Day 77 - turtleThe ocean and I had serious words tonight. Well, actually, I suppose I did most of the talking. And it was not Happy Talk – so much for South Pacific, the musical, from which the song comes. In fact it was very Unhappy Talk.

I won’t repeat it here, as it was mostly unrepeatable, but it was words to the effect that I’m tired of having to fight so hard for every degree of latitude, and it would be really nice if for a change I could make progress and actually hang onto it instead of being pushed so far back that even if/when the conditions become favorable again it’s going to take me days to make up for the ground I’ve lost. Having been within 13 miles of the line of latitude at 2 degrees North, I’m now almost all the way back up to 3 degrees North. By rowing standards that is a long, long way to re-row.

I try to tell myself that these are just imaginary, man-made lines of latitude, and aren’t really important, but psychologically it would be quite tough to cross back over 3 degrees North – in the wrong direction. I have the lines of latitude written up on a writeboard in front of my rowing position, and I cross them out as I pass them, like the Count of Monte Cristo marking off his days in prison. I’d hate to have to un-cross a number.

In keeping with the recent theme of the Law of Attraction and positive thinking, I had decided to give vocal vent to all my frustration, and let the ocean know just exactly the kind of improvement I expected to see in its behavior from now on. For my part I would stop obsessing over the numbers on my GPS and start enjoying the ride – but I would enjoy it a lot more if it was taking me in the right direction so I can make landfall and start getting on with all the very interesting and exciting things I’ve got lined up for the rest of the year, thank you very much.

[photo: a turtle that popped up to say hello this morning]

Other Stuff:

THANK YOU, ROZLINGS!!! You are all wonderful, generous, lovely, supportive people and I love you all. Okay, so my love might be somewhat financially motivated, but whatever, I still think you’re all GREAT! This outburst of love and affection has been prompted by your amazing
response to my plea for help with raising money so we can bring Conrad the Filmmaker out to Island X to record my arrival and interviews with locals on the subject of climate change. We had an offer of $2,500 provided we were able to match that sum with donations from elsewhere.

And, in the space of JUST 48 HOURS we have achieved just that! We were halfway by this time yesterday, and I’ve just received an email from Nicole my program director to let me know that today we reached our target. So, in addition to yesterday’s thank yous, I’d like to express my gratitude to:

Mark Scarpa, Kenneth D Scott, Chialing Jolly Young, Jane Heritage, Eric Kauzmann, Patricia Luebke, William Mosley, Robert Locher, Susan Patterson, Naomi Durkin, Jeffrey King, Richard Cort, Anthony Swift (especially!), Barbara Henker, Claire Winston, Anna Sonderegger, Roger Mercier, Eric Mccallum and Mylene Paquette.

If you intended to contribute but hadn’t got around to it yet, donations are still most welcome. My satellite phone bill (voice and data) is likely to be over $10,000 for this stage of the row. Data uploads form the greater part of this bill. To upload a blog with a photo costs about $15, to record a podcast about $45, and to upload the short video segments for my RozCasts on YouTube is closer to $80. At the moment funds are getting very low, but with a bit of help we can keep the Roz Show on the road (or on the row!). Thank you also for all the big Rozling hugs winging their way across the Pacific waves to me to console me after a tough day yesterday. Hugs back to you too. And please send some more today because it has been another toughie…

I really enjoyed reading the responses to my blog yesterday about my eco-epiphany. I’m glad that the idea resonated with so many of you. When it came to me it had the feeling of something special, like one of those Big Ideas that comes from outside yourself (like my initial idea to row across oceans, in fact). I’ll be including the idea in a speech that I hope to be giving later this year (details coming when confirmed – but it would be the most important speech of my life so far if it happens), and it will also form part of the book that I’m planning to write in the early part of next year – a very personal take on sustainability and the future. I’ve copied your comments into my working documents so I can refer back to them later. Thank you!

Thanks to Captain Phil Renaud for the lovely message. Great to know that you’re following – and congratulations on your own great efforts to preserve our oceans.

UncaDoug – Fallen Leaf Lake sounds absolutely gorgeous, and your description has got me pining for dry land! I hope you have a great time. I’ll miss your comments though, so hurry on back! BTW, I think I can see the Southern Cross, even though I’m not in the southern hemisphere yet. Is that possible?

