Day 94 - new boobyAnother hasty blog, while I wait for the heat to go out of the day before starting my night’s rowing…

Today has not been an easy day. Poor old Ricardo, my weather guru, has been taking an e-bashing while I berate him via text for contrary winds and adverse currents. It is the unhappy lot of the weatherman to take the rap for the weather that he predicts – as if he had personally selected and inflicted the frustrating conditions on me.

I would normally be a bit more reasonable, but I today was tired and cranky. On the ocean I like to get into a routine and stick to it, but as I near the final stages that is not going to be an option. I will have to seize opportunities when they arise. I was rowing until 2am last night to make the most of the cooler conditions and calmer winds after dark. By the time I’d bathed and put the boat to bed, there was time for just 4 hours of sleep before getting up at 6.30 to start rowing again – and those precious few hours were disturbed by the new booby-in-residence tap-dancing on the roof of my cabin every time a swell came along. This booby is quieter and less belligerent than his predecessors (although just as poopy), but has taken up a regular position on the sleeping cabin rather than the storage cabin, so it gets a bit annoying when he patters around to regain his balance when the boat lurches.

So today I’ve been a bit discombobulated, my mood not improved by rowing just to stand still. If I was making 40 or 50 miles a day I could row till the cows come home (or should that be till the boobies roost?), but rowing many hours a day to make 15, or even 5, miles, is psychologically challenging, to put it mildly.

The other drawback with less sleep is that there is less recovery time for my poor body. In these sweltering conditions there is a significant risk of the return of the baboon-bottom rash that plagued the early stages of this row. I have two seat covers, which I usually rotate and rinse at the end of each shift. But now I am rotating them as soon as the spare one is dry, to try and avoid this very painful affliction.

So I plod on, trying to remind myself of all the good reasons to go to Tuvalu, and not to think about Tarawa, just 440 miles away straight downwind… I’ll keep the faith, and I really do believe it is all going to work out in the end – and then this difficult stage will be just a memory, and it will all have been worth the effort.

Postscript: I was psyched up and ready to row most of the night. I’d had an extra-big dinner followed by a Jocolat (chocolatey organic Larabar) and a rocking soundtrack ready on my iPod. But ze weather, once again she spit on my plans (to be said in French accent). The wind rose – and from the wrong direction. So the sea anchor is out. I’m all caloried up, and no place to go. Boo.

[photo: the new booby-in-residence]

Other Stuff:

Thank you to the Good Vibes Team and all the others who have sent such wonderful words of encouragement. Thanks especially for the reminders to stay present in the moment and not worry about the future. Very wise words. Too easily forgotten – so keep reminding me, because it is SO true. And the one part of this situation that I have control over(ish!) is my mind.

Apology: Although I mentioned them both in the same blog, I did not intend to imply any connection between my having the incorrect coordinates for Tuvalu and the transition to a new weatherman. So, in case there was any misunderstanding, I would like to take this opportunity to apologize to Rick Shema of weatherguy.com. I’d also like to thank him deeply for his professionalism and accuracy in guiding me through the first stage of my Pacific row, and thus far in the second. Thanks also to Rick and his family for all the kindness and hospitality they have shown to my mother and me during our time in Hawaii. I wish Rick all the very best for the future.

Weather report:

Position at 2220 HST: 0028.678S, 178 56.319E
Wind: for most of the day 10kts SE-SSE, now 18kts SE
Seas: 2-4ft swell SE
Weather: hot and sunny, scattered cumulus and some cirrus cloud

Ricardo’s Update:

YOU WILL HAVE GOOD PROGRESS AS SOON AS YOU FEEL THE PRESENT WIND BACKING, ALL THE WAY INTO MONDAY AT LEAST. WED WONT BE VERY GOOD AT ALL. YOU MAY WISH TO TRY THE DROGUE AND SEE HOW THAT GOES. WHEN FACED WITH 13KN FROM SE GO FOR SPEED
IF YOU CAN MAKE UP TO 210 BUT SLOW DOWN IF YOU ARE PUSHED TO MORE THAN THAT.

