The ocean is like a sensory deprivation tank tonight – utterly dark and silent. There isn’t a breath of wind, and the overcast sky is hiding all but the few brightest stars.

It’s been a funny old day. It got off to a slow start. You might have 
noticed there was a significant delay between my last blog and its
 photograph being united online. The reason was that immediately after I
 emailed the blog last night I lost the ability to make data calls from
 my satphone, so the email bearing the photo could not be sent.

I tried again first thing this morning, again to no avail. So I spent a 
while on the phone to Rob at Remote Satellite Systems International
 trying to identify the source of the problem. He thought it was probably 
the network rather than a problem with my onboard equipment. I’m not 
sure if this proved to be the case – I know he was working with the
 network people, and it seems to be working okay tonight – so I’ll just
 be grateful that we’re in business again. For a while there I
 was worried that we might be blog-less for the rest of the trip!

So with the technical hassles, and a call to base, it was pushing
10.30am by the time I got to the oars. For most of the morning the wind
 was coming out of the south, at about 20 knots, so the best course I 
could make was west. But during the afternoon the weather has become 
progressively more and more subdued, and the wind more and more flukey.

As the afternoon wore on a deep hush fell over the ocean, at one stage 
broken by the gentle exhaling sound of dolphins arcing through the
 waves. I saw about a dozen dolphins, but they didn’t come close.

Occasionally the wind would muster a bit of enthusiasm and lift my red
 ensign flag for a minute or two, before lapsing back into calm. The sky 
was overcast but far from a flat grey – clouds of all textures, shapes 
and patterns created a varied skyscape, and probably accounted for the
 weird, lumpy and uneven breezes.

I can’t help but absorb the mood of the ocean, so tonight I’m feeling a 
bit subdued myself, and tired after a long day rowing. So I’m going to
 call it a night. I’m off to my bunk to dream of friends, food and 
family. And nice brisk, invigorating easterly winds… Bring ’em on!

Weather report:

Position at 2300 HST: 01 30.255N, 178 57.656W
Wind: 0-20kts, S-SSE 
Seas: 2-4ft swell, SE
 Weather: some big black rainclouds this morning, after that as described
 above.

No update to last weather forecast from weatherguy.com.

21 Comments

  • Roz, As I watch you slowly move towards the equator as if it was a finish line, I had the thought that south of this line is still ITCZ. What conditions might you face south of the equator? Will everything be opposite and push you east? What is your plan to hit either island then? Next. you once asked for weather control stories. I know of two cases where hurricanes changed courses away from land. The first was a t v preacher who asked his viewers to pray and the other was a late night radio host who asked everyone to concentrate together. It freaked him out when the hurricane unexpectedly turned. He swore never to do this again as he didn’t understand this huge power and so shouldn’t fool with it. But maybe your Rozlings should concentrate/pray you through the ITCZ. Good Rowing!

  • Sure thing, Margaret Taylor! That is what people call the law of attraction! It not alwasy works, but when it does, one can be amazed! Others call it God’s response to our desires expressed with deep faith. I hadn’t thought about the possiblility, although Roz has talked about the Law of Attraction several times. So I am accepting your call to Rozlings to concentrate/pray on Roz to get through the ITCZ and will start immediately to do so.
    Cheers to both of you, Margaret and Roz. Keep Rowing!

  • I just discovered bioluminescence on the weekend on my holiday to Canada’s west coast! It is the most amazing thing ever! They offer midnight kayak tours where every paddle stroke lights up like fairy dust. I just went to the doc of my hotel and it was the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen; all the kelp and barnacles were dusted with stars, I threw some rocks down into the water and they looked like comets streaking to the bottom, occassionally you’d see glowing fish as they darted around. I splashed my hands into the water creating stunning galaxies of bioluminescense. I’ll never forget this beautiful experience.

    I’m just wondering, if you can see that over there in your neck of the Pacific? The darkness at night would be perfect for it. That would be so great if you could, it’s such an exciting phenomena. I saw some youtube videos where they have blue glowing biolums, so you must get some over there!

  • Roz you are the best bravest star in the galaxy. no one could do what you do because you are a magic princess of neptune best of luck always

  • Checking your progress as I’ve heard from Alison Levine today and she asked about you and was happy to hear about your achievements. I once dated a man who was a marine biologist who got his doctorate degree studying BARNACLES, so your barnacle blog amused me! Lovely to see (photo) and read (blog) from your sweet Mum. I arranged for Dawn to earn some money dog-sitting my friend Ron’s dog who looks just like Dawn’s dog who passed away. A wonderful piece of “matchmaking” that blessed everybody. God bless you Roz and happy trails. Minette

  • Satellite communications are always sporadic near the Equator because the satellites follow a polar orbit. Thus, near the poles there will always at least two above the horizon but near the Equator one may be just appearing as another disappears. This is compounded by Roz’s antenna being no more than about 5 feet above sea-level – if it could be twice as high the problem would be mitigated and the handoff between satellites more reliable. Of course, in that case the effects of rolling and pitching would be amplified.

  • Hiya, Roz … been sick a few days so haven’t been one of the “Rozregulars” but I think of you every day and wish you well and fair winds. I just wanted to tell you how much I appreciate the strenuous effort it takes for you to blog for all of us … when you’re sitting in a sweltering cabin on a HOT summer ocean with not a lot of “breeeze” blowin! So, thank you for that.

