Day 77 - silver liningI wish the title of this blog referred to a newfound ability to overcome adverse winds through the power of positive thinking – but unfortunately it doesn’t. A glance at the RozTracker will show that the weather and I were not of the same view as to where I should be going today.

No, the title refers to a mini-epiphany I had last night as I was trying to get to sleep, and once I’d had the mini-epiphany I was so excited about it that all hope of sleep was gone, so I got up and rowed under a full moon until 3am while I considered my new insight. It was the result of several topics that have been under discussion on this blog over the last few days. The environment. The Alchemist. The Law of Attraction. And maybe a little soupcon of serendipity too.

The idea that popped into my head was this… It seems to me (and I could be wrong – it’s rather difficult to keep my finger on the pulse from a small rowboat a thousand miles from anywhere) that most of the climate change debate focuses on climate change, i.e. The Problem, and I think it might be more helpful to focus on sustainability, i.e. The Solution.

To draw a parallel… when I was living my old life as a management consultant in London (as discussed in yesterday’s podcast), I knew there was something wrong. The fact that I was not happy was a giveaway. I didn’t feel good about my work, and not feeling good, as Esther and Jerry Hicks point out, is a clear indicator that you’re out of whack with your life purpose.

But I didn’t know that then. I just knew my life sucked. So I spent a lot of time trying to figure out what was wrong with it. I wrote volume after volume of my journal trying to analyze the problem. I even had a few therapy sessions – until the extortionate cost of the therapy became almost as stressful as the issue I’d gone into therapy to resolve. In short, I was obsessed with The Problem.

Then one day I hit on a better idea. This was when I did my obituary exercise – I sat down and wrote two versions of how I might be remembered at the end of my life – the version I wanted, and the version I was then heading for. The version I was heading for was ordinary, mundane, pleasant but not exciting. The one I wanted was exciting, passionate, rich, and unusual. The huge difference between the two made it clear that I would need to make some big changes – and the direction that those changes should take.

I was no longer focused on The Problem. I wasn’t even focused on The Solution. I was focused on Where I Wanted To Be. And after even more hiccups, wiggles, waggles, zigs and zags than my current course from Hawaii, I got myself on track for that ideal obituary. There were some dramatic changes – I lost my job, my income, my home and my husband along the way – but I barely looked back, and certainly not with regret. None of these losses felt like sacrifices – because I was so invigorated by my vision of the future. I was moving powerfully TOWARDS an exciting new life, not AWAY from the old one.

So, to go back to the environment. Wouldn’t it seem so much more motivating if we were focusing on Where We Want To Be – collectively –instead of focusing on The Problem? Wouldn’t it be invigorating if we had an attractive, shared vision of a sustainable future, that would keep us moving forwards instead of bogging down in petty political haggling and clinging onto the past? Wouldn’t it be so much more FUN if we were focused on all the exciting aspects of this brave new world instead of dwelling on things we have already lost forever?

If you subscribe to the Law of Attraction, we get what we focus on. If we focus on The Problem, we perpetuate the problem. If we focus on What We Really, Really, Really Want – then that is what we will get. And hopefully what we want is a green, sustainable future.

And finally, let’s bring in The Alchemist. In that book the hero is on a quest in pursuit of his “own personal legend”. The climate change conference in Copenhagen this December gives us an opportunity to pursue our collective human legend. What will it be? Is our legend going to demonstrate courage? Or cowardice? Commitment? Or confusion?

In 200 years time, will our descendants look back at this pivotal moment and admire us as visionaries? Or will they look back and wonder what the hell we were thinking? In fact, if we don’t find the courage and the commitment to create our green, sustainable future, will there even be any descendants? Or will the human race be history?

Whether you believe in climate change or not, and whether you believe in the Law of Attraction or not, doesn’t really matter. What does matter is What We Really, Really, Really, Really Want – and rising to make that vision a reality.

