUTLANDER, DRAGONFLY IN AMBER, VOYAGER, DRUMS OF AUTUMN, THE FIERY CROSS, A BREATH OF SNOW AND ASHES, AN ECHO IN THE BONEGabeldon also has a related series, the Lord John Grey novels with many of the same characters and some of the same thematic elements as OUTLANDER. You could probably get through most of them on next year’s Atlantic row.Keep up the good work and works. We all love to hear about your progress – every day brings some sort of progress to an optimist.Row with gusto.

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