THU WILL BE DUE EAST MOST OF THE DAY 14KN AVG GRADUALLY DROPPING AND BACKING TO WHAT WILL BE A SUPER START TO THE WEEKEND. WIND WILL DROP TO ALMOST NOTHING ON SATURDAY AND WILL CONTINUE VERY LIGHT THROUGHOUT SUNDAY, WITH A
TENDENCY TO PICK UP FROM ABOUT 160. THIS WILL QUICKLY SHIFT TO 090 BY MONDAY AT LESS THAN 6KN. SHOULD THESE CONDITIONS MATERIALIZE AS IT SEEMS, YOU HAVE HERE ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT WEATHER WINDOWS FROM NOW TO TUVALU AND YOU HAVE TO GIVE IT YOUR ALL TO GAIN PRECIOUS METRES IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION.

EAT UP. POWER UP AND SHOW ME THOSE MUSCLES!

38 Comments

  • Just imagine, however: being stuck in a poorly lit office, silently detesting your boss, and wondering what the value of your actions might be. That would be far worse! Every stroke you make (in fact, every moment you are out in the ocean) is making a contribution to awareness of very important issues. Nothing is wasted.

  • Go Roz Go!
    Go Roz Go!
    Go Roz Go!

    (When in doubt, repeat).

    You are amazing.
    You are making a gigantic difference.
    People are already changing their opinion about 350 and you should feel very proud of what you are doing to help bring people’s awareness to this crucial topic.

    In case you forget…
    Go Roz Go!
    Go Roz Go!
    Go Roz Go!

    (Laurey in Asheville)

  • Hi Roz,
    Try to remember, too, that holding your own against the wind and seas is a victory…while you may sometimes make little progress over the ground, you are maintaining your strategy, therefore, keeping the goal attainable.

    Keep up your spirit!

    R’B

  • What makes us who we are is not the adversity we face in life but how we tackle that adversity and make our own world a better place when we triumph.

    The wind may not always be at your back and the seas may not always be calm, but remember that Johnny Depp had sails and a crew to do the hard work for him 🙂

    While you may be one woman challeging herself on the ocean, you have become a real hero and role model to many of us who are following your journey.

    We are all rooting for you and are thanful that you have allowed us the chance to be part of your journey.

    Go Roz!!!!

  • Awww, if only we could get Johnny Depp right about now. That would be a great moral booster! I believe he is into boats. A friend of mine’s father sold him a boat once in Florida. Someone on this forum has to have a friend, of a friend, of a sister, who has cousin who knows his shoe polisher. 🙂 Personally, I think David Tennant is hotter, definitely a close race. We are here for you Roz, praying and sending good vibes your way.
    Jennifer (Ft. Worth, TX)

  • It’s good to hear how tough it is. And how cranky you’re getting. This is no small thing that you’re doing. I forget from time to time that you’re R O W I N G out in a big wide ocean with currents, wind, food rations and a pooping booby. You’ve delighted us with your images of cloudscapes, whale sharks, false killer whales, barnacles — and you’ve made us feel like we were right there unwrapping Lara Bars with you.
    It’s so totally okay if we get a few grumpy words from you while you slog on doing what you do… to get you to where you want to be.
    Good luck, and remember that we’re scattered all over the globe reading your tweets and blogs during our lunch hours at work, first thing in the morning before we head out for a run and last thing at night before we turn out the lights. Whether they’re short or long… we are with you.
    Cheers,
    Susan.

  • Roz, a week ago in your Spirituality – Week 13 RozCast as a photo was displayed of you and two friends stood triumphant atop a high rocky peak, you stated you are “more of a mountains person.” So as you row, visualize a trail to the summit block. Sometimes the trail leads downward when you want to climb, sometimes the trail is steep when you want to rest, sometimes the trail makes a right turn when your destination is left. There are countless unexpected obstacles along the way, and sometimes the trail disappears. You know, you’ve been there.

    Imagine Tuvalu at the crest of the 14,000′ summit and you are now at 12,000′ (85% behind you). Breathe and relax and visualize … and by the way, serendipity or attraction will reveal another 23 carrot$ $cattered $outhbound before you by the end of the day (a mere 14 miles from your 2:38 marker).

