Thursday, June 25, 2009

Day 32 - Fishy Filmstars

Day 32

Today was a good day for fishy-spotting. The ocean was rough, and as a
big wave passed under my boat and out the other side I noticed several
fish silhouetted in the peak of the wave. I got out my waterproof video
camera and dangled my arm over the side, trying to get shots of the
ghostly forms as they filed past under my boat, heading from east to
west.

Unfortunately my faithful followers got jealous of these
Johnny-come-latelies stealing the limelight and kept getting in the way,
hamming it up in front of the camera lens. These are the dark stripey
chappies who regularly hang out in the shade under my boat, using it as
a kind of mobile marine parasol. My friend Sarah Outen (currently rowing
the Indian Ocean – see sarahouten.co.uk) tells me these are pilot fish.
More like prima donna fish if you ask me.

But they're quite cute – and in fact, because they were so keen to get
up close and personal with the camera I got much better shots of them
than I did of their more aloof cousins cruising lower down.

Later on this afternoon my eye was caught by a blue fish doing a
backflip. Twice. Not quite sure what it was up to, but it leaped clear
of the water in a vertical motion – maybe to escape a predator, or maybe
just for the sheer joy of it. But it didn't do it again, and so remained
unphotographed.

So, attention-seeking little critters that they are, the pilot fish are
the ones that make it into tonight's photo slot. If nothing excitingly
photogenic happens tomorrow (like a row of porpoises dancing the cancan,
or a shark eating my rudder for breakfast) then I'll post a pic of the
other guys on my next blog.

[photo: pilot fish against the underside of my boat. The black loop is
the grabline that I use to get back on board. Hmmm, looks like it's time
to go scrub barnacles again!]

Other Stuff:

IMPORTANT ECO UPDATE FOR AMERICANS

Here's the scoop: there is a seriously important climate change bill
going before Congress this Friday for a vote. When I was in Nashville
for the Climate Project conference just before I embarked on this
voyage, this bill was the topic on everybody's lips. They were very
excited about its potential to put America at the forefront of action on
climate change.

It's called the Waxman Markey Bill - also known as the American Clean
Energy Security Act. This historic piece of legislation is long overdue
and would be a major step in the right direction. This bill will achieve
REAL carbon reductions by 2020 and passing it would send a message to
the world that the U.S. is serious about solving the climate crisis NOW.
Not only that, but it would help create a new green economy, creating
about 1.7 million new jobs.

Now, I'm not American so you could say this is none of my business, but
climate change is everybody's business, no matter what country we're
from. This issue does not recognize national boundaries. As Al Gore said
yesterday, "The rest of the world will follow OUR lead. The next
generation is counting on us. Our economy and our planet cannot afford
to wait."

So please call or write to your Representative, asking them to vote in
favor of this bill. A very easy way to do this is to go to
www.repoweramerica.org and add your name to the petition. Nicole tells me
that she called her Representatives in Arizona and left a voicemail this
afternoon urging their action on this as a registered voter and taxpayer.
You can do the same.

And if you're not an American, you don't need to feel left out. This
December in Copenhagen representatives from all over the world will be
gathering to decide what to do about climate change. Let them know you
care. Let them know what kind of a future YOU want. Write to your
government and your representatives and make your views known. It all
counts!

Other, Other Stuff:

Nicole is going to be on the Andy Bumatai show tomorrow to give everyone
an update on my progress. You can watch it at www.TheAndyBumataiShow.com
at 1 pm Hawaii time. She will probably be up at the top of the show. The
video will be posted to YouTube shortly thereafter.

Nicole predicts that I will cross the 1,000 mile mark at about 1am Hawaii
time tonight. So raise me a glass and wish me luck for the next 1,000!

I seem to be in the wars. Following on from yesterday's strained
pectoral, today I took a tumble and found myself sitting down rather
abruptly – and not on a seat, unfortunately. I landed on the end of one
of my seat runners, where lives a removable pin with a ring on the top –
the imprint of which is now firmly embossed on my right buttock. It bled
a little so I duly daubed it in disinfectant but am having extreme
difficulty in applying a band-aid to a wound I can't see. Most
inconvenient.

Conditions continue rough and windy, with all the weather coming from
the East. But I continue to plod stoically south as much as I can. It
would be much easier to go with the wind and the waves. But then I'd
probably end up in the Philippines – which isn't the game plan.

Crescent moon: was sighted at sunset, around 1930 HST or 2030 local
time. But I suspect this is too late to be of interest to the crescent
moon spotters. Sorry!

