Day 84 - MumToday would have been my father’s 80th birthday. But he died 5 years ago, so he will be forever 75. Given this special date, today seemed an appropriate day to post a guest blog by my mother. Those who have been following my blog since the Atlantic will be well acquainted with Mum, especially after she had to step in and update my blog after I lost all
communications 24 days before the end of the crossing. She had no more idea what was going on than anybody else did, so there was some impressive improvisation and ad-libbing on her part that would have made any TV presenter proud – even while she was worried sick about me.

So, without further ado, over to my poor long-suffering Mum…

Some Mothers Do Have ‘Em is the name of a TV show in the UK- but not many mothers have a daughter like Roz. Yes, I am proud of what she has, and is, achieving, but she has given me some heart-stopping moments along the way. Like the day she first told me she was going to row across the Atlantic.

A few months before she set out, Roz invited me to go and stay with her in Emsworth on the south coast of England, where she was living at the time, to help with fitting out the boat. What a wise move that was on her part. She got me so involved in the whole project that it was no longer what she was doing, but what we, together, were doing.

This involvement came at a good time for me. It was just a year since my husband had died, and gave me a new purpose in my retirement days. Many a time people asked if I was worried about her. I think that we were so closely involved, that she was not a separate entity – out there on the ocean- but very much a part of our togetherness. I hope you can understand what I mean. I lived all the time with the reality of what Roz was doing.

However, in her various ocean crossings there have been tough, worrying moments. Leaving out some of the minor shocks, there came the day that her satphone packed up, leaving me without any communication with her. The boat rolling over three times during her first time attempt to depart the Californian coast. Watermakers packing up on the first leg of the Pacific crossing.

Even when our sons or daughters are adults, it is still the longing of a mother to protect and guard her family. It can be hard when we feel helpless, that nothing that we do can solve the problems; I am sure that many a mother has felt this, in all sorts of circumstances. We have to try to raise our children to be independent, capable of making their own decisions, and looking after themselves. To quote a book that I know rather well: “Now these three remain, faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” The greatest gift we can give, no matter what they do.

I have not been quite so closely involved with Roz’s activities this year, for several reasons (I have been busy with a double hip replacement, and two weeks ago I moved house), and just so grateful to Nicole for being there for Roz. I am standing on the side-lines, watching, yet Roz is still very much in my thinking and feeling, my daily life and tasks.

Thanks, Mum – I can’t even begin to imagine the emotional hell I put you through while I am out on the water, and I can only say – thank you, you’re one in a million.

[photo: Mum and me]

Other Stuff:

On this crossing no two days have been alike – until today. Which was very much like yesterday. Very, very hot, calm conditions, with the weather pretty much leaving me alone to do my thing – my thing being to row steadily and sweat profusely. I’ve made another 18 miles south towards the Equator.

Finally at around sunset today I finished uploading my video messages, so normal Tweeting service should be resumed tomorrow.

Thank you to Roz’s Regulars for some great messages!

Doug – your message about the Booby Training Center gave me a good laugh. No boobies today though – in fact only one solitary bird all day to break the monotony. Only other wildlife sighting was a few jumping fish.

AH – loved your take on the 7 Habits – thank you! I listened to “Three Cups of Tea” a few weeks ago – and can definitely vouch for the fact that having a powerful sense of purpose allows people to overcome all kinds of inhibitions.

Gary – “Take it easy, but take it” – wise words. And to share a secret, I find motivation a huge problem too. It was so much easier in the days when I was rowing crew and had a coxswain yelling at me to keep going. But actually, having said that, I’m finding motivation easier and easier the closer I get to my goal So I suppose one idea is to have interim targets and milestones – like keeping tally of how many meters you have rowed overall, and reward yourself every once in a while. Has to be worth a bottle of champagne, surely! (Champagne isn’t too calorific either – that’s why the supermodels drink it! Or maybe it’s just because they can….)

