Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Day 66 - Twin Imposters

By recent standards today was a mega-result. 20 nautical miles closer to
the Equator, and 17 nautical miles closer to Tuvalu. It was a brutal old
day at the oars though, with constant high winds chopping the sea up
into steep peaks and troughs coming at me broadside from the esast. But
for the gain of 20 miles I'm willing to put up with some uncomfortable
rowing and frequent dousings.

Not wanting to seem ungrateful, but the one downside was that I also got
pushed a few miles west, and I'm trying to hang on to all the east that
I can. In the zig-zag-zig of my intended course, I want the zag
(eastwards) to be on the generous side. It doesn't matter if I get down
to the latitude of Tuvalu too early – the winds will help me the rest of
the way – but if I get down there too late…. Then it's hello Philippines
– and another few months at sea before I have the chance to make
landfall. This would most definitely NOT be okay.

This reminds me of a few lines from one of my favorite poems, Rudyard
Kipling's If.

If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;
….
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run –
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And – which is more – you'll be a Man, my son.

I'm not likely to ever be a man – nor, with all due respect, would I
ever want to be – but to take the words in the spirit in which they are
intended, I hope I can treat the twin imposters of big mileage and
little mileage, and take them just the same. In either case, my effort
has been the same – it is just a matter of what the ocean has allowed me
to achieve. There is no "conquering" of oceans here – it is by the grace
of the ocean that I will succeed – eventually.

[photo: The little birds were on board again today at dawn. Here is one
perched on the aft hatch of my sleeping cabin. They're not as messy, nor
as noisy, as the smelly poopy booby birds...]

Other Stuff:

I've realized that the tsunami I ordered (to spice up my voyage) was due
to arrive on July 23. But it hasn't turned up. If there was a tsunami
after the New Zealand earthquake it didn't reach me. Darned deliveries –
never on time! I could call them up and see where it's got to, but of
course I've lost the tracking number and they'd probably just tell me
it's in the mail… so that's blown my chances of getting rescued by the
Johnny Depp lookalike. Sigh!

Rozta' Bill was asking about my hashtag on Twitter. I can't follow Twitter
from out here, but Nicole tells me that #rozsavage is the best way to find
fellow Roztafarians. Thanks for asking!

Eco Champ of the Day #1! Laurey in Asheville, NC (which I very much hope
to visit sooner rather than later!)
"I have a catering company and a restaurant, as I think I've
mentioned. We carry bottled water with our name on the bottle. Yes,
plastic. Yes, the disposable kind. WE recycle the bottles but probably
not everyone does. So I am going to use up the rest of the bottles we
have (the company makes them by the pallet load for us) and then I will
not order any more.

We also carry nalgene water bottles with our motto "Don't Postpone
Joy(r) on them but they are the good, hard, reuseable kind, not the
disposable kind. We will continue to encourage folks to use them and
will, once this order is finished, no longer sell the disposable ones."
This is great – just the kind of mindful attitude that I love to hear
about. Whatever your occupation or role in life, I'm sure you can find
creative ways to do your bit.

Eco Champ #2 – Stormcloud wrote to comment how disappointing it is in
books when a character throws away something plastic, or uses a
Styrofoam cup. So authors of fiction can actually help change our
values. The planet thanks you!

Eco Champ #3 – Kathy Miritello!
"Thank you for raising consciousness about ecological issues --
I'd never heard of the floating island of plastic out in the ocean and
was appalled to learn how vast it is! Since then, I bring my own
reusable shopping bags whenever I go grocery shopping, have a growing
stash of Starbucks travel mugs that I take with me instead of getting my
favorite beverage (chai tea latte) in their paper cups, and recently
bought a stainless steel reusable water bottle to fill instead of a
plastic bottle. Oh, and newspapers -- they make the best weed barriers
for mulched planting beds!"
I love chai tea latte too - and I've got my travel mug on board just in
case there's a good coffee shop in Tuvalu!

Richard in Austin – I loved the sea shanties! I just have to share them
here, for anyone who didn't see them in the comments:

I'm not good at patience,
I'm not good at rhymes,
I need western movement
On these longitudinal lines.
And if the gods will protect me,
And take me still far,
I'll keep on a-munching my Larabar.

I know that my poem
Seems pretty dumb,
It sounds a lot better
After quite a few shots of rum.
And there's an island awaiting
It's the next logical step,
Because waiting on the beach
Is that hunk Johnny Depp.

Vern – thanks for pointing out the metaphorical angle – how very true!

