Sunday, May 31, 2009

Ocean Rowing is Less a Sport, More a Skin Condition

This memorable line comes from the film "Row Hard No Excuses" - a tale
of two American rowers competing in the 2001 Atlantic Rowing Race. In
the film they then go on to show unappealing pictures of rowers' hands
(blistered) and bums (pimpled). I will spare you such images - showing
you instead a rather nice picture of the Brocade taken during my
afternoon swim.

But I will spend a few words on the topic of skin complaints. At the
moment I am feeling like a hybrid between the warty-backed toad and the
greater-spotted red booby (both species are obviously total inventions,
but allow for blogger's license...). The sunburn on my back came up
today in little fluid-filled blisters, no doubt a sign of impending
major snake-like sloughing of skin. Meanwhile, my front side is rosy red
with heat rash.

Hmmm, attractive. At least there's nobody around to see me - although if
there was, there would also have been somebody around to put sun lotion
on my back....

Other stuff:

I hope you really, really appreciate the photo attached, because I may
have killed a very expensive camera in order to get it. My Ricoh 500SE
wtih GPS tagging is supposed to be waterproof, but it doesn't seem to
have reacted too well to its dunking. Shortly after I got in the water
it turned itself off and refused to come back on. Ominous patches of
condensation have appeared in the corners of the LCD screen. I'll try to
dry it out and see what happens. Meanwhile, this picture was taken with
my waterproof Xacti video camera, which seems to have survived the
experience much better.

I've enjoyed the company of my feathered friends, but my swim-tour of
the boat today revealed that they left more than memories on the bow of
the Brocade. Hey ho, will have to get out there with a scrubbing brush.
Some guests just have no manners.

Progress today has been mixed. Choppier than of late, with an
inconvenient wind coming out of the SSE.

Finally getting the ship shipshape. It's taken a while to find a place
for everything, and put everything in its place, but I'm just about
getting there now. Just hope I can remember where the place for
everything is when I need to find it again... it's amazing how such a
tiny boat can have so many hiding places.

Hello to everybody who has been commenting on my blog - thank you! With
special mentions to:

Gary and Tiny at the Alex pub in Norwich. Tiny - do you remember you
gave me Christmas pud just before I set out on the Atlantic in 2005? I
still use the bowl from that to mix up my beansprouts for lunch. Thought
of you today as I used it. Gary - enjoy your pint of CHB - have one for

Karen Morss of the Lemon Ladies. I'm going to crack open a jar of your
marmalade tomorrow, methinks - I've got some sweet crackers that will go
really well with it.

And Ellen (aka chep2m) and sister Susan - thanks for the words of
encouragement, and the info on the Red Footed (Poopy) Booby!

Time: 2115 HST
Position: 19 26.995N 159 02.196W
Wind: 5-10kts, ESE-SSE
Sea: 4ft swell from SE

Forecast, courtesy of

The Eerly trades should be picking today. High pressure ridge
strengthens from the north.

Forecast below is for a SSWerly course at 35nm/day. A Serly route (180
deg T) is preferred.

Date/Time HST Wind kts Seas (ft)
30/1800-31/1800 E- ESE 5-10 2-4
31/1800-01/0800 E-ENE 10-17 3-4
01/1800-02/2100 ENE 15-20 3-5
02/2100-04/1800 ENE-E 17-22 4-6

Sky conditions are partly cloudy with mid to low level clouds. Isolated.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Day 6: Getting Out Of My Depth (And My Boat)

Today was a good day for mileage. According to my logbook, I've covered
38 nautical miles (a nautical mile is 15% further than a statute mile)
and I crossed the line of latitude at 20 degrees north. I'm a bit
mystified as to why the mileage was so good - for most of the day there
has been very little wind, and I put in the same number of hours (10) as
usual, so there must have been a favorable current. Whatever the reason,
I'll say thank you very much, and I'll have some more of the same,

This afternoon the water was so calm that it felt almost like rowing on
a river. I used to row crew at Oxford University, and then for a few
years afterwards at Thames Rowing Club in London, and I loved those days
when the water was flat and the eight would be flying along. No
splashing, timing perfect and precise.

For a few hours this afternoon rowing the Pacific felt much the same.
Obviously these days my crew is reduced to one, and even the calmest day
there is a bit of ocean swell, but the boat was sitting level and the
rowing felt comfortable and almost (dare I say it?!) enjoyable. I'd
better keep quiet about this or everybody will be out here having a go!

As is becoming my habit, I hopped over the side a couple of times to
cool down with a refreshing swim. I really just want to be in the water,
and definitely don't want to lose the boat, so I either swim laps of the
boat, sticking close by, or else just hang onto the grablines and enjoy
the relative coolness of being in the ocean - and a change of scenery
from being inside the boat.

It's quite a strange feeling, to look across the surface of the water
from as close to sea level as it's possible to get, and imagine just
what lies beneath me. Not sure what the ocean depth is here, but it
could be up to 2 miles - definitely out of my depth, anyway! Literally
rather than metaphorically. It would be nice to picture the
waters teeming with life, although alas there is probably nowhere near
as much life as there would have been just a couple of decades ago,
thanks to our impact on the oceans.

It also occurred to me that I was quite probably the first person ever
to swim in this spot. I found that a fascinating thought - until I
realized that almost for sure I'm the first person ever to row across
this spot. I'm sure there are lots of places on earth where it's
possible to be the first human being in a particular location, but I
haven't been to very many of them, so this thought made me feel quite

P.S. For those who followed my adventure last year and recall me having
some difficulty getting back into the boat, I now have it down to a fine
art. Just in front of the aft cabin, the two oars - one in the guardrail
position and the other in the oarlock - provide a useful hand ladder. So
I grab hold of the lower oar, put my foot on the grabline rope that
loops around the side of my boat near the water, then put my weight on
the foot and grab the upper oar. From there it's easy to swing my other
foot over onto the gunwale and get back on board. Hey, maybe I'm getting
the hang of this ocean rowing thing! :-)

[Photo: another shot of my feathered friend - for more info see below.
Sorry - I was going to take a water-level view of my boat, but my camera
battery had gone flat - doh!]

Books of the Day: listened to Julian Barnes's "History of the World in
10 1/2 Chapters" - brilliant. I read it years ago, during my old life in
London. The "Parenthesis" chapter (the "1/2" of the title), about love,
got me feeling quite sentimental...

Then up came Steven King. Don't know what possessed me to put SK books
on my iPod. "The Talisman" was being read in a rich American voice that
at first sounded really corny but then actually got quite scary, and I
decided it best to skip the rest and move on. Now back on Julian Barnes
and his autobiographical, and reassuringly titled, "Nothing to be
Frightened of". Phew.

Thanks today especially to:

- Marlene Depierre for the amazingly yummy and wholesome rawfood
crackers. She has made me a huge variety, all lovingly vacuum sealed and
labelled. The sunburgers are absolutely fantastic!

- Living Nutz - the Bodacious Banana Bread Walnutz are just amazing. How
can something this delicious also be healthy?!

- Mum - lovely to speak with you this morning. Thanks for the screen
shot of the RozTracker. Great to see what it looks like now it has live
data - now I don't feel so left out!

Rob Moir from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute for this feedback
on yesterday's hitchhiker:

"The bird on your boat is a fantastically good omen! I am so envious
you being permitted to be so close for so long to such a bird.

The bird looks to me like gannet which I see in the Atlantic. I
think the bird on your rail is a Masked Booby.

This is the largest booby, at 81-91 cm length, 152 cm wingspan and
1500 g weight. Adults are white with pointed black wings, a pointed
black tail, and a dark grey facemask. The sexes are similar, but the
male has a yellow bill, and the female's is greenish yellow; during
the breeding season they have a patch of bare, bluish skin at the base
of the bill. Juveniles are brownish on the head and upperparts, with a
whitish rump and neck collar. The underparts are white. Adult
plumage is acquired over two years.

