Monday, June 15, 2009

Day 22 - Getting Sun Where The Sun Don't Shine

Phew, relieved to log on to email and find I'm not up on any obscenity
charges after yesterday's rather risque rump romp photo...

Today I took a day off from rowing to allow my poor suffering backside a
chance to recover. But the trouble with taking a day off on a rowboat is
that there isn't much to do on a rowboat apart from…. row. It is
definitely not designed as a sunbathing boat, as I found when I tried to
escape from the heat of the cabin to give my bottom some fresh air
therapy.

The main problem is that my deck area is split into thirds, lengthwise,
by the runners for my rowing seat, two ridges which rise up about 6
inches from the deck. The runners (made by Gig Harbor Boat Works, WA)
work admirably for their purpose, which is to give me a nice smooth
slide for my rowing seat, but they do get in the way of any attempts to
find a comfortable place to stretch out. And as for a game of deck
quoits, forget it….

Two other complicating factors:
1. not wanting to lie in direct sunshine, so I was playing a game of
hide and seek with the sun as it moved across the sky and around the sun
canopy.
2. not wanting to lie on the windward side, which catches all the
splashes as waves break against the side of the boat, and I didn't want
to get salt on my chafed skin.

But eventually, with the use of a sarong and a couple of rhino clips to
improvise an extension to the sun canopy, I managed to find a couple of
positions where, with careful deployment of limbs draped across rowing
seat, side decks and/or seat runners, I was able to lie in reasonable
comfort, using the sea anchor (in the red and yellow bag) as a pillow.

It was okay, but not so great that I'd be tempted to repeat the
experience on a regular basis. In fact – even though under normal
circumstances I'd be glad of any excuse to avoid physical exercise (yes,
honestly!) - it was a little frustrating not to be able to make the most
of reasonable conditions. I could have doubled today's mileage if I'd
been rowing – but at least the wind was kindly pushing me in the right
direction so no harm was done.

The evidence of the camera tells me that the strategy may have paid off.
My baboon bottom has now faded to a lesser shade of red, and has
developed an interestingly crunchy, peeling texture, like the aftermath
of a sunburn.

And with that I now resolutely bring an end to all updates on my nether
regions. I had to write about it because it has been the dominant news
story on board the Brocade for the last couple of days, but I don't want
to burden you with any more bulletins on my backside. Enough already!
And on to more elevated subjects….


Other Stuff:

Just at sunset this evening I saw a most amazingly long flight by a
flying fish. He must have gone about 50 feet. Most impressive.

Thanks for the feedback on names from the Terry Goodkind books. Good to
know how they're spelled – that's the way my brain works. I'd have been
no good in Shakespeare's day, before they standardized spelling!

BTW (and this really is the final, final word on my PITA), I'd like to
reassure people that I do not sit directly on that hard, black plastic
seat. I have a cushion provided by Bottomsiders, covered with a seat
cover made from Packtowl quick-drying fabric, which I rinse at the end
of every rowing shift as well as washing my skin. Please also know that
I have a huge and comprehensive first aid kit, and an attentive doctor
on call 24/7, so if there are any signs of infection I have ample
resources to deal with it.

And in answer to the question about previous botty issues – on the
Atlantic I had problems with saltwater sores, which are more like
pimples. Ditto but much less bad (due to better seat strategy and tea
tree oil) between San Francisco and Hawaii. This is the first time I've
had such a rash/chafe. I can only think it's due to the new factor of
intense tropical heat. Just when you think you've got it all figured
out….

Thanks for all the tea and sympathy and humor around my damaged
derriere. All much appreciated!

Weather report:

Position at 2020 HST: 15 26.437N, 164 16.896W
Wind: 15kts ENE
Seas: 4-6ft ENE, quite choppy
Weather: more clouds than recently, but still only about 10% cloud
cover. Bring me more!

Weather forecast courtesy of weatherguy.com:

The easterly trade winds persist in the 20kt range. Seas 5-7ft.

Forecast below is for a SWerly course.
Date/Time HST Wind kts Seas (ft)
12/1800-18/0000 E-ENE 15-20 5-7

Sky conditions: Partly cloudy next few days. Isolated rainshowers but
higher chance than yesterday.

24 comments:

  1. Anonymous6:54 am GMT

    Bottoms up Roz, here's to onwards and forwards :)
    Sue.

    ReplyDelete
  2. ...Your day off of rowing doesn't sound too relaxing. I hope your stereo was at least opting to work!

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  3. I am glad you took the day off and gave your backside the needed rest. Hopefully the day off will give your whole body the much needed recuperation to continue your adventure.

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  4. Hi Roz! Thinking more about the bottom problem, is it possible to row, even slightly, while standing up, or on your knees rather than sitting? Imagining a future Brocade with a big mattress pad you can pull out so that you can row while lying on your stomach...

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  5. Anonymous10:37 am GMT

    Roz,

    I met you, briefly, at the Blue Ocean Summit. It was a delight to hear you speak and I admire your tenacity in pursuit of "making your vision real." I look forward to reading your book - expecting it to be full of stories that get to the bottom (yes, one more reference to the physical side)of the heart, spirit, and mental capacity required to embark and sustain such an adventure. You will have a trilogy to write.

    May you heal quickly. Empathy abounds...given my own stage 1 version of the same, I can't imagine enduring stage 2 for long.

    Jan at www.nebocompany.com

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  6. Honestly Roz, I cannot believe that bottom. I looked in the mirror this weekend and hated the sight of mine but hey mines just fat!!

