As I enter the final 500 nautical miles to Tuvalu, I will be counting on
some good fortune – and some seriously hard work.

Just a very quick update tonight – really just to let you know I am
still alive and rowing like a woman possessed. As Ricardo put it, the
next few days are “mission critical” – if I am going to make it to
Tuvalu, I need to make the most of the relatively calm conditions
prevailing at the moment to try and make some progress back to the east.
So I will have to spend longer hours at the oars – around 16 hours a
day, not including time for meal breaks.

This was quite challenging today. The good thing about calm conditions
is that there is little wind to push me the wrong way. The bad thing
about calm conditions is that there is no wind to cool me down – and at
one stage this afternoon I seriously started to worry about the
potential for heatstroke. The sun was shining intensely, and although
most of my body was in the shade of the bimini (sun canopy) I could feel
the heat scorching my shins. And I was glugging water like it was going
out of fashion – certainly not like a woman with a not-yet working
watermaker.

But now the sun has set and it is a lovely night for rowing. The
crescent moon is keeping me company – as is a bird that has taken up
roosting rights on my aft hatch for the night. I feel well, and am
rowing strongly. I’m only taking this break now to recharge my GPS. So
far this voyage I have confined the GPS to the cabin, but as I enter the
final 500 nautical miles and steering becomes more critical, I’ve taken
to placing it near my rowing position so I can see more accurate
information about my actual course than my compass alone can provide.

It’s also very motivating to see the miles ticking away on its little
screen – and with a tough rowing schedule ahead of me, I’m going to need
all the motivation I can get.

So I’d like to ask you, my dearest Rozlings, to continue to give me your
support and encouragement during this final countdown. I’m afraid I
won’t have time to respond to your comments as I have done in the past –
all non-rowing activities are being curtailed – but I will be reading
them nonetheless. Keep me in your thoughts – and send me some good
vibes, good weather, and good wishes!

Weather report:

Position – as on RozTracker
Wind: during the day mostly 10kts, ESE-ENE. Since sunset, no wind.
Seas: 3ft swell from E
Weather: some scattered cumulus, but mostly clear skies

Other notes: as at 8pm, combined effect of wind + swell + current
resulted in a SW drift of 1.0kts, resulting in a westward movement of
0.6kts when not rowing.

32 Comments

  • 8/25/09 00:35 tweet: ocean incredibly dark since the moon set. still rowing…

    Yes, take advantage of the “cool” night sans sun light … too bad the moon left your company.
    Your tweet was posted just a little over an hour ago, and shows you to be at -0.169933, 179.103
    Your previous 18:12 tweet sacre bleu, it’s hot… also shows -0.169933, 179.103
    In fact, your last GPS on RozTracker was posted at 13:26 8/24/09 and shows -0.169, 179.102

    Surely, you are moving and not paddling in place as the numbers would have us believe.

    Until you find a couple of reliable GPS satellites down under, we are in the dark as to your position and progress through RozTracker, so perhaps you could take frequent short breathers to cool down — if that is possible — at least rest a few so you don’t get heat stroke and tweet the long lat on your display. The tweets get through, but the automatic GPS stamp is frozen in time.

    For me, I need to see the numbers to know your progress … RozTracker has raised my expectations for breadcrumbs and lowered my tolerance for “darkness.” Unfortunately, the equatorial protuberance is not enhancing your visibility.

    In any event, whether we see you or not, we are behind you pulling that spiritual oar with you to Tuvalu.

  • Wow, only 500 miles to go! *drops into a dead faint at the very thought of it*. Luckily it’s you and not me at the oars. I’ve been following your blog for a few weeks now, and am very excited to see the end of this stage of your trip in sight (if 500 miles counts as ‘in sight’!). You go girl!

  • In observing Roz over several years I’ve seen a number of tough challenges that she has risen to. This seems the most physically audacious. I don’t know if this is true but at times she appears to kick into a higher gear. I noticed this when she was finishing the Atlantic and when she was approaching Hawaii. If she’s able to come close to her target it will truely be a remarkable feat. Her body, winds and currents will cooperatively place her somewhere in that ocean. Where her mind resides is her real choice.

  • Well, I am off from Oregon for two weeks of rowing surfboats with the south Florida lifeguards. Will certainly have you in my thoughts and sending good karma. Fair Winds and following seas. Keep here spirits high and her body going ROZlings. Smile even though everything is aching!