The Masked Booby is silent at sea, but has a reedy whistling greeting
call at the nesting colonies. While on the breeding grounds, these
birds display a wide range of hissing and quacking notes."

My visitor made a "rrrr rrrr" sound a few times - not sure how this fits
in with the above, but he was very pretty regardless. Thanks, Rob.

{And no predictable jokes about boobies, please!)

Today's report:
Time: 2050HST
Position: 19 52.068N, 158 41.947W
Wind: Mostly none, with a couple of hours of N wind early afternoon, 1
hour of E wind late afternoon
Sea state: Variable, average 3 ft swell from N-NE

Weather forecast, courtesy of
The low pressure system north of Hawaii that has disrupted the trades
will move towards the far NE. High pressure fills in the north of the

Expect weak ENE-Eerly trade winds for Saturday and Sunday and slowly
increase on Monday. Midweek, expect winds in the 20kt range and wind
waves to build to 6 ft.

Forecast below is for a SSWerly course at 1.25kts (30nm/day). A Serly
route (180 deg T) is preferred.
Date/Time HST Wind kts Seas (ft)
29/1200-30/0000 NE-ESE 5-10 2-4
30/0000-31/0000 ENE-E 5-10 2-4
31/0000-01/1500 ENE-E 7-15 3-4
01/1500-04/1200 ENE-E 15-22 4-6

Sky conditions are mostly cloudy with mid to low level clouds. Isolated
to scattered rainshowers. Partial clearing after 31May.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Day 5: Waterworld

Only Day 5, but already land seems like a dim and distant memory, and
I'm starting to get into the rhythm of life back on board my boat. As I
said to Leo Laporte in our podcast this morning, switching between my
land-based life and my ocean life is maybe a bit like switching between
driving on the right and driving on the left - the more times I make the
switch, the easier it gets.

There were a few times in the weeks immediately before my departure when
I wondered just how I would cope with the transition. Life on dry land
was eventful, hectic, social, and stimulating. Life on the ocean is,
well, none of those things.

But it's ok. And today there were three signs that I'm settling in.

1. When this beautiful bird (see photo) landed on my boat, I quite
happily spend half an hour just watching him. The pink and blue of his
beak are spookily reminiscent of the color scheme of my website, so I
hope his photo blends in in an aesthetically pleasing manner (!). He was
busy cleaning his feathers while balancing on the cleat on the bow of my
boat (and his sense of balance was much better than mine). I can't
imagine taking half an hour to do nothing but watch a bird when on dry
land - but here it was the highlight of my day. He hitchhiked for about
45 minutes before spreading his wings and flapping languidly away.

2. I saw a boat not far away - some kind of fishing boat maybe, with a
haze of black diesel smoke belching from its engine. It briefly flitted
across my mind that they might have some cold drinks - as in
refridgerated cold, maybe even a beer! - on board, so maybe I should
hail them. But then I decided, on balance, I was in ocean mode, so I
wouldn't. So I just carried on rowing, and they carried on belching
diesel fumes, and we went our separate ways.

3. I'm getting into my Zen Dog mode. I've got a drinks mat on the wall
of my cabin, courtesy of my friend Romy, and it has a picture of a dog
chilling out in a little boat. The words say:

Zen Dog

He knows not where he's going
For the ocean will decide
It's not the destination
It's the glory of the ride

And that's how I'm feeling at the moment. I have no idea what the coming
weeks and months will bring in the way of excitement, danger, challenges
and learning experiences. But whatever happens, it's the glory of the
ride. Feel free to remind me I said that if/when I start whingeing about
how long I've been out here!

Other stuff:

I recorded my first podcast of Stage 2 with Leo Laporte this morning.
Nice to talk with him, as always. Find the podcast on iTunes, called Roz
Rows The Pacific (or we might be linking to it from this site too - I
will check with Nicole tomorrow).

I'm also uploading my first videocast from the ocean. Trying to coax it
up over the painfully slow Iridium connection at the moment. It goes
first of all to my wonderful video editor Dawn Pasinski in Lafayette,
CA, who will pop it into a video shell that we created while I was still
on dry land, to make it into a 2-minute piece. It's a right royal pain
uploading these video clips, so I hope you find them worthwhile! Once
she's edited it together, it will appear on YouTube, with a geotag on
the RozTracker. And we'll probably embed it into a blog as well.


Thanks to Lorrin Lee for all the lovely food you got for me just before
I set out. The sweet potato chips went down very well today! And the
apple bananas were yummy, but now, alas, finished.

Crave of the day: anything cold

And finally, a big HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Evan, genius creator of the
RozTracker. Thanks, Evan, for all your hard work - it's been a pleasure
working with you, and I'm only sorry I can't be there to a) have a
birthday drink with you and Alannah, and b) actually see the RozTracker
in action!

General report:

Time: 2145 HST
Position: 20 29.387N 158 24.538W
Wind speed: a blissful 2 hours this afternoon of N wind, 5-8kts,
otherwise almost dead calm
Weather: overcast, hot
Sea: varied between choppy and dead calm

Weather forecast, courtesy of

NE to Eerly trade winds should begin to fill in later today. May see
ESE direction for brief periods. A low pressure system north of Hawaii
disrupts the high pressure ridge once again so the winds won't be high
as usual. When the wind speeds gets to be less than about 5kts,
direction is very uncertain. Towards the end of the forecast period
winds become more trade like with wind speeds around the 15kt range.

Forecast below is for a SSWerly route at 1.25kts (30nm/day):
Date/Time HST Wind kts Seas (ft)
28/1200-28/2100 E-NE 3-10 2-4
28/2100-29/1200 NE-ENE 10-17 3-5
29/1200-30/0000 NE-ESE 7-13 3-4
30/0000-30/1800 ENE-ESE 5-12 3-4
30/1800-31/1800 ENE 4-15 3-4
31/1800-01/1200 ENE-E 10-17 4-6

Sky conditions are mostly cloudy with mid to low level clouds. Isolated
to scattered rainshowers.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Day 4: Sisyphus Eat Your Heart Out

Mileage for Day 2: 26
Mileage for Day 3: 13
Mileage for Day 4: -6

Yet I've rowed the same number of hours each day. That's just the way it
goes. Reward is rarely proportionate to effort. Today I've had to row
just for the workout rather than for the progress.

The problem has been the headwind coming out of the south-southeast -
not a strong one, but enough to grab hold of my big bulky boat and push
her the wrong way. The trade winds are supposed to blow from the
northeast, and assures me that normal business will be
resumed shortly, but meanwhile my track on the chartplotter is a
complicated squiggle. I row forwards for a while until I get too
tired/hot/sunburned/hungry - so I take a break, and get unceremoniously
dumped back to where I was before.

I can't remember how long Sisyphus was pushing his rock up the mountain
(and my onboard bandwidth doesn't allow me to Google from here, alas)
but it was probably 7 years, or eternity, both being favored periods in
Greek mythology. Either way, I'm hoping my Sisyphean struggle will be
considerably shorter.

Other stuff:

Nicole and I have been having some communication problems. We rented a
satellite phone for her because it's much cheaper to call from Iridium
to Iridium than to a landline or mobile. But whenever I try to call her
I get put through to the Iridium messaging service. And ditto she hasn't
been able to call me.

But I was dying to hear how things are going on land post-launch, so I
called her on her mobile, trying not to think about the $$$ rapidly
evaporating. She tells me that there has been a lot of excitement about
the RozTracker, created by Hawaiian R&D company Archinoetics, which has
received extensive coverage in the media.