Me? I’m excited. I can see an amazing future in which humans have risen to be heroes, our better selves, and have pulled together to create a clean, harmonious world. And that’s where I’m going to put my focus.

[photo: taken this afternoon – looking for the silver lining]

Other Stuff:

Damage limitation mode today. The wind has been from the southeast all day, and I’ve been swept relentlessly northwest, diminishing my chances of making landfall on my preferred choice of Tuvalu, as well as making for some rather discouraging statistics in my logbook. Despite rowing all day (and half of last night) I’ve now lost 20 miles of southerly progress. The forecast is for the wind to move into the east at midnight tonight – but with all due respect to weatherguy, I’m the last person in the world to pin future happiness on a weather forecast.

And then, just when I thought things couldn’t get worse, a booby bird landed on my boat and crapped all over my solar panels. Sigh. Is this a rowboat, or just a public convenience for passing boobies?

To be honest, I’m feeling a bit low and could do with a big hug. In a rather selfish way it cheered me up to get an email from Mum this evening saying that Mick and Chris of have also had a tough day or two – just goes to show that this ocean rowing lark is not as easy (???!) as it looks!

But there WAS some good news to cheer me up, and is increasingly true it came from the Rozling community. In yesterday’s blog I put out a plea for donations to pay for a filmmaker to come to Island X to record my arrival for posterity – and also record interviews with locals about the impact on their lives of climate change. And I am DELIGHTED to announce that in less than 24 hours we are already half way to our target of $2,500!

It was especially lovely to see the list of donors and discover that some old friends have evidently been following my fortunes, although keeping a low profile on the comments. Donations have varied from $10 to $300, and are all very much appreciated. Our total so far is $1,287.38. I’d like to give special thanks to:

Katie Donigan, Michael Dimas, Sajeev Pillai, Sindy Davis, Angela Hunt, Steve Gronek, Frederick Graus, Katharine Weber, Darren Mace, Douglas Brown, Lorrin & Nina Lee, Cece Gannon, Mark Hensel, Doug Grandt, Karen Morss, Ginny from Silver Lining Images, Ene Timusk, Ike Stephenson, Joan Sherwood, Abigail James, James Crittenden, Tim Mussche, Julian Gall, Jeffrey Roberts, and Clark Sargent.

If you haven’t yet got around to making your donation and would like to help out, please go to and click on the PayPal button. And remember, these donations are being matched up to a maximum of $2,500 – so in effect you are giving TWICE as much!

Hawk – great idea to auction some memorabilia to raise funds, but I won’t be auctioning off any oars just yet, as I need them for Stage 3.But there WILL be an auction on eBay of various other items at the end of this  stage. Baseball caps for sure – I’ve got about 10 on board – and probably rowing gloves and various other items too… although most things don’t look too great after 100+ days at sea. And nor do I!

UncaDoug – I loved your idea about the “carrots” to encourage me on my way to Island X. Thank you for the donations – and I have forwarded your suggestion to Evan as a possible future development on the RozTracker. Nice one!

Jo – thanks for the support on RowPro/Oarbits – much appreciated!

Sindy – the Pageant of the Masters sounds fun!

Joan – 23 is my favorite number. For no reason other than that my birthday is December 23, and my only sibling’s birthday is May 23. So it just seemed significant.

Marv H – spiritual and/or religious? That’s a big question, and I might well devote a blog to it. But in brief for now… no, I am not religious, but I would say that I am spiritual . I definitely believe in the existence of an energy that can’t be perceived with the 5 human senses. Yet there is also a scientific basis for it – my belief is based not so much on faith as on my own life experiences.

Weather report:

Position at 2050 HST: 02 33.338N (sob!), 176 52.735W
Wind: 10-20kts SE
Seas: 3-5 ft SE
Weather: early squall, then sunny and fine most of the day, but with big
black clouds rolling in towards sunset

Weather forecast courtesy of

Latest tracker reported your position as: 02 16N 176 22W as of 06Aug 1107HST.

