Friday, August 14, 2009

Day 82 - Farewell Fingernails

Day 82
Last night I had a dream about Mick and Chris, who are currently rowing
the north Pacific ( In my dream I was taking a
look around their boat, Bojangles, and was staggered at the size of it.
It had a cabin so high you could stand up in it – and, luxury of
luxuries, a FLUSH TOILET!! No doubt Mick and Chris would find the
contrast between my dream and the reality extremely amusing.

I wonder how Mick and Chris are bearing up physically. I got an email
today from Sarah Outen, my friend who has just finished rowing solo
across the Indian Ocean. She lost 18kg, which is about 40lb, in 124
days. Mick and Chris will be at sea for 5-6 months, so they might lose
even more.

Me? I'm not doing too badly. I lost about 25-30lb on each of my previous
long crossings. I'd guess I've lost less this time, maybe about 15lb,
but it's hard to tell, having neither scales nor mirror.

I'm happy I've managed to avoid the tendonitis that made my Atlantic
crossing so miserable. I just have the usual ration of minor oceangoing
maladies – a touch of toothache (probably a minor rumble from my
impacted wisdom teeth) which should go away in a few days. Ongoing spots
and rashes from the saltwater and heat. Blisters and bloodspots on my
feet where the rowing shoes rub. And an oddity that always happens –
fingernails parting company with fingers. They don't fall off, but the
white extends down towards the quick, and it takes a while for them to
get back to normal when I reach dry land.

So I'm not exactly feeling at my most glamorous, and would seriously
love a good long shower, but if I ever start feeling sorry for myself I
just thank my lucky stars that I am not Mick or Chris and crossing the
whole Pacific nonstop. At least I get to do some sightseeing along the
way – and who in their right mind would row straight past Hawaii without
dropping in?!

[photo: Not much to take photos of today. So here is last night's

Other Stuff:

Today the weather gods were kind. Conditions were pushing me due west
but by aiming my bow south I was able to row across the waves to make
another 8 miles closer to the Equator. I have made up the latitude that
I lost when a southeasterly caught me in its jaws and dragged me kicking
and screaming back up to 3 degrees North, and am now the furthest south
I have ever been (in a rowboat, anyway). The forecast is good, so I am
VERY cautiously optimistic that I might make further progress south over
the next few days. But still just taking it as it comes. Expectation
only invites disappointment!

Today I posted my regular weekly video to my editor – so the latest
RozCast should go live on YouTube in the next 24 hours. In this week's
RozCast there is a pre-recorded section where I talk about the
environment, and then a short video from the boat where I show you what
a pair of rowing gloves looks like after just a couple of weeks at the
oars. Enjoy!

Thank you to all the Rozzles for your comments. Rozta' Bill – especially
appreciating you keeping a weather eye out for my fortunes. I'm tired
now after a long day rowing so I'm afraid I'm not going to acknowledge
all the comments individually, but please know that I really do
appreciate them. BTW, we seemed to lose Gregory of the Conway Kayak
Company in the transition to the new website – he was one of Roz's
Regulars but has gone MIA. Gregory, if you're out there, drop us a
message at and let us know you're okay!

Weather Report:

Position at 2315 HST: 02 05.378N, 177 44.862W
Wind: 10kts ESE-E
Seas: 2-4ft E
Weather: mostly clear and fine, with just a very few scattered clouds.
None of those pesky ITCZ-ish squalls or rainshowers – thank heavens!

Weather forecast, courtesy of

As of Thursday morning 13 Aug 2009. According to measured data, there
been Eerly winds up to 7-12kts over your position and some rainshower
activity to your north. SEerly winds 10kt is south of your position to
equator. The SEerlies eventually shift to Eerly 10-15kts by today. A
further shift to the north will keep the winds north of east until late
the 15th. Then shifting to SEerly for a brief period before returning to
Eerly by the end of the forecast period.

The widespread clouds mentioned in last report have cleared to partly
skies with minimal convection.

Forecast sky conditions: Partly to mostly cloudy. Scattered moderate

Ocean currents should be light SSWerlies (flowing towards the NNE) at
0.1 to 0.2 kts in your area to about 00 30S. To the north of you
at about 3 30N there is a band of Eerly flowing current of about 0.5 to
0.7kts. South of the equator along your longitude there is a band of
flowing current of about 1.0kt.

Forecast (low confidence)
Date/Time HST Wind kts Seas (ft) est
13/1200-14/1800 E 5-15 2-4
14/1800-15/1500 E-ENE 5-15 2-4
15/1500-15/1800 ENE-E 5-15 2-4
15/1800-17/0600 E-SE-E 5-15 2-4
17/0600-18/0000 E 5-10 2-3

Next Update: Monday, 16 August