The Voyage: Roz Savage
Day 77: JUNK Males
Roz Savage
10 Aug 2008, The Brocade

Today has been an odd day. After so many days at sea, I had got into quite a routine, which swung along easily without requiring too much mental energy or concentration. But today the weather, and circumstances, have been conspiring to shake things up around here. This is not a bad thing. It's just a thing.

The last couple of nights have been squally, making for little sleep and much bouncing around. Today the squalls spread into the daytime as well - winds variable, and bright sunshine giving way to dark grey clouds and onslaughts of rain. At times the rowing felt easy, at other times like rowing through glue.

I'd got used to looking at the figures in my logbook at the end of each shift to see roughly how many minutes of longitude I'd covered, and then figuring out a realistic target for the end of the day. But today it was so variable that it forced me into a more accepting way of being, not so goal-oriented. All I could do was carry on rowing, and the end result would be largely down to the weather. It would be what it would be.

This evening there were some other surprises - good ones. I spoke to the crew of the JUNK at 6pm Pacific Time to compare positions, and it looks likely that they will catch up with me tomorrow. The squalls have helped them along and they have been making good progress. So this evening I was quite a-flutter, getting ready for my first human contact since 26th May.

We are planning to exchange some goodies - they are short on food but OK for water, while I am short on water and have plenty of food. So I spent a while rummaging around in lockers to dig out some supplies for them - and turned up a few items I thought I'd run out of. It's amazing how things can get lost on such a small boat. I found a solitary remaining MRE (Meal Ready to Eat) and ate it for my dinner - a real treat to have proper satisfying chunks of food rather than the little pieces of freeze-dried rubble.

I also found some more tamari sunflower seeds (I mix them in with beansprouts, tamari almonds, nama shoyu sauce and tahini to make a very good and nutritious lunch), and some dried apple slices - both very welcome additions to my larder.

I've got a generous stack of expedition meals and Larabars to give to the guys tomorrow. I thought about giving them some of my dehydrated flax crackers too, but I suspect that no matter how short on food they are, they may not share my more extreme wholefoodie tastes.

Other stuff:

Position as at 2145 9th August Pacific Time, 0445 10th August UTC: 23 04.311'N, 145 36.282'W.

People are starting to ask for an ETA in Hawaii.. Well, what can I say? I don't want to tempt fate. In my experience, anything involving boats always takes longer than expected.. But OK. Tentatively, based on my calculations of average mileages since I crossed 130 degrees west, I hope to arrive on or around 31st August, which would be Day 99. Will I make it? Only one way to find out - keep watching this blog!

Thanks for the messages and questions passed on to me by Leo in our podcast this morning. Thanks also for the other messages coming in via my website. Special mentions to: Tiny Little - a constant source of inspiration. Hope to see you when I am back in the UK in November. George and Tori - congrats on completing the bike ride. Hope you raised enough money for Dave's hand bike fund - and that you've recovered from the saddle soreness! Diane (my cousin) - you crazy fell runner. Is it something in our genes? I thought I got it from Mum's side, but I may have to reconsider! Good luck in the half marathon. And say hi to Paul from me - glad you two are having so much fun together! Anke Altermann - wow, you really ARE paying attention! The speakers are mounted underneath the side decks, one next to the "garden" (the seed sprouter) and the other in the "bathroom". There are another two speakers in the cabin. Lesley Ewing - great to hear from you! I still wear the superb t-shirt you gave me - a constant reminder of why I do what I do.

Click here to view Day 77 of the Atlantic Crossing 15 February: Stealth Sedna - radar could not find her boat.

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Day 76: JUNK Bond
Roz Savage
08 Aug 2008, The Brocade

Picture: JUNK Learn more -click for their website.

Today, after several days of failed attempts, I finally managed to make contact with the good ship JUNK, on her way from California to Hawaii to raise awareness of plastic pollution in the oceans. Sound familiar?!