Also that Ryan Ozawa (Twitter handle "hawaii" which may give you some
idea how much of an early adopter he is) has created a lovely montage of
scenes from the video-stream he broadcast live online on Sunday. I don't
know the full details, but hopefully a member of my shore team can add
some links at the bottom of this blog.

And finally, second in the new season of the Roz Rows The Pacific
podcast with Leo Laporte will go out at 1.30pm PST tomorrow.

And finally finally, even though my oar count on the RozTracker may not
have gone up much - as it's based on an average number of strokes per
mile - you can be assured that I've been putting in my 10,000 a day. So
if you haven't already, please take a look at and see
what it's all about. <sigh> At least when you walk 10,000 steps a day
you tend to actually get somewhere...

[photo: blisters not too bad yet - only 3 per hand. If any one can read
palms and tell me how much longer I'll be rowing hard to stand still,
let me know!]

Time: 2042 HST
Position: 20 48.608N, 158 19.796W
Wind: 5-8 kts SSE
Weather: hot, hot, hot, one brief rainshower
Sea: 4ft swell from SSE
Intentions: carry on trying to get S

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Day 3: Into the Big Blue

Day 3 can be a tough one. I remember now, feeling this way on the last
two crossings. My body still has to get into the ocean groove - hands
are blistered, shoulders are sore, and very surprising for anyone who
knows me well, I'm slightly off my food. Normally nothing interferes
with my appetite, but even on these relatively calm waters I've been
feeling a tad queasy, and I've had to force down enough food to keep me
going. Luckily I have plenty of reserves, having put on a lot of weight
since my last row, so I'm not in danger of starvation any time soon!

This particular Day 3 was not helped by the fact that I've been rowing
into a headwind. A very slight one, admittedly, but still enough to
create a very strange wiggle in my course when I look at it on the
chartplotter. I'm not quite sure how often my Solara unit to
transmitting my position, so you may or may not be able to see my
loop-the-loop on the RozTracker.

No matter how tough the day, I definitely feel past the point of no
return. Last night when I retired to my bunk I could just see the orange
glow of the lights on Oahu, but this morning when I got up just before
6am there was no sight of land. So I am now very much out in the Big

There is also a slight feeling of, "Oh my word, why am I doing this?" So
far to go, and progress so slow. Luckily I have a few good answers to
that question, and I have to keep reminding myself that I just have to
keep sticking the oars in the water, and I will get there eventually.
Only another 9,897,356 strokes to go....!

Other Stuff:

An interesting diversion this afternoon - some birds feasting on a
school of fish, lots of action at the water's surface.

Went for a little swim this afternoon to try and cool down. But the
ocean is so warm, it didn't help much.

Speaking of which, today I deployed the two temperature gauges given to
me by Hawaiian IT company Oceanit. One gauge for the air, fixed to my
rollbar, and one for the water, attached to my rigger. It is supposed to
be a metre below the surface, but refused to sink, so I had to attach
some fishing weights to it. Hope it doesn't slow me down too much!

Position: 20 42.296N, 158 22.868W
Wind speed: 5-8 kts, SSE
Sea: max: 2-3ft swell, choppy this morning, calmer now
Intentions: keep plugging south

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Day 2: Hot, Flat and Crowded

"Hot, Flat and Crowded" is actually the title of the audiobook
I'm listening to at the moment (interesting view of a green economy -
recommended) - but it could equally be a description of my day. It has
been extremely, dehydratingly hot, the ocean has been flat as a pancake,
and this morning there was definitely too much company out here. I was
playing leapfrog with a small fleet of fishing boats, which meant I had
to keep putting clothes on, which was most inconvenient.

The day got off to a slightly alarming start when my watermaker wouldn't
work. Oh no, not again, I thought, and muttered a few swearwords. I
muttered a few more when I found the cause - the intake pipe (which
pulls in seawater to be turned into freshwater) had not been connected.
We had tested the watermaker a while ago, then the metal inlet had been
replaced, and silly me - I had just assumed that the pipe that leads
from inlet to watermaker would have been reconnected.

This was not ideal, and when I had a problem with my watermaker on
Day 1 of my Atlantic crossing it made me feel quite sick with anxiety
(or maybe it was the seasickness) but over the years and miles I've
realized that panic is not a constructive reaction, and that in face I'm
sometimes I'm capable of more than I think I am. The unappealing
prospect of having to paddle back into port after the magnificent
send-off yesterday was sufficiently motivating for me to try and resolve
the problem myself.

I found my tub of spare parts for the watermaker, and after several
failed experiments found the right connector. And a few minutes later
had a good healthy water supply going to the pump.


Other stuff:

A solid day's rowing - about 11 hours, or 11,000 oarstrokes if you're
one of the people taking part in my Pull Together challenge (see 10,000 steps a day is fine, but if you want to go
the extra mile (or few hundred yards actually) and match my oarstrokes,
then please do! And remember that if you do your walking as a substitute
for driving then it's good for the planet as well as good for your body.

The main issue today has been the heat. I've been glugging water all day
to stay hydrated, but it's been hard to drink enough, especially when I
have no way to chill drinks, so the water is almost as hot as I am. Yuck!

OK, feeling sleepy now. It was a short night and a long day, and all
that sunshine has made me doubly tired. I was wearing SPF50 (thanks,
Aenor!) but still seem to have a few red patches - including my face, I
suspect, but my mirror seems to have gone missing so fortunately I can't
see my rosy pink cheeks!

Currrent position: 20 50.561N, 158 10.577W
Wind: none
Sea state: flat
Intentions: maintain present course of around 210 degrees

Monday, May 25, 2009

Day 1: Launch Day

Today was a bit of a scramble to get things finished, but I've started
to notice a pattern emerging on my departure days. It's very difficult
to say how I feel - there is a kind of numbness that settles over me. By
this stage most of what can be done has been done, and it's too late to
push to achieve more. So I just drift through the day in a kind of haze,
biding time until the hour of departure arrives.

Having said that, there was quite a buzz at the Waikiki Yacht Club
today. My team of helpers had been on hand all day, all working hard on
boat, medical kit, last-minute purchases, laundry, technology, etc. But
at 6pm approached a new contingent arrived - press, cameras, and so on.
Tom Stone, the kahuna (Hawaiian priest) blessed my boat.

But the memories that will stay in my mind the longest are of the
departure itself. So many people on land and sea there to wish me well.
People standing along the harbour wall on Magic Island holding up big
signs to cheer me on. A flotilla of paddlers (both seated and stand-up),
sailboats and powerboats. The big media boat. The helicopter swooping
overhead to get aerial footage.

One by one they turned around and headed back to shore, and after all
the noise the silence of the ocean surrounded me. I rowed for a while
longer, and had just popped into the cabin to post a Tweet when a
familiar voice accosted me. It was Barry Pickering, Mike Marsh and Cindy
on board the Blue Lady, a small sailboat I've enjoyed some memorable
Friday nights on. A final goodbye, and then I was really alone, watching
the bright lights of Honolulu recede behind me as I rowed out into the
inky darkness of the open ocean.

I'd planned to row a bit longer tonight, but I'm bushed. It's been a
long day. So I've just had a sponge-and-bucket bath to rinse away some
of the sweat of the day, and soon I'll get my head down for a short
sleep. Conditions are calm tonight - dead silent and only the slightest
swell - so I hope I get some good zzz in between waking up to check for
shipping. I won't be able to relax until I get out of sight of land, and
well away from shipping lanes.

Just finally, I'd like to say a HUGE thank you to everybody who came
down to see me off. I didn't get the chance to say thanks and goodbye to
everyone - so please forgive me. Thanks especially those who came from
the mainland, and to Captain Vince of
the White Holly and his new wife Joanna - they got married today, but
still found time to come and wish me well. Congratulations, and very
best wishes for the future!

roz is on her way!!!

