RICARDO DINIZ3_ CREDIT SERGIO DIONISIOAs I approach the end of my third month on the ocean – and with the Equator less than 30 miles away – things are hotting up. I feel like I’m entering the final phase, as I will soon be into the last 500 nautical miles of my row, and have finally decided on the identity of Island X. In case you haven’t already watched my announcement in the RozCast on YouTube, here it is…

I am going to aim for (cue drum roll) – TUVALU.

It’s an interesting choice, that’s for sure. Bordering on the insane, some would say. Given the option to take a straightforward run directly downwind and down current to Tarawa in the west, I’ve decided instead to aim due south – across prevailing winds and currents – for Tuvalu.

So, why am I making life so difficult for myself? Well, I’d already mentioned that it would set me up better for next year’s Stage 3 to Australia. Plus, this stage of the row is all about climate change, and nowhere on earth symbolizes that better than Tuvalu, which is already being impacted by rising oceans and has declared its intention of being the world’s first carbon neutral country.

But I knew all this before, and yet was still reconciled to aiming for Tarawa instead, as I just couldn’t see how it could be physically possible to get to Tuvalu.

So what caused my change of heart? It was all due to an email from a Portuguese weatherman, with the subject line “GUT FEELING”. In the message Ricardo Diniz explained that he believes that even at this late stage, and at this longitude, I can still make it to Tuvalu.

At first my reaction was “He must be on drugs if he thinks this is possible”, but over the course of the next few days the idea took hold – not least because Ricardo is an expert on weather and ocean routing, and I trust his opinion implicitly. I first worked with Ric during my Atlantic crossing in 2006. My friend Adrian Flanagan, who was attempting a solo vertical circumnavigation of the world in a sailboat (i.e. via the polar regions) had been doing my weather forecasts for me as he sailed, but then he made some pathetic excuse, like having to navigate around Cape Horn or some such thing (??!) and handed me over to his weatherman – Ricardo. And Ricardo and I have stayed in touch ever since. He has just recently routed my friend Sarah Outen in her successful solo row from Australia to Mauritius, as a result of my referral.

So it is with delight that I am able to announce that Ricardo is now joining TeamRoz as my weather guru for the final stages of my row to Tuvalu. After all, it was he who talked me into this crazy decision, so it seems only fair that I should give him the responsibility for helping me make it happen.

It’s lucky I have such faith in Ricardo. Or else, quite frankly, I would be terrified. When I decided on Tuvalu it was before we discovered that I had been given the wrong GPS coordinates, and in fact there is even less westerly wiggle room than I had realized. To make it across the tradewinds to Tuvalu really is going to be an enormous challenge. It is a go-for-broke, out-on-a-limb, OMG-what-am-I-doing kind of a commitment. It’s scary and crazy. But it just might work. I couldn’t have a better team behind me, so we’re going to go for it.

Please give me your good luck wishes, hopes, prayers, whatever you can to help me and my team make this happen. We’re going to need all the help we can get. As I said in the RozCast, I just hope that Fortune – and Neptune – will favor the bold. Or my decision will look Loony Tune.

[photo: Ricardo Diniz at sea]

Other Stuff:

For most of today the winds have been light, but mostly southerly. A light headwind is better than a strong headwind, but still not ideal. The wind rose towards sunset and is sending me in an unwelcome westerly direction, but Ricardo assures me it will die away by Monday so I can regain some ground to the east.

Overall the day has been notable mostly for its temperature. With no wind to cool me, it has been almost unbearably hot, and I’ve been covered in sweat and sunscreen. Pheweee. Even sitting in my cabin now I am sweating away, and the wind is warm and muggy.

UncaDoug – you’ll be so proud of me. I am going to report my crescent moon sighting. I first saw it at 2010 Hawaii time, just as the sun was setting. About 30 degrees above the horizon, and a bit to the left of the setting sun. Cloud cover was about 20%. And I can see it now, from my cabin, a slender crescent just now being swallowed up by a cloud. Oops, there it is gone. I hope this is all the information you need to report the sighting. Oh, and my position at 2010 was approx 0 28.5N, 179 52E.

Laurey – I seriously wish I could turn the temperature down! Today was sweltering, and even now that it’s dark it’s still sultry and stifling. Phewee!

Joan – thanks for buying the round of drinks for Roz’s Regulars – and for the suggestions for Neptune. I’ve now got the perfect present lined up – wait and see!

