I used to take weather very personally. When I was rowing the Atlantic, just over 3 years ago, I used to imagine that helpful weather was some kind of a reward, and unfavorable conditions had been sent to teach me a lesson.

I don’t know if this sprang from some kind of Hollywood myth, or classical mythology, or just from my own confused psyche, but I had this notion that if I could just figure out what it was I was supposed to learn from my present circumstances, then everything would suddenly be transformed, the wind would change direction, and I would be whisked on my way towards my goal.

Of course, weather doesn’t work that way. This was brought home to me in one pithy phrase delivered by a massage therapist in Antigua, while she was trying to alleviate some of my post-row aches and pains. She said that when something bad happens to her, she asks herself, “Does this have my name on it?” Sometimes it does – and there is a useful lesson to be learned. And sometimes it doesn’t.

So now I’ve learned not to take weather so personally. It hasn’t rearranged the laws of physics for my personal enlightenment. It’s just doing what weather does.

And this is a very long way of saying that – today – the weather has been a bit of a pig. I have rowed for 10 hours, 10,000 strokes – same as yesterday, same as the day when I did 38 miles, close to my personal best – but today I have achieved a measly 16 miles.

I used to get very bent out of shape about this kind of thing. My mood index was almost a precise reflection of my day’s mileage. But what can I do? Sure, it’s a bit demotivating to work so hard for so little result. But it’s not my fault. It’s not the weather’s fault. It just is as it is. Sigh.

And the best thing about weather, as with most things, is that it changes. Eventually.

Crave of the Day: ice cream. I was listening to Barack Obama’s “The Audacity of Hope” and he talks about how he and Michelle went to Baskin Robbins on their first date, and how their first kiss tasted of chocolate. This brought on daydreams (no, not of kissing Barack Obama) but of ice cream sundaes with maple pecan ice cream, bananas, and chocolate fudge sauce. Ooh, and maybe some nutty sprinkles.

Rave of the Day: Carob Energy Nuggets, bought for me by Lorrin Lee from the Down To Earth healthfood store in Honolulu. Honey, sunflower seeds, carob, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, cashews and peanut butter. Very good indeed. In fact, would be nice sprinkled over an ice cream sundae (see above).

[photo: yesterday I promised you a picture of the small fishy escort party that has congregated under my boat. And here it is – sorry it’s a bit blurry. They might defy identification. But they are most definitely fish.]

Special hellos to:

– Dogmouse33, teacher in Pearl City, and all your students. Aloha!

– Laurey Masterson, who runs a carbon neutral catering company and restaurant in Asheville, NC – FANTASTIC!! What a great example – keep up the good work!

– And everyone else who has posted comments on my blog. I can’t read them directly, but Nicole is copying and pasting them into an email and sending it to me daily – lovely to know you’re all following me and wishing me on – thank you!!

Today’s weather:

Wind: 5-10kts, SE-E Sea: swell increasing, 4-6ft, from E Intentions: have been pointing due south, rowing parallel to swell – not fun, but trying to mitigate W drift

Weather forecast:

Easterly trade winds slowly increasing tomorrow and increase to the 20kt range by June 4th. Forecast below is for SWerly course at 30nm/day. A Serly route (180 deg T) is preferred. Date/Time HST Wind kts Seas (ft) 01/1800-02/0900 E-ENE 7-12 3-4 02/0900-03/1800 E-ENE 12-17 3-4 03/1800-06/0900 E-ENE 17-22 4-5


  • I think being constistent with your rowing and sleeping will bring the results you desire. The heat will actually help your muscles stay loose without cramping if you stay hydrated. The fish following the boat is great company.

  • Kids say hi and asked if you saw dolphins while you went swimming outside the boat. That's all they talked about while I gave them a bath. Told them if Roz can find time in her busy day to take a dip…they too have to do it with gusto! Keep on chugging, you're making progress.


  • Roz .. (Nicole) is there a description somewhere of your plan for this voyage? What currents, what winds, general shape of the route you hope to take. That wold be a very interesting read. All the best and good luck!
    – Jeff

  • Roz – I am gripped to your updates. My mum sends her love and says she doesn’t mind popping over to play some party games to keep you going….after her last effort I said probably not 🙂
    On the 16 vs 38 miles….remember you are 16 miles nearer ….whether you get 1, 16, 38 miles in a day…you are still closer to that dream.
    Ice cream is waiting for you with a cool glass of beer for you and cider for me…come on babe keep on rowing we are so proud of you!

  • Love the fish photo. I get the idea the fish are your cheerleaders…same as the birds that come to visit (who leave “reminders” of their presence on the bow). Perspective?

  • 16 miles isn’t too bad. At least it’s in the right direction. I can’t imagine how frustrating it was for Olly Hicks when he spent an entire week doing circles! His updates were always very entertaining, and so are yours! Row on, Roz!

