Early 2010 is a busy time: speaking engagements, a new eco-mission to develop, and an expedition to organise, pending my departure for Pacific III on April 15.

I do miss writing blogs about the state of the world and general musings on the meaning of life, the universe, and everything. And I will come back to my meaningful meanderings in due course. Truth is, there is a lot of musing going on, and much concern over the state of the world, but my thoughts are still gestating and I don’t want to go public prematurely. But the gestation period must soon end, as I’ve got a number of speaking engagements coming up so I need to have my act together. To continue the birthing metaphor, this baby is overdue and it’s time to induce.

Yes, my halcyon Hawaiian period of quiet contemplation (mixed in with a few interviews and business meetings) is about to end. Tonight I head for colder and higher climes in Colorado for the Vail Symposium. I’ll be doing a couple of TV interviews and a school presentation too – all in one day. Thursday Feb 4 is going to be a busy one.

More details on the Vail Symposium (lecture and after-party) available here.

Then up at the crack of dawn the next day to head to San Francisco for the San Francisco Ocean Film Festival. I’m starting to feel like quite a regular at this event, but this year will be a first, in that I actually have a film to show. Rowing The Atlantic will be screened on the afternoon of Friday Feb 5, followed by Q&A with me and the filmmaker, JB Benna of Journeyfilm.

Lots of other amazing aquatic films being shown too.

Presidio Yacht Club, Fort Baker, Sausalito
Presidio Yacht Club, Fort Baker, Sausalito

On Saturday Feb 6 I will be giving a brunch-time presentation at the Presidio Yacht Club, the point from which I embarked on my solo row from San Francisco to Waikiki in 2008. I set out at midnight, although it was getting on for 2am before I managed to clear the Golden Gate Bridge when the “slack tide” proved not to be quite as slack as a rower might have wished. It seemed like forever that I was looking up at the underside of the GGB, trying to get clear. The ecstasy of crossing that hurdle had me whooping and cheering like I’d crossed the finish line, rather than the start line of a 2,500 mile row….

Anyway, I hope that my presentation will not be a similar feat of endurance. The event starts at 10.30am, at the Presidio Yacht Club in Fort Baker, Sausalito. The presentation itself is free of charge. Brunch will be available at a cost of $10. The Rear Commodore is talking big talk of spinach quiche, fruit compote, sticky buns, juice, coffee, etc. If you would like to partake of this fine repast, please email marktishler@aim.com. Books will be on sale afterwards for purchase and signing. Presidio Yacht Club presentation details here.

On Sunday night I’ll be meeting one-time resident of Kiribati, J Maarten Troost (author of Sex Lives of Cannibals), for dinner in Monterey, courtesy of Ocean Champions director David Wilmot and his wife Maureen. Maarten was a source of helpful information last year, when it became apparent that I was going to land up on Tarawa in Kiribati rather than my original target of Tuvalu.

After that I have a few smaller presentations at schools, book clubs, etc, pending a two-night gig for National Geographic in Seattle, on March 22-23.

National Geographic Endeavor
National Geographic Endeavor

And the grande finale to my early 2010 speaker series will be a presentation at a special, one-off, ocean-themed TED in honour of Dr Sylvia Earle. A year ago she made a heartfelt plea on behalf of the oceans (watch the video here), and it won the TED Prize. So in April, a five-day TED conference focused on the many facets of the ocean will take place on Lindblad’s National Geographic Endeavor in the Galapagos Islands. Talks will be promoted through TED.com with a call to policy makers and citizens alike to create more marine protected areas. Although attendance on the ship will be strictly limited, all the presentations will be made available online afterwards. I’ve pushed back my departure date from Kiribati in order to be there.

Galapagos, oceans, TED – an invitation I simply couldn’t refuse!

Other Stuff:

I’ve been busy beefing up the Adventure section of my website. I was getting a lot of FAQs from aspiring ocean rowers, adventurers, and journalists, so it seemed best to put it all online for general reference. Not quite finished yet, but even now you’ll find some new stuff under the Adventure drop-down menu at rozsavage.com.

Just over 3 days left to go on the auction of Copenhagen memorabilia in the Savage eBay Store. For things such as a limited edition Climate Express umbrella, the baseball cap I wore for the walk from Big Ben to Brussels (which endured all kinds of weather but still glows as orange as ever), and a commemorative pack of United Nations playing cards, each with a personal story, check it out soon!


  • Sylvia Earle! MAHALO for sharing her speech at TED… she has passion
    that is wonderful and with others, like you, Roz, and people that are
    able to make a difference for this AMAZING EARTH, maybe we can make it possible to change for positive… GO ROZ… GO SYLVIA! GO EARTH!

  • Hey Roz hope to see you this evening in Vail lots of Questions need to get email contacts of children in Kirabati Sending good energy for your big day in the Rocky Mts Barbara Rose and Ursula

  • Wow, Roz, you have been (and are being) busy! I recently read Sex Lives of Cannibals (all due to your landing up there instead of Tuvalu) and thoroughly enjoyed it, so I envy you your meeting with J. Maarten Troost. Please tell him his readership has been boosted by at least one because of you. A funny and insightful book! I miss your meaningful meanderings, and hope all goes well in the run-up to Pacific III.

