Monday, June 29, 2009

Day 36 - 7 Things You Wanted To Know But Were Afraid To Ask

There may be a few questions that have occurred to you, but for reasons
of propriety, politeness, or respect for my privacy, you have chosen not
to ask them. I know, if I were you, there would be a few things about me
that I would want to know but would hesitate to put in writing.

But I feel I am amongst friends now, so I am going to offer up some
tidbits of information for your delectation. But feel free to skip to
Other Stuff if this is more than you ever wanted or needed to know!

Q: How do you go to the loo?
A: Colloquially known as "bucket and chuck it". Or in fact I use a
bedpan instead of a bucket – takes up less space and fits under my side
deck. For, ahem, liquids only, I use a female urinal – a jug with a
shaped top. Dr Aenor gave it to me last year, and it rocked my world! So
much easier to use on a wildly pitching boat.

Q: How do you keep your toilet paper dry?
A: No hope of keeping normal TP dry, so I use wet wipes instead. First
use is as a general cleansing cloth – for face or whatever – then
recycled as loo paper. The ones I have for this trip are impregnated
with tea tree oil for extra antiseptic qualities.

Q: How do you finance your adventures?
A: A combination of donations through the PayPal button on my website,
corporate sponsorships, and revenue from speaking engagements. For this
trip I had quite a shortfall, but the advance on my book (Rowing The
Atlantic, due to be published on October 6 this year) helped keep the
show on the road. My overheads are really low – I don't have a home or a
car, so that saves me a heap of money – and people are often very kind
in offering accommodation and meals. So somehow it all works out.

Q: Are you, or have you ever been, married?
A: Yes, I was. My ex-husband and I were together for 11 years, but had
no children. We're still on very amicable terms. He has remarried and
lives in London.

Q: Do you ever miss, errr, male company while you are on the ocean?
A: Yes, but not often. It's not a very sexy situation living on a
rowboat! And it might sound strange, but I don't especially think of
myself as a woman out here. I'm just a human, focusing on survival. But
it's nice to rediscover my femininity when I get back to shore, and
return to being a woman rather than a rower.

Q: Do you shave your legs while you're on the ocean?
No. But I'm not a very hairy person so you wouldn't be able to tell.

Q: Armpits?
A: Absolutely!

[photo: taken yesterday – the other squid. The one that didn't land in a
mangled heap of inky gloop. It's quite pretty, really – certainly a lot
prettier than yesterday's gore-fest.]


Other Stuff:

Conditions remain as windy (20+ knots) and splashy as ever. It's like
trying to row a mogul field. I fell off my seat a couple of times today,
when broadsided by particularly large waves, and I never know where the
water is going to be. Airshots with the oars are common, while at other
times the oar digs too deep as a wave rises. Through advice and
experience the oar length is designed so that when a wave catches the
oar there is enough room for the oar handle to swing past the side of my
body, rather than jamming itself into my midriff. It doesn't always work
that way – if the boat is off-balance the handle still sometimes scrapes
my thigh or punches my stomach – but it's better than it would be if the
handles of my two oars overlapped as they do in a conventional sculling
boat.

Crave of the Day: a massage!

Rave of the Day: Richard Russo. I love his books. I listened to Nobody's
Fool on Stage 1 of my Pacific row, and am currently listening to The
Risk Pool. I just love how very, very ordinary the people and places
are. If reading about my ocean adventures is your escapism, reading
about normal life in small town America is my escapism!

Quick answers to quick questions:

Can I post a picture of the night sky? No. The only way to take a
picture of the stars with a normal camera is to use a very long exposure
– absolutely not feasible from the deck of a rolling rowboat!

Weather Report:

Position at 2110 HST: 11 11.177N, 169 57.338W
Wind: 20+ knots E, no signs of easing
Seas: 9-10ft waves, steep and choppy
Weather: mostly cloudy, some sunshine

Weather forecast, courtesy of weatherguy.com:

As of Thursday, 25 Jun 2009. The easterly trade winds gradually abate
throughout the forecast period. Expect winds to subside to around the
15kt range (possibly less) by Saturday, 27Jun. Seas abate to 5-7ft.

Sky conditions: Partly cloudy with consistent cloud cover next five
days. Very isolated rainshowers.

ITCZ: The most active part of the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ)
lies between 3N to 8N along 160-170W. In this area, winds in heavy
rainshowers have been 30-35kts. To the west of this area, the ITCZ is
relatively quiet.for now. If projected southwestward, Roz's current
coursetakes her west of 170W south of 10N and into the more quiet area
of the ITCZ. However, this could change depending on Roz's progress.

