Thursday, June 04, 2009

Day 11 - Sense and Sustainability

Today I was listening to the audiobook of Cold Mountain, overall not the
most cheery of books, with a pretty dark view of human nature and an
almost ridiculously tragic ending. But I really enjoyed the passages
where the urban Ada is learning from Ruby how to manage their
smallholding, working with the rhythms of nature to ensure the success
of their crops and livestock. Ruby has acquired her knowledge from her
elders and her own observations what works and what doesn't. She simply
knows How To Live, how to work the land in a sustainable way.

One day, maybe, I'd like to have my own smallholding – it must be
wonderful to feel self-sufficient and self-reliant, knowing in a very
direct way where your food and your water come from. I'd need a Ruby (or
a Ruben), though, to show me how to do it – at the moment my
self-sufficiency skills extend only as far as growing beansprouts and
running a solar-powered watermaker.

I might lack the practical skills, but conceptually I think I get it.
Being out on the ocean puts me very much back in touch with the bigger
scheme of the natural world. I'm much more aware of the phases of the
moon (currently about three quarters full, waxing) and the time of
moonrise and moonset, sunrise and sunset.

I notice these things more out here because they matter. Will I be able
to see if I carry on rowing into the night? Or is it a new moon? Or is
there a moon, but it has squandered its light during the day and will
have set by the time I need it?

By contrast life on dry land seems so very far removed from the
elements. It feels good to reconnect.

[photo: After yesterday's badly behaved animal companions, here are some
much better behaved shipmates: from L to R - Quackers the duck,
Squishie the Dolphin, Quackers II (from Yorkshire), and Robin (from New

Other stuff:

I'm honored to be working with the United Nations Environment Program this
year -- and as a UNEP Climate Hero, I want to remind you all that this
Friday, June 5th is World Environment Day. If you're on Twitter, be sure
to add UNEPandYou to your follow list right away. For every follower they
get by Friday, they'll plant one tree.

Trees and forests play a vital role in regulating the climate since
they absorb carbon dioxide. Tree planting is one of the most cost-
effective things we can do RIGHT NOW to address climate change. So
please, join me and join UNEP in this important campaign! Be sure to
check out for more information.

Today has been hot, hot, hot. The sun rose like a red ball, and apart
from occasionally retreating behind a cloud has been slowly baking me to
a crisp all day. With the wind from the East, while I aim my bows south,
it has been another long, slow day of rowing across the waves.

The other day I was asked what my perfect ice cream would be, and this
important question has necessitated lengthy consideration. My two best
ever ice cream memories are:
a) Emack and Bolio ice cream from the store on 7th Avenue in New
York – maple pecan flavor
b) A rum and raisin ice cream I once had at Henley Royal Regatta in
England, from the New Forest, I think.
With these in mind, my dream ice cream, with a suitably tropical/Pacific
theme, would be (of course) made with organic cream, and would be
studded with rum-soaked raisins and butter toffee pecans, with a swirl
of caramel for good measure.

I've been trying to think of a good name.
Paddler's Pleasure?
Pacadamia Perfection?
Too bad I don't like raspberry ice cream (put off by fake pink
flavoring) or we could create a Rozberry Ripple.
So how about Rozilicious Nut and Raisin?!

Crave of the Day: the ice cream above!

Rave of the Day: Chia and Pumpkin rawfood crackers dunked in raw
chocolate syrup made by Wilderness Family Naturals. Absolutely
delicious! Could only be improved by being served a la mode...


Wind: 5-12kts from the East
Swell: 4-6ft from the East

Weather forecast, courtesy of

Wind speeds have increased by 2kts indicating they are on
the uptrend. Easterly trades still slowly increase but should reach the
20kt range by Friday morning. As trades increase, they may be shifty
with variable wind speeds until settling down around 15-17kts.

Forecast below is for a SWerly course.
Date/Time HST Wind kts Seas (ft)
03/1800-04/0000 E-ENE 7-13 4-5
04/0000-09/0000 E-ENE 15-22 4-6

Mostly clear and sunny with a few clouds and little chance of


  1. I like raisins but not rum soaked. Pina Colada served ice cold is what I think about on a long paddle.

  2. Roz, I love the soulfulness of the connection with nature. Somehow being so immersed in technology has made this longing even stronger for me. I no longer think of it as a primitive urge but rather a primal one. You are giving us such a connection to it.

    Big hugs from one of your virtual traveling soul mates,

  3. Anonymous3:17 pm GMT

    My brilliant sis Susan came up with the perfect name for your ice cream flavor, Roz: "Rozalicious." I'm ordering a triple scoop! And I want my smallholding to be close to your smallholding. We'll share. xo

  4. Great to see the UNEP sticker, in one of your pics, and to know it is part of your daily at sea life & effort.

    Hard to believe that UNEP started 37 years ago, tomorrow, let alone that the 20th anniversary of the 20th anniversary (1992 Rio Earth Summit) will occur in 3 years!!

    Copenhagen seems set to transpire before anyone is ready... so the challenge is, as you remind us "disconnected from nature landlubbers," whether we can all pull, together, let alone in time.

    Thank you for making clear that the "impossible" is possible, once some true grit & unrelenting determination is applied.

  5. Roz, you need a rubber ducky in your menagerie ... gonna email you one of mine ... or all three ... they are paddling around on the open arctic ocean in one of my slides ;-D

  6. Roz, when you eventually get to the Big Island of Hawaii, come on over for a nice dinner on solid ground.

    devany, Hilo, HI

  7. one more day down! Your daily rouitne in small boat but in a big world reminds me of my deployment to both Iraq and Afganistan. I follow you daily but I have two questions. What is your absolute favorite food...and how many audio books do you have on your ipod? (do you have a backup ipod)

  8. Anonymous6:30 pm GMT

    It's like you're camping on the ocean!

  9. I must admit, being someone for whom the smallest craft I am happy stepping on is a cross channel ferry, that I find your thoughts about ice cream quite awesome... but I do like the idea of Rozberry Ripple.

  10. So, Tuvalu is a little complicated to get to as the flights come from Fiji. Interesting shape of land mass. American Samoa has direct flights from Hawai'i and Australia, NZ, etc. My vote is Samoa, although Fiji is one of my favorite places on the planet.

  11. Roz,I'll be sharing your adventure with a group of 15 9-12yr old students at Montessori Community School in Honolulu starting Monday. Our summer session theme is ocean studies, so you are providing a great feature for us, as well as environmental inspirations. I admire your amazing efforts!! We are also running and walking track daily, so we'll count the steps and try to achieve 10,000 in our group in the morning session. Hope to have students corresponding with you soon. Susan

  12. Michelle from Canada3:56 am GMT

    Hey I think Quackers just pooped on your deck! ;)

  13. Question: why don't you have a canopy of some sort over you to keep the sun off?


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