And thanks to Jer, Amy, Miss Inquisitive, Meg and Chris, too, for your comments.

Walt – I like your view on my entitlement to be a Golden Shellback, but I have to take issue with you on my “downwind, down current ride to Island X”. I don’t know which Island X you are thinking of, but for sure it’s not the one I’m aiming for! Nope, I’ve decided to make life REALLY interesting for myself… check out the YouTube video for the announcement! Ah, now I’ve just seen your later comment, and see that you have. I know, I know. It’s borderline insane. But it has to be worth a try, at least….

And finally, another beautiful contribution from Richard in Austin, Texas. Richard, I don’t know what you do for a living, but if you’re not a full-time poet or lyricist, you’ve missed your vocation!

The “muse” for this poem was actually one of your posts, a few weeks ago. You brought up the International Date Line, and the environment, and suddenly this little story came into my head. I could have used a few more weeks to work on it, but asking you to “hold your position” just east of the IDL (while I work on it) was obviously an impossibility. Congratulations on your amazing progress, and on reaching the IDL!

INVISIBLE LINES

Years ago,
When we were young,
Our love burned brighter,
Than the sun.

We were in love,
And cared for the land.
And the stars and the seas,
Ate from our hand.

Our passion did last,
For quite a long while,
As I loved your humor,
And you loved my smile.

But, I loved the planet,
And you loved your things.
Our goals became different,
For whatever life brings.

I looked to the future,
And saw a green earth.
You looked at our checkbook,
How much are we worth?

I believed in the future,
What our planet could be,
I saw crisp clean air,
And a crystal blue sea.

You believed in “things”,
You wanted much more.
A procession of “stuff”,
Coming in through our door.

We started to differ,
We started to fight,
Our once happy ending,
Now in need of rewrite.

And sometimes one crosses,
An invisible line,
Things suddenly change,
And the planets align.

Without even speaking,
We know it is time,
To follow our hearts,
To recapture springtime.

I am rooted in the future,
You are rooted in the past.
I care about greenness,
You care about cash.

So now, out of love,
I must go my own way,
Because, I am tomorrow,
And you’re yesterday.

Bravo, Richard!

Weather Report:

Position at 2200 Hawaii time: 00 27.734N, 179 50.460E
Wind: 0-5kts, S-SE most of the day, 12-18kts E late evening
Seas: 3ft swell from SE
Weather: hot and sunny with very little cloud. Some rainclouds around mid-afternoon and again towards sunset, but I dodged the showers.

I’d also like to give a big thank you to Rick Shema of weatherguy.com for providing me with weather forecasts since my departure from San Francisco. Rick, I’m so grateful for all that you’ve done to help me get this far!

23 Comments

  • Yayy Roz. So Proud! Not just for the crescent sighting, but for the decisions and trust. You are a bold gutsy gal. For the decision, you’re going to need some beta carotene and caloric supplements. Hows about a few carrots!? Just because, your favorite number, stretching before you like the shimmering orange reflection of a moon on the southern horizon. Thank you PayPal ;-D

  • I’ve always gotten great results from gut feelings. Welcome Ricardo! And thanks to Rick. Roz, if anyone can gut through that distance to Tuvalu, you can. Stay hydrated! Maybe put “solar powered fan” on your packing list for stage 3.

  • Admit it Roz, you’re just aiming for Tuvalu to make the whole thing more exciting, having missed the tsunami adventure back in July. I’m certainly on the edge of my seat. Checking the RozTracker is becoming an addiction! 🙂

    I have faith (there’s that word again, doh!) that you can make it to Tuvalu, and I know it’s much better to focus on the positive, but one should also prepare for all possibilities. With that said, I pose this question: What happens if by chance the mighty ocean decides that you can’t get to Tuvalu? Is there a backup plan? Fiji? Vanuatu? Solomon Islands? New Caledonia? Or perhaps head straight for Australia?

  • When I was a whole lot younger than I am now, I read a fascinating book called “Alone”, about the six months Richard Byrd spent — alone, of course — in a camp beneath the ice in the Antarctic. Despite the obvious differences in temperature — I bet the thought of all that ice sounds good right about now — I find myself thinking that your journey is on a par with his. Despite all the moral support and communication made possible by modern technology, you are still very much alone, with the only person you can *really* depend on being the you from three or four months in the past who prepared for this day. It’s harder to put that sort of faith and trust in yourself than it is to put it in other people, because you know that person so very well. You know her flaws, as well as her virtues. It’s heady stuff, which is why there are so few of us with the courage to follow in the footsteps of Richard Byrd … or Roz Savage.

