booby poopIn the third of my reviews of Stage 2 of the Pacific row, I look at the dramas, frustrations and triumphs of life on the ocean wave. Some you win, some you lose, but at least it stops life being boring….

Dramas:

Fortunately no major dramas this time around – no doubt to Texino’s disappointment. No broken oars, no capsizes, no airlifts, no Hunks on the Junk, and alas no Johnny Depp. The ongoing Tuvalu-Tarawa dilemma was probably the major stress-inducer of the voyage. But there were a few other heart-stopping moments, such as:

–       On my first full day, trying to run the watermaker, and nothing happened. Wondered if this was going to be the shortest ocean row ever. After calming down and analysing the problem, I discovered that the intake hose had not been connected. Easily fixed.

–       Watermaker stopped working altogether as I approached the 3-month mark. But fortunately I had enough water reserves to see me through.

–       Discovery that the coordinates I had for Tuvalu were incorrect – so the chances of making it there were remote. Tarawa suddenly promoted to destination of choice.

 

Little frustrations:

–       Satphone data connection working worse and worse, and then not at all for the last week

–       Lazarus the Stereo being rather temperamental, sometimes with pauses of up to 15 minutes while he turned himself off and on repeatedly

–       Boobies, boobies, boobies. And all their noxious emissions – both vocal and, errr, well, from the other end. But the trip would not have been the same without them, and it was brought home to me when they deserted me that I had become strangely fond of my smelly boatmates.

 

Little triumphs:

–       For once, I managed not to lose my sea anchor. No hassles at all, in fact. The new cam cleats we fitted for the tripline worked a treat. Definitely a keeper.

–       Sarong used as a side extension to the bimini – reduced the temperature of my rowing position by several degrees, protected me from sunburn, and stopped the bimini from flapping in high winds. And on the rare occasions when conditions were calm enough for the deck to stay dry, the resulting shady haven on the deck was a perfect spot for a mid-afternoon siesta, with a delicious cooling breeze wafting over my bare skin. Heaven!

11 Comments

  • When you get a chance Roz, could you talk about your overall plans for the Australian leg. I’m interested if you’d aim for as far down as New South Wales. Jim Bell, Australia.

  • Roz:

    First time poster, Long time reader.

    I just wanted to say that I have daily enjoyed your descriptions of all of your little triumphs, your little frustrations, and your little dramas.

    Here’s hoping that the next leg of this journey has even “littler” ones. 🙂

    Good Luck
    Ed Janzen, Ontario, Canada

  • Only two comments today? Can’t have that – too much of an anticlimax after the excitement of the last week of the voyage followed by that spectacular welcome!

    The last time I saw Roz’s boat was in Hawaii last December and since then she has been refitted, re-corded, repainted, rewired and had some extras added on. Could we please have some details? Are the spare oars accessible now? How are the new oarlocks? What was the problem with the watermaker? (Some hints would be useful as I prepare for my possible attempt on the newly opened North-West Passage.)

    Meanwhile, thank you, Roz for doing what you do and reporting on it so well, and thanks also to Nicole for her contribution and Ian for making sure that the boat was properly prepared. Roz really needed a shore team for this leg and she certainly got the best.

    John

  • Roz, this post is generally about your tools and devices, and assuring their intended functions … with one exception. I just have to laugh that the clothing and fabric on Brocade were either stowed in your cabin or stretched, lashed, tied, draped taut … but not worn … hmmm … shaken not stirred?

    bikini stowed away
    sarong stretched taut on brocade
    tan lines thus forbade

    Sorry, I couldn’t resist ;-D

  • Roz, I’ve been disappointed about the lack of Roz national/local/BBC coverage recently. Compared with their blanket coverage for Dame Ellen Macarthur for example, you seem to be virtually invisible. Hopefully all that will change soon – who knows, even Dame Roz? Best wishes, Steve M

  • Thanks so much for the nod yesterday, Roz. You are ever-generous with your thanks and acknowledgements.

    Indeed, the casualty list for this trip seems quite tame compared to the one I found in your Atlantic row blogs. I think that says a lot about how you’ve learned by experience.

    Will you try to continue using Lazarus or put it out to pasture?

    Is the camera that went south early on definitely dead? You might be able to auction that off as a fan souvenir fundraiser.

    Have a good flight back to Hawaii today!

  • Thank you, thank you. You’re very sweet. I’m already thinking, poetically, about next year’s row. I haven’t been to Oz since I was a child, and I’m looking forward to journeying (virtually) back there. And I agree that there’s a lovely community here that needs to be nurtured. Fondest wishes to you Roz, and to all the Rozlings. I know that you especially, Roz, are going to be busy in the months ahead.

  • I just read your tweet about receiving the first copy of your book. Congratulations! I can’t wait to read it. I know it’s going to be one of those books that I cannot put down. Please keep us up to date on your book tour. Crossing my fingers that you’ll be swinging by Los Angeles on your way. *Cheers!*

  • Hey, I want you to do well! You just need to purple the prose a bit i.e. “I rowed like never before, but the Aqua-man/thing was keeping pace 20 meters behind to starboard.” “Acrid sweat burned my eyes” “but I dared not lose contact with the scaly beast that side stroked astern” “As I picked up my pace the thump and return of my slide seemed to sing the old children’s song; “Alive alive-o” “Alive alive-o” “Then, as the verse came due, he was gone” “Not a bubble or a squeak” he made “and only the dark oily sea rolled in his stead.” Now if you would just have some adventures like that my job would a cinch…)

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