Monday, August 10, 2009

Day 78 - Walter Mitty Goes To Sea

Maybe the ocean took notice of my frank expression of views last night.
Maybe I used the Law of Attraction to bring some good conditions into my
life. Maybe the prayers of my Rozlings were answered. Or maybe it was
just time for the weather to change. But for whatever reason, today
brought an easterly wind and some good mileage in the right direction –
which was very welcome.

I've now made up 15 of the 40 miles of latitude I'd lost over the last
few days. I don't know how long the conditions will last, but I rowed
until I couldn't row any more to make the most of the opportunity.

I was once wary of getting over-hopeful of good progress, or pessimistic
about my chances of making landfall. Neither of these are helpful or
constructive lines of thought, as I just have to take each day as it
comes. They are really best just ignored until I am in a better position
(literally) to make a decision.

So I distracted my rebellious thoughts by focusing on other things
entirely. I turned to happy daydreams about my future – both near and
longer term. This is my favorite kind of fantasizing, in a rather Walter
Mitty-ish kind of a way. Some people have a happy place that they
conjure up when they need to distract themselves. Instead of a happy
place I have my happy future It's like a kind of positive meditation,
and even in the worst of times it can stop me dwelling on negative

And the astonishing thing is that my Walter Mitty daydreams, which I've
been having for a number of years now, are developing a spooky habit of
coming true… I'm really starting to have to be VERY careful about what I
wish for!

[photo: heralding a brighter day - a gorgeous Sunday sunrise this morning]

Other Stuff:

It's that time of year again! All around the world (well, in the US
anyway), teachers andstudents are starting to head back into the classroom
after the summer vacation. If you're a parent or teacher and you'd like to
share my adventure with your children, please check out the resources on
the education section of my website. Quite a number of teachers are
already using my row as a fun, engaging way to get kids excited about a
variety of subjects: geography, math, science, social studies, just to
name a few.

The education section is designed to be a collaborative resource for
teachers of all grade levels who want to upload lesson plans and
classroom materials, share ideas and communicate with teachers around
the world. There's even a gaming section that uses SCRATCH, an
MIT-developed gaming code that is easy enough for children to use to
create games - which can be a fantastic learning tool.

Please remember that this is an entirely user-driven part of the site -
this means that we need teachers to create, not just use the content. So
if you know a teacher, please do share this with them. Get creative -
and I'd encourage you to use social media tools to share your classroom
experiences with others, and with the Rozling community. Get those
creative juices flowing!

This section of my website is created and moderated by Jacob Tanenbaum,
a technology educator from New York City. Jacob contacted me after he
followed along with my Atlantic crossing. He was bitten by the
adventuring bug and, inspired by my Atlantic exploits, he applied for
and was accepted as a NOAA teacher at sea (the US National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration). A big thank you once again to Jacob for all
the work he did to make this part of my site a reality.

The donations continue to roll in from the Rozlings – thank you all SO
much for your generosity!! We will now definitely be able to bring
Conrad out to film my arrival on Island X, and have some very useful
funds left over to start paying my $10,000+ blog bill (i.e. the cost of
uploading blogs via my satellite phone) for this stage of the row. I am
very touched by your kindness. Today's thanks go to:

Suwin Chan, Karen Oppenheimer, Lawrence Heim, Michael Matson, David
Reed, Gavin Knight, David Bell, Jerome Blackman, Cyndie Blake, Charles
Pierce, David Bludworth, and Alicia Foley.

Also special hellos and thank yous for some great comments, particularly
to Mitch and his wife, Leslie Layton, Ene, Meg, Sebastian, Achates,
David, Michelle, Dana, all of Roz's Regulars, and Amy in Austin. There
seems to be quite a chapter of Rozlings in Austin – I really hope I can
get there sometime and meet you all! Thanks also to Lori for her kind
words – and a big hi to your two children as well! And Charlotte Vick –
you're on!

UncaDoug – thanks for the info on the Southern Cross. Good to know
that's really it – makes me feel like I'm maybe not so far from my goal!

Steve in Cincinatti – thanks for nominating me for CNN's Green
Inspirations! I'll reproduce your comment here, just in case anyone else
feels inspired to do likewise – which would be much appreciated!
This is for Roz, but directed more to her faithful followers. I just
nominated Roz for CNN's Eco Solutions' Green Inspirations. The
following is an excerpt of the story:
"We're looking for the everyday heroes and exceptional people who
are making a difference. They may be well known or someone in the
public eye you think deserves more recognition. Whoever they may be,
send us an email to nominate your green inspirations and we'll
feature them on Eco Solutions"
The email to send more nominations is
I specifically pointed out one of favorite passages thus far, Day 76
Positive Thinking: an epiphany.
Best wishes to you Roz.

And best wishes to you too, Steve - and all the other wonderful Rozlings
who are such an endless source of inspiration, support, and strength to

Weather report:

Position at 2300 HST: 02 39.272N, 177 04.481W (yayyyy!)
Wind: 5-15kts E-NE (yayyyy again!!)
Seas: 3-4 ft NE
Weather: blue skies, scattered cumulus, two teeny weeny little

Weather forecast courtesy of

Latest tracker reported your position as: 02 16N 176 22W as of 06Aug

As of Thursday morning 6 Aug 2009. According to measured data, there
have been Eerly winds up to 20kts and rainshowers in your area, which
might help explain your gain in westward longitude. Eerly winds extends
to the Equator then shift to SEerly 0-12kts. Winds will be very shifty
next couple of days becoming Serly 0-15kts by 1600HST 06Aug. Then
shifting back to Eerly 0-12kts by 08Aug 0000HST. Forecast aids indicate
Eerly winds 0-15kts persist for remainder of the forecast period.
Uncertainty remains in the forecast, as previously discussed. According
to satellite imagery, there remains moderate convection with rainshowers
and squalls overhead and to your north. Minimal cloud activity south of
01 00N.

Sky conditions: Partly to mostly cloudy. Scattered moderate
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
06/1800-08/0000 S 0-15 2-5
08/0000-11/0000 E 0-15 2-5

Next Update: Monday, 10 August