  • Gosh what can I add…other than I am so proud of you, proud of your persistance, strength, talent…oh hell proud of everything. Just keep going, I know you must be exhausted but just keep rowing …you are not far away now. Wondering how I could help…maybe a tin of baked beans tonight for tea and then aim in your direction for a bit of propulsion 🙂

    Now row…we all want you to see you sooner rather than later 🙂

  • A question from someone who knows nothing about this sort of thing: why not Rungata/Nikunau? According to Wikipedia they have commercial air service and it’s very close to Roz’s current position. Is it too small? No hotels etc?

    In any case, keep it up Roz! This is an amazing thing you are doing 🙂

  • Not much for philosophising. I only know that the hardest part of a physical task is the getting started bit. Well your way past that bit! We know you can do it and we are behind, mentally, pushing as hard as we can to help. Go for it Roz! Jim Bell Australia.

  • Roz:

    Just to let you know that I completed, at my first try, a 100-mile bike race (in Roswell, GA). It sure is piece of cake comparing to your feats, but
    (i) given that I was in a heavy iron bike, with no biking shoes for all the uphills;
    (ii) my current almost sedentary lifestyle; and
    (iii) since my best long distance before that was only 50 miles;

    I was pretty proud of myself!

    Well, so what? So what that I thought of you during the course, and that encouraged me. The voice-over was like “C’mon, Ms. Savage is rowing solo 12h/day for months — 100-miles biking is peanuts, so keep moving ’till you cross that line!”. =)

    Tuvalu is around the corner. Keep sight of your Ithaka! 😉

    Best,
    André Branco
    Rio de Janeiro

  • Roz,

    Keep plugging along, we are all rooting for you in a big way. May the winds of good fortune be blowing your way.

    Walt of NOAA says to keep cool, put a cool wet fresh water bandana around your neck. Helps to keep the carotid artery cool, thus cooling the rest of you. I’ve been wrackng my brain on how to help with getting the cool water. Maybe put some fresh water in a container over the side and let the ocean cool it down. Hopefully that is an option. Hope that helps, or just put that booby to work fanning you.

  • Would it make you feel better to know that every single person who reads your blog would hop in a speedboat, and cruise the Pacific looking for you, just to hand you a beer? …because we would if we could, and much more to make you feel better.

    You go girl!

  • To Kim, a speedboat produces CO2 and CO and SO2 as it burns hydrocarbon fuels of death. Now if all the Roz readers would do as you suggested then there would be hundred of thousands of speedboats burning millions of gallons of hydrocarbon fuels of death producing trillions of tons of greenhouses gases. I don’t think Roz would want that. Kim, just drink a few cold ones for Roz.

    Roz, watch the currents and tides as you approach Tuvalu. Also woman need to cover from the neck to the knees while at Tuvalu, it is their customs.

    Fair winds, calm and cool seas Roz.
    Jer

  • Roz, well it looks like today is a unexpected — but well-deserved — day of rest.
    Relax, catch up on the paperwork … let your mind and body mend, then …
    Row like nobody’s business when the wind subsides …

  • Dear Roz;
    In about 1950, on a Boy Scout exercise lasting 3 days, I navigated alone across the Brecon Beacons (in Wales) armed with a map and compass, a tiny tent, raw food and a box of matches. It rained solidly the whole time but the rules required that I light a fire and cook at least one hot meal each day. I was forbidden any contact with local people. It’s the sort of thing we did in those days. With prior knowledge of what it would be like I would probably have postponed the trip until the weather improved, but then the sense of achievement would have been less. What helped was that I was never entirely sure where I was or how much farther I had to go, no idea what the ground would be like under the next step or how I would find somewhere to pitch my bivvy.
    My point is, Roz, that you may have too much information about where you are and where you have just been. If you knew only which direction you should point your bow, you would have less to worry about and could concentrate only on the moment.
    Remember too that your achievement is the greater for the difficulties that you overcome.
    Having had the priviledge of assisting you in a small way I am frustrated at being unable to do so now, except to assure you of our admiration and support.
    John & Patricia

  • If it was easy no one would pay any attention. Think of the hardship as dues you are paying to reel people in and get your point across. If you were just sailing across the ocean in a comfortable sailboat, no one would follow your progress. It is the self imposed hardship, your willingness to sacrifice for a cause that you believe in that speaks to people and draws them in.