And finally special hello to one of Roz’s Regulars and one of my greatest cheerleaders, the Lemon Lady Karen Morss. Thanks, Karen, for your amazing energy and support!

Weather report:

Position at 2210 HST: 02 53.961N, 177 02.529W
Wind: S slowly backing to ESE throughout the day, 3-15kts
Seas: 3-5ft, SE, but there seems to be a current that pushed me due north whenever I’m not rowing
Weather: sunny with scattered clouds

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 rainshowers and squalls overhead and to your north. Minimal cloud activity south of 01 00N.

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

Next Update: Monday, 10 August


  • Roz, I really hope you get this…I followed your atlantic row day to day and I’m following your pacific row on daily basis. It’s gets extremely rough when you work SO HARD and keep getting pushed back. I’m in the US Air Force and in 2007 I got seven days notice that I was deploying for six months to Afghanistan with a Canadian and British team in Kandahar…hard thing to take when you just got engaged a week prior…but…you know what…when I got back and heard of what you do…you gave me inspiration!!! You are by far the strongest person that I’ve heard of!! What you are doing is something greater than yourself. What you are doing and the reason you are doing it is not only to raise awareness, but to inspire! I know your rowing has been hard as of late, and I cant imagine how mad you can get…but I do want you to know that your inspiration has made a tremendous impact on me and my wifes relationship, because you have shown us that there is always something that is more important then yourself…for that I salute you Roz and I pray that you keep moving forward and will continue your lifes journey to show others that sometimes you have to stand up for what you believe in! Now kick that Pacific Oceans butt!!! Keep it up Roz! You’re doing great and we are pulling for you!!!

  • Roz, I read you every morning and find myself revisiting your blog entry (in my head) through the day. Yesterday I handed the girl at Target back the plastic bag and said I didn’t need it-your influence. It was one small item and who needs a bag for that? These are small steps toward a much larger goal. I have been using my own canvas bags for grocery shopping for some time, but now do it with your journey always in mind.

    Keep pushing, as if you could do anything else, right? There are so many of us “along for the ride”,in spirit, on your small boat, that it should feel crowded out there.


  • I hope that the readers good thoughts will reach the Pacific and calm it down 🙂
    Just wanted to say that I’ve found another way to save water. The Brazilian environmental group SOS Mata Atlântica which stands for the Atlantic Rainforest, encourages people to pee under the shower to save some water. I have to admit that I’ve done it occasionally but I never thought that such a little thing might do any good to the environment.
    I also admit that we’ve (my kids and I) used the “potty” so that we don’t have to flush in between. You should see the faces of my kids friends, when my daughters ask if they have to go before flushing 😉

    The video on youtube: SOS Mata Atlântica (Xixi no Banho) – please don’t waste any more money to watch it!

  • Roz, I’ve had a slight change in plans … departing for Fallen Leaf Lake tomorrow morning. So I won’t suffer Rozdrawal pains quite so abruptly … I googled and found Astronomy Picture of the Day‘s photo Southern Cross in Mauna Loa Skies and the following description which you’ll be pleased to know confirms you likely sighting:

    Gazing across this gorgeous skyscape, the Southern Cross and stars of the constellation Centaurus are seen above the outline of Mauna Loa (Long Mountain), planet Earth’s largest volcano. Unfamiliar to sky gazers north of about 25 degrees north latitude, the Southern Cross, constellation Crux, is near the horizon to the left of Mauna Loa’s summit. A compact constellation of bright stars, the long axis of the cross conveniently points south toward the southern celestial pole. The top of the cross is marked by the lovely pale red star Gamma Crucis, which is in fact a red giant star about 120 light-years distant. 2005 January 29 – Credit & Copyright: Barney Magrath (Kamuela, HI)

    Sorry you’ll have to wait to see the photo … but … you have the real deal!

  • Roz, you wild and wonderful human being! I am so enthralled with what you are accomplishing. I am in Austin and spreading the word like a wild fire. I am a fellow rower, and in my spiritual moments on the water I ask God for your strength to get to the other side of the Pacific, which he is hearing!Gods speed . All the best for you today.Amy in Austin

  • Hi Roz,
    Ok, I can see that the SEerlies are really getting on your nerves, so…feeling a little softer…I send a big hug…(Roz)!