As of Thursday morning 6 Aug 2009.  According to measured data, there have been Eerly winds up to 20kts and rainshowers in your area, which might help explain your gain in westward longitude. Eerly winds extends to the Equator then shift to SEerly 0-12kts. Winds will be very shifty next couple of days becoming Serly 0-15kts by 1600HST 06Aug. Then shifting back to Eerly 0-12kts by 08Aug 0000HST. Forecast aids indicate Eerly winds 0-15kts persist for remainder of the forecast period. Uncertainty remains in the forecast, as previously discussed. According to satellite imagery, there remains moderate convection with rain showers and squalls overhead and to your north. Minimal cloud activity south of 01 00N.

Sky conditions:  Partly to mostly cloudy. Scattered moderate rain showers, 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
06/1800-08/0000            S 0-15               2-5
08/0000-11/0000            E 0-15               2-5

Next Update:   Monday, 10 August



    AMEN to no more petty political haggling! I think your epiphany is spot on. IMHO, we (the human race) definitely need to change our way of thinking. We all know that positive thinking really can generate positive action. Sadly, in general we seem to ‘default’ to negativity instead – or at least those seem to be the loudest voices.

  • Big hugs from me, too, Roz.

    I was poking around on your blog from the Atlantic row because I’m headed off to go visit my Mom today, and she’s having a rough time with bursitis in her hip. If memory serves, you had that trouble with your shoulder on the Atlantic (don’t think about it), so I was wondering if you’d written about it. I came across your casualty list from Day 90, and … wow. Talk about rough times. I think your book about the Atlantic crossing is going to be pretty exciting in parts, and I’m looking forward to reading it.

    I’ll paste in an excerpt from that post for other readers to see. The post is dated Feb. 28, 2006, Day 90, but this bit starts out labeled Day 49, so I’m not sure how that was working. You’d lost the sat phone (I guess it had stopped working), so I’m not sure if any communication with land was happening at this point.

    Here’s the excerpt:

    (Day 49) When I told my mother about the latest casualties she commented, ‘The ocean is really stripping you down, isn’t it?’. And this is true, metaphorically as well as literally. As I’m left with less and less, it makes me realise how little I actually need, how little is actually important.

    Updated Casualty List

    New entries:

    4th and final oar now damaged – so I have:
    Magic bendy oar – irreparable
    Oar with no spoon – irreparable
    Oar with spoon almost broken off – Sikaflexed and splinted
    Oar with shaft broken close to gate (rowlock) – splinted

    I’m amazed and rather indignant about the two broken spoons. These oars were properly stowed alongside the guardrail oars, i.e. with the spoons 4ft clear of the water, and supposedly protected by the guardrail spoons – yet one broke clean off and the other nearly so. For this sort of pressure to be exerted, 4ft above the waterline, on both sides of the boat… That must have been some knockdown.

    And more losses overboard:
    Thermos mug #2 (1 remaining) with dinner inside
    Drinks bottle #2 (1 remaining)
    Lip salve #2 (2 remaining)
    Bag for para-anchor line
    2 buckets (1 remaining)
    Alpaca skin seat cover #2 (1 remaining)

    Plus flooded lockers:
    #5 – beneath aft cabin. Relatively empty, fortunately, but cosy dry alpaca socks as special treat (courtesy of Alpaca Centre near Penrith) are cosy and dry no more
    #7 – grab bags and lifejacket are swimming
    #13 – jerrycans and cleaning materials. Deliberately left flooded for added ballast.

    Plus previous casualties:
    Petzl head torch (contacts rusted)
    Camping stove – plunger jammed
    Navigation instruments
    Thermos mug
    Lid off thermos flask
    Drinks bottle
    Storage jar
    Alpaca skin seat cover
    Lip salve
    Milton fluid
    …and a comfy foam cushion for sitting on.

    And now since 17th February the satphone.
    (back to Joan again)
    Just wow. That’s a lot of gear in the drink and lockers flooded and oars broken. I imagine about 99.9% of other people would have decided they’d had enough ocean rowing for one lifetime after that trip, but you learned from the experience and decided to tackle the biggest ocean.

