Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Day 16 - In Appreciation of Oceans

Happy World Oceans Day, everyone! We seem to be having a lot of "World
Whatever Days" at the moment, with World Oceans Day following hot on the
heels of World Environment Day, but I actually think that these do serve
a purpose. Like Mothers' Day and Fathers' Day, it's good to have a
special day to focus on something we too often take for granted, and to
show a bit of appreciation.

Did you know that 74% of the Earth's surface is ocean? It?s where all
life on this planet began, and it's what regulates our biosphere,
including the climate and weather.

The global ocean, our most precious resource, is in serious trouble
right now, so in honor of the first UN-sanctioned World Oceans Day, I
want to ask for your help in protecting it.

The three main ocean problems that need our immediate attention are
overfishing, plastics pollution, and ocean acidification. Today
provides the perfect opportunity to raise awareness for these
challenges, and to explain how we can immediately take action to make
it right.

Overfishing: The UN reports that 75% of seafood species are maxed out
or overexploited. Catches of nearly a third of these species are less
than 10% of what they once were. 90% of the big fish like sharks,
tuna, swordfish are already gone. How can you contribute to a
solution? Start by checking out this video on how to choose sustainable

seafood. You can also carry a pocket guide with you to restaurants and
the grocery store so you can do a quick check to make sure you make
smart choices. I have a great app on my iPhone - look for Seafood
Watch Guide from the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

Plastics pollution: For those of you who followed my row from San
Francisco to Hawaii last year, you already know what an insidious
threat plastics pollution is for the ocean. Plastics are not
biodegradable - they take hundreds of years to break down into smaller
pieces, which never really go away. Plastics wreak havoc by leaching
toxins into the water and into the marine life that consumes the
pieces - eventually making its way back up the food chain and onto our
dinner plates. How do we fix this? The best way is to immediately
reduce the amount of plastic you use. Simple ways to do this include
bringing reusable bags to the grocery store, using your own drinking
bottles and mugs rather than disposables, and making more conscious
purchases?support brands that use biodegradable packaging rather than
Styrofoam. And for the plastic that you do consume - please recycle
it. Right now, less than 5% of the plastic we use is ever recycled.

Ocean acidification. Our actions, primarily our use of fossil fuels,
are rapidly changing the chemistry of the global ocean. How? The ocean
is absorbing 11 billion metric tons of CO2 a year, acidifying the
waters and threatening the foundation of sea life. Experts say that if
we don't sharply reduce our CO2 emissions right now, within the next
few decades, it will be impossible for coral reefs, the most beautiful
and diverse marine habitats, to grow. Ocean acidification affects
every marine animal with a shell - oysters, lobsters, clams, starfish,
crabs and urchins. If these animals can't survive, then the entire
ecosystem that relies upon them is impacted. This includes us. What do
we do? For starters, you can join me in my Pull Together effort to
walk more and drive less. Carpool with friends, colleagues or
schoolmates. Plant trees! They absorb harmful CO2 and reduce runoff.
And again, make more conscious purchasing decisions and support
businesses that are switching to renewable sources of energy.

If you want to learn about more ways to protect our global ocean, you
can visit the store on my website to purchase David Helvarg's
wonderful book, 50 Ways to Save the Ocean.

These simple actions DO make a difference and will soon become part of
your routine. Take it to the next level and spread the word. Encourage
your friends and family to do the same. And as always, make it fun!

[photo: me celebrating World Oceans Day. No, that's not a cut on my
chin - it's chocolate sauce. Sorry - bit scruffy... but no mirror on
board, and didn't notice the choccy dribble until too dark to re-take

Other Stuff:

This blog was today's "Blog of Note" on Blogger. So for any newcomers to
my modest little ocean-rowing blog, welcome!!! Hope you enjoy it, and
that you?ll keep coming back! You might also want to check out my main
site at www.rozsavage.com. The RozTracker there shows my blog postings,
and also Twitter updates, videos, podcasts, and Evocations. Enjoy!

My iPhone application is now live! If you have an iPhone or iPod Touch,
you can download it for free from the iTunes Store. I saw an early
version before I left shore, and it looked very cool. I'm waiting for
confirmation from Nicole, but I think it's called 'RozTracker'. Many
thanks to Brian at Archinoetics for his good work. (Editor's note: iPhone app link)

To buy 50 Ways To Save The Ocean, go to the Store from my website home
page at www.rozsavage.com. There are other goodies on there as well,
like the solar powered pedometer (personally tested by me!) and our
super-eco-friendly grocery bags. I love the fun t-shirts as well, with a
cartoon specially designed by Dave Iddon and Barney Farmer. I just hope
the cartoon doesn't come true - that would be a bit of a surprise!

(Special Fathers' Day Sale on the Store!!! 20% off usual price!!!)

Many thanks to Carina Riordan at eBay for setting up the store, and for
donating her employee Gift Match to match the store revenue. She has now
used up her Gift Match allowance, so if there is anyone else from eBay
who would like to contribute their allowance too, please let us know!

Thanks for all the great comments on my last blog post. Keep 'em coming!
Especially lovely to hear from people in unusual places.

Thanks, Mariya, for the reminder about Lucho's Terraza in Huaraz, Peru, in
2003. A very special place and time. You definitely get the prize for the
most eloquent graffiti on his wall! Remember PMS - Perfect Moment
Syndrome? I get a touch of that when I think of my departure from Hawaii,
and think of you in your one-man canoe paddling alongside. Thanks for
being there. A very special memory, to be filed alongside your visit to
our camp on the way to Alpaymayo, and our weary footsore plod up that last
uphill path back into camp after summiting on Pisco. Let's hope there will
be many more magical moments for Las Ninas in the future!

