The Voyage: Roz Savage
Day 2: A Brighter Day
Roz Savage
02 Dec 2005, 2726.670N,1809.949W,0M

Monty in his new lifejacket

Miles from La Gomera: 64
Miles to Antigua: 2490
Position in race: not known

After yesterday's whinge-fest I have now rediscovered my sense of humour. Well, what else can you do but laugh, when you find yourself naked except for hat, trainers and kangaroo skin gloves, paddling sedately across 3000 miles of ocean and singing along to Abba?

In fact. I'm thoroughly ashamed of myself. I'd promised myself I wasn't going to whinge at all. I've chosen to do this lunatic thing, so I thereby relinquished any right to complain about this supremely surreal situation in which I now find myself.

Today has been a dramatic improvement. I treated myself to 8 hours of sleep last night, and woke up feeling like a new woman. Put in a solid 4 hours of rowing before breakfast (porridge - camping stove problem now overcome). And have spent the rest of the day getting into what feels like a sustainable routine of rowing, eating and resting.

And getting naked.

I am usually modest (and since pre-race bulking up have much to be modest about) and not given to exhibitionism, but previous ocean rowers have found that rowing naked helps prevent salt water boils. For me, the impetus to try it was because it's easier to apply suncream without having to work around garments.

And it felt rather good to feel the sun and wind on my skin - it felt healthy and wholesome, rather than strange or embarrassing.

I'm now sitting on my deck watching the sun set - I've washed and dressed for dinner, which is rehydrating in a thermos flask. The sea is calm and I'll put in a few more hours at the oars before retiring to my cabin. I feel well cared for and in control of my little world. Life is good.

Monty's Dispatch

Hmmph! Thank heavens she's in a better mood today. I've never heard so much whining and whingeing. 'My hands are sore, my ribs hurt, I feel sick.' Blah, blah, whinge, blah, blah.

Seems it was just a few teething problems and she's quickly got used to her new lifestyle.

Me? I'm happy. I've got a smart new lifejacket made by Roz's mother to keep me safe. No seafaring teddy should be without one!

Wind direction: 70°
Wind speed: 5 kts
Weather: fair
Sea state: calm
Hours rowing: 12
Hours sleeping: 8
Thought for the day: Know that you are not alone

Atlantic Row Part 1
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Day 1 : settling in for the long haul
Roz Savage
01 Dec 2005, 2733.821N,1738.883W,0M

As close as I ever hope to get to a ferry

My Atlantic Rowing Race has got off to an interesting start. One hour in I thought it was going to be the shortest-lived ocan rowing bid ever, when I couldn't get my watermaker working. I'd changed the filter just before the race, and had to wait until the race had started and I was out of the harbour and into cleaner waters before I couild run it. It whirred loudly for 5 seconds and then stopped. Argh.
My worst nightmare - DIY horror - was it coming true?

I got on the VHF to ask for advice, and George from the Atlantic 4 crew came to the rescue. The pump needed priming, that was all. It wasn't pleasant trying to sort it out, bum in the air and head down a hatch when I was feeling queasy, but 10 minutes later and we were in watermaking business again. A small but notable personal victory.

Last night: have had better. Seasickness makes me feel like a wrung-out dishcloth - grotty and floppy and grey. So the overwhelming temptation was to lie in my cabin and sleep until I felt better. But I couldn't lax enough to sleep. While I'm near land I'm in danger, and I kep imagining I was about to be run down by a ferry or shipwrecked on a reef.

Eventually dawn came, and life started to seem more tolerable. The seasickness abated, and I was feeling cheerful and positive again by the time the support yacht Aurora came by shortly after sunrise.

Radio Solent rang for a satphone interview at 8am. They passed on a message from the woman who is sailing solo around the world the wrong way. 'Keep going', she said. Seems like good advice.

6.30pm: had another low moment this evening. Couldn't get the camping stove working and let the situation get on top of me. 'This will be the hardest thing you've ever done', Mick Dawson of Woodvale Events had said to me yesterday. I was starting to believe him. I briefly considered advertising for a crewmate because I felt just too lonely. But then I thought about all the people at home who believe I can do this. How could I ever face them again if I don't see this through?

Stubborn pride may not be a noble emotion, but it works.

Atlantic Row Part 1
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T: in haste
Roz Savage
30 Nov 2005, 2751.621N,1713.148W,0M

I celebrated my first sunset on board Sedna by being seasick. It was a bit of a low point. The wind had temporarily turned against me, the early start to my day was catching up with me, and I momentarily felt very small and very alone.

I'm intending to write more but just had to nip outside to be sick again. Will upload this now so you know I'm still alive, and will try to write more later when I will (hopefully) feel better.

Atlantic Row Part 1
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Eating for England
23 Sep 2005

500,000 calories - 102 kg of food, including 300 snack bars, 100 sachets of porridge, 7 kg dried milk, 140 sachets of hot chocolate. The photo shows my mother dividing up my huge quantities of provisions into ration packs for my time at sea.

In addition to the food, there are 940 wet wipes, 6 tubes of sun cream, 4 tubes of nappy salve, an enormous first aid kit, a 20kg liferaft, axes, cooking fuel, toolkits, buckets, ropes, para-anchor, lifejacket, ropes, drogues, and assorted bits of technology.

Put aside the expedition-specific items for the moment, and just consider what it takes to keep body and soul together for 3 months, without the option of popping out to the shops. It's staggering. I'll be taking close to twice my bodyweight in food with me. Makes me wonder how on earth this tiny planet of ours manages to support such a huge population, all of us consuming, consuming. How does it do it? And how much longer can it continue?

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