Roz leaves Honolulu under a beautiful Hawaiian sunset!

Sunday, May 24, 2009


Hello friends and supporters of Roz.

Today is the big day…we’re very busy here in Hawaii making final preparations on Roz’s boat, The Brocade, and ensuring that Roz has a FANTASTIC sunset sendoff!

The great news is – even if you can’t join us here in Hawaii for the big day, thanks to some wonderful friends and some pretty cool technology, you will be able to watch her departure live on

Tune in at 5:30 pm Hawaiian Standard Time as we wish Roz a safe journey across the Pacific!



Leaving Today

We are doing final tests of the RozTracker in preparation for Roz's
departure at 6pm today from the Waikiki Yacht Club. If you're in
Honolulu, come down to Magic Island and say aloha as Roz rows off into
the sunset!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Testing the RozTracker

I am testing the new RozTracker. This is how I'll be posting blogs
from the ocean. If this test works, a point will be added to the
RozTracker map in the Waikiki area. It might be hidden by other test
points, so you can also check the "Journal" tab for a chronological
list of items. Check out the RozTracker now at

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Breathing Deep, and Keeping the Faith

Roz Savage arriving in HawaiiImage by rozsavage via Flickr

It is now less than 4 days before I launch, and it's all happening. There is still so much to do, and I know it WILL all happen - just not quite sure HOW. But if I've learned anything through the last few years, it's that if you keep the faith, and work your butt off, you can make almost anything happen.

Oh, and it also helps to have a band of angels, aka extremely good friends. We've made some amazing friends here in Hawaii - and tomorrow Team California arrives. Six or seven friends are arriving from the mainland to help with final preparations and to see me off on Sunday. They will all be put to work (I hope they know this!) to run around for final provisions, fix up the boat, and help get me packed. The team includes Nicole's granny and brother, my friends Aenor and Melinda (veterans of the post-airlift salvage mission of 2007), Nancy our hostess in Sausalito, and Ellen of Google fame.

I truly could not do what I do (or at least, not with any shred of sanity) without the assistance and support of these incredibly dedicated friends. And I don't know if I'll ever be able (being British and all) to let them know just how much I appreciate them.

So while I'm in this rather emotional, un-British kind of mood, I'd just like to say how amazing it has been to work with Nicole over the last 3 months. Working alone was.... well, I managed. But working with Nicole has been so much more effective, and so much fun. There have been some amazing comedy moments that I wish I could share with you, but unfortunately we didn't know they were about to happen so we didn't have the cameras rolling. But there has been a lot of hilarity, interspersed with serious, profound, how-are-we-going-to-save-the-world kind of moments that will stay in my (very unreliable) memory forever.

When I get to meet incredible people like this, who are prepared to give so much in return for so little, it makes me feel that I must be doing something right - or at least doing the right things for the right reasons.

And on that note I will hand over to our latest RozCast - recorded by Nicole and me in Waikiki last night at sunset.

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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Store Savage Goes Live - Thanks to eBay

A brand new online store has just gone live, created for me by eBay to sell environmentally-conscious merchandise online. Please go and check it out and feel free to buy as much as you like! More product lines will be coming in the future, and I'd be interested to hear what goods you would like to see on there.

I'd also like to point out that under eBay's GiftMatch benefit, any purchases will be matched in value by eBay up to a certain limit. So how's that for great value: eco-friendly goodies, plus a clear conscience, plus a double-whammy donation to my cause - great bang for the buck!

Huge thanks to Carina Riordan for all her hard work. She and I met when I spoke at eBay's San Jose office on April 13, and she has managed to pull this all together in impressive time. I am even more impressed that she holds down a full time job, looks after the kids, and still finds time to stay fit AND create online stores for random ocean rowers. I know a lot of the work was done in the evenings and on weekends, and for that I thank Carina - and her family.

She sent me this lovely story about our first ever sale:

"Our first store customer lives in Los Altos (and just about 2.5 miles away from our house). He bought an eco-friendly shopping bag yesterday at around 6:30 am (because he saw your Twitter about your eBay store). I delivered his shopping bag at around 4:35 pm yesterday by "jogging/fast walking" and he was impressed on how fast he got it. I only jogged one way (and fast walked on the way home) but I also swam 50 laps before delivering the package. I took about 11,100 steps according to the Cosmic Solar Pedometer. I offered "worldwide" shipping and it was just my luck that our first customer was only a few miles away so I saved about $5 in shipping cost and also did my part in saving the planet :-)"

We can't promise everybody this level of personal service, but it's so good to know that the store was created by someone who really believes in the cause, and who would go the extra mile - literally! I am constantly touched and humbled by the incredible generosity of everybody in the extended Team Roz. There's a good vibe and energy around what we're doing, and it seems to be contagious. I'm a very lucky girl....

[picture: our t-shirt design, created exclusively for the store by Dave Iddon and Barny Farmer]

Monday, May 18, 2009

Gorestruck: Roz Meets Al Gore

There is now just a week before I launch Stage 2 of my Pacific row, from Hawaii down into the South Pacific. I'll set out on Sunday May 24, and there is a lot to do – much of which I will report via my Twitter updates as the week goes on. For now, I’d just like to share with you the afterglow of my presentation to The Climate Project conference in Nashville. I won’t allow myself long to bask – there is just too much work to be done, both for me personally and for all of us generally – if we are to save ourselves from the worst consequences of climate change. But please permit me this brief pat on my own back.

I gave my presentation on the middle day of the conference, and, ahem, blush, got a couple of standing ovations. I was more nervous than usual before my speech – hmmm, that might be something to do with speaking in front of a Nobel Peace Prize winner and another legend of the green movement, Canadian environmentalist Dr David Suzuki. But that memory of a roomful of people, including Mr Al Gore, standing to applaud my speech will make me smile for a long time to come, and will help motivate me through the tougher days on the ocean. It’s just good to know that what I say makes sense and resonates with people - even people of intelligence and distinction.

The last day of the conference was even more amazing for me, and I still get a little glow of satisfaction thinking about it. In his closing remarks Al Gore suddenly said my name, out of the blue, not in the middle of a sentence - just suddenly "Roz". I nearly jumped out of my skin, like a student caught daydreaming. But he then went on to say "When you wrote those two stories with the two alternative versions of your future...", referring to my obituary exercise. He went on to use that as his main theme - we have two possible futures - which will we choose?

Then as we were being photographed together he said he'd shown my website to his wife and daughter the night before. Who wouldn’t be flattered to imagine Al and Tipper huddled around the computer screen checking out my website?

[The photo above is just a placeholder, taken by Nicole on her iPhone. Better pics to come.]

So, yup, even though I try (and generally succeed) in not being too impressed or over-awed by anybody based on reputation alone, I couldn't help but be pleased to bits that my words had made an impact with him. Hey, I'm only human!

So now it's back to Hawaii and some seriously hard work. But I've got fantastic support from my friends, several of whom are coming out from California to help out with last-minute preparations. So I'm sure it will all happen. And then the hard work starts - the rowing. Oh boy....

If you’re really interested/a glutton for punishment, I’ve included my speech in its entirety below. It’s not exactly what I said – I tend to write out speeches in full, but then ignore the notes while I’m actually on stage – but it’s more or less what you would have heard if you’d been there.

My name is Roz Savage. I am an ocean rower, and a recovering addict. I used to be addicted to money, materialism, and stuff. I’d like to tell you a story about how and why I turned from management consultant into ocean rower, and what this has to do with climate change.