    Take care, Roz. You are an inspiration. Even if my wife *does* think you’re certifiable.

  • Hi Roz,
    Watching the RozCast, it was clear the articulating that decision was a very clear illustration of “leap of faith.” It is so bold and courageous of you to demonstrate your absolute commitment to the cause of elevating awareness of the world of crap we have gotten ourselves into with our unsustainable living. I don’t believe any person with a heart could possibly consider the attempt a Loony Tune.

    We will be following the closing weeks of your current adventure, praying for your safety and success, but with FAITH that you can do it!

    Rozta’ Bill

  • Hi Roz,

    Doug turned me on to your adventure, and I must say, Way To Go! At the same time, questions swim in my mind: What are you made of? Were you ever timid? How much was your decision to row across an ocean a pull toward a Big adventure or a reaction to get away from… ?

    I wish you well on your journey.

    Donna

  • Roz,
    I’m rooting for you all the way. Impressive and amazing and
    even from this far away I feel somewhat terrified for what this last
    push of your journey will bring in terms of it’s challenges.
    Bravo, for demonstrating that choosing the right path does always
    mean choosing the easy one.
    You’ve got me on the edge of my seat now!
    All best wishes and power to you.
    Jeremy

  • Thanks for the nice words. No, I don’t do this professionally. When I joined the Rozlings early this summer, I spent the first month just quietly sitting here, trying to see who was around, and how I could be of assistance to your cause. I finally decided that you had surrounded yourself with a team (and an audience) of brilliant people and professionals. But what your team seemed to need was a minstrel, a poet, a storyteller, a troubadour, a court jester, a fool. Every hero’s journey needs someone along to record the adventure in song and verse, and to entertain. So, I’ve taken that role for myself. 🙂 I am your minstrel, my lady. 🙂

    I can see it now: “Roz Rows, The Musical”.

    (Opening act, chorus sings)

    “Oh, it started at Oxford,
    With a row, and a brew,
    Who could have known,
    That she would row to Tuvalu?”

    (Curtain opens, Roz enters singing)

    “Yes, who could have known,
    That I would row to Tuvalu?”

    🙂 🙂

    Row on, Roz! You’re doing wonderfully! You can go anywhere you want to go!

  • So, I must admit that I had no idea where and what Tuvalu was. . . and therefore, feeling ashamed enough to do something about it, I looked it up! I found some interesting facts. such as:

    There are only six prisoners located there! (This is from 2002 – I couldn’t find updated information)[Source = http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/cri_pri-crime-prisoners%5D

    I also read: ” According to USA Today, the entire Tuvalu land mass, nine slender South Pacific islands and atolls, is sinking… and is apparently doomed to ultimately sink beneath the ocean. Tuvalu might then leave a legacy imagined only in science-fiction novels. It could become the first virtual nation… a country that exists only on the internet. If Tuvalu’s land disappears, its population will disperse, yet Tuvalu, under international law, will remain a sovereign nation even though its only “real estate” will be the “.tv” internet domain. As of 2004, Tuvalu had a land mass of 10 sq. mi. (26 sq. km). Nauru and Vanuatu are other South Pacific island nations. Atutuvu is totally fictitious.” [Source = http://www.funtrivia.com/en/subtopics/Itsy-Bitsy-Teeny-Weeny-Nations-Of-The-World-194920.html%5D

    I found these both fascinating! 🙂

  • Richard in Austin’s comment reminded me of the day Nelson Mandela was inaugurated as President in South Africa – he had his “praise-singers” there as part of a traditional African celebration. So welcome to a minstrel, or versifyer, or praise-singer, to cheer Roz on her way.
    My personal thanks to Rick Shema, Weatherguy, and his wife, who so kindly welcomed me into their home and their lives last year in Hawaii. So many people who have loved us, cheered us, and sent us singing – or rowing – on our way!

  • Good call, Roz. Stick to Plan A. You would really regret it if you didn’t give it your very bestest of shots. To really, really try is what is required and that is what you are doing! Love and prayers, x Will

  • Another interesting website is http://www.tuvaluislands.com/. It features maps of all the islands at the same scale which illustrates how vulnerable they are to rising sea and sinking land. Geologically they are extremely vulnerable whatever happens – such atolls appear and disappear very rapidly in geological time scales. It will be interesting to watch them over the next few years as sea-levels get lower if, as seems likely, the polar ice-caps increase. Meanwhile: GO ROZ!