    Rozta’ Bill

  • Roz,

    I’ve been following your progress for the last few weeks and am officially a Rozaholic. On a daily basis I am amazed by your perseverance and upbeat nature, despite those dastardly winds blowing you away from your intended goal. Even when you are mad, you still seem to swing back around and put a positive spin on everything. Sometimes when I am extremely frustrated I will yell one serious curse word as loud and as long as I can. After I get it all out I usually laugh at how silly I am. Very refreshing.

    Your story and life changing actions, to promote a greater cause, are extremely motivating. How many of us can make a difference, no matter how small? I’ve recently taken a look at what actions we are taking to support saving the planet, but it seems like it isn’t nearly enough. Canvas bags, refillable bottles, turning off electronics, using rags instead of paper towels, etc. just seem so mundane (despite how important). Like you, I struggle with the devastating reality that, “oh crap, this can’t be it, can it? Is this as good as it gets, I want to do more with my life than relive the same old thing day after day and be alarmingly unfulfilled at the end of my life.” I’ll keep exploring possible options to use the talents that I have (and everyone does) to find a way. Every person I tell of your adventures is just blown away by what you are able to accomplish out there in your little row boat. Keep rowing, we are certainly trying to spread the word and get as many followers on board with you. I’ll take a turn at the oars for a while so you can rest (you‘ll just need to show me what to do), keep pulling along knowing that you ARE making an incredible difference one stroke at a time. I look forward to your book and would be honored to shake your hand some time in the near future (certainly a hug electronically from me and my two kids).

    Thank you, thank you for giving me the motivation to be a better person. We all need to be reminded of how important we are and Roz, you are absolutely incredible.

    Lori, with admiration from Harleysville, Pennsylvania

  • I am not in position to donate, but I will go around badgering others to do so. Try and control what you can control and don’t worry about the rest. Good luck.

  • Testing the powers of positive thinking:

    “Pacified Pacific – Pacified Pacific – Pacified Pacific – Pacified Pacific”

    “May the wind work Roz’s way – May the wind work Roz’s way – May the wind work Roz’s way”

    “May Roz cross the Equator soon – May Roz cross the Equator soon – May Roz cross the Equator soon”

  • Rosta’ Bill and Sebastian — you did it. According to RozTracker’s most recent “breadcrumb” … in the past 4 hours, the wind shifted to W or NW … hard to tell exactly. But her heading as of 5:20 AM HST is 85.3 degrees (0.8 miles almost due east from her last GPS marker). Looks like winds are from the NW. Today will be different … hopefully better … can’t wait for a tweet on how calm the seas might be or how strong the winds are. At least, she will have a tail wind pushing her south for a while. She is probably up and about … now 6:40 AM HST.

    Fingers crossed for Roz. Mantra chanting Pacified Pacific … Pacified Pacific … Pacified Pacific … norwesterlies please norwesterlies please norwesterlies please … spreading carrots southbound before you Roz … follow the orange yellow brick road

  • Roz old gal,

    You think you’re having a rough time? I am very hard-of-hearing = deaf.
    All my life, for every project I tried to engage in, the entire “system” seemed against me. Outside all of the negative labelling, the message seemed to be: the rules say this, the boss says that, beauraucrats argue endlessly, politicians want control… ad nauseum.
    Everyone faces this chaos on a daily basis. Transference: You, Brocade, the ocean, the weather!
    Erden and Sarah faced the challenge just as heartily as you do – most of the time, but with slightly differnt viewpoints. Ergo: you are not alone, yet are a unique individual on a parallel course.
    Your MISSION is grandiose, outstanding and VITAL. Chin up ducks! (Where is your duck, Quackers, anyways?) Wasn’t the turtle telling you that you will prevail?

    Heartwarming tremendous positive hugs to you. -Achates 😉

  • Looks like UncaDoug and Sebastian have chanted some better wind/current for you. Great News from your tweet “huge relief to find not much ground lost overnight. still right side of 3degN”

    Looking at RozTracker, you are more than 3deg south and just a little west (240sm)of when it seems you fully engaged the ITCZ on 7/14.

    I know you have your mind and ambitions on Tuvalu, but if the recent prevailing winds keep up, its pretty much a straight shot over to Tawara.