Back in the year 2000, I was supposed to be happy. I had the well-paid job in London, the big house, the foreign vacations, the little red sports car. In other words I had the classic materialistic western lifestyle – everything that Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher had told me would make me happy. But there was something wrong with this picture. I wasn’t happy. I felt there was something inherently unsustainable about my lifestyle. At this stage it wasn’t even an environmental awareness. It was just a niggling feeling that there was a mismatch between the person I was and the person I was pretending to be.

What brought it home to me was an exercise I did one day. I sat down and wrote two versions of my own obituary – the one I wanted, and the one I was heading for. They were very different. So I realized then that I needed to make a course correction. I realized that my future would be the accumulation of my todays, and my todays weren’t taking me in the direction I wanted to go.

So I set out on a different track, and it was around this time that I read about the Hopi prophecies. The Hopis have been sending a delegation to the United Nations ever since the Second World War, to deliver their message that if we lose touch with our spirituality, and start exploiting the earth instead of respecting it, it’s not going to go so well for us.

When I read that, it just made sense to me. I remembered how as a child I would look out at the English countryside from the back seat of my parents’ car and notice how deep a mark mankind had left on the landscape – and feel that it wasn’t quite right. But then I grew up, and lost that sense of what was right and what was wrong. I got caught up in the modern day myth that stuff makes you happy, and for 11 years did a job I didn’t like to buy stuff I didn’t need. It took me a long time to realize that it was this disconnect between my values and my lifestyle that was making me unhappy.

I think that deep down many people have that same unease. We know, intuitively, that we are on an unsustainable course. We know that we can’t keep sucking all the goodness out of the earth, turning it into stuff, and throwing it into landfill. Nature works in cycles, cradle to cradle – a cycle of life - while our current model of industry goes from cradle to grave – a line of death.

We can try to hide from this knowledge, as I used to - numbing ourselves with TV, over-indulging in food, or burying ourselves in the constant busy-ness of 21st century adult life, most of which revolves around stuff – buying stuff, selling stuff, maintaining stuff, fixing stuff, earning the money to buy yet more stuff, all for the greater good of the economy, which is based on our growing demand for stuff.

Finite earth, infinite growth – this just cannot work in the long term. It cannot be sustainable.

Deep down we do all know how to live. Once I saw the insanity and self-destructiveness of where we are going, I couldn’t NOT know it. And I couldn’t stand by and watch us all go to hell in a handcart. So I resolved to live more sustainably - and hopefully to inspire others to do the same.

So, from the arch-materialist of 2000, let’s fast forward six years. It is March 2006 and I am bobbing around on a 23-foot rowboat in the western Atlantic. I am homeless, penniless, jobless and exhausted after 103 days at sea. But bizarrely, I’ve never been happier.

During the intervening years I have gradually reassessed my entire value system. I’ve transitioned into a life that is simple and authentic, and it feels good in a way that life never felt before.

Now I am sharing my human-powered, environmentally friendly adventure across the internet from my boat, in the hope that other people might be inspired to try out a different, more sustainable way of living.

And it seems to be working. I get emails from people thanking me for making them aware of environmental issues, and for showing them how they can make changes in their lives that will make a real difference to their environmental impact.

When I’m sharing my message, I try to focus on the positive. There is so much information out there – if people want to know about climate change, a quick Google search will give them all they need to know. But most of them don’t want to know it. They are just worrying about getting food on the table or paying the mortgage.

Thinking about the environment makes them feel guilty, ashamed, stressed, afraid. So they ignore it. What I love about what I do is that it enables me to reach the unconverted. I get in under their radar. People come to my website because they are interested in adventure, or technology, or the ocean. Some of them think what I am doing is pretty cool. And when they see that I care passionately about the environment, they think that is cool too – kind of coolness by association, a new kind of aspiration.

So I’m doing it again. I finished rowing across the Atlantic just over 3 years ago. Now I am one third of the way through rowing across the Pacific. Last summer I rowed from San Francisco to Hawaii in a time of 99 days, and I am about to set out on Stage 2 – starting in just 9 days time.

And I’m about to announce my environmental initiative this year, which is all about climate change in the run-up to Copenhagen. When people read my blogs or hear my presentations, they tend to feel energized and inspired, and I want to take that energy and divert it in an environmental direction.

So I am asking people to match my 10,000 oarstrokes a day with 10,000 steps, which is the minimum we are supposed to take for our health. And the best way for them to fit the walking into their day is to walk as a substitute for driving. Short journeys – walk instead. Longer journeys – park a mile before the end of the journey. People will be able to upload their step counts to a website where they will be able to see all the other people around the world who are also taking part in the challenge, to build that sense of community and collaboration.

The idea is that I will then take the combined efforts of my walkers as a message to the climate change conference in Copenhagen. On October 24 – designated as a global day of action on climate change by Bill McKibben’s - I will be setting out to walk 600 miles from London to Copenhagen. I am hoping that people will come and join me on the march.

We are working with the United Nations Environmental Program, and I am hoping to have the opportunity to deliver a message to the delegates to say – “We’ve had this many people in this many countries taking this many steps and saving this much CO2. We’ve done our bit to save the planet – now you do yours.” And we plan to take a crystal model of the earth with us, which doubles up as a crystal ball looking into the future. We will present the delegates with this crystal earth, as if to say, “This is our fragile earth – its future is in your hands.”

We are calling this initiative Pull Together, and we really do want to build that sense of connectedness – a global community of people all pulling together to make a difference. Some people might feel that anything they do is just a drop in the ocean, but every action counts. Each of my ocean crossings has taken a million oarstrokes. One stroke doesn’t get me very far, but you take a million tiny actions and you string them all together, and you can accomplish almost anything.

And everybody in this room is contributing to this. You are all spreading ripples in your communities. I want to invite you to use me and my adventures to destroy people’s excuses. If I’m prepared to row 7,500 miles across the Pacific to make a point about climate change – then is it really so much to ask, to get someone to leave the car at home and walk to the corner store? Help me to make sure that there never comes a day when I can row across the Arctic Ocean, because the ice cap is no longer there.

Point your audiences to my website at, ask them to check out what I’m doing and why I’m doing it. Make them believe that anything is possible, if only they want it enough. I used to believe that I had to live a certain kind of a life, because that was what Oxford graduates in the late 80’s did. It was what I was expected to do, and I bought into it. But then, you know what, I asked myself – is this true? This assumption I’ve made, about what I “have” to do, maybe it’s wrong. Maybe there’s a better way. And so I stepped outside. And the world carried on turning, the sun carried on rising. In fact, life got a heck of a lot better.

We’ve told ourselves that growth is good, that we need all this stuff, that we have to keep consuming, consuming, as our God-given right. But is it true? We tell ourselves that because we’ve been doing things this way for as long as we can remember, then it must be right to carry on this way. But maybe there’s another, better way, if only we find the courage to try it.

We stand at a pivotal moment in human history. I had my own pivotal moment when I wrote those two versions of my own obituary, and realized that the future I was heading for was not the one I wanted. Now as humans we have a collective pivotal moment, when we have to consider the possible outcomes and decide what kind of a future we want – do we want to live on a planet blessed with biodiversity, in a healthy, self-regulating biosphere? Or do we want to live on a planet wracked by famine, drought, floods and storms, with populations displaced, and wars waged over increasingly scarce resources?

When I looked back over my life from my imaginary deathbed, I realized I wasn’t living a life I could be proud of. It was a nice enough life, comfortable, pleasant, but I didn’t feel I was contributing anything valuable, I wasn’t leaving a legacy. When we look back at 2009 from a point in the future, will we be proud of the choices we made, will we be proud of the legacy we left, or will we be saying, “if only”?

The time for finger-pointing is past. Sure, some countries have been more at fault than others. As a Brit, I’m painfully aware that we probably started it with the Industrial Revolution. But as with so many things, the Americans took it and beat us at our own game.