    Just thought I would tell you how much the social media is great for your supporters. You know I love the power of social media but yours is the first blog that I listen to, I watch the roztracker and can't wait for the podcast. It brings your challenge so much closer....brilliant, you and the team should be congratulated.

    Anyway Roz....keep rowing girl, Leeds is proud of you, the web is proud of you, women are proud of you .... just drinking a nice cool cider to you...would say bottoms up..but maybe not :)

    Anna Farmery

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  7. Having read and studied the entire Roz adventures up til this point, Id' have to say that there is something amiss. In the other accounts, there was a lot of give and take as to milage made and ETOA to your destination. Up to now, having made good distance, you have not made it very clear as to your destination or when you might arrive. Are you becoming a mystic like Motesier and plan to continue rowing/traveling until you find a spot in the world to ease your mind. My guess is you will try and make AU and be done with it. Whatever, something is really missing from your voice and I hope it returns soon.

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  8. extremesanity2:55 pm GMT

    I'm still smiling from the picture from the last update. I never thought you would post it! Thanks for giving your audience what they want, up to the minute status reports on your chaffed rear. :D

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  9. Dear Texino: Nicole, Roz's Program Director here. Just want to point you to Roz's blog from a few days ago, (Day 18: Magical Mystery Tour) where she explains where she's going, why and plans for backup options. That should help provide the answers you're looking for. Enjoy!

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  10. Great snapshot of your deck area ... I would love to see a short video to get a feel for the motion you experience and a view of the horizon ... pretty please ;-D

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  11. Is your drinking water supplied by the rain showers that you receive? From my video editing suite in Washington, DC, I am thrilled to be able to visit with you as you row across the Pacific. I wish you cool days, intermittent cloudy skies, and breezy easy rowing. Take care and God Bless.

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  12. Nicole, I know who you are, and I read what Ms Savage has to say. In my opinion we are just not hearing the prudent seaman/womanship we experienced in stage II and I worry that Ms. savage is neither mentally nor physically set for this long lonely bit of sea travel.
    I'll shut up for now and hope to be proven wrong in my estimations.
    Tomas Texino

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  13. You are so inspiring Roz. It's fantastic to hear all the thoughts, events and day-to-day ramblings of your incredible journey. You put a real human side to your adventure and your candid comments are really fun and enjoyable.
    Vancouver is a Pacific coastal city and it's great to look at it and know you're out there on it!

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  14. i like your blog, its look nice

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  15. Anonymous7:52 pm GMT

    Roz,
    Glad you decided to take some time and air out your bum. At least the wind is helping with the project and pushing you along.
    The more I tell people about your trek the more can't believe you are doing it alone.
    You are an inspirition to anyone who say something can't be done.
    Joe Lucas

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  16. Anonymous8:28 pm GMT

    Roz, That's really great that your irritated skin has healed so well and so quickly. I'm also happy to hear that you have a good first aid kit and a doc on call, you are so smart! That crunchy texture sounds exactly what I get after a flare up of eczema. Are you prone to eczema too? It's tempting to pick it, (sorry don't want to sound gross or anything), but I find if I can take it, the best thing is to let it flake off on it's own, or it perpetuates itself. I have it on my fingers and hands, and it's hard to leave it alone.

    I noticed on the internet it's quite a common problem for long-distance rowers. Sounds to me like a design issue for the seat and clothing that needs solving. Maybe you could invent something and patent it? $$$. cha-ching.

    Texino, Roz has said she's headed to Tuvalu, and is aiming for 3 months. Also, during the last row, the ETOA was really a ballpark guess, there's no way for her to know ETOA which is the nature of rowing an ocean. My guess is the closer she gets to Tuvalu we will be hearing lots about her arrival, it's a little too soon to tell. I'm not hearing the something missing in her voice either. She also has huge support behind the scenes, so I think if Roz is in danger in any way, they have the expertise to help her. I think pyschologically it's to be expected that she is strained due to the weather, chronic pain (of the bum), the constant physical stress of rowing, no escaping the heat, and being as isolated as an astronaut in space. I think you need to chill, dude, she has all saftey measures in place, and she is very generous in sharing the unique experience, the ups and downs. If you remember correctly an over-zealous fan took it upon himself and called the coast guard to rescue her after her first attempt to cross the Pacific. It wasn't his place to do so, meanwhile she had all sorts of safeguards in place, and it put her in a very awkward position.

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  17. Hi Roz, I heard from Lynne Cox. She is on her way to Greenland soon to finish up a section on her book. She is following you via updates from friends in Hawaii. A big OUCH for your a$$. I am so looking forward to hear what you experience at the equator. I'm reading a book from irish author Tana French: In the Woods. I can't seem to pull away from it. Going to start listening to Velocity by Dean Koontz during my commute. Hi to Nicole! -Sindy

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  18. wow, i bet your sunsets are amazing there!! i wish you many, many new clouds! (:

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  19. Hi, snikitiki - this is Nicole, Roz's program director.

    In answer to your question, no, Roz does not rely upon rain for her drinking water. She has a Spectra watermaker on The Brocade which converts seawater into potable water. This electricity-efficient desalinator produces 25 liters of water each hour and is powered by the solar panels on board.

    You can read more about them on their website: www.spectrawatermakers.com

    Hope that answers your question. Thanks so much for following from DC!

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  20. Trevor Sims10:34 am GMT

    Glad to see, or hear your reddening is fading. Love the shot.

    Looking forward to seeing your efforts. Looking forward even more next year when you head to Australia where I live, hope you land somewhere near me.

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  21. Glad to hear that things are looking up . . . so to speak.

    I have a question for you - Have you ever experienced a green flash at sunset??

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