Thursday, June 11, 2009

Day 18 - Magical Mystery Tour

There has been a lot of speculation about my next destination. I myself
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
conditions.

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
conditions.

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
RozTracker.]

Other Stuff:

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
escapism!

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
inside it!

Thanks to Michelle Driskill-Smith and Dr.Vishaal Bhat for enlightening
me on the origin of "Square Meal". I'm learning something new every
day….

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!)


Weather report:

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
from
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!)

21 comments:

  1. Your mention of the trade winds remind me of a poem by John Masefield.

    Regards, Gregory

    "And o' nights there's fire-flies and the yellow moon,
    And in the ghostly palm-trees the sleepy tune
    Of the quiet voice calling me, the long low croon
    Of the steady Trade Winds blowing."

    ReplyDelete
  2. John Kay9:41 am GMT

    Each of your voyages has had its own special feature; this one is really unique inasmuch as you don't know where you're going! But I'm sure you'll get there, somehow. You always do!
    I'm up all night waiting for a goat to give birth to triplets. It's been 28 hours so far and still no real movement. I think she's holding back deliberately just to be awkward. Goats are like that.

    ReplyDelete
  3. this is seriously amazing and inspiring

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  4. I cant wait to know where you end up for stage #3.It is really exciting :)
    Sorry bout your sore bum.I'll check out ebay if they have replacements...grin!


    ♥ Chaitra

    ReplyDelete
  5. Caroline12:10 pm GMT

    Very sensible. Sometimes (and this applies to life as well as rowing) 'no destination' is the best destination.

    And if you get really lucky with the winds you might get pushed all the way to Aus in Stage 2 ... (now wouldn't THAT be nice?!)

    Glad you're enjoying all your audiobooks. Your attitude seems remarkably 'zen' at the moment - apart from the bum :(

    Sending you some cloudy days, with breezes in the right direction,

    Cx

    ReplyDelete
  6. Interesting that this particular row is a "Magical Mystery Tour" -- as is perhaps your current life story. Did you know the song was conceived and released in 1967? ('Twas a memorable milestone year for me, personally.)

    Your destination may be unknown, but your purpose and desired outcome are clear ... Brava!

    BTW, do you sing or hum a tune whilst you row row row your boat?

    ReplyDelete
  7. Anonymous2:15 pm GMT

    You thanked Michelle Driskill-Smith and Dr. Vishaal Bhat for enlightening you on the origin of 'square meal' but you didn't share their comments with us blog readers. Will you tell us what they said, please. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  8. NEWS OF NOTE: As you head toward the land down under, it is reported today "Great Ocean Road rock formation collapses into sea" at http://is.gd/YT42 ...

    "A large section of the iconic rock formation the Island Archway, on Victoria's west coast, has succumbed to the elements and crumbled into the sea. Parks Victoria believes the fall occurred sometime between 4pm on Tuesday and 9am yesterday."

    ReplyDelete
  9. Roz,

    I've really enjoyed reading your blog. Amazing journey and very inspiring. Thank you.

    Best,
    Mike

    ReplyDelete
  10. Anonymous3:41 pm GMT

    I was wondering, do you have to be concerned about replacing your electrolytes and glycogen like other endurance athletes? Do you have gatorade or energy shots on board, just in case? Your meals sound very healthy, and tasty, sprouting is such a great idea.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Anonymous4:16 pm GMT

    Square Meal: "In Medieval times and later periods, meals were often served on wooden plates called Trenchers or platters, commonly knowns as board. They were usually made out of hardwood like maplewood so they didn't absorb the gravy and taint the meal. There was a round groove lathe-cut into the centre of the board to hold the stew or gravy and often a small round groove drilled at the side of the platter for salt. You ate your meal with a knife and spoon, dipping meat into the salt. Where poor people may go without a meal often, sitting down to a proper meal on a board (or square meal) was a good thing - you were getting three square meals a day, you were doing very well for yourself."

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hi Roz - I joined your tour and feel we have many common threads so I will enjoy this trip with you. WaterBottleSolution.com is beginning to take shape...although much slower than I had thought I am now old enough to know the timing is not up to me. I am planning The Great Canadian Water Tour so hopefully you will be a special guest on one of the stops. "It is the journey not the goal" and how lovely you are so open about what it is. Glad to be aboard - I hope you are sleeping well out there... Peggy Lalor Calgary Canada

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  13. In the May/June 2009 SIERRA magazine, there is an article which mentions ROZ SAVAGE meeting the JUNK RAFT. Very interesting. See http://www.junkraft.com for fascinating details.

    You'll read that ROZ gave them needed food and they (MARCUS ERIKSEN and JOEL PASCHAL) gave her WATER. A good trade on a similar mission pertaining to all the plastic floating around the oceans of the world.

    Marcus and Joel sailed from California to Hawaii on their homemade raft. Wow. Adventurers.

    Aloha from Hawaii!

    Lorrin Lee

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hi Roz, Great posts!!

    Dez's Shopping blogspot 1 Stop.
    Don't buy anything until you take a look at this site. Why search the whole internet while shopping when you can make one stop and find everything you want. Check out my one-stop shopping spot.

    http://httpwwwmyshoppinggeniecom-dez769.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hope that the electronics (especially the water makers) are fairing better this leg . . . .

    ReplyDelete
  16. Lorrin, sure glad you posted the link to Marcus and Joel's blog ... the public service announcements (PSAs) about plastic "bring it home" that the age of disposable plastics is over.

    The video http://is.gd/Z3ZQ and blog http://is.gd/Z4xk of their meeting Roz is so cool as well as halfway down the page http://junkraft.com/home.html in Lorrin's post.

    ReplyDelete
  17. If the tides brings you to the Philippines, Balut is on me.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Guess since I've been lurking so long I might as well at least be decent enough to wave.

    You make me want to scream "enough" and just get back to the ocean for a while. I've been dry for 11 years now and I think the lack of salt has leached some of my sanity.

    I thank you and a few others for sharing your own experiences to those of us who either no longer can find the way or just haven't.

    I also thank you for the final push. I'm starting a new vessel in two weeks and plan to be ready for some wandering workouts next year. Work will be here when I get back :)

    Again thank you.

    Let your journey guide you and it will always put you in the right place.

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  19. In Paul Theroux's paddlng book "The Happy Isles of Oceana", the disagreeable tourist finds it very difficult to get on with with the Islanders on the small atolls and pretty much gives up trying to paddle NZ and AU due to weather and tides. In fact in his search to fnd an ideal place, he realizes, in the end, that Hawaii covers all the bases. Of course you, must find somewhere to stop out there,and probably take brocade back to Hiwaii in the interim lest the gentle islanders steal the whole outfit. Thats just the way things are out there. I support your effort 100%; however, my concern for your safety is paramont. You have become an important voice and you have paid your dues. I hope that you will finish your row and then give us some books and lectures and evidence-it's what we need. Do take care.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Thanks for that post hope you will keep doing the good work.
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    ReplyDelete

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