But that doesn’t matter now. We can’t change the past. We have to look to the future.

We human beings are amazing creatures. We are creative, artistic, scientific, and philosophical. But we have also been arrogant, conceited, carried away with our own cleverness and believing that we can buck the laws of nature and get away with it. For a while, we HAVE got away with it, but now we’re living on borrowed time.

We’ve been killing this earth through a thousand billion cuts. There have been a few major disasters, but mostly the damage has been caused by a multitude of consumer decisions, multiplied up day after day, six billion times across the globe. Actually, it’s not the earth we’re killing – it’s ourselves. Give the earth a few billennia, and it will be just fine – but will we be around to see it? Or will we have drowned in our own filth, made sick by the toxins we have pumped out into our environment, day after day, year after year.

But the good news is, that we can counteract those thousand billion cuts with a thousand billion conscious, responsible decisions. We can start to heal the earth, by taking responsibility as individual consumers and by being the change we want to see in the world. In the past we have allowed our egotistical brains to overrule the wisdom of our hearts. Now it’s time to reconcile our inner and outer lives – to use the wisdom of our hearts as our compass, showing us which way we need to go, and then to use our brains to create the strategy for getting there.

This is the only earth we’ve got, and we have to take good care of it if we want it to take good care of us. We know this, and we need to tune in to that deep knowledge of how to live, respecting the earth instead of exploiting it.

We, you, are already creating awareness and change at grassroots level, which is good and necessary. But we also need to create change at a global, political level, to turn this tide before it is too late. And that is why it is so crucial what happens in Copenhagen – and beyond. We need decisive action, and a firm commitment to get back under 350ppm as fast as possible.

The best way to achieve something is to aim to achieve twice as much, so we need to push, and push hard. Time is too short for half-hearted ambitions. We have the technology, we just need to commit. It won’t be easy. Rowing oceans isn’t easy. There are many times when my motivation wavers, and I wonder what the hell ever possessed me to do this. But the thing that keeps me going is that I have a powerful reason why. I just have to keep my eye on the goal, and know that in the end it will all be worthwhile, because I am fighting for something that I care about.

So, we have to ask ourselves, is our continued survival as a species something that we care about? Is it a strong enough reason why for us to take the short term pain to achieve the long term gain? Do we believe we are worth saving?

I absolutely believe that we are, and that we can do it. It won’t be easy, but I truly believe that if we all pull together, we CAN build a better, greener future, the same way that I row across oceans - one stroke, one action, at a time.

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Sunday, May 10, 2009

Postings from Twitter - Change of Strategy

I live and learn - and when something isn't going as I hoped, I'm not too proud to admit I was mistaken.

I was really pleased when I found there was a way to post my Twitter updates to my blog as a single day's update - I thought it would be a great way to share my rather unusual lifestyle with people - and I still think it was worth a try. But the experiment has been a mixed success, so I've decided to change tack. The Twitter updates will still be available, but over at a new blog that I have set up for the purpose. So this blog will no longer be cluttered with the minutiae of my life.

Initially I had hoped that the advantages would be:

1. Even when I didn't have a spare hour to sit down and write a full blog, there would still be something new appearing on the site.

2. Especially in the final days before my next row, life is getting intense and interesting, and I'd hoped to share this.

3. I wanted to make my Twitter postings available to non-Twitterers, so you wouldn't feel you were missing out on an aspect of my online postings.

But there were several problems with the LoudTwitter postings:

1. The formatting wasn't too pretty.

2. For non-Twitterers, things like RT, @ and hashtags were confusing.

3. The Twitter blogs drowned out the "quality" blogs and important announcements.

So after a week's pilot scheme, I have decided to redirect the Twitter-blogs to a different blog that I have set up specifically for the purpose. If you liked them, you can now find them over at

Roz Savage: A Day in the Life of an Ocean Rower

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Roz's Day - Postings from Twitter

This is a digest of today's Twitter postings.
  • 00:27 Roz's Day - Postings from Twitter #
  • 07:38 Multitasking. Morning walk+planning speech+testing pedometer for online store. + admiring view. #
  • 08:17 A perfect mango is the food of the gods. Tropical fruit salad for breakfast. #
  • 09:41 Engagement leads to character, solitude to talent. (Voltaire) Not sure I agree with this - seems the wrong way round to me! #
  • 10:45 Gorgeous mountains in Hawaii. Car bedecked with floral leis from yesterday's presentations. #
  • 12:42 Youch! $346 poorer after trip to Whole Foods to provision for voyage. Did I remember everything?! #
  • 18:31 Fine job applying stickers to boat. She looks so pretty. Thanks @nics_dolcevita and @sistaliz! #
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Saturday, May 09, 2009

Roz's Day - Postings from Twitter

This is a digest of today's Twitter postings.
  • 00:44 Roz's Day - Postings from Twitter #
  • 08:32 Good morning! Enjoying Friday morning ritual of latte, muffin and journal at Coffee Gallery in Haleiwa. #
  • 09:38 Thank you to for the gorgeous island-style earrings. #
  • 09:39 Thank you to for the gorgeous island-style earrings. (BTW, v tricky taking pic of own ear!) #
  • 13:31 Lunchtime presentation at Oceanit as part of their occasional No Limits series. Fun! But sore throat after too much talking... #
  • 13:53 Live-streaming my talk at Social Media Club Hawaii @smchi tonight. 5.30 HST. See it at #
  • 15:24 Just tested out sample of new Larabar flavour - peanut butter and jelly. Awesome! #
  • 15:34 Ooh yummy! Rawfood crackers from Marlene look amazing! Looking forward to going to sea so I can start eating them! #
  • 15:36 Thanks to Karen and the Lemon Ladies for the marmalade! #
  • 15:39 Thanks to Kaitlyn Einreinhof for the lovely drawings. They will look lovly on my cabin wall! #
  • 15:41 And a final thank you to Curtis for the kind offer of Versatraction and DaKine goodies! (Having a very grateful Friday afternoon....) #
  • 18:57 My presentation today at @Oceanit now online here: #
  • 20:54 orrying picture from Joel who is working on the boat tonight. He assures me they are just smoothing off bolts. #
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Friday, May 08, 2009

Roz's Day - Postings from Twitter

This is a digest of today's Twitter postings.
  • 00:15 Roz's Day - Postings from Twitter #
  • 08:50 Apparently Kanaloa, god of ocean and death, might be nice to me if I take nothing from Hawaii. #
  • 10:24 Yayyy! Have just bought audio of Monty Python's Life of Brian! Essential listening for days when I need a good laugh! #
  • 11:26 Nicole close to tears - of happiness. New MacBook on its way. Her days of techno-frustration are nearly over! #
  • 14:26 Stressing about boat. So much to be done, and so little time. Can we do it? Sure we will, just not sure how! #
  • 16:25 Have just updated To Do list for boat on our Basecamp page. Feeling marginally calmer. Always look on the bright side of life, do do, do... #
  • 19:14 Plans taking shape for launch day- just hoping boat will be ready in time! #
  • 19:16 Now at book launch for Stuart Coleman's "Fierce Heart". At Oceans 808. Very cool bar but very loud. Maybe I'm getting old... #
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Thursday, May 07, 2009

