Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Day 51 - Wiggling Westwards, Struggling Southwards

Today has been a hard grind at the oars. Everything has gone a
bit wiggly. Conditions are conspiring to push me north and west, when
I'm trying to head south. So the wind and I are in a tug of war. Every
time I stop rowing the wind and current take over and undo the
pathetically small distance I have worked so hard to gain.

Regardless of whether I am aiming for Tuvalu or Tarawa, it is important
to get south as quickly as possible. The southern edge of the ITCZ is
like a barrier running from east to west, but it is a barrier with
holes, so I will have to keep attacking it, probing it while the winds
push me westwards until I find a weak point in the barrier where I can
get through. The sooner I get to the barrier and start this probing
process, the greater my chances of finding an opportunity to get through
to the promised land beyond.

If I extrapolated from today's wiggly-line progress I would be in
despair and trying to arrange a welcoming committee in the Philippines.
But the one sure thing about oceans is that conditions change, so I can
just hope they change sooner rather than later and let me get back on
course. Wiggling is a lovely word, but wiggles on the ocean wave are not
welcome.

Meanwhile the good news is that the fragile truce with the boobies
continues. This morning was rather noisy, as two birds bickered over who
was top booby, but by this afternoon one of them had established
supremacy and spent the rest of the day quietly preening his feathers on
what is now known as the poop deck.

Once again trying to raise the tone of this blog from bottoms, boobies
and bird poop, I've started picking out some of my favorite quotes from
a list I compiled for the Atlantic row. I found the laminated sheets in
the Aquapac where I keep the ship's logbook and a few other documents.
Here are three goodies for you.

In honor of the boobies:
Endure what can't be mended.
(Isaac Watts)

In reference to trying to stay on course for a landfall this side of
Christmas:
The future depends on what we do in the present.
(Mahatma Ghandi)

And to remind me to try and hold it all together:
What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared
to what lies within us.
(Ralph Waldo Emerson)

Post Script: Since I started typing this blog entry my course has
moderated slightly from a very alarming NW tilt to a more westerly
course. I'm hoping nothing too disastrous happens overnight. So as
always, the only constant in life is change…

[photo: today's track on my GPS – looking rather like a chart of average
yearly global temperatures…]


Other Stuff:

Eco Champ for Day 50! Beverly G posted this comment yesterday, which
really gave me a boost.
"Roz, following your adventure has caused my family to make some life
changes to reduce our impact on the Earth. Along with the things we've
read about on your website like getting reusable shopping bags and water
bottles, we have also stopped using our electric clothes dryer. We now
dry our clothes on a line. I was shocked by how much we were spending to
run it. We now give the money we're saving to our 10-year-old son in
exchange for hanging the clothes on the line and taking them down. He
loves the extra spending money, and we love the outdoor-fresh smell of
our clothes, all while reducing our impact on the Earth. It's a
win-win-win solution. Thanks for opening our eyes to environmental
responsibility, Roz. We're spreading the word to all of our friends and
family."

Great job, Beverly, and hi to the rest of your family too. Tell Kevin
that in answer to his question we'll post photos of me when I arrive at
Island X and he can judge the size of my muscles for himself!

Congratulations to Mick Dawson and Chris Martin
(www.goldengateendeavour.com) on having crossed the International Date
Line. Their last blog showed their position to be 34d 7m 41"N 178d 26m
14"W. I was very sorry to hear that Mick's father lost his battle with
cancer yesterday. It must be very tough for Mick to be so far away from
his family at this time. My thoughts are with them all.

Thanks for all the helpful suggestions about my feathered foes. I had
already tried the water deterrent, but it was literally water off a
duck's back - not a blind bit of difference. Jack – loved the idea about
putting Rick Astley on the stereo! But of course I don't have any with
me… and wouldn't admit it if I did!

I doubt if I'll ever come to regard the smelly old boobies as friends,
but we have now achieved a reasonable state of acceptable co-existence.
As to naming them, the one most persistent resident is now known as
Birdbrain – which was the politest amongst the options that sprang to
mind. When there were the 3 of them, I considered naming them Dumb,
Dumber, and Dumbest ****ing ****er Ever. So Birdbrain is positively
affectionate by comparison, and a sign of my increasing acceptance of
the invasion of the boobies. I am zen(ish).

And finally, back on the subject of wiggling, if you're into eco stuff
and particularly composting, please check out the Wiggly Wigglers link
from my store at www.rozsavage.com. WW do a great range of eco products
including their signature product - the Can o Worms for adding to your
compost heap. Wiggle your way to a greener world! (BTW, they do a
fantastic podcast too - it's cult listening in the UK!)