Forecast below is for a SWerly course.
Date/Time HST Wind kts Seas (ft)
25/1800-27/0600 ENE-E 17-22 6-9
27/0600-01/1800 ENE-E 12-17 5-7

Next Update: Monday, 29 June

33 comments:

  1. Roz, thanks for this window into your ocean-rowing life. Rest assured we find you to be all woman while simultaneously being a better man (check that: a better human) than most of us, certainly me. Keep up the good work!

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  2. toilet stuff: TMBII (too much but interesting information), I'm very tempted to image search the urinal equipment action you have going on.

    you being a woman stuff: in the eternal wayne's world wisdom: shwing!

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  3. Roz, you have ESP ... you got 'em all! And there is one more thing: you certainly don't get wrong numbers on your phone at 2:30 AM like I just did ...

    Reading between the lines, it seems you are a skier and have had some experience with moguls. Me too when my knees were more capable of supporting me. Do you enjoy the triple diamond runs? You certainly are on one now ... really appreciate your sharing. Be safe.

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  4. Sorry to say Roz [and Robert] have opened Pandora's Box, so to speak ... beware what you google ;-D

    http://www.pantheon.org/articles/p/pandora.html

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  5. For Roz's benefit since she does not have a browser on board. The link above goes to the following which I found befitting of you, especially the parts about "all-gifted" and "one thing which lay at the bottom, and that was Hope."

    Pandora

    In Greek mythology, Pandora was the first woman on earth. Zeus ordered Hephaestus, the god of craftsmanship, to create her and he did, using water and earth. The gods endowed her with many talents; Aphrodite gave her beauty, Apollo music, Hermes persuasion, and so forth. Hence her name: Pandora, "all-gifted".

    When Prometheus stole fire from heaven, Zeus took vengeance by presenting Pandora to Epimetheus, Prometheus' brother. With her, Pandora had a jar which she was not to open under any circumstance. Impelled by her natural curiosity, Pandora opened the jar, and all evil contained escaped and spread over the earth. She hastened to close the lid, but the whole contents of the jar had escaped, except for one thing which lay at the bottom, and that was Hope.

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  6. Approximately how deep is the ocean where you are? What happens if you go too far west to hit Tuvalu?

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  7. That was great Roz! a real look at life on a tiny boat.Honest and straight forward. How is your bottom doing? and.. How many watts do your panels put out?
    yes you do provide escapism for me and I thank you for ALL that your trip does. BnTRanch

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  8. I was wondering if you had had your appendix removed? Was in preemptive? Developing appendicitis out there would be a real problem I would imagine.

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  9. It looks like your dinner has arrived. I have two questions for you Roz. Do you have children? Does your slides on your seat lock to become more stable in rough seas?

    Gregory

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  10. I'd never thought about how you might get punched with your own oar handles, but from your description I can see how it could happen and how important the design is for the oars. Great detail. Thanks for that. It's in the 90s here in Atlanta, and I think about you out on the sea every day. Here's another thing that's a benefit of your life at sea: no mosquitoes.

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  11. AWESOME....loved all the cool 'inside' information!
    My 10 yr old daughter and I are following your progress daily. What an inspiration to her YOU ARE!
    Sending you bright white light of energy and strength.

    btw...it's 108 here in PHX, AZ!

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  12. Roz, one question: when you arrive, what happens to your boat? is it flown back, or perhaps put on a container ship and sent back to where you need it?

    well, i have to go running now because you constantly give me the feeling i'm lazy (which I am). Please keep safe somehow.

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  13. What a great adventure...but a rowboat? I need to go back and check more of your posts for the rest of the story. This post was very informational...safe journeys! I will check back on your progress.

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  14. Avidly following your progress!

    8th thing to know: What do you eat? I've done a search of your blog for the word 'food' and have seen rawfood crackers, dried mango and the like, but don't you need to down 5,000 calories a day to keep going? How do you manage???

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  15. Better then friends, extended family! As a kayaker and a small craft builder, I've dreamt more then once of a solo trip across an ocean and every bit of information you share makes the dream even more insane :-) to me (but yet feasable!). Those details also make us all realized how well you have planned this trip and that there were none too small, too pedestrian, too personal, too trivial. Were you that well prepared for the Atlantic? What was the biggest omission (rookie mistake) there?
    Best

    Sebastian of San Francisco

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  16. That's a great picture of the squid! I've been wondering what you eat too, but mostly I've been wondering about your boat. Could you tell us about that? Maybe you did earlier in your trip, but I've only been reading for about a week. It's really fascinating!

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  17. Michelle Driskill-Smith3:59 pm GMT

    Roz - Why not eat the fresh squid meal that landed in your lap?

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  18. Roz, if I remember correctly, you don't have any cooking equipment on board right? So all your meals are "pre packaged". Sending you best wishes and a Starbucks next time you're ever in Ventura County.