Roz's Day - Postings from Twitter

This is a digest of today's Twitter postings.
  • 00:06 Roz's Day - Postings from Twitter #
  • 03:41 3.39am and brain buzzing with boat repairs, website, and Al Gore conference speech. But need my sleep! Shut up brain! #
  • 04:20 iPhone is an insomniac's best friend... Have knocked out a few nocturnal emails. Now 4.20am. Let's try this sleep thing again. #
  • 04:26 Go Prince Charles! Great interview in USAToday on climate change and saving the rainforests #
  • 11:05 Great walk this morning to Historic Monument in Pupukea - ruined temple. Disconcerting to learn Kanaloa is god of ocean AND death. Eek. #
  • 11:10 How cool is this? Solara tracking beacon now working. Google Earth view of Pacific Shipyards with position marked: #
  • 16:15 89 books now downloaded from @audibleuk. 11 credits left. Hmmm, what shall I choose?! #
  • 16:17 The most likely way to reach a goal is to be aiming not at that goal itself but at some more ambitious goal beyond it. - Arnold Toynbee #
  • 18:55 Watching "Message in the Waves" at Sunset Elementary. Singer Jack Johnson appeared onscreen. Little boy shouts "That's my Dad!"And it is. #
  • 19:05 Phenomenal underwater photography in "Message in the Waves" #
  • 19:34 Horrifying images of plastic pollution in "Message in the Waves". Toothbrushes, golf balls, toys, combs. All found inside albatrosses. #
  • 23:38 Announcing an Important Partner… United Nations Environment Programme #
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Announcing an Important Partner… United Nations Environment Programme

For those of you who regularly read my blogs and Twitter posts, you know that this year, my mission is all about Climate Change. Very soon, I’ll be officially unveiling my initiative for Stage 2 of the Pacific crossing – which I am so excited to share with you when the time is right – but not yet. Today, I have some very exciting news to tell you: I am pleased and honoured to announce an exciting partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). They have created a campaign called Climate Heroes, and yours truly has been named one of them.

The concept is born out of the UN-wide call for the world to UNite to Combat Climate Change in the lead up to the critical negotiations taking place this December in Copenhagen.

According to the UNEP team, “the Climate Heroes platform supports a select group who are undertaking exceptional personal feats, high-profile expeditions and other innovative acts of environmental activism to demonstrate their commitment and to raise awareness for one simple idea: Your planet needs You! These projects highlight environmental “hot topics” like CO2 output, plastic usage and tree planting.

“The ultimate goal of the collaboration between UNEP and the Climate Heroes is to build interest, inspiration and momentum to motivate action. Participating under the global banner, UNite to Combat Climate Change, their acts, and the attention they generate, will give voice to the movement of individuals and organizations across the globe who care about the state of our planet and want to see real change and real commitment. This commitment should be demonstrated by governments with a ratification of the proposals set forth in Copenhagen. The call to action for this outcome is called Seal the Deal.

Ultimately, this is a call for each of us to do what we can: from adopting the simplest habits, like taking a reusable grocery bag to the store or a reusable mug to the coffee shop. Part of why I’m so thrilled to be partnering with UNEP is because I’m a firm believer in the accumulation of individual choices and actions. Through our united efforts, we can all be Climate Heroes and together, we can make a world of difference!

UNEP World Environment Day…the 30 day countdown begins now!
Commemorated yearly on 5 June, World Environment Day is one of the principal vehicles through which the United Nations stimulates worldwide awareness of the environment and enhances political attention and action.

On World Environment Day, UNEP endeavors to:
• Give a human face to environmental issues
• Empower people to become active agents of sustainable and equitable development
• Promote an understanding that communities are pivotal to changing attitudes towards environmental issues
• Advocate partnerships which will ensure all nations and peoples enjoy a safer and more prosperous future

So this year, in honor of World Environment Day, UNEP is joining the Twitter revolution! They are pledging to plant a tree for every follower that they reach until 5 June, with a goal of at least 100,000 people. Tree planting is an important way to help recapture CO2 emissions – Prince Charles is a big fan of this method, and so am I!

You know how much I love to Twitter… So, let’s all pull together in this effort. It’s easy: just visit and add them to your Twitter feed. Spread the word to your friends and family and help us blow that goal of 100,000 followers out of the water!

To reward you for your efforts, for the next 30 days Team Roz will be Tweeting “Do Something Tips” – ideas and suggestions for ways you can take simple actions right now to green your daily routine, reduce the amount of waste you generate and the amount of carbon you emit.

So, come on…join us! And spread the word…

Other Stuff:

Tonight I went to an event run by Jack Johnson's Kokua Hawaii Foundation at a local school here on Hawaii's North Shore. It included a screening of the film "Message in the Waves", featuring various local Hawaiian heroes - and some shocking footage of plastic pollution killing animals and polluting the oceans.

But it ended on an upbeat note, with Jack Johnson singing "Reduce Reuse Recycle" - leading the way and telling us all what we can do to stop the problem at source. It's not rocket science - so here's something we can all do starting now. On my one-hour walk this morning I was able to pick up about 10 pieces of rubbish and put them where they do the least damage - in the bin. It all helps...

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Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Roz's Day - Postings from Twitter

This is a digest of today's Twitter postings.
  • 00:11 Roz's Day - Postings from Twitter #
  • 06:02 Up at 5.30am to drive across island for interview. Have been awake with buzzy brain since 4am. Sigh. #
  • 07:20 Phone interview with Lexus mag while in car on way to another interview. And not even 7.30am yet! #
  • 07:53 Celebrating Cinco de Mayo in the tv studio. I'm just celebrating making it here in time thru Honolulu traffic. #
  • 11:53 RT @nics_dolcevita: Recorded TV segment this morning with @rozsavage for kids science program called Weird Science. Will air on KGMB May 12. #
  • 17:23 Saw Brocade's new paint job. Very bling! #
  • 20:06 OMG. I've just found out that next week my speech is immediately, yes IMMEDIATELY, after Al Gore's. OMG. OMG. #
  • 20:25 Very productive conversation this afternoon with creator of Who is called Ian. #
  • 20:40 I LOVE Pacific Shipyards. This afternoon I saw the rudder was mounted crooked. Mentioned it to a couple of PSI guys. 15 mins later - fixed. #
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Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Roz's Day - Postings from Twitter

This is a digest of today's Twitter postings.
  • 00:08 Roz's Day - Postings from Twitter #
  • 10:31 My partnership with Dot Eco announced today, campaigning for creation of new top level domain name: #
  • 10:31 RT @growingbolder: We just posted our latest interview with the always inspirational and beautiful @rozsavage: #
  • 12:59 Hyperventilating over delivery of online technology for my row. Deadline long since past. Don't like having to rely on other people... #
  • 14:04 testing sat2twitter from satphone. position lat:21.590 lng:-158.017 #
  • 14:20 Emotions veering between hope and despair as I try to resolve techno-fiasco. It's not always easy to be zen... #
  • 14:24 Appropriately optimistic music playing in Coffee Gallery as I try to figure out tech solution: Coldplay and "Everything's Not Lost" #
  • 15:15 Hope these Terry Goodkind audiobooks are good - investing heavily in about a month's worth of listening from! #
  • 16:39 Just saw an article about myself in a Chinese magazine. Can't understand a word - hope they were saying nice things about me! #
  • 18:52 Been a tough day devising a workaround for our tech problems. Brainache. But I think I see light at end of tunnel. Onwards and upwards! :-) #
  • 18:52 Thinking a margarita might be a cure for brainache... :-) #
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Monday, May 04, 2009

Roz's Day - Postings from Twitter

This is a digest of today's Twitter postings.
  • 00:08 Roz's Day - Postings from Twitter #
  • 10:59 Ooh! My book is available on as well as! #
  • 12:44 Darn it, a lot of the books I wanted to "read" during my row aren't available as audiobooks. #
  • 13:36 A steady procession of friends swinging by our "uptown office" at Haleiwa Coffee Gallery today. I am in my happy place! :-) #
  • 15:34 The World Wide Wonder #
  • 19:35 Busy afternoon filming with Conrad Wade of Thrive TV. Few issues with sound when the ocean was crashing just a bit too noisily... #
  • 19:51 In answer to many inquiries - no definite plans for audiobook of Rowing The Atlantic yet, but I'm pushing for it! Read by me, I hope.... #
  • 21:35 The more deeply I go into myself, the more I am not myself, and yet this is the very heart of me. (Alan Watts) #
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Sunday, May 03, 2009

The World Wide Wonder

Timing is everything. If I'd have lived my life the other way round - doing my adventuring in my twenties and then settling down to a conventional life in my mid-thirties - I wouldn't have had the tools to share my adventures with an online audience. In the early Nineties, mobile phones were the size of housebricks, laptops were luggables, and email was in its infancy. Mobile computing was almost non-existent, and when sailors disappeared over the horizon that was pretty much the last you heard of them until they arrived - or didn't - at their destination.