    Amazing. I’m sending positive thoughts for favorable winds and you reaching a desirable Island X. I wonder if you’ll see more birds as you get closer to Howland and Baker islands.

  • hello Roz,
    Cheers and carry-on as I faithfully follow the blog.
    You have become my inspiration for “its not about the destination- its about the journey”.
    A belated appreciation of your laugh-out-loud Jane Austen impersonation!

  • Roz, a _B_I_G_ _H_U_G_G_G_ from me too. Love the silver lining photo.
    The post today is very helpful for me. Thank you for the introspection.
    You verbalize clearly my essential attitude … sometimes we need reminders.
    I took liberty to last night’s post on the TCP wiki for other presenters to read.
    Your thoughts are especially poignant these recent days and leading up to Copenhagen.

    I will be out of touch until next Saturday. Heading up to a cabin near Lake Tahoe where there is no wifi and cell coverage is doubtful. Fallen Leaf Lake is tucked away in an ancient glacial canyon at the southwest “corner” of Lake Tahoe leading up to Desolation Wilderness where I plan to spend a few days enjoying rocks and trees near 7,000′ elevation. Thought will be with you. You will be near Howland when I return, carrots spread before you like a yellow [orange] brick road ;-D

  • I just now received your tweet on my phone … you are tenacious!

    3.40am. wind back in the east. sea anchor back on board.

    For your early rise, another hug …

  • Sorry Roz,
    Can’t give you hugs…much too reserved. But I would surely feel very privileged to shake your hand, if offered. And if we had occasion to chat some, I could then think of myself as a pal, and hug you enthusiastically, and kiss your cheek and love you forward with encouragement and pride into the future you’ve defined with your epiphany. I am quite certain you’ve hit on a viable attitude toward our collective future.

    Don’t give up on Tuvalu, though.

    Rozta’ Bill

  • Good morning Roz and congratulations for your epiphany.

    It is true, there is another way to see the problem, it is to visualize the end result as you did with you obituary. The problem is depressing, a complete downer! And the blame game is useless – did we do this? Is it a natural cycle? Who cares! It’s happening and we need to act. And unlike any other species on Earth – We can act!! It’s like water rising on Tuvalu and the council of elders sitting around discussing how it got to that point while everyone around is drowning. The focus should be steered away from emotional and focus on economical values.

    Only 200 years ago the World embarked (like the term ? 😉 on it’s greatest and fastest change when men adopted industrialization. They did it regardless of global problems, geography and political views. I don’t think they had a vision of where there thinking would lead the world today. They did it because it made economical sense one industry at the time. We are on the crisp of grasping that economical reality that green makes financial sense. I would bet the World is on the verge of experiencing it’s greatest and fastest change ever and that in 50 years the World will be green technology driven – Because it makes economical sense!
    Our greatest achievement!

    One big Hug

    Sebastian from San Francisco

  • Wow, Roz, I had chicken skin when I read the very beginning of your post (“… a mini-epiphany I had last night as I was trying to get to sleep … I was so excited about it that all hope of sleep was gone, so I got up and rowed under a full moon until 3am while I considered my new insight. … The idea that popped into my head was this …”

    under a full moon until 3am … considered my insight … popped into my head — the words that had my skin all goosey. Just pure inspiration at work (play?)! God dropping it into you first … then through you into the world. It’s IT. Dwell only and work only toward what we WANT to happen, not what we DON’T WANT to have happen. Man … have we had it backwards or what? This is something I’m trying to practice in little ways every day … w/ friends/bosses/etc. lovers/etc. Relationships play out this cosmic “rule” with amazing accuracy: dwell on what one doesn’t want to show up in a relationship, and bam, there it is front and center showing up as a looming presence! What a discipline … to train our thoughts to crave and cling to ONLY that which we want to see evidenced in the world — in the larger world of ALL of us (i.e., earth) and in the smaller worlds of each of us (i.e., our relationships … at home, work, play) — not what we DON’T want to have happen!

