The Voyage: Roz Savage
Day 45 A Forward-Dated Thought
08 Jul 2008, Woodside, California

I am writing this blog on May 7, three months before it will appear on my site. I have no idea what will be happening by the time you read this. Hopefully I will still be alive, and will be well on my way to Hawaii. But who knows?

Regardless of what has happened in the meantime, the thought remains valid. I am trying to explain why I go to sea - challenging though I find it.

Picture your world.

Now take away your job.

Take away your home.

Take away your car.

Take away TV.

Take away advertising.

Take away the phone.

Take away your family.

Take away your friends.

Take away the land beneath your feet.

What do you have left?

What do I have left?

I have:

The sun and the moon.

The sea and the sky.

My little silver boat.

Enough food to eat, and enough water to drink.

And my body, mind and spirit.

That is all. What I need to survive, and nothing more.

Perfect purity.

That is why I am here.

Latest position (0415 9th July UTC): 27 13.593' N, 128 38.332' W.

Click here to see Day 45 of the Atlantic Crossing Atlantic Prankster

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Day 44: Tough Day At The Office
Roz Savage
07 Jul 2008, The Brocade

Today was a toughie. Grey sea, grey skies, a chill wind and waves coming at me from an awkward angle. Conditions on deck were wet and cold, and the rowing was a hard slog for not much reward.

It's on days like this that I have to remind myself of the reason why I'd rather be rowing across oceans than working in an office, as I did for 11 years (although today it was a close call.).

So what is that reason?

I guess that in the office days I just didn't feel that I was making a contribution. I was mostly redesigning computer systems and streamlining headcounts for big financial companies - which is a contribution of sorts, but not the kind that I wanted to make. I needed to find a role in life that better reflected my personal values.

I wanted to connect with people and touch lives, and to feel there was some POINT to what I did every day. I wanted to be able to look back over my life and feel like I'd left some kind of legacy.

I hope that doesn't sound like ego talking. I try to keep my ego in check, as it's almost invariably a bad guide to living a good life. By legacy, I simply mean that when it's all over and I'm on my deathbed, and I evaluate whether I did good, did bad, or did nothing - I hope I will honestly be able to say that, on balance, I did good.

Position (as at 0210, 8th July UTC): c.

Other stuff:

Hey Jack- hello!!! How lovely to hear from you! Please give my best wishes to John and Claire, and the other doormen at 1088 Park Ave, and I can't wait to see you all again - hopefully in the fall.

Thanks for all the other kind messages that have come in - especially to Kirk for cheering up an otherwise gloomy day with his kind words.


Just one week to go before the deadline on July 14th. Simply go to and click on the Make a BLUE Pledge button. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart - or should that be from the bottom of the ocean.?!


Click here to see Day 44 of the Atlantic Crossing 13 January 2006.

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Day 43: Scores On The Doors
Roz Savage
06 Jul 2008, The Brocade

Today I proudly crossed off another degree of longitude on the whiteboard in front of my rowing position (top right in the photo). For a long time, while I was dancing to and fro across 124 degrees West, I didn't dare put the numbers up in front of me - it would have been too depressing (and I would have had to keep reinstating the 124 after having crossed it out).

But last week I decided I was ready. So now, like the Birdman of Alcatraz, I am keeping score - and it is helping to keep me motivated. Today the rowing conditions were uncomfortable, with a choppy swell coming at me from the side, but I knew that if I rowed all my shifts I could get to 128 degrees West - and the end of my audiobook, of which more below - and that thought kept me going.

For the stattos, here is how long it has taken me to cross each line of longitude so far. Just so you know, the Golden Gate Bridge is at about 122 30' W.

To cross 123 degrees: 2 days

124 degrees: 3 days. Then went backwards and spent 3 days the wrong side of 124. Then 2 days the right side of 124. Then 8 days the wrong side (including a brief foray back into the 122's). 4 days the right side. 6 days the wrong side. Then finally broke through for the last time.

124-125 degrees took 4 days.

125-126 degrees took 6 days.

126-127 degrees took 3 days.

127-128 degrees took 2 days.

And that's where I am now. Waikiki is at 157 50'W - so there's still a long way to go. But I'm getting ever closer to the trade winds, so I'm starting to feel cautiously optimistic about some decent progress from now on. Just hope I'm not tempting fate.

Current position (03:41 UTC) is 27 52.099'N, 128 01.573'W.

Other stuff:

Roz Recommends: today's audiobook was Collapse, by Jared Diamond, as recommended to me yesterday by a blog-follower. It's a fascinating look at previous cultures that have brought about their own demise through mismanagement of their natural environment, and an intelligent summary of what we can learn from their mistakes. It's unsettling reading (or listening), demonstrating as it does just how short-sighted we humans can be. But it's also empowering, because he concludes that the power to change our future lies in our hands.


