I’ve been trying, but I just can’t regard the chaps downstairs as dinner. Some of you have been suggesting that I should get the fishing line out while I have the chance and the mahi mahi are milling around beneath my boat, but I just can’t do it.

There have been at least five fish, possibly more, keeping me company today. Occasionally they leap into the air and do a backflip, but mostly they just mooch around a couple of feet beneath the surface. They are very pretty. I don’t know if mahi mahi can iridesce, or if they just catch the light occasionally, but sometimes they seem to glow with a silvery blue aura.

I remember reading Stephen Callaghan’s book Adrift: Seventy-six Days Lost at Sea, in which the poor guy is floating around in a liferaft for 79 days. A group of mahi mahi congregate beneath his raft, and he catches them with his harpoon gun. He said it was as if they sensed his desperation, and offered themselves up to him, even after they saw their fellow fishies killed by his weapon. They were his only food. I’m not in such dire straits, so I don’t feel I can justify the killing. Hypocritical, I know, as I was happy to eat mahi mahi when Marcus and Joel of the JUNK Raft caught one for our dinner party a few hundred miles east of Hawaii. But it’s somehow different when the death would be at my own hands.

On a different note, I wonder why Sarah Outen had pilot fish beneath her boat as she rowed across the Indian Ocean, but I’ve got mahi mahi. Her boat was a little smaller, but I can’t imagine that has anything to do with it. I saw a pilot fish or two early on, but the mahi mahi are my faithful followers.

It’s hard to explain, but it does give me some small sense of comfort, knowing the chaps are there. It’s not as if we have much personal contact – mostly they stay down there and I stay up here. But company is not easy to come by out here, and they are all I’ve got. Rowers can’t be choosers.

Other Stuff:

Progress today has been dismal. I’ve been rowing all day, but with adverse winds and currents have made only 7 miles to the good. But the other night I made 22 miles while I slept (or at least lay on my bunk) while big waves shoved me along. So I suppose it all averages out – but these slow days can be a bit challenging to the morale.

Cynthia Kruger – thank you for your factoid about the dominance of the big players in the food industry. Also a good point about fossil fuels being used in the manufacture of solar-capture equipment. But as Thom Hartmann suggests in “The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight: Revised and Updated: The Fate of the World and What We Can Do Before It’s Too Late, maybe that is exactly what we should be using our remaining oil for, rather than sticking it in our cars and burning it. At least it will help the transition to the new era pending our invention of a better way to produce durable materials as successors to plastic.

Michael – thanks for your input on the food debate. It brings us around to the sticky issue of population. If there were fewer of us, small scale farming would start looking more feasible. But that is a whole other topic…. I agree with your comment on actually doing something versus being seen to be doing something. I fear we mostly tinker around the edges, fiddling while Rome burns.

UncaDoug – your quote from Gus Speth: “Working only within the system will, in the end, not succeed when what is needed is a transformative change in the system itself.” reminded me of Einstein’s maxim that problems are rarely solved using the same thinking with which they were created (or words to that effect). We truly need some fresh thinking.

StinsonBeach – my mahi mahi don’t seem to be very solitary. There is quite a little club of them down there. Maybe Indian Ocean mahi mahi are just more sociable?! As to the “pure thought”, errr, wow. I will have to, errr, think (!) about that.

Quote for the day – from our friend Albert Einstein again: “A human being is a part of the whole, called by us ‘Universe’, a part limited in time and space. We now experience ourselves, our thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest, a king of optical delusion of our consciousness. This delusion is a prison for us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures an the whole of nature in her beauty.”

Photo: glow in the dark mahi mahi

Sponsored Miles: Grateful to Steve Maskell for sponsoring some of yesterday’s miles, as well as today’s.

15 Comments

  • It is great that you have sufficient food with you (as always). I have been tending 8 baby Black Skimmers daily. There were 9 but one was failing for lack of food and I took him to the hospital (at the Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary). Their food (tiny fish) have not come in as early this year so there are many young dying up and down the coast. I may try to buy some baitfish, but I do not know how to get the parents to come get it!

    Glad you are making progress!!

  •  Even Wheel of Fortune, a television show in the United States has gone green.  Concentric rings on the waters interfering with other ripples creating a moire pattern of consciousness.
    Go Roz Go!     Cheers,    Stephen

  • We sent you good vibes… some of us chose to send them in the form of intelligent company. Consistent with “unsupported, solo-rowing”, inedible biolumenescent mahi mahi may be just the perfect form of the good vibes you were seaching for 🙂

    Saturday August 13th at sunset… Roz Solidarity Sunset

    Cheers to you, Roz!