Weather report:

Position at 2200 HST: 06 06.241N, 175 48.969W
Wind: very variable today. 5-20kts, E-ESE
Seas: 4-6ft
Weather: hot, sunny, some cloud, no rainshowers today

Weather forecast, courtesy of weatherguy.com

As of Monday, 13 July 2009. Wind conditions should be highly variable
the next several days. Winds may have shifted to slightly south of east
today. As of this morning, winds over your position were E 10-20kts.
There is a slight chance the wind could shift to light Nerlies, in the
next five days, which should assist in pushing you southward across the
equator. Wind speeds from calm to 15kts. Seas flat to 3ft.

Sky conditions: Partly to mostly cloudy with low level clouds.
Scattered rainshowers, squalls, and possible thunderstorms. Wind speeds
in these systems 40kts.

ITCZ: The Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) has been quiet these
last few days as indicated by the absence of convective clouds . Still
you are in the prime generation area for heavy squalls and
thunderstorms. Southern edge of the ITCZ is drifting between 02 to 03
00N.

Ocean Current: North Equatorial Counter Current (NEEC). Still looking
for the current to become ENE or Eerly flowing south of your position.
Northern boundary of the NEEC is about 05 00N extending to the southern
boundary near 00 30S. Current speeds increases to Eerly 0.1 to 0.2, then
builds to a maximum near 0.6 to 0.7kts from 02 30N to 01 00N then fades
to 0.1 to 0.2 near the southern boundary. There are periodic
fluctuations in these
dimensions.

Recommendation: The light winds, lack of convective activity, and Eerly
flowing current provide and excellent opportunity to move eastward to
enhance an equatorial crossing. Suggest maximum effort to try to stay in
the Eerly flowing current as long as possible by rowing eastward. Or if
you have decided on Tarawa as destination, suggest rowing southwest
towards Tarawa to avoid the maximum NEEC current. You probably will have
an opposing current of about 0.5 kts.

Forecast
Date/Time HST Wind kts Seas (ft) est
13/1800-15/1800 E NE-E 5-15 1-3
15/1800-17/1800 E-NW 0-10 1-2
17/1800-19/1800 NW-N 5-12 2-4


Next Update: Friday, 17July

18 comments:

  1. Anonymous9:19 am GMT

    Thanks for the many suggestions about what to do with the boobies. I need to just remind you all that Roz cannot download anything from the internet with her limited technology via a satellite phone, so various sounds, types of music etc are out of the question. Nothing else seems to have worked,and most possible ways had been tested and have failed. As you can see, Roz is now determined to endure what cannot be mended. Rita Savage.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Way to make progress even with the boobies on your boat. Roz with each stroke you place in the water you are one stroke closer to your goal.


    ~ Greg

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  3. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.

    I'm not saying take a dump on your boat, just quack a little every once and a while.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Anonymous10:59 am GMT

    Maybe you can use your oars to give your bird friends a little shove or wack off the boat.

    ReplyDelete
  5. As soon as you mentioned wiggling, I started thinking that Heather should have a Roz Wiggles special at Wiggly Wigglers that lasts until you're able to punch through the ITCZ. I love the WW podcast, and I have you to thank for bringing it to my attention last year. So, in addition to the lifestyle changes I made that were inspired by you last summer, this year I got a wormery and planted a vegetable garden. I've currently got enough tomatoes and cucumbers to share with the office, plus other veg is smaller supply. It's been so satisfying and relaxing to check on the worms, take care of the garden and harvest the results.

    So, Heath, let's have it, even if I can't take advantage of it. What's the Roz Wiggles special? Hi to Farmer Phil, Ricardo, and the rest of the Wiggly Team.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Doug Stewart3:29 pm GMT

    Hi Roz,
    You singing, that's the ticket for the Boobies! I'll bet they couldn't stand the competition! Give 'em a concert that includes Master of the House (Les Miz), Your Feet's Too Big, by the Ink Spots (OK, before your time), or maybe Goodbye, Old Girl (Damn Yankees).
    Could Nicole send you some sound effects? Then you could try blasting them with 30 seconds of '1928 Bugatti,' Police Car with Siren, and Air Force Prop Plane. Or better yet, 1:12 minutes of Drag Race Start. (practically guaranteed to get the messy varmits on their way to someplace quieter!)
    And if the singing works, hey, just get in line behind Susan Boyle
    and do an album! It could finance the rest or your trip!
    Needless to say, we loyal fans are with you in your Battle of the Boobies! – Doug S.

