Ahem. Today did not go quite according to plan. A couple of days ago I alluded to a scheme that was developing, with details to be announced soon. Today I was rather overtaken by events. So I apologize enormously if you have already heard this news from another source. The Rozling community should be the first to know, so I am seizing this first opportunity to get online to tell you what happened, and hope that you are hearing it here first.

The situation was this: after rowing 350 miles, with all my loops and turns I was still only about 100 miles from Fremantle and about 20 miles from the Australian coast. This was not a surprise – it was equally difficult getting away from the coast of California at the start of the Pacific row. But in the meantime it had become apparent that the locker containing my watermaker was not watertight. During that rough weather a week or so ago, the locker had flooded. This also happened during the departure from California, and I know from that experience that watermakers do not like being swamped. They tend to progressively deteriorate until they grind to a rusty halt.

So…. as I was still only 20 miles from land, and had 4,000 miles to go, and didn’t fancy having to hand-pump water for 2 hours a day if my electrical watermaker failed, it seemed sensible to return to port to pre-emptively head off the watermaker problem. I reckoned I could come in to shore, get the watermaker moved to a drier, safer location under the sleeping cabin, and then be on my way. I had asked June to stick around in Australia for an extra week to help coordinate, and she was on the case.

The coast here is liberally dotted with reefs and rocks, waiting to ambush the unwary ocean rowboat. So we decided, in the interests of safety, that I would come in at the earliest opportunity. So today I took a tow in to the coastal town of Leeman with a crayfish boat called Point Break.

However, this mundane little stopover for maintenance turned into rather a drama. The first clue came when a news helicopter turned up overhead as I was being towed in. As I arrived at the jetty in Leeman (pop. 300) a fair proportion of the town was waiting for me, as well as several camera crews. I don’t know how the word got out, but get out it certainly did. It was all very embarrassing.

I actually felt quite bad for the news crews. Headline: “Ocean Rower Stops For Boring Boat Maintenance”. It must have been a quiet day for news. And it was the Anzac national holiday too, so all in all, if it was a quiet little stopover I was looking for, I couldn’t have picked a worse day.

My host, Don Ferguson, his granddaughter, me, and Sedna, in Leeman, Western Australia

Yet, even though I would have preferred a low profile, the people of Leeman have been wonderful. All and sundry mucked in today for the rather complicated operation of getting the boat out of the water and onto a flatbed. (I had to close my eyes during this. It was touch-and-go whether the boat would come up, or the crane truck would go in. Visions of truck landing on boat and both going to the bottom of the harbour.) Tonight June and I are staying at the home of Don and Margaret Ferguson, my boat is on a trailer parked at the front of their house, and tomorrow we will drive her up to Geraldton. The plan is to get the work done asap and be on my way in less than a week.

So there we go. That is my news. Not really worth the 3 helicopters and numerous reporters that covered it. They say that all publicity is good publicity, but all I wanted to do today was demand to know why they weren’t covering the really big story: “Human beings render planet uninhabitable for their species”. Now THERE would be a headline worthy of the name.


  • This part of the planet will be rendered unihabitable for the Australian species if we keep getting small vessels lobbing up on our coastline with occupants who share little or no respect for anything other than their own egos. Enjoy the publicity (I am sure you really do) and the hospitality. I am sure you will be back soon.

  • Hang in there Roz, better to get the equipment fixed now. Is there anything we can do to help? Danny & Bron (& Tabby)

  • Roz, after the work is done, will you be leaving from Leeman? Will you be getting towed back out to the point where you were towed in?

    Instead of moving the watermaker, wouldn’t it make more sense to fix the leak in that locker compartment?

  • Hard luck, Roz – I hope this makes you more motivated and determined than ever.

    You are an awesome inspiration to rowers everywhere.

    I shall be watching, listening and wishing all your future voyages are met with the very best of luck x

    • Good move Roz…”water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink”!..is not for someone with the guts and tenacity you have.
      Hope you are on your way soon.
      David Church

  • …to row another day…

    Perfect Valor is to do, without a witness, all that we would do before the whole world. Francois de La Rochefoucauld 1613 – 1680. Translation… No shame in being smart, with or without on-lookers 🙂 We’re proud of you. Besides, being the top two percent of ocean rowers… One bon voyage party is not good enough 🙂 Row Roz Row!

  • Vince you poonce, are you serious? You actually belive the shit you are dribbling? Get a life, get a grip and try not to get jealous of people living their dreams and having a go. Unlike your pathetic little life journey your on.

  • Royalty such as yours should never stoop so low as to address us commoners in order to prevail your snobbery. Especially when rendering not only a lack of empathy but also a lack of knowledge. Back to maturity and etiquette school for you my master. Your true social graces begin to surface and you speak of a culture willing to distamce ourselves from you.