  • Oh, I am SOOOO bummed. I missed out on the auction of your hat! As you know, I’m still planning that 200 mile walk across England in Summer (and it’s a HUGE challenge for me to be getting into shape for it — as a weight loss of 50 pounds is still necessary!) and I’d have loved to be wearing YOUR hat as I meander up and down the fells — as you’ve been the one most inspiring in terms of my commitment to DO it (AND it’s bright orange, so I’d be spotted easily if I should tip over one of those spiky peaks and had to be found)!. Suppose the “you snooze, you lose” adage applies to me here. REALLY bummed. Serves me right to not stay up on your blog postings daily!

    [SHAMELESS PLEA TO HIGHEST BIDDER: Don’t suppose you could be induced to pass the torch of Roz’s B2B walker’s hat onto this walker, could you? Well, I said it was shameless!]

    On another note, Roz — your schedule sounds intense but wonderful. I do hope you are finding benefactors along the way, as your travel, etc., expenses must be quite intense. (You know if I hit the lottery, I’d be one of ’em, but on this legal assistant’s salary, a benefactor I cannot yet be.) But it appears as if the Life of the Universe is providing for you so far!

    I’m now officially BACK to daily reading of your blog. I don’t want to miss a thing from here on out — until you glide into Australia.

    Safe travels — and as I like to say, “Angels under the wings” …

    xx Naomi in NY

  • Hi Naomi – i am so sorry that you missed out on the baseball hat. We do have a couple more BB2B caps – not the one that I wore, but unused. Would one of those be acceptable? I’d love you to be able to wear one of our caps on your Coast to Coast walk!

    Another option is that I have several caps that I had with me on the boat. They are not orange, but they have many ocean miles on them. Might one of those work for you? Let me know!

    (and btw, luckily for now my travel expenses are not too great – travel from SFO to Colorado was paid for by the symposium in lieu of a speaker fee. No progress on sponsorship moneys so far – various irons in various fires, but no $$$ as yet. But I’m keeping the faith – and working the network – so hopefully it will come good soon!)

  • Hiya, Roz

    Thanks for your empathy re: my missing out on the auction for your BB2B hat, and yes, I’d love to $scoop one of your ocean caps instead (providing you have a slightly larger-than-average head OR it’s adjustable!) tee, hee. I love that your caps from the boat “have many ocean miles on them” . . . even better to have on my head as I schlepp across northern England — since your ocean row was a WAY lot tougher than your BB2B walk, it’ll inspire me onward (hopefully!). Just don’t send me the L.L. Bean one I gave you (w/ the little light in the center). If you can (but only if it suits you and you’d like!), I’d love for you to wear THAT one on your final leg to AussieLand. No pressure, tho. 🙂

    I’ll email you soon … about the hat and also about taking you up on the offer to connect w/ your sis for a few pointers/pitfalls regarding her experiences while walking the C2C.

    Happy travels, Roz! Thanks again for the generous offer to share one of your historic caps avec moi! You’re a sweetie, for sure.


    PS: Just re-read your post, and I think I’d like one of the unused B2B hats as well. It would be wise to have an orange hat just in case I hit some heavy fog or something! I’ll email you soon.

  • oh … your invite to be part of the 5-day TED conference on the Endeavor sounds amazing, Roz. I’ll be picturing you making some awesome connections whilst there; (We just never know WHERE the support comes from, right? Our “job” is simply to believe THAT it is coming; the “how” is the hard part, so it’s good we don’t have that part to figure out. Just keep taking inspired steps … and it’s looking like that’s exactly what you’re doing.)

  • Hey Roz, My girlfriend and I will be passing through Hood River and staying at the Best Western there on Sunday Feb 14. Would be my pleasure to buy you a beer in their lounge and have a chat if you are still planning on that Hood River stop in your itinerary. I expect we willbe in the lounge between 8:30 and 10:pm. If you are in town stop by.


  • Oh dear, Roz, clearly you are now more than “nearly famous”! Being recognised at a busy airport and selling 4,000 tickes already for Seattle – the event still more than a month away – you had best get yourself a large pair of Ray-Bans and be ready for the inevitable autograph hunters.

    We who can’t be at Seattle will be with you in spirit, knowing that you will wow the audience (and maybe conjure up a substantial sponsorship or two).


  • I came across these words from Chief Seattle whilst browsing for a beginner’s yoga class here in NYC … and they brought tears to my eyes. Roz … I cannot help but think that this courageous and visionary man’s soul and your own resonate deeply — w/ you heading to Seattle soon, too!

    “The President in Washington sends word that he wishes to buy our land. But how can you buy or sell the sky? The land? The idea is strange to us. If we do not own the freshness of the air and the sparkle of the water how can you buy them?

    “Every part of this earth is sacred to my people. Every shining pine needle, every sandy shore, every mist in the dark woods, every meadow, every humming insect. All are holy in the memory and experience of my people.