    “God is alive, magic is afoot” as Buffy St. Marie would sing. You’re on to something HUGE here, Roz. I look forward to how it will play out in your life as you step into even bigger shoes than you’re wearing now — and you’re wearing some mighty big ones now! — w/ regard to helping awaken folks in Copenhagen.

    ps: I posted a comment on your post for yesterday, including the text of an angel card I pulled for you (methinks by inspiration, but you’ll have to be the judge of that), and realize that you may not have received it, as I posted it today and not yesterday. The card selected was “Earth Angel” (an apt description of you, imo) 🙂 Hope you can somehow receive it.

  • I LOVE your thinking on looking forward and focusing on the solution, rather than always focusing on the problem. I think one of the reasons that so many people are in denial about global warming is that they don’t want to change what they’re doing, or they’re heavily invested in the economics attached to the status quo. There’s also the issue of blame–so much of focusing on the problem involves blaming those who aren’t changing their lifestyles to improve the environment and slow down green house gas emissions; they’re defensive, which leads to denial. If we present green living as an exciting (and profitable) opportunity, and leave out the blame entirely, I think more people would be willing to change. They change their technology, fashion, etc. all the time for the next new wave, why should this be any different. You gave me a lot of food for thought. Thanks. 🙂

  • Your moonlit inspiration reminds me of Mother Teresa’s quote;
    “I was once asked why I don’t participate in anti-war demonstrations. I said that I will never do that, but as soon as you have a pro-peace rally, I’ll be there.”
    As you well know, keep moving powerfully forward, nothing to gain with regrettable behinds!

  • Hi, Roz!
    Happy to hear of your epiphany!
    What opportunities we have in facing our challenges head on!
    Positive actions, for positive change!

    Just launched my website. Know you cannot see/link. Want to share one of the “definitions” I’ve given my garden design business name, begarden:
    “To better our earth, growing one healthful garden at a time.”

    Keep up the positive momentum! Am happy digging while you are happy rowing,

  • Two words struck me in your excellent post today … “shared vision”. We live in an era of “noise”, with thousands of conflicting viewpoints all competing (loudly) for dominance. Our ability to accomplish things seems diminished because of all this noise, and it seems that maybe a key priority would be for individuals such as yourself to lead us in the direction of achievable “shared visions”. Right now, there is NOT agreement on fundamental questions concerning our relationship with the planet. Are we here to exploit the planet, and use its resources for our own aims? Have we been given dominion over the planet (as many religious organizations maintain), and if so, what exactly does that mean? Are we instead servants of the planet, and do we have a duty (moral, spiritual, legal, whatever) to leave the planet in better condition than we found it? What kind of relationship with the planet will result in the most benefits for mankind? What kind of relationship will result in the most benefits for the planet? Can we find a path for action, where there will be harmony between the pro-human and pro-planet alternatives? I think that when your current rowing days are over, and you’re back on dry land, you will find that the universe has been teaching you some vital lessons that you can take into a future role as an international environmental diplomat, helping the world to find that “shared vision” which is necessary as a stepping stone to action.

  • I love your epiphany; it rings so true. Last weeks jail lesson was around fossils, our historical prints. I asked the men to consider what their “prints” might show in a hundred years or better yet, what might they want them to show. They dove into their projected self-visions, drew them and began to stand in their own sweet rain showers…
    Bumps along the way are part of the process, or winds, or currents….you have great perseverance and I hold that your current dilemma shall pass, and quickly! You continue to be an awesome inspiration…..Cece

  • Hi Roz. Hope today was better. I’ll pull you into my dreams tonight to give you a big hug. We’ll see what happens. The parks in LA do summer concert series and tonight I went to a Reggae concert at a semi-local park (30 min drive away) where I could take the dogs and let them off leash. Excellent! Boy that moon has been phenomenally bright the last few days, hasn’t it. Your photo shows it. I have to pull the blinds in my house to block it so I can sleep!! Bye for now. Sindy

  • Roz

    We all saw the slide at the reunion of Martin Luther King, saying “I have a nightmare.” Possibly you are like me and do not need to see one more negative film or article about the scary reality of Climate Change. I posted the following on May 24 on our TCP Wiki.