Weather report:

Position at 2100 HST: 17 39.873N, 161 54.823W
Wind: 15-20kts from E/ESE
Sea: 6ft
Weather: sunny, nice breeze kept temperature tolerable, very occasional
little clouds

Weather forecast, courtesy of weatherguy.com:

Consistent easterly trade winds will be the norm now that the high
center in north eastern Pacific has settled down. Fresh breeze in the
15-20kts range with seas moderating to 6-8ft. A few waves could be

Forecast below is for a SWerly course.
Date/Time HST Wind kts Seas (ft)
08/1800-14/0000 E-ENE 15-20 6-8

Sky conditions are partly cloudy with very isolated trade wind rain


  1. How much plastic pollution have you seen thus far? If we all reduce our use of plastic by 20% per individual the impact on the ocean would be astronomical.

    Keep rowing steady,

    Cheers, Gregory

  2. Good tips, all. Thanks for raising awareness through your own personal journey!

    Good luck and smooth sailing, so to speak.

  3. Congratulations on blog of note!

    The closest thing I've done to rowing is coxing for the UC Davis men's crew team. :)

    Shawna's Study Abroad

  4. Anonymous6:27 pm GMT

    Roz, just a quick FYI. The RozTracker also appears on the top-right side of your blog, so there's no need to direct people to your main site. Just have them look at the top of the page. BTW, the RozTracker is SO AWESOME! You (and/or the people who helped create it) should sell the technology to other ocean rowers. Actually, all ocean vessels could make use of it. Come to think of it, it might even be useful to people traveling by land, as well.

  5. Way to pump up the stats Roz, showing up starkers with chocolate sauce on yer face. Your a star! It's hard not to support you. Still a bit vague on where you are heading. Tuvalu or not Tuvalu?
    How about a clue from you?

  6. I saw your blog on "blog of note ", interesting blog with a lot of good information. Have a great day, / Ida Swedstralia

  7. Anonymous8:04 pm GMT

    You should have a mirror with you for emergency purposes such as signalling aircraft. It's a basic neccessity for any emergency preparedness kit.

  8. Hello, it's Nicole, Roz's Program Director. Just wanted to let you know that Roz DOES have a mirror on board. She also carries a product called PowerFlare for emergencies. You can take a look at their products by visiting their website at: www.powerflare.com.
    Safety first!

  9. My pedometer showed up this week! Yeah! Not sure I'll be walking the 43 miles to work, though. I have reduced my plastic consumption, but it seems I've increased the amount of glass I now have to recycle! Hmmm... I bought more solar lights from Sollight.com. I'm going to put them on my front porch railing with purified water so they don't get fuzzy. What is the audiobook of the day? -Sindy

  10. Wow, what an interesting blog!! I really respect what you're doing: working and living for a good cause. Recycling 5% of the plastic we use! ): What a sad statistic. Hopefully, this will change ASAP. Anyway, have a happy Tuesday!

  11. Pretty cool! I really respect what you're doing: working and living for a good cause!

    - Lu Specialties , Event Planning & Catering We Do It All! (978) 697-2826

  12. Congrats on the Blog of Note - it will make a great story when you're all done. Lots of great information - keep it up!

  13. it's a great story a've never know before. thx for share it!

  14. Yay! you're out there and doing it!
    i was offline for several weeks (living in a boatyard and motel in humbold, helping a friend fix his boat - he had a collision with a huge log during a gale and sprung a leak...) and now back, trying to catch up with your progress.
    hand in there, keep rowing, keep writing, don't hit anything!
    xo, inka

  15. Thank you for bringing attention to becoming environmentally conscious. We are trying so hard to be green in our family! Reusable grocery bags are a must!!! Target now credits customers 5 cents for each reusable bag they use.. wouldn't it be great if all stores did that?!!!

    Best wishes on your rowing endeavors!

  16. Congrats on being the blog of note!

    Its great that you are spreading the message of saving the earth!I believe in reducing plastic usage too.And I try to follow it too.

    ♥ Chaitra

  17. just found your blog cause it was "of note" today.. So incredible i had to read every post from the day you left Hawaii. Pretty amazing stuff. Wishing you a safe trip. Please be careful out there, and don't lose the boat when you swim!
    brad cook

  18. Am I the only who's noticed how totally fried Roz's face is?!!! Wow!

    God Bless Roz ,
    and let's get an aloe vera airdrop out there pronto!

  19. Anonymous3:56 am GMT

    You have ousted Wonder Woman, Katharine Hepburn and Jaques Yves Cousteau and become my HERO. Thank you for all that you do for the oceans. I truly believe in the work that you do to bring awareness to the ocean issues. If you are ever looking for a fellow ocean enthusiast to partner with, let me know and I am there.
    Peace on the high seas,
    Jess Reese
    The Climate Project Presenter and SCUBA-holic

  20. This comment has been removed by the author.

  21. It's great and tough journey!!..salute for you, Roz.

    Visit my blog (ninitriani.blogspot.com)eventhough I just wrote 1 story (will wrote soon).

    I also concern about plastic pollution as I saw in SUnda strait, where there's Ujung Kulon Nature reservation (ujung Kulon).
    Also found in the beach of Biak, Papua.

    Please visit and explore Indonesia.

  22. It's great and tough journey!!..salute for you, Roz.

    Visit my blog (ninitriani.blogspot.com)eventhough I just wrote 1 story (will wrote soon).

    I also concern about plastic pollution as I saw in SUnda strait, where there's Ujung Kulon Nature reservation (ujung Kulon).
    Also found in the beach of Biak, Papua.

    Please visit and explore Indonesia.

  23. Hi friends, I am new to blogger.com
    very informative blog, good post roz


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