have conducted extensive research, consulting charts, websites, and
experienced sailors to find out where I should aim for. And the end
result of my quest? To decide not to make a decision. To specifically
aim for nowhere in particular. Destination Anywhere. At the moment I'm
trying for Tuvalu – but I'm very open to other possibilities.
This is not as reckless as it may seem. The key issue is that there are
many variable factors in the navigation equation – on any ocean
crossing, but especially at the equator. And we have no idea exactly how
strong each factor will be in this particular year, and how they will
impact on my course. I'll be working closely with weatherguy.com as I
approach the equator, and we'll see what seems viable given this year's
Only one other person has ever rowed from California to Australia – Mick
Bird, great guy, originally from Hawaii but now living in Vancouver, WA,
with his wife and two beautiful twin daughters. I've stayed at the
Birdhouse several times, and have picked Mick's brains on choice of
route. He stopped off at the Marshall and Solomon Islands, but that was
because he was aiming for the Torres Strait with the intention of
heading straight into the China Sea. And his boat was a different design
from mine, so would have been affected differently by winds and
currents. And it was a different year – and every year brings unique
It was Mick's advice to aim for whatever bit of Australia I want to end
up in at the end of Stage 3, and just see where I am when I'm about half
way there. Seems as good a plan as any, so that's what I'm doing.
Sydney would be the dream – one of my favorite cities – but the currents
that whoosh up and down the Australian coast may make this impossible.
But it would be nice to keep the option open – you never know. I was
told it was virtually impossible to leave from under the Golden Gate
Bridge, but I got lucky there, so I might get lucky again.
As a point of note, ever since I left Waikiki Yacht Club 18 days ago,
I've been aiming due south, so any west in my course has been as a
result of winds and currents. Today I looked at how far west I had been
pushed within each degree of latitude.
21-20 degrees north: 33 minutes west (1 minute = 1/60 of a degree)
20-19 degrees north: 54 minutes west
19-18 degrees north: 97 minutes west
So you can see that I am being increasingly pushed to the west as the
trade winds take effect. But then when I get to about 8 degrees north of
the equator, other factors come into play – the ITCZ (inter tropical
convergence zone) and the equatorial counter current. And then it's
anybody's guess what might happen….
I'm quite intrigued to see how this all plays out. If I had a crystal
ball, I'd love to know where I end up. It's all a magical mystery tour.
[photo: my GPS chartplotter – left. The box on the right with yellow
trim is my Solaradata tracking beacon, which is what updates the
Good mileage today. Nothing spectacular, but a solid day's work at the
office. Weather hot. Bum sore. Spirits good.
Crave of the Day: a new bum, please. I've worn this one out!
Rave of the Day: audiobook of Terry Goodkind's "Chainfire". Inspiring
Thanks for all the comments on my recent blogs – especially thanks to
those who stumbled across my blog via the "Blog of Note" listing.
Welcome to my world!
Hi Inka – good to hear from you. Thanks for your help with the boat
preps while I was in Hawaii!
To the person who said I should have a mirror on board for signaling as
well as for spotting dribs of chocolate sauce on my chin – I do have
one, but it lives in the ditch bag, and there it will stay. If I ever
need to use the ditch bag, the last thing I want is to have to run
around the boat gathering up all the things that are supposed to be
Thanks to Michelle Driskill-Smith and Dr.Vishaal Bhat for enlightening
me on the origin of "Square Meal". I'm learning something new every
A special hello to Ken and Tanja, Julia & Lisa. Keep up the good work on
the trash-collecting – that is fantastic! Ken, I was a fellow Android –
Andersen Consulting 1989-1994, London office. Seems like another
lifetime now – in fact, it was! Thanks for being there at the fundraiser
and the Hawaii departure – happy memories!
Paul Schurke and all at Wintergreen Dogsled Lodge – thank you for your
lovely message. It's great to hear from you! Minnesota seems a very long
way away indeed… The cool breezes would be much appreciated right now!
Give Fudgie a hug from me. (Here is Paul's message – Thanks again Roz
for sledding with us last season! Your fans and sled dog friends at
Wintergreen are sending you cool breezes from the northwoods and a group
"h-o-w-l" to speed you along your way. Happy trails!)
Position at 2045 HST: 17 04 682N, 162 45.042W
Wind: 8-15kts E
Seas: 3-4ft E
Weather: hot, almost cloudless. Pheweee.
Weather forecast, courtesy of weatherguy.com:
The easterly trade winds around 10kts continue until late evening on the
11th then increase to 20kts. Seas 3-5ft increase again to 5-7ft.
Forecast below is for a SWerly course.
Date/Time HST Wind kts Seas (ft)
10/1800-11/2100 E-ENE 10-15 3-5
11/2100-16/0000 E-ENE 15-20 5-7
Sky conditions: Clouds increase slightly and may provide some relief
the sun. Better chance of rainshowers.
YIPPEEEE! (Never thought I'd get so excited about a few clouds, but it
will be such a nice change!)