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  7. Keep it up, Roz...You're a real inspiration!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hang in there and be strong girl! Remember what Emerson said, "The voyage of the best ship is a zigzag line of a hundred tacks." Keep paddling and wiggling...you'll get there!! May you have favorable winds & currents!

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  9. I have challanged my neighbors to see who can leave the least amount of rubbish to be carried off. They pick up 8 times per month and some of us are down to less than one full can per month. We recycle and have done for more than 20 odd years.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Anonymous5:49 pm GMT

    I must admit, right now dealing with near homelessness, unemployment,and a desperately bleak job market the thought of doing battle out on the beautiful ocean with an end in sight and uplifting projects waiting on the other side sounds Good, boobies and all.It just depends on your perspective.
    Best of luck with the ****ers!

    ReplyDelete
  11. This is the first I've heard of this, but I have to say you have a large amount of guts to row the ocean, I could never get myself to do something quite near as epic as what you are doing. I wish you the best of luck on your journey. :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hey fellow fans and followers, we gotta get serious and help Roz out ... if we all recite a mantra to appease the Drunken Spider Deities, it might just stop the wiggly worm westerlies and straighten her out southerly ...

    All together now, it just rolls off the tongue ...

    Roz writes wonderful words of wisdom while wrestling wacky westerly wiggles

    Roz, please tell us it works ;-D

    ReplyDelete
  13. MAKE A WIDE NET SHAPE OF FISHING LINE ABOUT 1 TO 2 FEET OVER THE FORE AND AFT DECK TO DETER THE BIRDS. lOW ENOUGH SO THEY CAN NOT COME IN UNDER IT AND HIGH ENOUGH SO THEY WON'T THY TO GO THROUGH IT. MAKE THE PATTERN WIDE ENOUGH 1 TO 2 FOOT SQUARES SO YOU WON'T HANG ANY BOOBIES EITHER. BIRDS GENERALLY WON'T PASS THOUGH SUCH A WEB BARRIER. THIS IS A COMMON AND EFFECT aS WELL AS CHEAP AND QUIET PRACTICE AT FLORIDA BEACH FRONT RESTAURANTS. YOU COULD ALSO SUPPLEMENT WITH A FEW SMALL (1 OZ) WEIGHTS DANGLING TO DETER THOSE BIRDBRAINS THAT DO FIND THERE WAY TO THE DECK FROM STAYING COMFORTABLY. WORTH A TRY. GOOD LUCK. Walt

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hi Roz, I am so enjoying reading what your bloggers are saying. Sorry about the pesky birds. We need to put some sort of attachable vertical wind twirly on there. You're right to clean the poop off. Isn't good for the solar panel's job.

    So we start meetings at work by looking at your progress projected on the wall! I'm not hearing anything frightening in your tone of writing. Have any of those squalls scared you?

    Sindy

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  15. Sindy, your "vertical wind twirly" idea is brilliant.

    Although they would add wind resistance, two or three wind generators placed along the mid line of the roof, twirling on a vertical axis could double as booby deterrent devices ... in Stage 3, of course.

    Low to the cabin, "blades" twirling horizontally like oversized anemometers, placed to cover the entire cabin roof ... I wonder if a narrow, constantly moving shadows would cut out the panels? Perhaps the panels and the booby/bird busting generators must run alternately, as water fowl and foul weather dictate.

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  16. Anonymous2:08 am GMT

    Roz- Random, but... Are there any similarities between being a consultant (or a solicitor, for that matter) and rowing across the Pacific?

    Keep up the FANTASTIC work. We are rooting for you.

    All the best,

    Whatsa

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  17. Wiggle and Poop in the same post and a mention for Wiggly Wigglers! Roz - I feel I'm sat right beside you having a Wiggly Giggly moment! I love keeping up with your progress, and Joan you are quite right we need a proper Wiggly Roz special! Could be sprouting bags as Ms Savage is a GYO expert on board the boat... could be a composter as thats what Roz needs to get rid of that pesky birdy poop... what d'you think? We'll make it a bit of a fund raiser - all ideas appreciated!! Watch out for next week's Wiggly Podcast - this will have to be on it!
    Row Roz Row.
    Latest Heather joke:
    Duck goes into the chemist and asks for some chapstick...
    Chemist asks should he put it on his bill...
    Sorry
    Heather

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  18. Time to train the boobies to lend a hand - I say. Cobble their blue feet and tie them off with a short line - Then when you chase them off you would have the benefit of them towing you onwards. The challenge would be to have them towing in the right direction though. Hmmm . . . I'll keep working on that. . . .

    Keep smiling young lady keep pulling south . . .

    ReplyDelete

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