Jess Rees – congrats on taking on the obituary exercise, although it
sounds as if you don't need to! Paulo Coelho's book must have touched so
many lives. What power. Maktub.

Special hellos to UrbanCowgirl and Carla Salikin & Larry Wallace in the
Northwest Territories of Canada – thank you for your comments, your
support, and for spreading the word!

Rowing adventure tour??! I like the idea of me being the drum beater and
having other people row me around for a change! We could borrow the
Greek Trireme that I rowed on when I was 19 in Greece – room for 174
rowers. Hmmm, 174 x $5K….!

Quick answers to quick questions:

Q: Roz: have you ever read Arthur Ransome's Swallows and Amazons?
A: I'm ashamed to admit that I haven't. Will take note and try to get
the audiobook for Stage 3!

Q: Do you have disaster insurance?
A: Nope. Nobody will cover me!

Q: When you arrive at shore after a crossing, How long does it take to
get your land legs? Do you weave as you walk?
A: Usually about a week – and yes, there is a bit of weaving involved,
and it's not all due to the beer!

Weather report:

Position at 2200 HST: 03 36.621N, 175 07.778W
Wind: 20+ knots E
Seas: 4-8 feet E, steep and choppy
Weather: cloud and sun this morning, mostly overcast this afternoon and
evening

Weather forecast, courtesy of weatherguy.com:

Using last night's Feedblitz blog email (26 Jul), reported position was:
04 09N 175 04W as of 26Jul 2145HST. Making good progress eastward. This
is the preferred direction while in the equatorial counter current.

As of Monday 27 July 2009. According to measured data, there is ESE
blowing squalls with winds 20-40kts have been in your area. South to the
equator and east of your position to 171W, squalls continue. Otherwise,
winds have been mostly ESE 5-17kts. Uncertainty remains, as previously
discussed. Forecast is for wind direction to shift more ENEerly 13-18kts
then, NE 5-10kts on the 28 Jul becoming light and variable.

According to satellite imagery, there is over cast skies and deep
convection overhead and south to the equator. Embedded thunderstorms
possible. You can expect more heavy rainshowers.

Suggest rowing towards the east

Sky conditions: Partly to mostly cloudy. Scattered heavy rainshowers,
squalls, and possible thunderstorms.

Forecast (low confidence due to extreme variability in equatorial
regions and naturally occurring small scale fluctuations in
direction/speed in the Doldrums)
Date/Time HST Wind kts Seas (ft) est
27/1200-28/0000 ENE 13-18 3-8
28/0000-28/1200 NE 5-10 4-6
28/1200-01/1800 Variable direction 1-8
0-10kts

Next Update: Thursday, 30 July

23 comments:

  1. Anonymous10:34 am GMT

    wow I'm one of your eco champs! Thank you!!!

    I called the company we get our bottled water from to tell them I do not want to re-order and they are actually discontinuing selling ANY water bottled in those kinds of bottles to all of their accounts. WOW! They are switching to a compostable bottle. I have yet to find out the details but it sounds like a big move is on to stop with that throwaway stuff.

    Congratulations on your southward movement. It still amazes me that while I am sleeping here in North Carolina, lulled by a long, slow rain you are rowing, rowing, rowing - tossed by not so gentle equatorial waves.

    Keep it up!

    Laurey in Asheville

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  2. Here's hoping that you send your next update from Tuvalu!

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  3. Anonymous3:51 pm GMT

    These are my eco contributions since I've been following Roz, which was during the first Pacific leg row. I've been using 100% compostable kitchen garbage bags. I've been cutting down on take-out food to save money and the packaging waste. I've been eating mostly organic food lately, even though it is a little more expensive. I switched to organic, fair trade coffee, switch is amazingly more expensive. I've also switched all my shampoo, soap, and cleaning products to those without phlatates and other bad chemicals. I've been cutting down on TV use, saving a bit of energy there. I refrain from using my power boat and kayak instead. And, last but not least, I often think about Roz and hope she is doing well, and sending her positive thoughts that she is safe, and happy. However, I'm no saint and I still love driving my gas guzzling SUV, but I feel guilty about it most of the time. I don't drive it much though.
    Poof, see I'm not that bad!
    PS. Roz seemed to like the adventure idea, and improved on it! Even 174x1k each would be a pretty good income, and it would be a lot of fun.