    But you are the woman at the oars, captain of your vessel, champion of your cause. Have at it!…and Cheers, again for overnight progress.

    Rozta’ Bill
    (Great looking turtle…it is amazing the life you are coming across.)

  • $45 donated as I love your podcast and eagerly await it each week, so only fair I pay the costs of one!

    your journey inspires me to be more responsible in my use of our earth’s resources

  • Once again, I want to say how much I look forward to reading your blog each day. You are truly an inspiration! And you have also made an impact on my daily life: when ever I pick up a plastic fork, a plastic water bottle, plastic bag, etc., I think “What would Roz think?!” So I have been trying to make choices that are more eco friendly.

    Also, I really loved yesterday’s post. I know so many people who cringe when they hear about “global warming.” They refuse to believe it’s real. But like you said, it doesn’t matter if it’s real or not….the benefits of conserving make life better for us in the “here and now.”

    Cheers to all that you are doing!

  • This is for Roz, but directed more to her faithful followers. I just nominated Roz for CNN’s Eco Solutions’ Green Inspirations. The following is an excerpt of the story:
    “We’re looking for the everyday heroes and exceptional people who are making a difference. They may be well known or someone in the public eye you think deserves more recognition. Whoever they may be, send us an email to nominate your green inspirations and we’ll feature them on Eco Solutions”
    The email to send more nominations is
    I specifically pointed out one of favorite passages thus far, Day 76 Positive Thinking: an epiphany.

    Best wishes to you Roz.

  • Roz,

    Surely you must have Jimmy Buffett’s “Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes,” on one of your iPods? If so, your homework is to listen to it. If not, just remember:

    “These changes in latitudes, changes in attitudes
    Nothing remains quite the same
    Through all of the islands and all of the highlands
    If we could’nt laugh we would all go insane.”

  • Roz,

    I hope you can read this, I just wanted to say that I am thinking of you! I am about to embark on a new stage in my life (I am doing my masters at York, we met in D.C.) and have been hesitant to leave my family behind. Sometimes I wonder about why my life took so many back-steps, why things were so difficult for me. In reality, I believe I haven’t learned how to appreciate today’s achievements. I am just beginning to appreciate how lucky I am to have found my passion in life–how many people out there work and aren’t happy?

    Yesterday, my sister and my future brother-in-law (they’re from Brazil) learned about you and I hope they will spread the word about your work and hopefully raise awareness. With each row, you create a ripples with far reaching latitudes. As they travel away from you, they are reaching people across the globe.

    Like you, I am going to focus on today and wish for a better tomorrow.

    Take care,

    Michelle W

  • Hello Roz as I sit here reading along your journey I have gained great respect for you the person. You have graduated to a human being not a human doing even though you have lots of thing to do they are all part of the journey. Lots would have there hands full just rowing more then a lot would have there hands full just trying to communicate like you do form the comforts of there homes and yet you have the talent to put it all together, of coarse with a lot of help but non the same you have to start the ball roiling or in this case rowing. I was ones asked to count my breath by a Zen master. I thought to my self how hard could that be. Well it was that thought that came back to haunt me for many a day, weeks, even years to come. I was one of the lucky one I finely mad it to the count of 4 and it only took me 2 years. so of course proudly I sat with the Zen master once again pleased with my progress and what he said in return was no my son I said 400 not 4 pleas continue. So with humbleness and humility I sit quietly and count many breaths with you in mind and do so willingly to help breath you across that beautiful body of ocean. So turn towards that small little island you wish to travel to and just breathe. No past breath to compare it with, to no future breath to anticipate. Just the now breathe. And from this very breath may all your Hopes, dreams, and wishes become reality. Your journey holds the door open to the universe, for all of those willing to fallow and help do there part to create balance in the world. Dale

  • Sorry Roz I for got to say count your breath without a thought in between.
    So every time you have a thought you have to start over no problem right. Well there you go. One, not bad (thought) start over. One, this is hard (thought) start over. In breath one in breath 2 wow I made it (thought) start over. You get the point. Have fun and may the wind be with you. Dale

  • I look forward to reading your daily post Roz, you are one very special individual. Your photo’s are inspiring as well! It give’s me a glimps, if just a small one, into what you are seeing on your voyage.

    All my best,

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