Weather report:

Position at 2100 HST: 12 28.815N, 168 11.212W
Wind:15-22kts, E
Seas: 7-9ft, E
Weather: sunny, about 5-10% cloud, cumulus and cirrus mostly


Weather forecast, courtesy of weatherguy.com:

As of Monday, 22 Jun 2009. The easterly trade winds bump up a notch
above 20kts and seas increase to the 10ft range until tomorrow. Then
abate to below 20kts, increase again on the 25th. Seas 7-10ft.

Sky conditions: Partly to mostly cloudy with variable cloud cover next
five days. Very isolated rainshowers. The Inter-Tropical Convergence
Zone (ITCZ) has quieted down since last report. This is an area of
converging winds from the northern and southern hemisphere which can
cause convective activity which increase the chance of heavy
rainshowers, thunderstorms, and lightning. Presently, the ITCZ lies
between 8-10N.

Forecast below is for a SWerly course.
Date/Time HST Wind kts Seas (ft)
22/1800-23/1200 ENE-E 17-23 7-10
23/1200-25/1800 ENE-E 13-18 6-9
25/1800-27/1800 ENE-E 17-22 8-10

21 comments:

  1. I guess you might be asked this often, but have you ever seen a whale or dolphin when rowing?

    ReplyDelete
  2. How often do you clean the barnacles from the underside of your boat?
    Your bum is not getting any relief in the pacific. Keep rowing.

    Regards, Gregory

    ReplyDelete
  3. Anonymous11:12 am GMT

    I'm a big fan of your courageous journey. I hope you and your readers don't fall hook line and singer for the "Climate Bill" agenda.

    An open debate with "real" science would be welcome but it's not likely when those in favor of this agenda say the matter is "settled".

    My guess is 50% of you followers are turned off when things get political. We love your adventure and respect you immensely. Tell us more what you observe on your voyage and less of what politicans try to advance and control.

    ReplyDelete
  4. How/when do you sleep?

    ReplyDelete
  5. I enjoy ALL your comments, political or otherwise. Its great to see that even with what you are doing right now, your mind is still on "the rest of the world", and love that you are so passinate about our teeny tiny spec of the universe.

    You are an insperation to us all.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Roz, to hear your clear call for Waxman Markey Bill from the middle of nowhere in the great Pacific is astounding and most encouraging. For Americans this is, according to Al Gore, the most environmentally important legislation of our generation. Yet, to pass the legislation will be most difficult because coal industries are spending big bucks and nit-picking enviro-liberals are in opposition because it does not go far enough for them. Passing Waxman-Markey will be a sea change. Thanks for pulling with us for responsible climate policies.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Susan Scott1:12 pm GMT

    Gosh, I think we're following you because of your journey, the tech aspect, and of course your personality coupled with yes... your political opinions. And they matter because someone in your position should be allowed to ask us to make a difference.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thanks for the tip on the bill. I'll do something about it right now. A burning question...have you ever been bumped or sprayed by a whale? I was playing shuffleboard on a cruise ship a few years back and was sprayed by a giant whale tail flipping water up onto the deck. It was one of the greatest thrills of my life!

    ReplyDelete
  9. The purpose of her journey is environmental concerns of the world anonymous!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Roz, I also spotted the crescent moon at 2030 PDT just as the sun was setting. Your observation is a good one. I will report your observation to the folks at MoonWatch http://www.crescentmoonwatch.org/

    For those in the US who want to call or fax their Represenetatives, 1Sky.org has provided a tool that makes it easy. Just tell your Representative that you want him/her to vote YES! for a new clean energy economy that will revitalize the economy with jobs while reducing greenhouse gas pollution ... http://is.gd/1d4Tc

    Now is the time ... today is the day. Call and fax now
    http://www.1sky.org/aces-house-action

    For the earth,
    For humanity,

    Doug Grandt

    ReplyDelete
  11. Thanks for the information about the bill. I wouldn't have known about it otherwise. Politics may not be entertaining (well, sometimes it is, but not usually in a good way), but it's the only way to get some things done in this country.

    Some people see compromise as failure, where I look at it as a form of cooperation so that there is progress rather than stagnation. Fighting against a bill because it doesn't go far enough is a little like refusing to row if you can't proceed due South. You'd definitely end up in the Philippines.

    ReplyDelete
  12. That is a great analogy, Joan.