Weather Report:

Position at 2240 HST: 01 33.737N, 178 16.106W
Wind: 0-5kts, E
Seas: 2-4ft, E
Weather: hot and sunny, clear skies, hot. Towards sunset ranks of little fluffy clouds passed over, then cleared again.

Weather forecast, courtesy of weatherguy.com

As of Thursday morning 13 Aug 2009. According to measured data, there have been Eerly winds up to 7-12kts over your position and some rainshower activity to your north. SEerly winds 10kt is south of your position to the equator. The SEerlies eventually shift to Eerly 10-15kts by today. A further shift to the north will keep the winds north of east until late on the 15th. Then shifting to SEerly for a brief period before returning to Eerly by the end of the forecast period.

The widespread clouds mentioned in last report have cleared to partly cloudy skies with minimal convection.

Forecast sky conditions: Partly to mostly cloudy. Scattered moderate rainshowers.

Ocean currents should be light SSWerlies (flowing towards the NNE) at about 0.1 to 0.2 kts in your area to about 00 30S. To the north of you beginning at about 3 30N there is a band of Eerly flowing current of about 0.5 to 0.7kts. South of the equator along your longitude there is a band of Werly flowing current of about 1.0kt.

Forecast (low confidence)
Date/Time HST Wind kts Seas (ft) est
13/1200-14/1800 E 5-15 2-4
14/1800-15/1500 E-ENE 5-15 2-4
15/1500-15/1800 ENE-E 5-15 2-4
15/1800-17/0600 E-SE-E 5-15 2-4
17/0600-18/0000 E 5-10 2-3

Next Update: Monday, 16 August

14 Comments

  • Wow, nice to see that 0ne degree is on the horizon! My daughter (at our family reunion yesterday here in Maine) says that Seattle is voting soon on collecting 25 cents for each plastic bag used. That will make people think twice about using plastics! Loved your seven things – especially the ability to conserve water!! 🙂 0,0 is just around the corner!

  • Always a pleasure to hear from Rita. My thoughts are with her right now as a fiend of mine has just lost his grown son in a diving accident in the Bahamas. Just like that. All we can do is live our best at our own desire because one day it will stop and we become pictures on the wall. Do be safe Roz

  • Roz, among your “7 Habits of Reasonably Effective Ocean Rowers” you listed #5 Ability to find something new to photograph… and you certainly pulled it off, yet again! Great photo of Rita and you! Wow!

    And another Wow! for where you’ve been in the past week. RozTracker gives new meaning for Loonie Loops (I have not had access to RozTracker for a week so have not seen your trail of GPS breadcrumbs.) I literally had to climb mountains and circumnavigate a lake just to find cell coverage where I could read your blog and post a comment. Your trail of breadcrumbs bear no resemblance to the forward looking “carrots” I spread before going on vacation a week ago. But the good news is in the past week you made 100 miles yesterday morning (~0400 HST) at 01 50N, 178 01W … ta da … with the promise of more carrots, I just deposited spread another batch of carrots (your favorite number) toward your next 100 miles … PayPal makes it soooo easy … as simple as sowing seeds with just the wave of a hand.

    BTW, your row the past week looks sort of like my most strenuous hike Friday when I climbed over 2,000′ to Echo Peak (~8,500′) … deceptively flat a while, then gradually up (huff puff), beginning a very steep climb (very heavy breathing), descend a while (smile), back up very steep again (chagrin), gradual slope (relax), descend a few (phew!), steep up again, hunkered over through a bramble, rock-to-rock in a flowing rivulet of water, flat open meadows, craggy broken jutting rocks, precipitous “exposed” granite shelf … it was a microcosm of your row condensed down to half-a-percent of your experience. Enjoyed the wondrous views, ancient pine and cedar, wildflowers, ferns and berries … But not even a bear or a lynx to show for it. Only a tiny humming bird eyed my Larabar. Coconut Cream Pie yumm hummmmm! And I packed out my totally intact wrappers!

