Monday, May 25, 2009

Day 1: Launch Day

Today was a bit of a scramble to get things finished, but I've started
to notice a pattern emerging on my departure days. It's very difficult
to say how I feel - there is a kind of numbness that settles over me. By
this stage most of what can be done has been done, and it's too late to
push to achieve more. So I just drift through the day in a kind of haze,
biding time until the hour of departure arrives.

Having said that, there was quite a buzz at the Waikiki Yacht Club
today. My team of helpers had been on hand all day, all working hard on
boat, medical kit, last-minute purchases, laundry, technology, etc. But
at 6pm approached a new contingent arrived - press, cameras, and so on.
Tom Stone, the kahuna (Hawaiian priest) blessed my boat.

But the memories that will stay in my mind the longest are of the
departure itself. So many people on land and sea there to wish me well.
People standing along the harbour wall on Magic Island holding up big
signs to cheer me on. A flotilla of paddlers (both seated and stand-up),
sailboats and powerboats. The big media boat. The helicopter swooping
overhead to get aerial footage.

One by one they turned around and headed back to shore, and after all
the noise the silence of the ocean surrounded me. I rowed for a while
longer, and had just popped into the cabin to post a Tweet when a
familiar voice accosted me. It was Barry Pickering, Mike Marsh and Cindy
on board the Blue Lady, a small sailboat I've enjoyed some memorable
Friday nights on. A final goodbye, and then I was really alone, watching
the bright lights of Honolulu recede behind me as I rowed out into the
inky darkness of the open ocean.

I'd planned to row a bit longer tonight, but I'm bushed. It's been a
long day. So I've just had a sponge-and-bucket bath to rinse away some
of the sweat of the day, and soon I'll get my head down for a short
sleep. Conditions are calm tonight - dead silent and only the slightest
swell - so I hope I get some good zzz in between waking up to check for
shipping. I won't be able to relax until I get out of sight of land, and
well away from shipping lanes.

Just finally, I'd like to say a HUGE thank you to everybody who came
down to see me off. I didn't get the chance to say thanks and goodbye to
everyone - so please forgive me. Thanks especially those who came from
the mainland, and to Captain Vince of
the White Holly and his new wife Joanna - they got married today, but
still found time to come and wish me well. Congratulations, and very
best wishes for the future!


  1. Megan Lutz11:51 am GMT

    Bon Voyage, Roz.

    I look forward to spending the summer keeping tabs on you and daydreaming about your journey from my corporate cubicle.

    May you have a fantastic row and although it will be challenging, enjoy the personal growth that it brings.

  2. Roz, your words feed my imagination. Thanks! Pulling a spiritual oar with you. Godspeed

  3. Fair winds and tides Roz. Reat well and we'll be watching from afar but will be with you in spirit.
    Looking forward to meeting you in OZ.
    Boats on TV

  4. Anonymous2:23 pm GMT

    Good luck, Roz! Pedro Martin

  5. deeveepix3:22 pm GMT

    i can't wait for some episodes with Leo!
    enjoy the endless horizon.

  6. Wishing you a safe trip on this second part of your journey. Hope you have some inspirational music and books to listen to. Sending you much aloha and keeping you in my prayers. Hope your sleep comes easier soon.

    Love, Diane

  7. Caroline7:54 pm GMT

    Anchors aweigh, Roz! I'll be following your progress closely. Here's wishing you fair winds, calm seas, and the very best of luck out there.

    I hope all the technology holds up - and keep the sprouter going!


  8. may the god of the sea be with you.


  9. Hi Roz,

    I'll be reading your blog and tweets as you head toward Tuvalu. For info...

    Tuvalu ( /tuːˈvɑːluː/or /ˈtuːvəluː/), formerly known as the Ellice Islands, is a Polynesianisland nation located in the Pacific Oceanmidway between Hawaiiand Australia. Its nearest neighbours are Kiribati,Samoa and Fiji.

    It comprises four reef islands and five trueatolls. Its population of 11,992 makes it the third-least-populated independent country in the world, with onlyVatican City and Nauruhaving fewer inhabitants.

    Tuvalu became fully independent within The Commonwealth in 1978.

    Hey, I am learning a bit of geography...thanks to you, Roz!



  10. To learn more about TUVALU, see ...


  11. Anonymous12:08 am GMT

    I'll be following your progess. Good luck. Go Roz! Thomas

  12. Wow! This is incredible. I will be following you across the Pacific, and wish you the best of luck, if that's what one does in these circumstances.

  13. Anonymous6:18 am GMT

    Isn't it annoying when people drop in without calling? Apologies, but it occurred that you had not been wished fair winds and following seas. How thoughtless.

    It was not easy to find you two miles off shore as you were a miniscule black bump on a black sea until you turned on your light. But, as you know, we are nothing if not persistent...well...except pestering.

    Your promise to return is well remembered. We all look forward to that day.


  14. Bon Voyage Roz! May you have a safe and pleasant journey! It sounds very exciting and thank you for taking us with you on this extraordinary journey!

  15. Roz,

    Godspeed - I'll cheering all the way!
    Looking forward to the regular updates.

    Cordelia -the franco-american with a british twang ;-)

  16. The hardest part to any project has to do with over coming fears. The fanfare and the hype will segway into a quite solitude. Just live by your motto I heard on your youtube channel. just F---ing Do IT. One oar at a time and one stroke at a time.

  17. As with Stage 1, I had the honor of updating your wikipedia page with a quick sentence about the launch. You definitely deserve more content there.

    Bon voyage, and Godspeed!


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