  • Roz, good call, wise move, improve your boat, savor your new friends, their community, strengthen your spirit and in short time you will be back underway as strong and determine as ever! Enjoy the Papparozzi >ll<

  • Come come friends. There will always be naysayers in life. All who truly understand Roz and her amazing mission know that she will press on regardless.

    Regarding those who would speak negatively of Roz, remember what my grandfather once told me – “never wrestle with a pig…..you’ll bot get full of mud and the pig will like it” :)))

    • ACG, Agree Completely!!! But, I guess I am always hopeful that people spout nonsense because they do not hear themselves being nonsensical… And that if you point it out to them, SOME of them MAY then “hear” themselves before they speak – having learned from their mistakes as we all should – and be better for it in the long run… In other words, I hope people are just mildly deaf rather than stupid, and that if people speak up, the hard of hearing will appreciate their new found understanding of the world…

    • Being well known has it’s dips, Roz… Some of them are dippier than others 🙂

      Taunts are the favorite tools of cowards and fools…

      Row Roz Row!

  • Roz, if the water maker got wet, replace it. We both know that salt water, metal and electricity do not mix well. IMHO the unit will not be reliable. Over time it will corrode then malfunction.

    Fair winds and calm seas Roz.

    To other Rozlings, don’t feed the trolls.


  • Vince, You now give new meaning to the words, “Down Under”… You truly are – not sure what rock you climbed out from “Under”… And as I said in response to another equally stupid comment a few weeks ago, Food For Thought… You say, “…respect for anything other than their own egos…” You SURELY have no respect for any Ego other than YOUR own… Who went out of their way to get on the computer, to type a hateful note, professing their superiority for not wanting (self) publicity (in YOUR case)??? There is an important saying that we learn in elementary school – if we make it that far… “It is a wise man who keeps their mouth shut when they know nothing of a subject, And a fool when they open their mouth and remove all doubt!” Thanks for opening your mouth – so to speak – and removing all doubt… My guess is that everyone who knows you thinks of you as a fool – now they have the world’s company…

    On a lighter note, Roz, No worries… The ocean is very unforgiving even to things designed to be there – Boats, Rigging, Equipment and the like… Having grown up on the ocean, This is one of the reasons I am so concerned about Ocean Based Wind Energy Farms – The cost of maintenance could be a killer. I have done LOTS of research on this for my “Bucket List” project – The Free Wind Project… Sorry, I digress – I guess I was trying to get Vince to see past the end of his protruding mouth… Anyway Roz, You made the right decision – from my Ocean experience… Nurse your wonderful craft along, and she will thank you with a safe, and now continuously record setting voyage for the environment that she enjoys too – in spite of bumps and bruises along the way…

  • Unbelievable. Roz is the current epicenter of eco-awareness and while no person or cause is without its defects, I dare say the good that has been accomplished in even this one aborted row far outweighs the drawbacks. _Attention_ is exactly what is required at this juncture in the earth’s history and Roz has redirected it for thousands to matters that matter most. How pitiful of you to be so small.

  • Good move! It’s tough making these kinds of calls, but being able to do it swiftly and efficiently is the mark of a professional. And you’re a professional at what you do. Get the watermaker moved, and even replaced if you think there’s a chance it might malfunction because of the exposure to water. And get that compartment sealed, so it doesn’t leak. This is one of those little annoyances, that could have turned into a big annoyance two or three months from now. In all actuality, the gods were protecting you by having this come to the forefront now. So, make an offering to the gods in thanksgiving (they seem to like Larabars, like when you crossed the equator), and keep going. 🙂

    Rico (Rico = TAFKARIA. The artist formerly known as Richard in Austin)

  • Roz, you once said that if it were easy more people would be doing it! I can’t imagine the physical and psychological riptides you must persevere while doing a row. Onward and upward.

  • I always admire the excellent choices you make. Keeping the bar high!

    “… all I wanted to do today was demand to know why they weren’t covering the really big story: “Human beings render planet uninhabitable for their species”. Now THERE would be a headline worthy of the name.”

    Good on ya, Roz ❤
    Continue spreading ripples
    and the tide will turn

  • Roz, Good operational decision!! Sometimes a retreat is a good idea to regroup and then charge (well, row) ahead!

    Besides, you can stock up on FRESH FOOD again… see, there is part of the silver lining!

  • Just the sort of naysayer tomyrot i expect from weak t*&ds like you! Leaving the couch would be the Big Adventure to you. Always knock what you are too timid to do. Oh yes. This woman is doing it for a worthy cause not just herself. How much have you raised to help others eh?

  • Roz. Take no notice of the knockers. Get the boat fixed and press onward. You will prevail. My friends and I had to turn back from an expedition due to bad seas conditions but we have rescheduled for another crack at it. Women like you are just what this world needs. You are an inspiration.