    We want you safe and sound, you have given enough but ever day will add another TV station or newspaper article to the list of people covering you. Every day more emailed links of your progress get forwarded. If you had been done on day 60 I would never have heard of you and I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to pass your story on to my friends.

    Today someone is hearing about you for the first time, tonight they will read blog entries for the weeks gone by, tomorrow they will send links to their friends and the process will start all over.

    We want you safe and sound but every day you are out there is another day your cause gets heard.

  • Jer and Kim, donating the funds that are the equivalent of a cold beer (or 12) is even better!

    These are the days when you’re really earning your stripes, Roz. And now you not only have all of us Rozlings and Roztas following you but the citizens of Tuvalu pulling your toward them!

    Doesn’t rough weather usually presage a change? I’m hoping for a fantastic NW wind for you. And cooler temps ahead.

  • To Jer: “…woman need to cover from the neck to the knees while at Tuvalu, it is their customs.”

    That is very exaggerated. Women often wear tank tops and shorts or even short skirts, especially the young ones. Most common they wear wrap-around “sulus” or sarongs like most Polynesian islands. Perhaps it is not the best thing to walk around the village in a bikini especially on Sundays, but going for a swim, no problem there.

  • A LIMERICK

    There was a young girl, not a Yankee,
    Who lived on a boat, not too swanky.
    She went slower than a sloop,
    Boobies covered her with poop,
    And all of this made her quite cranky.

    I would be too. 🙂
    You’re doing great!

  • You have followers in your oar strokes. KatieSpotz is using Twitter, facebook, etc. and rowing Africa to S. America to promote safe drinking water. Oh, there is more, Laura-Dekker facebook, 13 year old wants to sail solo around the world, But the Dutch Council for Child Protection is so concerned about the dangers of the marathon voyage it has asked a court to grant it temporary custody of Laura so it can do what her parents refuse to.
    See what you started?
    Just kidding, but the above is true. You are an inspiration to everyone. I’m just too lazy to walk the 3/4 mile to Lake Erie to through a line in.
    Hang tough and keep rowing.

  • Roz faces a decision and I realized some time ago that she deserves not to be characterized. Most of us so called “Rozlings” do this. I’ve followed her almost daily since she left LaGomera and I’m no Rozling. She sets herself up for these situations. I looked at the quikscat surface ocean winds before she set out and didn’t believe that Tuvalu was possible with her bodily strength. But I’m not a physicist. Erden Eruç passed well south of Hawaii and Roz is now well south of where he was at her present longitude. He wasn’t able to cross the equator for another 35 degrees of longitude. (Though it was a different time of year.) It is remarkable where she is at. Whether strength or luck it is yet again memorable for me.
    But where is she at? Hers is not a row in the present to an indefinite future. We all could do that if rowing and siting were our only choices. She has starvation, thirst somewhere in her. Pain and heat more present. A laugh, a scream more present still and duties to the memory of people, and anticipations! Oh, the anticipations! Here and now is brilliant if one can do that. You will in the moment forget the goal, the memories, most things human. Or in the moment, think of the goals or think any one of a billion things. The world is way bigger and flexible in our heads than in our ocean like world. Yet even that is still the here and now.
    I’ve never admired her courage or her causes, but simply that she is and that I am more than myself, for a moment, through her. And she’s not unlike any of us who take a risk and then plays the game of living. She may be like the ocean, you just can’t tell it what to do. Her own force, but so are we all. A creation of our own seeking and we of hers. Whatever way, it is still delightful having stumbled across her visible wake.

  • 500 miles to go at 20miles/day. Wow, that’s 25 days. We are at the countdown aren’t we!! You are really doing it Roz, keep it up. Stroke…Stroke…Stroke… Do you have skirts to wear at the islands? I’m sure you can buy them cheap. Don’t paddle up in your shorts, wrap something around them to respect their customs. I should’ve mentioned it when you visited in Feb. -Sindy

  • By the way; it looks as if Roz’s cocoanut has drifted into the Northern Hemisphere and back to yesterday, so it seems likely that she will beat it to…wherever.

