The Voyage: Roz Savage
First Night - Turbulent
Roz Savage
15 Apr 2005, 150 miles north of Cape Verde

Imagine trying to sleep in a washing machine full of gravel, standing on a creaky floorboard, in an aeroplane going through serious turbulence. That's the best way I can describe what my first night on the open ocean sounded and felt like.

I soon realised this was going to be very different from my previous sailing experiences, in Australia and Thailand, when we would moor up in a sheltered harbour and be gently rocked to sleep by the waves. Steamy steams on, 24 hours a day, our crew of 4 taking shifts at the helm, while the rest sleep as best they can.

Surprisingly, I slept rather well. The other good news is that I haven't yet been seasick, and haven't been fazed by getting out of sight of land. These are things I needed to prove to myself BEFORE I got to the start line in November. It could have been rather embarrassing to discover that far down the line that ocean rowing really wasn't the sport for me after all...

| | More
Sail on Steamy
Roz Savage
11 Apr 2005, Palmeira, Cape Verde Islands

I´ve moved from my winter´s endurance training into a very enjoyable phase of my preparations for the race - ocean familiarisation. For the next 6-8 weeks, home will be a Sigma 38 yacht called Steamy Windows, on passage from the Cape Verde Islands to the UK via the Azores. This is a perfect opportunity to get my sea legs, check I don´t suffer from seasickness, put my navigation theory into practice, learn about marine technology, and generally get used to life on the ocean wave.

Before I left, I staggered through a final hectic round of meetins with potential sponsors, in the optimistic hope that financial matters will progress in the right direction (i.e. net IN-flow) during my absence.

Then I picked up the rucksack I´d packed in Leeds over a week, several counties and one house-move ago, and headed for the airport. I´ve been reluctant to fly every since I found out about the huge environmental impact, but there was no other way to get to Cape Verde in a realistic timescale.

Arrived on board Steamy at 2am last night - Russ skilfully managing to get one exhausted new crewmate and her rucksack down the rickety jetty and into Steamy´s tiny dinghy, in the dark, without mishap.

I crawled into my cabin, wondered how I was going to sleep with the unaccustomed movement of the boat... and that was my last conscious thought before falling inot a deep and much-needed slumber.

| | More
Tiller Girls
Roz Savage
06 Apr 2005, Kensington

Diana Hoff is the only British woman to do it solo. Her husband has done it twice. Her daughter tried to do it, but had to be rescued after two weeks. Do what?

Row the Atlantic, of course.

Fresh (or distinctly otherwise) from my latest round of torture, I mean testing, with the sports science lab in Hatfield, I hastened to London to meet the Hoff family on the eve of departure by the two senior Hoffs to compete in the Marathon des Sables.

After this and my meeting with Rosie Stancer yesterday, I'm feeling much more informed about the unique challenges and rewards facing endurance athletes, and well and truly inspired to persevere in my endeavours to join their ranks.

| | More
Rosie Stancer
Roz Savage
06 Apr 2005, Essex

Rosie Stancer, polar explorer, is a cool lady and a wonderfully warm human being. I was introduced to her by a mutual friend, and over dinner at her house last night subjected her to an interrogation about how to prepare for extreme physical endeavour.

It's been invaluable to learn from someone of her experience, who has proved that when it comes to feats of endurance physical size is less important than an indomitable will to succeed.

| | More



Powered by XJournal