I graduated in 1989 - and I've been doing a bit of research to find out the timeline of what has happened since then:

1990 World Wide Web was invented by Tim Berners-Lee and Robert Cailliau
1990s Email comes into widespread use after its invention in the 1970s
1994 Blogging begins - Justin Hall was an early blogger
1996 Google founded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin
1998 Iridium satellite phone network becomes available commercially
2004 Podcasts begin to emerge
2004 Facebook founded
2005 YouTube created
2006 Twitter invented by Jack Dorsey

So if I'd been adventuring back in 1989, my capacity to share the adventure would have been restricted to a few newspaper articles and maybe a book, and any communication from the ocean would have to be sent back to land via passing ships. Now, I have a plethora of tools at my disposal, and during my voyage I'll be making the most of them, through this blog, Twitter, podcast, video and Facebook. And of course my website at, which will show a map of my sedate progress across the Pacific Ocean.

However, technology is both a blessing and a curse. I'm going through a bit of pain right now, trying to get everything up and running before I launch in 3 weeks time, despite a few issues both technological and human. And my spare satphone has gone missing somewhere in the multiple moves of boat cargo.

I hope that everything will come together so I'll be able to share the adventure with you in all its multimedia glory - without the seasickness!

Pictures: top - the high tech version. In 2007 I was doing all kinds of data gathering, requiring a profusion of paraphernalia. With all this weight up top, no wonder my boat capsized...

bottom - the stripped-down version. We actually took all the fixtures off to allow for repainting, but very little technology will be going back on beyond what you see in this picture. The new strategy is to have very few electronics fixed to the boat - saltwater and sensitive electrical equipment are not a happy combination, so I will be taking mostly handheld devices that will be put away in Aquapacs when not in use. The new strategy is: Less is more/KISS (keep it simple stupid!)

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Roz's Day - Postings from Twitter

This is a digest of today's Twitter postings.
  • 00:37 Roz's Day - Postings from Twitter #
  • 09:20 RT @LoriMoreno: Abundance is not something we acquire. It is something we tune into ~Wayne Dyer #
  • 11:02 Still no joy on getting Twitter onto FB Fan Page. Easy to post to personal profile, but Fan Pages confusing and frustrating! Breathe..... #
  • 11:56 Yachtpals have set up a page for all things ocean rowing - including me. Check 'em out: #
  • 12:18 Hmmm, Twitter from satphone posted position (to roziridium profile) but not my message. Satphone comms a whole different ballgame! #
  • 13:08 Bummer. Twittermail Tweet didn't post either. Looks like it might be an Iridium satphone problem... #
  • 13:27 Seems I'm having a bad technology day. Am going to shut down MacBook and go review final draft of my book manuscript instead. Hmph! #
  • 18:52 Finished reading 1st pass copy of Rowing The Atlantic. Surprising number of typos, and the diagram of the boat needs serious work. But good! #
  • 19:33 Now relaxing with friends at the beach house. Leaving land is going to be hard... #
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Saturday, May 02, 2009

Roz's Day - Postings from Twitter

This is a digest of today's Twitter postings.
  • 00:58 So happy to be back here on the North Shore. Falling asleep to the sound of surf instead of the sound of sirens... #
  • 08:18 Just back from early morning swim on Oahu's North Shore. Beach deserted. Just as well because I can't find my bikini so had to improvise! #
  • 10:30 Back at the "uptown" office in Haliewa for a day online. Nicole off to town to meet @hawaii and @Bytemarks #
  • 11:27 V cool! Testing sat2twitter, which I can use from satellite phone to geotag my Tweets and display to Google Map. #
  • 15:13 Cover girl! Pic of me on front of Rowing News: The Rising Tide of Ocean Rowing. #
  • 16:37 Help! I need a Facebook Page expert. Trying to add Twitter feed to Wall. Have added RSS feed app, but how do I display to Page? #
  • 16:51 Roz's Micro Blogs from Twitter #
  • 17:37 Very proud of myself. Have achieved long term ambition to roll up Twitter updates into a daily Blogger posting using #
  • 18:34 Roz's Day - Postings from Twitter #
  • 18:59 End of another tough day in paradise. Relief to escape from computer screen and enjoy sunset. #
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Roz's Micro Blogs from Twitter

This is my first ever test of a new kind of blog. Those of you who enjoy proper essay-like blogs, fear not - those will still happen. But when things get busy I don't always have an hour or so to sit and write a long, thoughtful blog. I'd like to make sure I am keeping you in touch with final preparations - and Twitter (micro-blogging service) is the easiest way to do that. So here is the best of both worlds - I've found a way to gather up all my "Tweets" for 24 hours and post them as a blog. So here we go! I hope you enjoy these two contrasting perspectives on my life - the big thoughts and the minutiae, and sometimes the blending of the two...
  • 21:28 Great time at Haleiwa Green Drinks tonight. Thanks to all for a special evening! #
  • 22:18 Chillin' post presentation. Playing pool at Kainoa's. #
  • 22:22 Joel pulled his back while working on my boat. Then he found the massage chair at Kainoa's. See pic [below] for major bliss #
  • 23:58 So happy to be back here on the North Shore. Falling asleep to the sound of surf instead of the sound of sirens... #
  • 07:18 Just back from early morning swim on Oahu's North Shore. Beach deserted. Just as well because I can't find my bikini so had to improvise! #
  • 10:30 Back at the "uptown" office in Haliewa for a day online. Nicole off to town to meet @hawaii and @Bytemarks #
  • 10:27 V cool! Testing sat2twitter, which I can use from satellite phone to geotag my Tweets and display to Google Map. #
  • 14:13 Cover girl! Pic of me on front of Rowing News: The Rising Tide of Ocean Rowing. #
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Some of this syntax might be a bit mysterious to those of you who are not active on Twitter. So just a few words of explanation:

Twitter = way of sharing thoughts, ideas, news and general drivel with anybody who cares to share. Updates can be posted via computer or mobile phone - or indeed satellite phone! Maximum length is 140 characters. A good lesson in brevity!

@ = this prefixes a username of someone else on Twitter. So, for example, @hawaii above refers to Ryan Ozawa, who goes under the alias "hawaii" on Twitter.

tinyurl etc = Tinyurl is a website that converts long website addresses into short ones - very useful when you only have 140 characters to play with.

# (hashtags) = there aren't any above, but you might see them from time to time. They operate like searchable data tags. So, for example, if I wanted people searching on the word "sustainability" to find my Tweets, I would make sure that I included "#environment" somewhere in the post. But the hashtag at the end of each of the lines above is slightly different. If you click on it you'll be taken over to the original Tweet on my Twitter home page. Try it and see.

By the way, you might notice above that I have been experimenting with ways to leave a trail of Tweets across the ocean, geotagged so we can plot them on a Google Map. I haven't tried it out from my satellite phone yet but am optimistic that it will work. So you'll be able to see exactly where I was when I posted a particular Tweet. Call me a geek, but I'm really excited about this!

I'm geek and I'm proud!

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