  • Hello, Mz. Roz.
    I am Bradley Booby, one of the ‘determined’ Boobys recently trained at the famous Booby Training Center on Tuvalu Island. In fact, finding you out here now that you’ve crossed the Equator (Congratulations, Shellback!) is actually my Final Booby Training Exam. Now I can graduate and start looking for rowers all over the southern Pacific!
    I’m sorry I kept you awake last night – my boobiest of apologies! But I wasn’t really dancing on your cabin top, I was tapping out a message to the Training Center’s Communications Center, both to tell them I had located you and to establish my GPS location for setting up my return course to the Center.
    Having sent that message, I’ll try to be much quieter tonight. So, sleep well and restfully, while I keep a diligent lookout over our area of the Pacific. Ciao! (Yes, they do teach us a variety of languages in our Booby Training. As proven by my present location, you just never know who you’re going to meet out here!) Güte Nacht, ünd Schlaffen sie güte! – Bradley Booby

  • I’ve rowed an 8 meter boat and 800kg of gear into an unrelenting wind and current, it is quite depressing to put in 36 hours of hard work only to make 18 miles of headway. Changing tactics is not quitting. Tarawa is nice this time of year. You will succeed regardless. You already have.

  • Hiya Roz,

    First of all — a huge congratulations for crossing the International Date Line AND for crossing the Equator. Whoo, woo! They are both HUGE! I had the hair stand up on end when I read that day’s post! 🙂 I loved reading about how giggly thrilled you were to open your little bag of prezzies from the girls — picturing you w/ your multicolored necklace on and tippling the little champagne bottle … and being the cheapest date in town (that was cute). Thanks for the photo too. (I must confess, I also love that buzz one gets from drinking vino — or champagne — on an empty stomach).

    You seem to be genuinely tired these days … and I feel for you. Too bad my mere feeling doesn’t help you a whit, tho. (Deep sigh.) YET, you plow on. Do you KNOW how amazing and courageous and strong that is?! Do you know how seeing you DO that leaves me with my mouth open in awe on this end of your keyboard? I really felt for you when you described that “burnt to a crisp” scenario … feeling practically baked alive in that relentless sun due to the stillness of the air … all whilst sitting on the “mirror” that is the sea.

    Roz, what is constant in all that you describe in your ebbs and flows, day in/day out — i.e., your FANTASTIC posts (thanks for those, Roz … they’re powerful, some of the things you write!) — what is constant in what you write — that the elements (sun/sea/air) are both relentless and yielding; lovely and loveless; powerfully poignant and monotonously mundane, etc., etc. — What is constant is YOU! YOU are the constant. YOU! — in all your Spirit-inspired glory … Spirit-infused strength … Spirit-revived joy and … Spirit-endowed peace.

    YOU in all your glory … rowing across the Pacific to make a difference. A huge difference. Don’t ever doubt that you have and are doing just that.

    We love you, girl! And I’m rooting for Tuvalu (I also am glad you’re aiming there … and going to LAND THERE TOO!) I love your resolve to go into these last 500 nautical miles w/ the determination of an ‘eco-gladiator,’ for heaven’s sake! Knowing you’ll need all your strength to row w/ clarity, focus, purpose … and an even more accurate geo device and so you let us know you won’t have time to write us. Of course that is ok — although I’ll miss your wisdom-packed missives terribly. You do what you gotta do to hit Tuvalu!

    Thinking of you — praying for you — sending you hugs and also some cool breezes, even if only in my mind … perhaps somehow over the miles it will translate into the real thing!

    Try / Triumph. Difference between the two: the “umph”
    Spirit-empowered Roz = the “umph”

    Naomi in NY

    ps: “But ze weather, once again she spit on my plans.” Spit right back at her, Roz. (I know, easy for me to say.) But just try it. Try it w/ gusto.

    pps: I’m doing my best to WILL that damn booby right the hell off your floating home. Hope I have some success.

  • Oh, Roz: how you keep your wit and perspective remains a source of wonder for me. Cheering you on and always awed by your aplomb and the way you tell the story. And don’t you love what your admirers shine your way? You’re lighting a path for many and I love staying tuned to you here. Sending cheer, encouragement, and love…missing you. xo xo e.

  • Richard … your limerick is fantastic!

    Maybe you can tutor me … here’s my crack at one. (How can I not give it a shot w/ grandparents from Counties Mayo and Longford?)