    “We know the sap which courses through the trees as we know the blood that courses through our veins. We are part of the earth and it is part of us. The perfumed flowers are our sisters. The bear, the deer, the great eagle, these are our brothers. The rocky crests, the juices in the meadow, the body heat of the pony, and man, all belong to the same family.

    “The shining water that moves in the streams and rivers is not just water, but the blood of our ancestors. If we sell our land, you must remember that it is sacred. Each ghostly reflection in the clear waters of the lakes tells of events and memories in the life of my people. The water’s murmur is the voice of my father’s father.

    “The rivers are our brothers. They quench our thirst. They carry our canoes and feed our children. So you must give to the rivers the kindness you would give any brother.

    “If we sell you our land, remember that the air is precious to us, that the air shares its spirit with all the life it supports. The wind that gave our grandfather his first breath also receives his last sigh. The wind also gives our children the spirit of life. So if we sell you our land, you must keep it apart and sacred, as a place where man can go to taste the wind that is sweetened by the meadow flowers.

    “Will you teach your children what we have taught our children? That the earth is our mother? What befalls the earth befalls all the sons of the earth.

    “This we know the earth does not belong to man, man belongs to the earth. All things are connected like the blood that unites us all. Man did not weave the web of life, he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself.

    “One thing we know our God is also your God. The earth is precious to him and to harm the earth is to heap contempt on its creator.

    “Your destiny is a mystery to us. What will happen when the buffalo are all slaughtered? The wild horses tamed? What will happen when the secret corners of the forest are heavy with the scent of many men and the view of the ripe hills is blotted by talking wires? Where will the thicket be? Gone! Where will the eagle be? Gone! And what is it to say goodbye to the swift pony and the hunt? The end of living and the beginning of survival.

    “When the last Red Man has vanished with his wilderness, and his memory is only the shadow of a cloud moving across the prairie, will these shores and forests still be here? Will there be any of the spirits of my people left?

    “We love this earth as a newborn loves its mother’s heartbeat. So, if we sell you our land, love it as we have loved it. Care for it as we have cared for it. Hold in your mind the memory of the land as it is when you receive it. Preserve the land for all children and love it, as God loves us all.

    “As we are part of the land, you too are part of the land. This earth is precious to us. It is also precious to you. One thing we know there is only one God. No man, be he Red Man or White Man, can be apart. We are brothers after all.”

  • Naomi – wow. I’m speechless. I’ve just finished reading Chief Seattle’s words and am close to tears. A profound truth, so eloquently expressed. Thank you so much for sharing that with me.

    This is exactly what we need to remember. I think we do still know it on some level – but we have forgotten the complete interconnectedness of humans and Earth. We kill it, we kill ourselves.

    There is nothing more important to know than this.

  • Ahem. Apparently the quoted speech attributed to Seattle above is in dispute. Upon further checking, it seems there is controversy over whether the purported transcriber of Chief Seattle’s speech, a Dr. Smith, did not embellish it a bit, rendering it not quite so “authentic” from the tongue of the Chief himself. Also, Smith didn’t publish it until 30 years after the date of the speech! So whether or not these are his actual words, or merely a paraphrase of them, I’m now not quite sure. This I know, though: They are true!

    As you suggested, I’m having Carina send me the “Row Hard – No Excuses” hat and am thrilled to bits, regardless of the sweat stains it may have! Seems the “NO EXCUSES” part just spoke loudly to me — I SHALL be doing the walk (had been toying w/ postponing it as I’m not feeling fully fit to go the distance; but it’s 6 months away, and I can do a LOT in 6 months … if I have the will and take it just “one stroke at a time”!)

    Bye for now … Naomi

  • Hi Naomi – I did do a little bit of checking, which is why I included the word “allegedly” on my blog, and also included a link to a discussion of the authenticity. But I agree – they are noble words, no matter who said them!

    And shhh about the baseball hat. Now everybody is going to want sweat stains! 🙂

  • Say Roz. Here’s a thought for you. (‘Cause I would like one of your hats too). Get a bunch of hats. Wear one a day. Sell ’em for $100.00 (I’d pay that). And make some $$.

    I know, just one more thing to fill your day.
    But it’s funny how people will respond with this sort of thing.

    Anyway – I feel jittery with excitement when I think of you getting geared up to go for it again. Wow!

    Laurey in Asheville
    (and I mean it – I’d love a hat.)

  • Great idea Laurey. In fact I just handed over about half a dozen hats to my eBay store organiser, Carina, and we’ll be putting them on the store in due course. Sweat stains no extra charge! 😉

  • Hi Roz,
    Just finished your book today, very nice read. I was cross country skiing on the snow covered frozen lake today and the propelling ski pole strokes reminded me of your rowing for hours at a time.
    Good Luck in whatever you attempt.

  • Roz I found this quote yesterday while cleaning my office…”It is easier to sail many thousands of miles through cold and storm and cannibals than it is to explore the private sea, the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean of one’s being.”Henry David Thoreau from his Journals You are one on the planet who has had the courage to do both …a tip of the hat and heart to you.Barbara Rose Hope you are well

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