    Row Roz Row!
     

  • Roz, this morning one of my friends quoted part of the Grateful Dead’s song “Ripple” and I thought of you. I think you will like this; it really speaks to me.
    There is a road, no simple highway, Between the dawn and the dark of night, And if you go no one may follow, That path is for your steps alone.

    Ripple in still water, When there is no pebble tossed, Nor wind to blow. 

    Row boldly, Roz!
    If my words did glow with the gold of sunshine And my tunes were played on the harp unstrung, Would you hear my voice come thru the music, Would you hold it near as it were your own? It’s a hand-me-down, the thoughts are broken, Perhaps they’re better left unsung. I don’t know, don’t really care Let there be songs to fill the air. Ripple in still water, When there is no pebble tossed, Nor wind to blow. Reach out your hand if your cup be empty, If your cup is full may it be again, Let it be known there is a fountain, That was not made by the hands of men. There is a road, no simple highway, Between the dawn and the dark of night, And if you go no one may follow, That path is for your steps alone. Ripple in still water, When there is no pebble tossed, Nor wind to blow. You who choose to lead must follow But if you fall you fall alone, If you should stand then whos to guide you? If I knew the way I would take you home.-Grateful Dead

  • Hi Roz,

    Food’s food and humans are omnivores. So if ya gotta, ya gotta. I used to be against hunting. But in my profession I’ve met a lot of guys whose dads hunted to put food on the table. There are many places still like that. So now I moderate my stance: you can go big game hunting in Africa. But if you shoot an elephant? You. Better. Eat. The. Whole. Damned. Elephant.

    As for the Alchemist thing, I’m not entirely joking. The book has many metaphors but that doesn’t make them untrue. In any case, such things best respond to genuine need – like the boy in the book. And right now your doing OK even if it’s mostly drifting. There’s a Works vs. Grace argument somewhere in there for the theologically inclined.

    Cheers!
    Eric

    • Here is what Paulo Coelho the author of The Alchemist had to say of Roz. “A creative way to raise consciousness – what a fantastic adventure!”

      It was part of her posters…

      Row Roz Row!

  • Oh, and do the Chaps wear Chaps and ride sea horses?  Perhaps their names are Clint and John and maybe Annie Oakley is with them.  Yeeehaw!  Sorry, couldn’t resist.   Stephen

  • Those dolphin (“Mahi” is more of a food context, so I call them dolphin–that’s one of their many common names) are a good omen. They are wild untamed nature, flashing with iridescent brilliance. It’s what your rowing to save, after all. Catch them, if you can, and eat them if you must, to accomplish your goals. They’ll give you that. Like the Giving Tree by Silverstein, nature will offer itself until there is nothing left. How much should we take? 

  • I sense that all of the comments on the nature or nature as it accompanies you along your seaward journey are simple and correct.  Your own sense of what it all means is what makes it relevant and meaningful to you, Roz!  I went out in my little sailboat this morning from AlaWai Harbor (BTW the REALLY BIG boats are here from the TransPac Race last week) and simply could not bring myself to put a fishing line in the water as it was so beautiful out there on the water.  Let the Big Chaps enjoy your rowing !  Guaranteed they will be some one or somethings dinner some time somewhere.  They like your boat and the shade you provide them and you enjoy their company!  Enjoy in joy!!
    Scott

  • Hi Roz,  Glad to read that you and the mahi mahi have adopted each other as travel companions.  While I was away I missed my friend Pepper, a Bassett/ German Sheppard cross. He is a very social guy, loves being close.  
    I can appreciate your situation somewhat more accurately today, as I just returned from a sailing school.   It was a week of exhilaration, some anxiety in conditions more intense than I was used to, and gratifying as I have developed skills more thoroughly.  I was reminded of the power of the wind yesterday, when I attempted to sail solo. No agredious harm done, just a slightly bruised ego.  A lesson in  clear thinking and taking more time to review plans, check gear, and then move into action. The wind convinced me to step back and plan for another day.  I am still very much a novice sailor, and will continue to explore the challenges and delights of travel under the power of the wind.  Being pitched about by waves is at least disconcerting, and at times frightening…. Know that I appreciate anew the cost and demands of your efforts.  
    Norm of the prairies

  • The male dolphin are usually solitary…& I wasn’t going to tell you – or Stephen Callaghan – but if you hook a dolphin & leave it in the water (still hooked) others will congregate around their comrade & this allows them to be caught. Living in the Keys teaches you things…tho not, it seems to me, very sporting.

    As for the latter: you’ll figure it out.

          xos, StinsonBeach

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