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  4. A bit siloetted in the picture but the bird looks like a storm petral. They are strictly pelagic coming to land only to breed. The smallest of seabirds they feed on planktonic crustaceans picked from the surface while hovering.
    w@noaa

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  5. Deliveries. Maybe you should have just gone to New Zealand for it ha ha ha. You are reminding me of a backpacking trip diet I once heard of. Sticks of butter dipped in granola. Your diet sounds much healthier. Besides, if you had butter it would be rancid right now. Besides, doing that long term might give you heart disease.

    Whenever I go out to eat I always try to bring my own water bottle if I know the drink will come in a disposable cup. I have an abundance of these things due to my former career as a high school 1600 meter runner and the drug companies who always try to get my mother to put in a good word for procrit or zoloft or quackadril (I made that last one up, but you get the picture). I just fill one up and then have that as opposed to spending $3 on a soda. It saves me money on dental work as well. One less piece of trash in the world. My mother and I also re use our plastic bags until they are irretrievably dirty or dead. Then it's into the recycles. Congratulations on your progress. Drum beating? Brilliant!

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  6. The server at the sushi bar in our building's food court told me today that she's extra nice and generous with the portions for her customers like me who bring their own reusable to-go dish instead of using styrofoam. Extra seaweed salad! (my fave)

    I drink tap water with lunch in a very cool aluminum bottle that Adobe gave me.

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  7. In regards to Internet Explorer problems...

    Our sincere apologies to those who use IE. We assure you we are working hard to figure this out. There are two take-away lessons here though, one for us and one for all the IE users out there.

    For us, this is proof again that lots of people are still loyal to IE (not that this is news, as IE usage is about 50% around the world).

    For the IE users, this is proof to you that many of the websites you visit might fail or have problems because of IE. This is by no means specific to Roz's site. We're suggesting you switch to Firefox, Safari, or Chrome for your own benefit, not ours, because we are working to fix this IE problem regardless.

    For those interested, we say this is not specific to Roz's site because her site is built on Joomla using third party plugins and templates. There have been a lot of documented problems with Joomla in IE and we're working hard to track down the issue in the support forums. It will likely be an easy fix once we do, but in the meantime, we're looking for one bug in thousands and thousands of lines of code. We're sorry, but trust us, we're working on it!

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  8. Roz, thanks for this great post. I love how everyone loves you and how you inspire us all. Nice to know that I have many worthy companions in my standing as your #1 fan...one of a growing legion! Rock on, row on. Love, Ellen

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  9. Excellent, Joan ... I just read Roz's tweet about the double rainbow and your post ... they are omens for what happened to me about a half hour ago ...

    Today I had an ah-ha moment: For lunch, I usually get a bowl of spicy vegetarian chili, clam chowder, Thai chicken or hearty barley soup (you drooling yet Roz? sorry, not my intention!) in the building cafeteria. Lots of veggies, no beef, spicy, low fat, all good things, except ... listen to this ...

    Until several months ago, it was served in styrofoam bowls, until ... the good news ... they switched to biodegradable bowls. Normally (in my town of Hayward) to recycle dirty food containers (plastic or fiber), you just have to wash the food away. I learned that this building or this town where I work (Sacramento) does not recycle plastic or fiber food containers, period.

    So I now take my own washable porcelain coffee cup and save a quarter, too! Next tasks: talk to the food service management to post the option and savings, and talk to the City about recycling policy. Thanks Joan! Thanks Roz!

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  10. Today, I saw a post in my Facebook newsfeed from a guy who does IT for a living, asking about U/I (user interface) experiences. Later, I was thinking about you/your quest and U/I.

    My U/I with the world is a controlled (a/c or heat) environment about 90% of my day. The only time I get very concerned about where I am is when it is nearly 100 or it's raining a sluice and I've got no 'brelly. Your current U/I with the world is totally exposed (literally, except for the ball cap) with minimal shelter when it gets bad out. It makes living life get down to a pretty basic level n'est-ce pas?

    It seems pretty brutal to me, the exposure you have. That, with the reality that you are at the mercy of waves and wind for making your quest, must give you some pause on occasion. Thinking about it certainly gives me pause...and makes me feel a bit guilty about my use of plastics.

    I am noticing more now. Chas Moore says the major problem is the caps....as they are made of polypropolene they will not sink in seawater, hence the big pool of trash on the surface of the Pacific. He also says we, with all our technology and effort, cannot ever clean it up (All the King's horses and all the King's men....) All the more reason we've got to cause market forces to make them go away (stop using.buying them.)

    Thanks for the Kipling poem...beautiful!