    That great slide of Martin Luther King saying “I have a Nightmare” woke me up. Now it is time for somebody to say, about Climate Change, “We have a Dream,” and make an appropriate positive film. I would just call the film “2112,” and release it in 2012.

    Content – The film I have in mind needs to be a view of the future in 100 years if we do everything right and get entirely off of fossil fuels, renew our fresh water resources, and get away from chemical poisoning with pesticides, petroleum fertilizers, and toxic waste. It needs to show an idealized world with stabilized population, restored forests, rebuilt soils and support for small organic farms, renewed reefs, regenerated fisheries, renewal and safeguarding of fresh water sources, protection of species and plant diversity. In this film we need to learn about locally generated grid-tied alternative energy, new energy sources like wind, tide, waves, geothermal and solar and biofuels produced by algae. We need to see how we will be planting gardens in place of lawns, schools teaching scientifically based environmental sensibility from kindergarten up, zero emission transportation, buildings that can be heated and cooled without using outside sources of electrical energy, redesigned cities, bike paths everywhere, universal health care, well-distributed income and universal access to the means to enter the middle class. It should demonstrate true democracy in a world without religious or racial biases. The steady state economy needs to be designed and demonstrated in this landmark film. It needs to include an idealized society for every continent, not just for the US.

    Distribution – The distribution of the film is easy. It goes to schools all over the world to show kids, teachers and parents what they are all working toward. It will not be a commercial success, because there is no sex or violence. If fear is needed there could be a flashback part way through the film where the kids who are the protagonists learn about how close we came to disaster, with resource wars of the 21st century, plagues, loss of hundreds of thousands of species, close calls where we almost lose the viability of the atmosphere and the oceans, the great “die-back” of the second half of the 21st century, that took the population from 9 billion back to a sustainable 3 billion humans, and the eventual imposition of world governance, the universal rule of no more than 2 children per woman, universal disarmament and peace based on the common goal of survival as a species.

    The Lucas Film connection – Does anyone have a contact at Lucas Films or Edutopia? With all the implied computer generated material this is a perfect project for George Lucas and his Edutopia foundation. Please bring it to their attention. If you do, thanks for forwarding this idea up the line. Just keep me in the loop because I’ve got a treatment in mind.
    Dave Finnigan

  • Hey, Dave … perhaps if you can get your idea (above… great by the way!) to Leonardo DiCaprio and/or Al Gore (via his Current broadcasting network) it could get into the right people’s hands to take the project and (w/ you) “run with it,” as they say. Maybe even find a list of eco-conscious stars in Hollywood who’d have the big bucks to get behind a movie project such as that … the internet might reveal such a grouping of stars. (?)

  • Dream beautiful dreams because our thoughts manifest in reality. There are many books, music and teachings that bring this message home.

    Buffy Ste Marie … Magic is Alive
    Lynne Mctaggert … The Intention Experiment
    Bruce Lipton … The Biology of Belief
    Don Miguel Ruiz … The Four Agreements
    As well as the website The Global Coherence Initiative.

    Yes, imagine the beautiful world we are going to create post-climate change. Follow your passions and skills the Earth needs you now.

    Green Jobs, Clean air, water and soil, Green Energy owned by many,
    Healthy food, Eating sustainably, Less obesity, diabetes and heart disease, Strong Commnunities, Stable Families, happy children, less Materialism, More Spirituality

    No more of the small number of greedy, socially disconnected, egotistical and environomental morons ruining it for the rest of us who want to live a meaningful life.

    We are going to create a beautiful world.

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