    Your attitude and wisdom continue to help me see … in a most OBVIOUS way (you’re rowing the Pacific, after all!) that any physical challenge is doable IF one believes and puts out the effort to make it become real. I’m thinking of the up-and-down trek that awaits me next Summer across England — it won’t be flat land, and I dance on the fringes of worry that my damaged knees won’t come through for me (car wreck and torn menisci; yup, both knees) — and I find myself saying, “If Roz can ROW TWO OCEANS, I can walk 200 miles across some natural terrain (all of which will NOT be up and down) in a land I absolutely love and with which I feel an uncommon kinship.”

    Here’s some good news. It’s 98 sweltering degrees in NYC right now w/ an ungodly amount of humidity … and you’re not in it! 🙂

    And thanks to John, above, for the info on sattelites and why Roz’s antenna, if higher, would cause her more pitch and roll. Interesting tidbits.

    Best wishes and God speed you to Island X!

    Naomi

  • It feels to me as if you are being influenced by the energies of the waning of the moon. Dark moon tomorrow, new moon coming on Thursday. 🙂

  • I thought of you when I read this today on my FaceBook page: “The difference between “try” and “triumph” is the UMPH!”

    Roz = UMPH! 🙂

  • I swim in a pool on most days for an hour or so, either indoors or outdoors. Partly it’s for the exercise, but mostly it’s for the meditative feeling that comes from doing the rhythmic lap swimming, up and down. What I also love are the constantly changing shades of blues and greens on the bottom of the pools, as viewed through the lenses of the swimming goggles amidst the softly water-filtered light. The reason I’m mentioning all this is because I am enchanted by the shades of blue and blue/green that appear in your photographs. Each one has colors that are mesmerizing, even the simple pictures. My question is: Is the ocean really that beautiful? And the second question would be: Do you realize that it is that beautiful, or do you find yourself becoming dulled to the beauty? Third: How does it compare to the Atlantic, in terms of how the water looks? I’m not looking for an answer today. Just “whenever”, if you feel like talking about it.

  • Rozangel, as of four hours ago you have come 87 miles since my last scattering of carrots, so less than 10 miles from now I will again scatter a forward-looking trail of your favorite number of carrots to give you direction for the next 100 miles. Question is: what bearing would you prefer? Or is that premature? wink wink nudge nudge ;-D

    BTW, the new moon is Thursday Aug. 20 at 0020 HST so the first view of the crescent would be Friday evening up to a half-hour after the sun sets, but more realistically, depending on horizon clouds, you might get a glimpse Saturday Aug. 22 up to an hour-and-a-half after sunset.

  • Hi Roz,
    The RozTracker has you 53 miles from tomorrow…two days and a few hours at the pace you’re strokin’. Anybody betting shirts…?

    R’B

  • Errata Roz:

    The new moon is Thursday Aug. 20 at 0020 HST so the first view of the crescent would be Thursday evening up to a half-hour after the sun sets, but more realistically, depending on horizon clouds, you might get a glimpse Friday Aug. 21 up to an hour and 20 minutes after sunset, and most probably a good sighting on Saturday Aug. 22 up to a smidgen over 2 hours after sunset.

    Rosta Bill – I’ll bet my shirt … Thursday at 23:23:23 for the IDL jump … that will advance my moon watch Friday to Saturday and from Saturday to Sunday … boy this is getting confusing ;-D

  • 7:47 PM HST and you have been flying low: 23 miles since 6:41 this morning! I am hitting the sack convinced you will pass the next hundred-mile “carrot drop” in the next couple hours, i.e., 4 more miles whether you row or drift. Good night and good luck ;-D

  • Thank you Unca Doug for the tasty “carrots” scattered along Roz’s trail. These carrots seem to be of the greenback variety!

  • Those still and quiet times are perspective time.
    I look forward to when they happen.
    Happy the data still goes through.

    pet a dolphin for me!

  • Hey there Roz,

    Another day of getting up, showering, getting dressed, feeding the pets, going to work. You, at this same time, row, row, row your boat to Tuvalu perhaps. You are amazing.

    Thank you for continuing to share this journey with us. when I really need it, you provide me with a guiding light. Amazing that YOU, all the way over there, can help ME feel better.

    By the way, Bill McKibben was on The Colbert Report the other night talking about the 350 initiative and his video clip is making the rounds of Facebook and the internet. 350.org is catching on. We in Asheville are going to be fully engaged with it.

    Nice to feel a connection with the world in this way.
    Laurey in Asheville

  • Very interesting. In your post this morning (right now viewable from the tracker but not the blog page) you write that you’re about 35 miles from the IDT, where to us Rozters going the tracker tells us you’re about 44.5 miles from the IDT. And you certainly haven’t gone 10 miles backwards since your post. There’s also a big discrepancy between your estimate of how far off Tarawa and Tuvalu are vs. the tracker readings. To me, this morning, it looks more like Tarawa is 517 miles away and Tuvalu is closer to 700 (680-something I think), which would be a big difference in rowing days.

    Is it the same current and prevailing winds that you’re working against now that would make it harder to start off from Tarawa on the next leg, or mostly the added distance? And since you’ll be in the southern hemisphere once you cross the equator, will you time the last leg of your voyage differently due to the seasonal difference?

  • Joan, good catch. It looks like a simple typo on the Tuvalu distance: 482 probably should have been 682. Nicole and Evan can easily confirm, comment or correct ;-D
    Also, one source of minor discepacy on the shorter distance to IDL is her post was at 11:20 PM or three and a half hours after then latest GPS marker (7:47 PM) during which she rowed 6 miles.

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