  • Ten hours of rowing for 16 miles is still much better than 10 hours at a job that leaves you feeling like you’re serving no purpose. Even on days when you get blown backwards, Roz, you’re still making progress.

  • Sharing your passion for maple pecan sundaes with bananas and chocolate sauce (extra maple, please), I will swear off all ice cream until I can treat you to one myself. Loving your entourage. Sylvia is particularly fond of groupers – the puppies of the sea. Every mile counts for you, the fish, the turtles and all that surrounds you, but fair weather wishes blowing your way.

  • The stuff that you’re talking about is called “distorted thinking” in psychology, or “stress thinking”. Everyone does it, so don’t worry, but it does cause needless stress and anxiety. Specifically it’s “personalization”, where a person believes that events are because of them, what they do or think, which is not the reality. Looks like you’ve found a way to counter it with asking if the weather has your name on it. Also, I think there’s a hint of stress-thinking about “the world should be fair”. Nothing has to be fair, in reality. Another stress-thought, I’m detecting, is that “everything is happening TO YOU”, in reality, nothing is happening TO you, it’s just happening. That is a very difficult thought to overcome, because it certainly feels like things happen to you. Just a little FYI, to make your journey a tad easier. Safe travelling!

  • This may be a question you’ve already answered, but how do you avoid losing “ground” or going off course when you sleep? Is your trip planned with the currents so that even if you’re rowing you’re still moving in the right direction? This whole thing is fascinating and amazing to me.

  • Hi e – this is Nicole, Roz’s Program Director. In response to your question, yes, Roz’s trip is planned with the currents and winds carrying her (mostly) in the right direction. But weather can be a tricky thing as you’re reading from Roz’s recent posts, and it isn’t always helpful. In those situations, Roz may decide to use the sea anchor, a large parachute on a long rope attached to her boat, put out into the water, which stops her being blown too far off course.

    The sea anchor holds the bow into the waves, so they run down the sides of the boat rather than hitting her sideways-on. In 2007 when Roz lost her sea anchor, she had 20-foot waves pummeling the side of her boat, which is what led to her capsizing 3 times in 24 hours and the ultimate abandonment of that attempt. This year she has an extra sea anchor on board, just in case. It’s a critical piece of kit!

    Hope that answers your question.

    All best,

  • Roz, have been mesmerized by your adventure since I found your site. I spend most of my free time in my kayak, so can relate in a very small way to some of what you are going through. You are inspiring!

  • Roz…glad you enjoyed the carob energy nuggets. Sounds good. Now, I’ll have to get some for myself. I wish I had bought you more goodies from WHOLE FOODS MARKET and DOWN TO EARTH. As you can tell, I want you to have mostly ORGANIC food for your trip and to make your adventure as much FUN and HEALTHy for you as possible.

    I am a virtually rowling along with you. I don’t see that this is an ATTEMPT by you to be the first WOMAN to row across the PACIFIC OCEAN… I visualize you arriving in TUVALU and AUSTRALIA with huge crowds greeting your arrival.

    We will make it happen with you. We are all bringing more supporters and fans worldwide to visit your site and videos to give you all the virtual support you will need to make this adventure of a lifetime happen. As least for me, I am sooooo EXCITED for you, ROZ. You are truly an inspiration.

    Warmest Aloha from Hawaii,

    Lorrin Lee

    P.S. Mahalo for being YOU.

  • I am trying to invent a "Personal Weather Bubble". You know one that fits over you and you can dial in your very own weather ~ such as for our bash North along the Baja Coast: "Southerly winds at 12 knots, no swell or seas, flat calm water, 80 degrees outside and 82 degree water". When I get it dialed in, will send one your way. 😉

  • Hi Roz, this quote is from Ocean of Dharma Quotes of the Week which came right after I got your blog post "Does this have your name on it." Loved the insight in that post. Thought this was interesting and related:

    Shared karmic situations fall into two subcategories: national and individual karma. An example of national karma is that you may be born in a particular country where you always have to relate with 7-Elevens, take-out pizza, and badly made cars. You end up in certain environments or worlds, but you cannot totally blame that on yourself. The whole country is made up that way.
    The second subcategory is individual karma within national karma. For example, if the sewage system in your neighborhood is not good, that karma is particularly and personally yours, in a sense, because the pipes keep breaking and costing you a lot of money and effort. Another example is winding up with a bad teacher who gets grumpy because he is poorly paid by the school system. On one hand, that situation is not your fault; but on the other hand, you did end up in that particular school. You have a television network, but you have your own personal TV with which to tune in, and you also choose your own particular station. It's very simple. Environmental and individual karma complement each other; they feed each other.

    From Chapter Five, "Perpetually Re-creating Suffering," in THE TRUTH OF SUFFERING AND THE PATH OF LIBERATION, pages 56 to 57.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *