Have found a few minutes between appointments in San Francisco to post a swift update before I disappear off to Burning Man. I am being told that the Burn experience will change my life. I thought I’d changed it quite a lot already, and I like it as it is right now, so I’m not sure how much this would be a good thing. But I am going in with an open mind – although not so open that my brains fall out.

Talking to the students in Bolinas

I rounded off my time in Bolinas with a talk at the school there. The students were a fantastic audience. When I asked them what they wanted to be when they grew up, we had an aspiring author, a marine biologist, and a boy who wanted to study otters. I went on to say that when I was little, I’d wanted to have a big adventure, and it took me a long time to figure out that a big bushy beard is NOT a prerequisite for being an adventurer.

Adventurer: beard not required

Over the weekend I was in Monterey for the Blue Ocean Film Festival – a wonderful opportunity to catch up with Mission Blue TEDsters such as Jean-Michel Cousteau and his daughter Celine, and Dr Sylvia Earle, as well as many other movers and shakers from the marine community. I thoroughly enjoyed the one film I managed to see between networking events – 180 Degrees South, featuring some classic lines from the say-it-as-he-sees-it founder of Patagonia Clothing, Yvon Chouinard. Also some gorgeous cinematography. Recommended.

With Jean Michel Cousteau, and a model "Sedna" made by Stan Miller

I was delighted that the prize for “Best in Festival” went to Michelle Hill and “Bag It“, a film about the perils of the plastic bag. Great to see that this issue is getting the exposure it needs. Myself, I was a proud recipient of a blue marble, for random acts of ocean kindness – for the significance of this, see the Blue Marbles website.

On Sunday I gave a brunch presentation in Portola Valley, an informal start to my speaking tour, and a great chance to catch up with friends old and new – and to do a short training ride with the other member of “Team Roz” in the California Climate Ride, Angela Hey. Thanks to Angela for hosting a wonderful event (and the super-healthy yummy salads!) at short notice, and to everyone who came – particularly all those who contributed to the Indian Ocean fund.

Yesterday I went for a hike on Bradford Island, an ecologically sensitive area an hour’s drive and a ferry ride east of San Francisco. Paul Valva organised the day – many thanks to him for the guided tour, and the explanation of the vulnerabilities of the area. The special guest of the day was Cynthia Ong, who I met for the first time when I was campaigning with her in

With Cynthia Ong of LEAP

Malaysia against the opening of a coal-powered electricity plant. It is one of the perks of my “job” that I get to meet some particularly inspiring and impressive people – and Cynthia of LEAP is high on that list, so it was great to see her again, and continue our discussion about saving the world. Hey, it’s a tough job, but someone has to do it! 🙂

Tonight I leave for Burning Man. My justification to myself for taking 4 precious days away from writing my book and preparing for my speaking tour is that I think I can learn a lot at Burning Man. As well as looking forward to the outpouring of art and creativity, I’m fascinated to see how this temporary, money-less, self-regulating community functions.

My blue marble. Despite appearances, it does not have flowers growing out of it!

Oops, have to run. I have an appointment. Even (or especially) ocean rowers have to go to the dentist sometimes!

I will be taking my satphone to Burning Man so I can tweet. I will let you know how it goes!

PS Update for Event at San Diego October 7th – URL for the event: hors/


  • Hello Roz,

    I’m sorry we missed getting together during your short stay in Bolinas, however I am confident that we shall make it happen in the not so distant future.

    You probably have friends going or meeting up with you at Burningman, however just in case… …I have for many years been intimately involved with the Firefighters and Medics at “FIRE STATION 3”. My radio call sign is “Hawkeye”. Just look for the folks wearing the Emergency Services yellow shirts, and introduce yourself.

    I strongly encourage you to ask for Kate Gonnella RN MSN (Medical Branch Chief of Operations), who is a very dear friend of mine. Someone on duty with a radio, can track her down for you. She is an amazing woman, and I am sure that you will find a kindred spirit in her.

    Also, ask for Ben and June Thompson — the Fire Chief and his wife. Besides being one of the leaders of Station 3, Ben and June are the backbone, heart & soul of the STATION 3 community. Ask them to show you around (don’t forget to check out the firefighter’s bar, which is a big cool dome, with even cooler beers), AND tell them that “Hawkeye said he would be really really tickled, if Roz could watch the burn from atop one of our fire engines come burn night”.

    And last but not least, give them all a Hawkeye hug for me.

    I know you will have a fantastic time, Roz!

    With love and grace, Markus

    P.S. Drink LOT’S of water! Chug, don’t sip!

  • Oh wow! Bradford Island is less than ten miles away from me! Too bad I didn’t know you were coming my way. I’ll have to explore that island myself sometime. Have fun @ Burning Man!

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