    • Peter, Pippa (here) and I were joking the other day about how different words and names mean different things in different countries… My friend, Randy Mann, not understanding that his name would be difficult to explain in GB – “Difficult to explain” through the giggles… Now you say, “Take no notice of the knockers”… Like Vince, some “knockers” are so difficult to ignore, that they can stop us from doing more important things – as Roz IS doing – for a moment!!!

  • Roz, it’s great that you are an experienced ocean rower and know when to switch the plans and get help so you can continue with your journey.

    Plus, if my memories of grammar school serve me right, all you need to do when you need a second take is shout, “do over” and then start again.

    We’re all pulling for you!

  • Shame, shame on you…. how would you feel if a pile of floating rubbish ‘invaded’ or as you describe ‘lobbing’ on your coastline. Hope your shameful remarks moves you to take action – get involved.

  • Hey Vince, Thats why they moan so much in WA. Have some spirit of adventure dude! Why dont you go to the Perth Now Website where all the moaners hang around! You will be in fine company there.
    Good Luck Roz 🙂

  • Tough break, Roz. But sounds like a smart move to pull in and make repairs if you were only 20 mi from land, and have repairs like that on the to-do list!
    I’m still growing sprouts, and hoping you have smooth sailing… on the ocean or in the repair dock!

  • On the bright side, you have the experience to know that trouble would be coming your way once that locker got swamped AND you were close enough to shore to come in and get it taken care of.

    Do not be shy about posting a sort of fundraising pass-the-hat if you need to replace that watermaker now and could possibly get a new one in and installed at your current location. I, and others I’m sure, would dig a little deeper for that.

  • Better to be safe than sorry Roz. I think you made the right call. I will be praying you have a smooth and quick repair so you can get back on the water.

  • He’s just trolling. People like this thrive on angry responses. If you ignore them, they move on. I actually feel pity for people like this who find joy in making other people unhappy. You have to wonder what happened in their life to make them so twisted. Anyhow, the worst thing to do is reply with an emotionally-charged response, since that’s what encourages these sad individuals.

    • You are right Eric, but let’s face it, there is some satisfaction in messing with these unhappy sorts. By standing up to them just a little bit, we are able to show them that the rest of us will push on despite their sad remarks. There will always be people who see the glass half empty while others will see it half full. You are a wise and noble man!

  • You have my support Roz, Great Job ! my only dissapointment is that I dont have the courage you have. Fantastic effort so far I hope to see you at the finish line !!

  • Wind and water can break an oar and some days even swamp a perfectly good water maker. Yet, names of a few will never hurt you. Conversely, such derisive talk encourages you and all those that support you around the world. We credit you and applaud you with always making good decisions. Row on Roz… >ll<

  • Every good row requires a solid warm up to get you started 🙂

    Good luck with repairs, and hope you’re able to get back on the water soon.

    Thanks for blogging every day! It’s nice to live vicariously through your adventures.

    – Beverly
    (Vancouver, Canada)

  • “What we do for ourselves dies with us. What we do for others and the world, remains and is immortal….”
    Albert Pine

    Keep rowing Roz, you are an inspiration to me and my family and many around the world, stay safe and make the right decisions for you and your safety !

    Julieann aka, drifterfour

  • Hi Roz,

    Don’t worry, false starts don’t count – only completions do. And reporters are meatheads anyway.

  • You whinged a lot about the fossil fuel being used up by the news helicopters. What type of fuel was the fishing boat that rescued you using? “Loving energy”. Rainbow rays? Dolphin power? Maybe your chagrin was less about the waste of fuel and more about your embarrasment at having to be towed in. Be honest. At least with yourself.

    • Mica… do you always read what you want? I believe Roz stated in her blog that she was “embarassed” by the situation… Being towed in was a decision made to protect her boat. As for the fossil fuel used by the media, that was their decision. Roz asked for a tow in. “Wars” are often won by having to succumb to counterintuitive measures. Lighten up, or call Vince and have a nice sarcastic chat about something that is REALLY detrimental to this good earth.

  • You are just embarrassed that you failed. I sure you would have felt yourself newsworthy if you had of succeeded, yet we can not only report on the successes, the failures also need to be noted or none of us would learn any lessons!

  • Vince, in case you had not read so far, Roz has already rowed across the Atlantic and bodies of water aka “oceans,” so she WILL, God willing, reach her destination, no matter how many times she has to step foot back on your lovely part of the world. And trust me, your coastline is guaranteed to remain quiet enough for you; there aren’t many people committed enough to undertake such an endeavor. So you can go back to typing sarcastic messages from the safety of your abode while others seek to make a REAL difference in the world.

  • Roz, better safe than sorry. Wishing you all the best – enjoy the break. You are inspirational, not only in your rowing endeavors, but in your spirited view of how to live: “Stop drifting, start rowing!”

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