In case you're stuck for ideas I'm going to suggest a subject for a Blue Pledge inspired by the audiobook Collapse. Promise to buy only fish approved by the Marine Stewardship Council - this guarantees that the fish comes from sustainable stocks.

Simply go to and click on the Make a BLUE Pledge button.


A special hello to all the kind people who have written to me from Hawaii to say Aloha and expressed a wish to greet me in. Don't hold your breath just yet. but as soon as I know where I'm going to make landfall I will make sure I put a note on this website to let you know. And I'll see you there!

Rochelle in Texas (and all your friends!) - thank you for your lovely message. I wish you could be in Hawaii too - I could seriously use that massage!

Hi also to Gene, John, Mark, Pippa, Dwight (sorry, don't know the water temp here - cold enough, when I get splashed!), and Alex (thanks for the words of encouragement).

Click here to see Day 43 of the Atlantic Crossing January 13 2006.

You can now read any earlier blogs by exploring the list at the top right and at the foot of the Contents page. The link is to the left of the Marine Track box.

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Day 42: Training
Roz Savage
05 Jul 2008, The Brocade

There are as many different approaches to training for an ocean row as there are ocean rowers (so that makes about 225 at the last count).

It's not like training for a marathon, which is now such a popular activity that there are tried and tested training programmes published in every running magazine. Ocean rowing remains (unsurprisingly) a tiny minority sport, and as most of its participants are what could politely be termed individualists, there is little conformity to any particular kind of training regimen, but rather a broad spectrum of approaches.

At the one extreme you have the serious athletes, to whom speed is all and a rigorous fitness programme essential. At the other end of the spectrum you have people like one of my personal heroes, ocean rowing legend Gerard d'Aboville. Before tackling the Pacific (rowing from Japan to the US) he merely went for a physical checkup to make sure he wasn't likely to keel over with a heart attack en route, before embarking with a boat lavishly provisioned with eight litres of French wine and several cartons of cigarettes. His account of the crossing gives the distinct impression that he started to row faster towards the end for fear that he would run out of Gauloises before he reached dry land.

My approach is somewhere in the middle, but it was not always so. For the Atlantic I trained really hard, determined to accustomise my body to the repetitious movement of rowing. So I spent many many hours on the rowing machine, culminating in a series of 16-hour rows, one a week for a period of 5 weeks.

.and then got tendonitis in my shoulders within the first week of the row, which continued to plague me for the rest of the crossing. On dry land I rarely resort to painkillers, but on the Atlantic I plundered my first aid kit for every variety I could find.

So after that experience I have now adopted a different, more laid-back approach, which fits more easily into a busy life, and so far seems to be working.

My usual programme consists of at least 60 minutes of cardio per day - typically cycling to the gym (20 mins each way) and then 20-60 minutes on a cross-trainer or training bike. Or a long walk/hike on local trails.

I supplement this with weight training, using mostly free weights and focusing on the upper body (which tends to be my weak area, and bears the brunt of the rowing action on rough water).

This is not something I do just in the run-up to an ocean row, but something I will probably do every day of my life for as long as I am able. I have always struggled with my weight - my appetite being large and my body being small - and although I do not naturally relish exercise, if the alternatives are obesity or starvation, I'll grit my teeth and do the exercise.

And once I get into the habit, it's really not so bad.

Other stuff:

Weird weather today - frequently alternating between fine drizzle and hot sunshine. I've been trying to catch some rainwater, but the drizzle is usually blown horizontal by the wind. As I go to bed tonight I can see dark clouds all around me, so the buckets are out on deck, just in case.

Fittingly, I've been listening to the audiobook of Slaughterhouse Five, which is just about as disconnected as the weather.


Thank you so much to the many people who have pledged to do something, no matter how small, to live in a greener (bluer) way. Every little helps, so don't be afraid if you don't feel you can do much - it all counts!

If you haven't already, please go to and click on the Make a BLUE Pledge button.


Thanks for all the lovely messages that continue to encourage and inspire me. Today I'd particularly like to say hi to:

Dana in Oahu - hoping to arrive at Waikiki, but it's not that easy to navigate this boat too precisely. 'Fraid you'll just have to keep an eye on the website. And I'll keep an eye on the skies - looking out for you in your plane!

Hi also to Cheryl, Caro, Jeff, Rick, Jim (thanks for the book recommendation for Collapse - yes, I do have it, and will start listening to it tomorrow), Carol, Steve at INM, and Dave B.

Position Saturday evening: 28 07.440 N, 127 31.923 W.

Click here to see Day 41 of the Atlantic Crossing

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