  • A quote upon which to meditate:

    “When we know eternity, we know the real meaning and span of life and we are made alive so that we can partake of the divine nature which is our birthright as well as our heritage. This knowledge comes to us as we give of ourselves freely to the present moment. It means that our mind must be focussed on the eternal now, looking back neither to the past that cannot be altered, nor peering anxiously into the future whose vicissitudes can neither be predicted not controlled. This does not imply an improvident way of life; it means living in the full intensity of the present, using all the gifts with which we have been endowed, and bestowing them without reserve on the world around us now. It means living so perfectly in the moment that we and the moment share a common identity; so that we and the world are one” (Martin Israel: pathologist, Christian priest and theologian).

    One day at a time, one hour at a time, one moment at at time. Go for it!!!

  • We know you can do it! We are all pulling for you! I was wondering why you row during the day in the heat. Surely the GPS can guide you just as well at night?

  • Roz, you can do it! Keep your positive attitude and (as you always say), just take it one stroke at a time. Since defending my dissertation I have moved and started my first job as an assistant professor. My hard work in grad school is paying off, and I know yours will too!

    P.S. I included the following in the acknowledgments section of my dissertation: “I wish to acknowledge the positive influence of Roz Savage, whose perseverance and fortitude I greatly admire.” I will send you a pdf of this when you’re back on dry land. 🙂

  • We’re cheering for you here in Canada!!! Go Roz GO!! The kids and I check your blog every day to see where you are. And we talk about ways we can reduce our own footprint on the earth too!
    Way to inspire 🙂

  • Go Roz! You are an inspiration to us – best of luck rowing in the awful heat and hope that the nights stay clear for you to make some headway!

  • You’ve been so generous with your responses to individual comments on this journey. I think we will all be very understanding during this crucial time in the voyage. Mental energy is just as important as physical energy during this stage while your decision-making skills have to stay sharp no matter how hot or tired you get. I know you can conquer this challenge. Frequent breaks during the hottest time of the day and plenty of water intake, please.

    JeffC: Roz’s deck is taken up mostly with rowing seat and rails and other gear, so there’s no place for her to really relax out there, and inside the cabin is like a steam locker during the hottest part of the day, so she has written before about preferring to keep going during the day. Here on the equator she may decide on something else, like not rowing, but doing other necessary, less exhausting chores during the worst sun. We’ll see.

  • Roz,
    The goalline is in sight. You can finish this race. We know it and you know it. May fair winds be at your back and smooth seas ahead of you.

  • Hi Roz, You are on the final run in to Tuvalu, it has been a plod but keep plodding/rowing. Yesterday I went out and bought new water bottles the plastic ones are being recycled! If you have any speaking engagements here in West Yorkshire after your row I hope to be there. Take care, praying you get there soon and safely.

  • Dear Ms. Savage,
    I am what you folks down there call a “Good Vibe” (we’re a little more imaginative than that Up Here, but that will do for now). Actually, a number of us Good Vibes have been following your courageous adventure ever since you left Hawaii, but certain of us weren’t supposed to actually talk to you until you had crossed the Equator. (Don’t ask me why – to our Vibes’ way of thinking, you folks’ seafaring stuff often seems really pretty weird.) But congratulations on the crossing!
    In any event, we understand you’ve asked your “Rozlings” (what??) to send you some of us, so I’m one of your team. Our Travel Orders say we can be close with you all the way to Tuvalu, which is really exciting! What a privilege to be able to help get you there!
    So, to make the best of me and the rest of your Good Vibes Team, please just take a few moments now to relax and get centered. Then gently close your eyes. Now just let your (very!) active imagination envision us Good Vibes surrounding you . . . positive energy 24/7 (whatever that means?), pleasant dreams, fresh cool water (we’ll turn that into beer for you in Tuvalu), and the most comfortable, refreshing, and restorative sleep ever.
    Strong rowing and sweet dreams, Ms. Savage. – your Good Vibes Team

  • Hi Roz,
    I am sending you all of my good rowing energy from my desk in San Francisco at Friends of the Earth. I have been following your efforts online since the Blue Vision Summit in D.C. and am pulling for you to get to Tuvalu or your island destination of choice. Good luck and congratulations on becoming a Shellback!