    In extremely different ways, we had a good week of highs and lows of physical challenges, elevations, emotions and spirituality. Row on Rozangel ;-D

  • Hello Rita. Having heard so much about you, it is a great pleasure to meet you today “In Person”! It gives me a chance to express my thanks for all you’ve done to support Roz through her on-going series of courageous adventures. They are a true inspiration to so many of us. And as a single father of an adventerous daughter just a little older than Roz, I know exactly what you mean! Special flowers are on their way to you today via Nicole on YOUR Blog Day. I hope we’ll all hear from you again! Cheers! Doug S.

  • Hi Roz!

    Cheers to your Mom!

    I know My mother has worried plenty about me too,I usually leave out the details but she spys on Youtube to get the real story lol.

    I teach kids english up here in Norway (moved here 7 years ago from Queens, New York)and every month I have a different theme so next month I decided to do the whole month on the ocean And I´ll be Telling them alot about you.I´m really looking forward to it and I know they will be wide eyed at what you are doing now.
    Well just wanted to let you know that your crossings have alot of influence on alot of people!

    Row on and row safe,
    Jerry G.

  • Hi,
    Roz, always good to hear from your mum, and you. Good to see the weather is staying out of your way, lets hope that continues. If you keep on your current track you may find yourself at 0 degrees latitude and at 180 degrees longitude, I think that would be cool; perhaps the release point of Niu Hae Akala for Project Niu. Of course I’m rooting for you to reach island X soon safe and sound.

  • In case some may not yet have listened to Roz Rows 57: Sea Spirithttp://www.twit.tv/roz57 — and do not understand my salutation Row on Rozangel … At the close of Leo Laporte’s chat with Roz, he mentioned that Earl Wallace in the twit.tv chat room interjected “Well you don’t have to worry about it Roz, you’re already an angel.” To me, it’s now TeamRozangel … even Evan ;-D

  • Roz,
    have you sighted the International space station yet ??? I keep sending yu updates and times when it passes over your location but dont know if you have seen it yet. Boh you and the space station inhabitants have many things in common.

  • I obviously need to wake up fully, or have some coffee or tea, before turning on the computer in the morning. When I turned on the computer and pulled up your blog this morning, the first thing that went through my still-asleep head was: “How did Roz’s mum get out on the boat in the middle of the Pacific for this picture? And, why does everybody’s hair look so beautiful, after all these stories about salt and sea encrusted hair?” I know, I know. My mind gets better with caffeine (or chocolate). Anyway, congratulations to you both. It’s a lovely picture, and a wonderful post by Rita. I was very interested in reading how you all made this such a team effort. And Roz, it’s amazing how much progress you’re making. I’m saying prayers to all the “southward movement deities” for your continued success!

  • Hello Roz’ Mum…
    Thank you Rita, for wonderful testimony from the love of a parent. I am a few years behind you with a 14yo artist (dancer/musician + other creative stuff) whom I greatly admire and love to the point of self-sacrifice, should it come to that.

    Aside from the larger-than-life feats that Roz has taken on, she is remarkably selfless in so faithfully giving vicarious adventure/reading pleasure and inspiration to her followers. And more, the followers bring interesting observations and commentary. It has been and is a wonderful party for us.

    For Gary…Studs was a great commentator himself. I have just one of his books, “Working.” I think, however, he may have picked up that expression from elsewhere…it is quoted by many, and the source seems to be a union labor rally song. But who knows, maybe the writer of the song borrowed it from another…there is hardly “…anything new under the Sun.”

    http://tinyurl.com/pn7okw

    KUTGW Roz, and more Cheers!

    Rozta’ Bill

  • Roz, I have just seen the automatic translation into spanish of your latest blog, made by my browser. I was teching my mother, who is now 93 and has been using a computer since she reached 90. She is fascinated by your feat and is praying for you to arrive safely since I told you about her. Thank you for showing the world that women can change it, as much as we men can destroy it with our carelessness! Good luck, and merry rowing!

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