  • Hi Roz,

    I first heard about your row from a Leo LaPorte podcast while you were on your way towards Hawaii and I’ve been closely following your progress on this leg.

    Just wondering, out in the middle of nowhere do you have to deal with any bugs?

    Thank you for trying to get people focused on climate change!

  • Talofa Roz!

    Tuvalu is the best choice Roz! They need all the help they can get do to global warming. My Tuvaluan wife Helena and I run the TuvaluIslands.com website from our home in Vancouver. Nicole Bilodeau has already been in touch with us and we will publicize your adventure on the the website. We will do what we can to find the best people to take care of you and your incredible rowing machine.

    Manuia! (Good Luck in Tuvaluan)

    Brian & Helena Cannon

  • Roz,

    What a wonderful role model you are and your enormous tenacity towards a worthwhile goal. I think daily of the changes that I can make, that and run around policing the waste in my household. A smirk and a shake of my head are followed by a stern rebuke of light lighting no one and water just wasting away. Weeks since I have purchased water bottles and I am going to strap reusable bags to my back when I wake in the morning. I also sell office supplies and am making a personal goal to speak to every current and prospective customer about ways to go greener in their offices.

    We are all plugging for your safe and sound landing at the island of Tuvalu. May the winds be kind and cool for your final push, or pull would be more appropriate I believe. With a spirit such as yours, there is little doubt that you will not only achieve your goal, but do so with a cheering section vast and wide. Never doubt that this difficulty you are experiencing battling the winds gives me more incentive to spread the message of saving the planet.

    Just keep rowing, just keep rowing, ala Disney’s Nemo. From your small and mighty cheering section in Harleysville.

    Lori

  • Hey, Roz!

    Michael just pointed out that you’ve officially passed from the left-hand border of our map-of-the-world shower curtain to the right-hand border… and you thought the Equator was significant! As a matter of fact, I have a birds eye view of Tuvalu every time I, um, sit down… so I think of you many times each day! Well done making the decision to head in that direction. We’re pulling for you and send lots of love and good cheer your way. xoxo, Deb, Michael, Madison, Buddy & Sallie (and the Woodberry gang).

    P.S. Remember that the Asheville house is yours if you still need a place to stay in Jan & Feb… then you could go to Laurey’s for lunch!

  • Roz, in contrast to last night’s flawless sky, this evening there is an array of clouds covering about 80% of our sky. I was about to give up sighting the crescent moon and was walking back along the path overlooking SF Bay glancing to the right every few paces — thinking how your clouds had swallowed up the crescent — when suddenly it popped into view between two layers … at 20:09 there she was in all her glory.

    BTW, in June MoonWatch reported 95 observations globally, 50% of which were positive. Typically, the monthly observations range from 60 to 150 with 50% to 90% being positive. So, yours are a very important additions to the data that is being accumulated by Dr. Bell and his group. Each positive sighting has value.

    Rozlings interested in participating may learn about the project at CrescentMoonWatch.org.
    Find your longitude and latitude at this cool website.

  • Wow Roz! Congratulations … I think! You’ve certainly chosen ‘the road less travelled’. Let’s hope it does make all the difference! To speed you on your way I thought I’d send you one of my favourite sayings. I’m sure you know this quote already, but it bears repeating.

    It’s widely (and wrongly) attributed to Goethe, and comes from William Hutchinson Murray’s ‘The Scottish Himalayan Expedition’ (1951). He does quote Goethe at the end.

    “but when I said that nothing had been done I erred in one important matter. We had definitely committed ourselves and were halfway out of our ruts. We had put down our passage money — booked a sailing to Bombay. This may sound too simple, but is great in consequence. Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way. I learned a deep respect for one of Goethe’s couplets:

    Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it.
    Boldness has genius, power and magic in it!”

    Go Roz! I’m sure that our combined good wishes and your commitment WILL help speed you to Tuvalu.

    Richard in Austin, your ‘Invisible Lines’ poem actually made me cry. Beautiful! (I’m in a sentimental old mood this morning!)

    Best wishes to Roz, Rita, Ric, Rick, and Rozlings everywhere,

    Caroline

  • Talofa(Greetings) Roz,

    I’m looking forward to seeing you here in Tuvalu.

    Way to go and may God bless and be with you in your journey!!

    Essy

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