  • Dear Roz;
    You know well that the doing matters only while you are doing it. It’s the having done it that lasts the rest of your life. Your Atlantic crossing was hellish for a lot of the time, but you grew from it. Pacific Stage 1 was comparatively easy. You knew, before you started, that Stage 2 would be the least predictable and that you would need all your inner strength as well as the support of thousands in order to succeed. You have plenty of both so of course you will succeed: you allow yourself no alternative.
    You are always in our prayers.
    John & Patricia

  • Hi Roz,
    In my county we have a publicly run recycling program. I signed up for it today. We’ve been accumulating our plastic trash for a couple weeks now. Hope we get the kit soon…trunk (boot for you Brits) of my car is getting full.

    Also, I am riding my scooter today, and often.

    Keep your head down and row, Roz…

    Rozta’ Bill

  • You are fully in charge, Roz!! Go girl, Go!!!! And here is a Japanese proverb positive vibe for you: “Fall seven times, stand up eight”.

    Drift west seven times, row east eight!

  • Roz, When you get within sight of your goal, it’s easy to become so eager to reach it that you become discouraged at any delay, any setback. What’s important now is to *forget* the goal. Keep doing what you’ve been doing, covering those remaining miles one oar stroke at a time. Looking too far ahead won’t get you any closer to Tuvalu. The hardest thing to do in your situation to stop thinking. Just relax, and keep up the steady effort. Trying too hard will only get you hurt — mentally or physically.

    You will get there. You **will** get there. Relax, take a deep breath, and listen to some soothing music or a funny book. We’re all pulling for you… for you and *with* you.

  • “Roz’s Impact On Me Continues”
    Last weekend, I went to my usual beach, S. Ponte Vedra Beach (Atlantic Ocean) I usually walked as far as I can far from anyone. On my way in, I saw a while plastic bucket, a detergent soup container. I made a mental note where it was. I planned to pick it up on my way back. I did, I filled the bucket with anything plastic that I saw. Bottle water caps, bottle water, gallon of milk (with spoiled milk), and more plastics of all sizes and colors, 12 aluminum beer cans. I put the cans in the recyling bin on the parking lot, the bucket with the plastics in the trash. I was a little embarassed when people studied what I was doing but my shyness went away after I got rid of it. I’ve always wanted to participate in beach clean up days but because they always starts early – I never got the chance. Last sunday I run my own clean up campaign.
    I would never would have done that if I did not found rozsavage.com

  • Antonio Honrado reminds me that I do an annual pick-up of trash on my usual daily exercise route. It’s amazing how much accumulates in this rural community in the SF Bay Area; fast-food wrappers, bottles, cans, paper tissues, plastic bags, etc. Occasionally I get compliments but more often passers-by give me strange looks as if I am, perhaps, doing it as a punishment for some infraction. I do it on a Thursday because that’s when they put out their trash and I can dump my collection in with theirs!

  • Row Stroke Ripples

    The Beach Boys sang of good vibrations,
    Doug says the “Vibes” are now part of your crew.
    Your strength and your level of clear dedication,
    Will let you succeed at whatever you do.

    You are the ripples in a very large pond,
    And the end to this quest shall not last very long.
    But your impact on those who look, see and listen,
    Will make lyrics for life in a non-ending song.

    Jerome Blackman 8/25/09

  • Let not imagination
    Rule your expectations.
    Astonish yourself
    With your progress.

    You are never alone.
    Other’s prayers
    And hopes
    And blessings
    Are with you
    Always.

  • Ricardo could close haul it to Tuvalu handily.. your southerly progress has been very labored the past couple weeks. With Hilda 10-11 days off your tail, and the Gilberts only about 100 westerly ,,, Tuvalu might be too much to chew with oars,, all things considered. Best wishes and good luck.

  • Go Girl Keep breathing you are doing great. assume choice go for it. I too put in lots of 16 hr still have energy to share just not 90 of them in a row. i will keep checking in with you a few times a day. Dale

  • 93 Days and still going strong! I have been following your blogs throughout and what a journey you have had. You have a great writing style which is awesome as we are literally able to share the journey with you through your words. Keep rowing lass! And continue being the inspiration that you are. We’re all very proud of your achievements 🙂

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