Woody the Skateboarding Pirate

You know how immunization works? You are exposed to a little bit of infection so that you don’t get the full-blown illness? Well, I suppose Woody is my pirate immunization. I’m taking a little pirate so I don’t get a lot.

Woody has been loaned to me by my good friend Mariya, who I first met in Peru when I was looking for a climbing partner. It was actually Mariya’s hostel roommate, Mo, who replied to my advertisement, but Mariya came along for our acclimatization climb of Mount Pisco. When Mo went down with altitude sickness, it was just Mariya and I who reached the top of Mount Pisco with our guide. We both found it tough going, but slowly, slowly we made it, regularly reviving ourselves with our battle cry of “A las ninas!”

It was a formative experience, and Mariya and I have stayed in touch ever since.

I saw her a few times last month when I was attending the International Marine Debris conference in Hawaii, where she now lives and trains as an acupuncturist. On the last evening that I saw her, she told me she had something for me. She delved in her bag, apologizing for not having wrapped it, and pulled out a small object. “Hang on,” she said, “there’s another bit.” More delving.

Turns out the first object was Woody the pirate, and the second object was….. his skateboard. Obviously. Where would a pirate be without his skateboard? Makes perfect sense actually – if you have a wooden peg leg, I suppose a skateboard is quite a good way to get around. Especially if you stick to it magnetically, as Woody does.

Woody travelled around the world with Mariya for a year, and kept her safe from harm. I’m hoping he’ll do the same for me on the Indian Ocean this year.

Other Stuff:

More work on the boat today – still packing, sorting, arranging. I seem to have more food than ever this year, so much that I’m finding it difficult to find appropriate storage places for it all. I’ve probably got enough for at least 6 months, so running out of food is at least one thing I don’t need to worry about.


  • A Great Good Luck Charm! Maybe affix him to the bow someway, or at the top, upper most edge of the cockpit so that any Pirates who even think of approaching see that you are Pirate friendly – at least to the point? My grandfather was a Chesapeake Bay Oysterman for many years – had one of the last Chesapeake Bay Schooners – The Mattie Dean… Her wooden masthead told the history of 100 years at sea – Woody could do the same for you and your friend if you did this… I just had to sell the Mattie Dean’s masthead, but with $2 Million in coma related medical bills hanging over my head, I had no choice… But the B&B I owned – Named The Mattie Dean, One of my sweet Goldens – named Mattie (at my feet at the moment), and my post comatose memories of the ship, my grandfather/namesake, and the masthead’s “history” are what is important… Just like what you are doing, Dear Roz!

  • Thanks Richard, Roz and Mariya for your haiku inspiration …

    ahoy pirate charm
    widest oceans lofty peaks
    masthead watchful eye

    Safe Rowing, Roz

  • Roz, for me, haiku is infectious. Hope you don’t catch it.
    The thought of Woody accompanying you inspired this …

    a little pirate
    he hopes you care for woody
    charm goes a long way

    Row with impunity, Roz!

  • Hey Roz, This will date me a little I guess, and I am sure this was an ad in the U.S. only, But when I was a child we had just one phone company, AT&T, and they had an ad that said, “Long Distance, The Next Best Thing To Being There!” You have thousands of people who are with you by “Long Distance”… Not sure it is the “Next Best Thing”, but it might be “Best” in this case – Your boat would be a bit crowded if we were all there “Visiting” instead of being with you by “Long Distance”…

    • Richard, I remember it well … and well … how’s about “The next best thing to NOT being there”? It works for me … you? Roz’s blogs are the best front row seat to an incredible, suspenseful and educational adventure. AND she is organic, interactive and expeditious ;-D

      Row resoundingly, Roz

  • From the photo he’s actually kind of a cute little guy, bordering on dapper with the neatly knotted and pressed white kerchief. His eyebrows are out of control, and he could use a nose–but otherwise he looks good to go!

      • That’s why WE didn’t mention it!!! Chuckle!!! Please keep your mind on what you are doing, Rather than Pirates without Trousers… Chuckle Again!

  • I am sure someone has already thought of this… “Color” is my business – having been in the Rare Gem & Jewelry biz my whole life – specializing in “Colored Stones”… And my major in college was Marine Biology… I am a bit concerned as to what Roz’ beautiful, purple boat will look like through the blue, green waters of the Indian Ocean… Many fish are attracted to bright and rich colors… Never seen a boat her color – it is beautiful, but never having seen it, or a fish’s reaction to it, a little concerned as a result of this unknown… Probably stupid, and like I said, her experts have studied this I am sure…

  • I love you both! Sorry I missed you at the conference, I only got to go to one workshop but it was awesome> Mariya is pretty awesome too, the universe put together too fabulous people. Aloha on your voyage and mahalo for all your wonderful works!! xxoo Colleen Kudo/Becausewesurf.com

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