    Keep rowing, even if sometimes the "winds" blow us backwards temporarily, like it did Roz weeks ago. Persistence pays off with incremental positive advances, each getting us nearer the goal.

    Keep rowing, keep pulling ... together!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Doug Stewart4:10 pm GMT

    Hi Roz! Talk about conjunctions! Tonight you reach the first 1000-mile mark at the same time our American Congress-folk are making their final internal decisions as to how they'll vote tomorrow on the Waxman-Markey Bill! Given the political compromises that were made, my guess is that many will not sleep well.
    Would that when they vote tomorrow they were all as inspired by your climate wisdom and 1000-mile courage as we are who mentally accompany you across the Pacific – we could ALL sleep better!
    But tonight we lift our glasses high! Three 1000-mile cheers, Lady Roz!

    ReplyDelete
  14. John Kay4:18 pm GMT

    Unfortunately, good intentions are sometimes not enough. actual analysis of the Waxman-Markey bill shows that while it *might* prove beneficial in the very short term its future effects threaten to be bleak. http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2009/06/economic_downside_of_waxmanmar.html is worth reading, and there are many other analyses with similar predictions. It's a bad bill. Sorry.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Anonymous5:25 pm GMT

    We can only hope that the Waxman Markey bill fails to pass. Ask Roz if the cap and trade system lowered energy prices in England.

    Roz, I've been out there on a cloudless night. It looked like someone had taken a paint brush, dipped it in a bucket of stars then painted the sky. Fair winds and gentle seas, Roz.

    ReplyDelete
  16. To those who question the potential effectiveness of the Waxman-Markey bill, I have two questions: 1) Do you believe that humans have caused the climate to change? and, 2) Do you think we have the capacity to fix it? I just want to make sure you're starting with the same assumptions as the rest of us, because if not then your comments are, well, largely irrelevant. I hope that's not the case.

    If you said "yes" to the two questions above, then I assume you WANT us to take action to reduce our impact on the climate. And if that's the case, then what would YOU like to see done if you don't think this bill is the answer (I'm not an expert on it)? It's one thing to critique, it's another to offer alternatives. Right now, I'd rather we air on the side of action than that of the status quo; seems like eight years of ignoring the problem hasn't done much good.

    As for whether this will reduce the cost of energy, that is a trivial concern compared to the issue of whether we will even HAVE energy in the future when all the oil reserves dry up (whether you think that's in 50 years, 100 years, or longer). Without a serious commitment to become fully dependent on renewable energy sources, we are doing nothing but putting a few more years on that big countdown timer to total planetary chaos.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hi Roz, there's some bad news in the Entertainment Industry today. Both Michael Jackson & Farrah Fawcett died today. Ed McMahon died earlier this week - he was Johnny Carson's sidekick. Anyway, the first two are all the buzz at the moment. MJ is only 50 and died of cardiac arrest. Farrah was battling cancer and Ed was 86 - not sure what he died from.

    Congrats on passing the 1,000 mile mark. You are close to being half way to somewhere, right? Oh! I dumped the Dean Koontz audiobook (Velocity) and started Outliers. Excellent audiobook about what makes people successful. I'm really enjoying it - the narrator is good. I think I would be falling asleep if I had to read it.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Anonymous12:44 am GMT

    To Evan, To your first question, no, human activity does not cause the climate to change. As to your second question that the climate needs to be fixed assumes it is broken, I do not agree. And as far as our comments being "largely irrelvant" that sounds alot like AL Gore's "the debate is over". I have far more respect for Ed Bagley, the actor who lives the green life than Al Gore who only promotes the green life.

    ReplyDelete
  19. John Kay1:14 am GMT

    Also to Evan. 1) Marginally if at all. Solar activity is much more potent. 2)No.

    Waxman-Markey can have little or no effect on the climate but at huge cost to humanity.

    Moreover this is not a suitable forum for scientific research. It is Roz's adventure site.

    Al Gore is only a politician and not a scientist. He merely tries to persuade others to his beliefs. His scientific opinion is worthless.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Hi Roz,
    Love what you are doing, and really enjoy reading your daily blog. I don't know how much news you get out there in the Big Blue Ocean, but since your cause is environmental awareness I thought you might be interested in the report this week about one third of oceanic shark species being on the risk of extinction. I know not everyone likes sharks, but I'm a fan.
    Anyway, here's a link and would be interested to hear your take.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2009/jun/25/sharks-extinction-iucn-red-list

    ReplyDelete

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