The Voyage: Roz Savage
The Ripple Effect: Big Changes from Small Beginnings
30 Nov 2007, San Jose, California

A few months ago I blogged about Rebecca Hosking. After seeing the devastating effects of plastic pollution in Hawaii while she was making a TV documentary there, she returned to her home in the small Devon town of Modbury, determined to make a difference. She persuaded local shopkeepers to stop giving out plastic bags, and Modbury became the first officially plastic-bag-free town in the UK.

It seems that from this small beginning the ripples have spread, and many other towns have been in touch with Modbury, wanting to know how they, too, can do their bit to help solve this insidious problem.

Click here to see the latest update on the story.

It just goes to show the power of the individual to make a difference. So don't be tempted to think that the environmental crisis is so hopelessly huge that anything you do is but a drop in the ocean. That one tiny drop can send out ripples in ways that we cannot even begin to imagine, growing in strength and speed until there is a veritable tsunami of positive change.

[photo: Rebecca Hosking]

[P.S. My own news: I arrived in San Jose, California, last night, to give a presentation today for Brocade, my title sponsors. Compared with the 900-strong sales conference a few weeks ago, this one had a relatively small live audience of a couple of hundred, but was available to another 2500 or so via live webcast.

My theme on this second anniversary of the date I set out across the Atlantic? Facing big challenges, how to keep going when the going gets tough, and recognizing that getting outside your comfort zone is (duh!) uncomfortable - but that the good news is that when you feel that discomfort, you know you're doing the right thing, because you're stretching yourself and pushing your limits.]

Click here to find out more about Brocade and their green credentials.

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Atlantic Rowing Race 2007
29 Nov 2007, Whitefish, Montana

Two years have now passed since I set out to row solo across the Atlantic, as a nervous novice ocean rower - and it is time for the biennial race to launch once again. The Atlantic Rowing Race 2007 will start on December 2, from La Gomera in the Canaries.

22 boats are signed up to compete. Although of course I wish all the crews the very best of luck for a safe crossing, I will be taking a special interest in these particular boats:

In the Fours class, there are two crews that include people who set out in the 2005 race, but in that war of attrition were sabotaged by forces beyond their control - capsizes, sinkings, a back injury, and a shark attack. Out of the 26 boats that set out in the 2005 race, 6 did not make it to Antigua. But not to be deterred, these hardy souls are back for a second try. They epitomize indomitability and determination, and I send them heartfelt wishes for better luck this time around. They are:

Bobby Prentice and Colin Briggs (UK, aged 54 and 62) in Moveahead II - sank in 2005

Emily Kohl and Sarah Kessans (US, capsized in 2005), Jo Davies (UK, back injury), and Tara Remington (NZ, shark attack) in Unfinished Business

And elsewhere in the fleet:

Peter Collett - an Australian solo rower, who I met last year in England.

Lin Griesel and Rachel Smith - who I met at the Boat Show last year on the stand of Simrad, who sponsor both them and me.

Elin Haf Davies and Herdip Sidhu - two British nurses who had their boat fitted out, as I did, at Dolphin Quay Boatyard in Emsworth, England.

Angela Madsen and Franck Festor - who I met in La Gomera two years ago, and have stayed in touch with ever since. I featured Angela on my website back in April this year.

I encourage you to follow the race via the official website, and keep the crews in your thoughts and prayers.

And a final message to the crews themselves - wishing you fair winds and following seas - and a request that you bring all your litter back to land rather than disposing of it overboard.

Marine Debris 101

[photo: Moveahead II in La Gomera. Picture courtesy of Woodvale]

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Pedal the Ocean
27 Nov 2007, Whitefish, Montana

Did you know that the average American watches 2 hours of TV a day? If they went out for a bike ride instead, they would lose 10 pounds in a month.

This is one of the blip-facts available on the website of a fellow adventurer who is pushing the boundaries. Greg Kolodziejzyk is preparing for his 2008 bid to cross the Atlantic ocean in less than 40 days, which would be a new world record for the fastest human powered Atlantic crossing. He is using his project as a platform to show children what the human body is capable of and inspire them to get out and get physical.

Greg is looking for support for his venture - you can join the PedalTheOcean team and be part of a history making human powered world record. The "Across With Greg" sponsorships start at only $30 and include your name on the expedition boat. $100 packages include your name on the boat, your choice of a wide selection of our "human power" line of branded products, and 10% donation to KidPower, which is is a national education program focused on developing young children into healthy, active and positive people.

I should declare a vested interest in supporting Greg in his endeavours - I owe him a debt of gratitude. I had planned to visit him and his wife in Calgary and take a look at his boat (although the word 'boat' hardly seems adequate to describe such a futuristic craft), but unfortunately visa issues forced me to cancel my trip.

So as a consolation, Greg offered to let me stay in their ski lodge in Whitefish, Montana, for a few days. I arrived yesterday in this beautiful part of the world, after a stunningly scenic drive from Mount Rainier in Washington, where I had spent the weekend clambering around with some friends. I am now comfortably ensconced in the lodge, high up on Big Mountain. It will be a real treat to spend more than one night in one place so I can focus on some increasingly pressing tasks connected with the Pacific documentary - of which more news soon.

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25 Nov 2007

You might be interested to see this short video that was created for my presentation to the Brocade worldwide sales team (all 900 of them) a couple of weeks ago. It opens with a scene of me looking very weatherbeaten but very happy out on the Atlantic, and goes on to give an overview of what I've done, and why, and what my plans are for the future.

Click here to view the video.

Thanks for all the suggestions arriving in response to my appeal for information from teachers and students about environmental education. Keep them coming!

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