    Rozta' Bill

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  11. Anonymous9:31 pm GMT

    I have a list of over 700 web sites that I use regularly in my research and never have I had any difficulty with any of them while using IE. Except for rozsavage.com.

    Are you sure that the problem is due to an error and not the lack of a switch?

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  12. Congratulations on finally getting below 4 degrees North! We're pulling with you Roz as you inspire us.

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  13. Weather report:
    Position at 2200 HST: 03 36.621N, 175 07.778W
    Wind: 20+ knots E
    Seas: 4-8 feet E, steep and choppy


    Roz, I've been watching your breadcrumbs again ... It appears you had NNE to ENE winds over night and this morning. Just curious: what is your heading as you row this morning? Are you pointing (is that a seafaring term?) Brocade SE or SSE or ESE? Trying to get a feel where the wind is on your beam. Can you row more easterly? Would that be directly into the wind? More difficult? Would it be better to make little or no southerly progress than to continue moving west?

    Half joking, I have suggested you aim for Tahiti (SE) to get to Tuvalu (SW), but just wonder if that is not possible.

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  14. Hi, Rozlings!

    I've just found a grant that provides a $10,000 award to a non-profit cause. To enter, we have to submit a poem (4-8 lines) as part of the quick and easy application. The poem should express the heart and soul of the service mission.

    You Rozlings have shown such wonderful creativity and have embraced her cause with such gusto, that I'd like to ask for your help. Will you please send your poems to info@rozsavage.com and help us win $10,000 for Roz to continue to spread her message? We'd be so grateful!

    To get your creative juices flowing, consider Roz's message of "If we all PULL TOGETHER, we can save the world."

    Many thanks,
    Nicole

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  15. Is there a deadline Nicole? (I mean when _you_ would like to see them, not when the grant requires it.)

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  16. Good point, Joan!
    Please submit your entries by August 10th, that will give me enough time to incorporate the poem into the rest of the grant entry.
    THANK YOU!
    Nicole

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  17. Hello Roz!

    You're featured front and center on my latest blog, Rawsome Life Anew, and I'm doing as Cindy is, ending all my emails with: "I'm following Roz Savage as she ROWS across the Pacific. You can too. www.rozsavage.com and www.rozsavage.blogspot.com."
    (GREAT idea, Cindy!)

    Whoever in Hawaii tracking the comments who's weeding out the naysayers, keep on keepin on. I idolize no one and I'd like to know that if I'm out in the middle of the Pacific rowing untold hours a day -- so as to bring awareness to the dire need to clean up the mess we've made of mankind's only home (Planet Earth) -- that people are pulling for me not second-guessing me! So, Poof ... why don't you GO poof if you haven't got something encouraging to say to Roz, eh?!

    All that being said -- Thanks, Roz, for helping me be on Day 2 of my detox/training for my walk across England! I started on raw foods a couple of years ago -- with loads of weight to lose -- and have meandered towards total fitness for many months. Finding you has lit a fire under my butt, so to speak, to get back on the track I was on so faithfully, but had lost sight of. And again, I say THANK YOU.

    Prayers for angels and your safety ... and a big hug too.

    ps: Ordered your book today ... can't wait until publishing date!

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  18. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  19. Naomi, thanks! I really enjoyed Joan Baez's "Forever Young" and I like the post, too. I thought my eyes were deceiving me when I saw the recipe for Lemon Poopy Seed Cake ... thankfully, they were!

    Thanks also for bringing Rawsome Life Anew to our attention. That walk looks very intriguing.

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  20. A New Tomorrow?

    Roz is rowing, rowing right ‘cross an ocean
    Pulling stroke by stroke for just another day.
    How can it be that humanity is content
    To live in such filth?

    Roz is ‘bout to row right into tomorrow
    Can it be, will it be a new tomorrow
    Where no longer we squander our future?
    Or, is earth nearly spent?

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  21. Anonymous7:08 am GMT

    Thanks Unca Doug for your comment which tells us about the food you eat. I was beginning to think that you lived on Breadcrumbs! Good wishes for your campaign abut the City recycling project. Rita.

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  22. Thanks, Rita! As for the breadcrumbs, lately they seem to have taken over my life and plague my every waking moment. For sustenance, they are not sustainable, but they are energizing, entertaining and sometimes elusive. They tend to become a bit annoying as they lay in disarray. At least on the ocean, they don't require vacuuming ;-D

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  23. I love the poem Roz, you should think of starting a rap career after you rowing career has reached retirement.


    ~ Greg

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