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  19. Anonymous4:41 pm GMT

    Roz does have a camping stove on board, there is plenty of information on earlier blogs about it, (and about the boat)and about some of her other food - like freshly sprouted beans and freeze-dried stuff. Do explore the picture gallery (Smug Mug - a tiny icon of a pair of eyes with a grin underneath, in a box near the top of the page), and the video, galleries for plenty more details of the boat. Thanks for questions and comments, Rita Savage (Roz's mother).

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  20. Anonymous5:20 pm GMT

    Hi, Roz!

    Mildly chastising myself as to "be careful what you comment about". I'm the one who jokingly suggested "duck and cover" drill following the squid attack.

    News this morning of launch (3:01 AM PDT) of unarmed rocket from Vandenburg AFB here in SoCal. Apparently successfully hit its three targets in Kwajalein Atoll. Quite a good distance NNW of you. I had been wondering how/whether folks in small craft like yours let governments know of whereabouts to avoid being hit by military debris. Probably very small chance, but adds to the complexity of risks you face.

    Praying for your continued safety and calmer seas ahead!

    Janis
    Woodland Hills, CA

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  21. haha wow, it seems like you have a very nice system to take care of... stuff. i have one more question, though: what do you eat? you may have talked about this before on a previous post, but i'm a new follower.

    p.s. you're awesome!!

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  22. Well, I've done something 'good' for myself... I'm hoping I'll continue to do 'good' stuff and continue being motivated by you and your posts.

    I climbed a mountain yesterday with two friends of mine, it was my first time climbing a mountain fully. I've tried once before and quit after ten minutes. As a side note: I was sick, on my female time, barefoot, and hadn't slept that night! I was so surprised I made it, and so excited at the same time. There were parts that looked too steep, too slippery, too hard, and I just thought about you and how you do the sort of thing I see as 'impossible' and thought, "I'm going to do this".

    Thank you.

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  23. Hi Rita! I hope that you are feeling better and getting around.
    Your friend,
    Texino

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  24. Hi Roz,
    I thought you might like to hear about the latest recycling scheme in my town. The MK council begin a new recycling scheme on the 1st July. We have already had a "green" waste collection for three years, but that now becomes a "Food and Green" waste. ANY food waste - proteins included, can be placed in the large recycling bin and will be collected every week. They also collect all cardboard, paper, plastic/aluminum/steel containers and all glass as a separate recycling scheme.
    It will make the amount taken to the land-fill minuscule .... Well done MK council!
    Thanks for the insight into your life aboard the boat.... "All you wanted to know, and were afraid to ask!"

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  25. Hi again Roz, I just PRE ordered your book....what are the chances I could mail it to you and you autograph it and put it in the prepaid retun and sending back to me?? When you are done with this row????
    BntRanch

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  26. I was actually wondering about the whole shaving business and male company business yesterday! You must be telepathic... even out on the ocean!

    Thanks for the insight... you really did answer some unvoiced questions!

    AND... I can't wait for the book. Hope the book shops here in South-Africa also display your book under the new arrivals! Otherwise they'll be missing out on what I'm sure promises to be a good read! Will have to follow you around the planet to get a signature one day!

    Keep paddling on!!!

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  27. Roz, since you are getting some questions about your boat design, in case you respond with a post, here are a few I've been pondering about the Brocade's bilge, ballast and center of gravity:

    1) are supplies securely stowed low? In the stern only?
    2) or are supplies somehow stowed floor to ceiling?
    3) can supplies tumble around from wave motion or capsize?
    4) does Brocade have ballast to right itself from a capsize?
    5) or is it designed to right itself without ballast?
    6) do you get water of any consequence in the bilge?
    7) are supplies at risk of damage from water in the bilge?
    8) do you have a bilge pump or manual access to bail?

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  28. I was wondering all of those things, thanks for posting!

    We just endured a four hour cartrip with our screaming toddler, and I thought, "well, it could be worse, we could be rowing across the pacific..."

    Glad to see that you are doing well. Think about you a lot when I am out jogging in this hot Miami heat.

    One more question, how do you stay "on course"...do you focus on a compass as you row? I might have asked this before, I can't remember, I'm somewhat braindead lately.

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  29. This really cracked me up. Here is a woman, way out there, paddling across the ocean to inspire people, inter alia, to get off their bums and do something to help save the planet; and someone sits inside at their PC, one mouse click away from the answer on Google, Wolfram Alpha or any number of places, where they could work it out themself with the tinest bit of effort, but no, its always easier to get someone else to do all the thinking: "Approximately how deep is the ocean where you are?"

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  30. What a very pretty little squid. Never had the opportunity to eat one - not sure I could. But I do have a bowl full of very cool "Petrified Squid" from Wyoming (apparently Wyoming used to be an ocean) that I got from the Daily Coyote's Etsy.com shop.

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  31. Roz: schwing!!! (love it)

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  32. the TP thing wus funny...

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