    There is a fair lassy named Roz
    Who’s rowing the sea for a cause
    A cause worth all of the ups and the downs
    All the smiles of triumph and the heart-breaking frowns

    Yes there is a fair lassy, a Brit
    With incredible ‘hutspuh’ and wit
    Who’s inspiring us all to risk ‘running the falls’
    And who’s name, I declare, means “Don’t Quit”!

    LOVE AND HUGS TO YOU ROZ, BABY!

  • Hello again, Roz … just can’t seem to get rid of me today, eh?

    I found a typo in your post; and being the “grammar nerd” that I am, I feel almost an obsessive compulsion to correct it: You wrote that you were feeling “discombobulated,” I believe you meant to write, “discomboobulated,” no?

  • Roz, I just returned from pedaling my bicycle from Seattle to San Fransisco. This is nothing compared to the feat you are now undertaking, but, it was a big challenge for me! I just want to thank you, for the motivation. Every uphill climb or headwind I faced I could look out into the Pacific Ocean, and think, this is NOTHING, Roz could do this without breaking a sweat! I’m sorry to say however, in full disclosure, I did a couple of times motivate myself by saying “at least my bum isn’t THAT red”!
    I was, while planning this trip, honestly not sure if I could make it. I however, quashed every doubt by reading your blog, and remembering all the challenges you have faced, and conquered this year!
    Our loving thoughts may not seem to push you along very far, think more of them keeping you afloat! Thank you Roz!

  • Tuvalu is like Makapala, Havi, Kapauu very peaceful. not much infrastructure but arriving from the ocean – Roz will kiss earth the second she steps out of her boat. Lucky few will see this event in Tuvalu.

  • I have a passion for birds. I have had a turtleneck dove for well over 15 years. I call him my angel for that is what he is to me. I am mesmorized by how he is always in sync with my vibrations. The reason I call him my angel is that he is so connected with “Divine energy”. Most animals are, most human beings are not.

    When I encounter birds or animals I consider them messengers. Messengers sent by “Spirit”. The messages are communicated through their animal “spirits”. Each and everyone one of them are truly unique in nature.

    I was interested in knowing the unique attributes of the booby (which I never heard of before reading this post) perhaps there is a message in it. Upon recieving the message perhaps it will go where it came from.

    Quite frankly I found it rather interesting….

    Boobies are large birds with long pointed wings and long bills. They hunt fish by diving from a height into the sea and pursuing their prey underwater. Facial air sacs under their skin cushion the impact with the water. Boobies are colonial breeders on islands and coasts. They normally lay one or more chalky-blue eggs on the ground or sometimes in a tree nest.

    Their name is possibly based on the Spanish slang term bobo, meaning “dunce”, as these tame birds had a habit of landing on board sailing ships, where they were easily captured and eaten. Owing to this, boobies are often mentioned as having been caught and eaten by shipwrecked sailors, notably Captain Bligh of the Bounty and his loyalists, during their famous voyage after being set adrift by Fletcher Christian and his mutineers.

    Five of the six extant Sulidae species called “boobies” are in the genus Sula, while the three gannets are usually treated in the genus Morus. Abbott’s Booby was formerly included in Sula but is now placed in a monotypic genus Papasula which represents an ancient lineage perhaps closer to Morus.[1]
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Booby

    Perhaps a response from Neptune?????

    Some authorities consider that all nine species should be considered congeneric in Sula. However, they are readily told apart, by means of osteology. The distinct lineages of gannets and boobies are known to have existed in such form, since at least the Middle Miocene, c.15 mya (Olson 1985).

  • Hi Roz,

    You are amazing!!! Go for it!! I know there ist a wonderful cool drink waiting for you in Tuvalu – and nowhere else 😉

    I send a huge pack of good vibes over to you.

    Greez

    Claus

  • Grammar nerd? Not nerdy enough apparently, since “who’s appears in my limerick instead of “whose”! tee, hee. (But only a nerd would correct it, so the description is apt.)

    Hey, I’m watching a bio show on Bethany Hamilton, the gal who came BACK to compete in surfing after losing her entire left arm to a shark! Another champion who refuses to quit in the face of extreme and difficult circumstances. How apt that the show came on whilst I posted my last comment to Roz. You two are cut from the same cloth, indeed. 🙂

Leave a Reply to Sindy Davis Cancel reply

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