Navigator Joel picked up the satphone, and I spoke to him and to Dr Marcus Eriksen. I'd spoken to Marcus before, while we were both still on dry land. He works with Captain Charlie Moore of the Algalita, the two of them having visited the infamous North Pacific Garbage Patch to conduct scientific research. Marcus and I had discussed how we could combine efforts to the greater good of both our ventures, but then my departure date was brought forwards and we ran out of time. But it seems we were destined to meet - and it looks as if it might be sooner rather than later.

Today we compared latitudes, longitudes, courses and daily average mileage, and it appears that we are on converging routes. The JUNK is gaining on me steadily. We are going to try to rendezvous - most likely in 3 or 4 days time - but this is going to be VERY tricky. We are two small, not very manoeverable craft, trying to meet up amidst towering waves on a very large ocean.

But at least we do now have communication, which is a good start. And we want to make it work, which is a good next step.

If we succeed, theirs will be the first human faces I have seen since I passed the Farralon Islands on 26th May. I am now rather thinner, browner, and considerably saltier than I was back then. Time to dig out some clothes and try and make myself presentable!

I also saw an aeroplane today, for the first time on this crossing. It was heading northeast, maybe from Hawaii to California, the reverse of my route.

So after months of seemingly having the ocean to myself, it's starting to get kind of crowded around here!

Other stuff:

Position at 2120 8th August Pacific Time, 0420 9th August UTC: 23 09.417'N, 145 06.322'W.

After a rather frustrating day yesterday, it was once again too rough to row this morning. But this afternoon the wind slackened by a couple of knots and I was able to get back to the oars. Yippee! In fact, it turned into a fine rowing day with large swells and helpful winds. I rowed along contentedly while listening to a P.D James book, A Death in Holy Orders. Nothing like a good murder mystery in mid-Pacific!

Thanks for all the messages - encouraging, informative, and supportive.

Special hi to George and Astrid in New Zealand.

And to Bob and Jamie Craft - thank you for the update on the family. Great to hear the news of REAL lives! Hope to see you in DC (or St Louis) during my "lap of honour" of the US this autumn.

And special thanks to John H for the stats - although my weatherguy and I work in nautical miles, not statute miles, so you may want to switch over so we are talking the same language! But my daily mileages definitely sound better in statute.

Louise - wow, what an adventure! Sounds very exciting. Good luck with the new life in Cowes, and with the sailing.

Rog Dodge - good luck with the preps for the Indian Ocean race. I will be watching it with interest!

Richard Dib - good to hear your family is cutting down on water bottles. Congratulations! Unfortunately I can't browse the internet from here - only send emails (which is how I do my blog) but will check out your song when back on dry land.

Melissa - lockers, hatches, holes under the decks with lids on top. whatever. Sorry if I'm getting my nautical terminology wrong. Don't blame me - I'm just a dumb rower! On my boat, the round ones have screw lids and the rectangular ones have hinged lids with pivot handles to secure them closed. All lids are white plastic and opaque. Does that help?! Part 2 (fore cabin) coming up tomorrow. Now just try to contain your excitement..!

Click here to view Day 76 of the Atlantic Crossing 14 February 2006: Ultimate Valentine Greeting - a vist from the Royal Navy!

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Day 75: 08/08/08 ? Olympic Hopes
Roz Savage
07 Aug 2008, The Brocade

Tomorrow the Olympics begin - in fact, given the time difference between Beijing and my own personal time zone 800 miles east of Hawaii, maybe they already have begun. I'd like to take this chance to wish good luck to all the competitors, and also to reflect on the spirit of competition.

A friend of mine who knows about these things once told me that the original meaning of the word "competition" implied a coming together of athletes in the pursuit of excellence - through pitting themselves against each other they would spur each other on to ever greater heights of achievement. If an athlete broke a record, the other athletes would celebrate with him or her, taking their share of the credit for having pushed the standard to a higher level, and basking in the reflected glory of the group effort. The new record was the achievement of ALL the competitors, not just the individual who stood on the top step of the podium with the gold medal around their neck.

This contrasts sharply with the "I win, you lose" attitude that often seems to underlie present day competition. I've been as guilty of this as anybody - when I rowed for Oxford against Cambridge (in 1988 and 1989) it was all about wanting to beat our traditional rivals by as many lengths as possible, showing no mercy. Joint efforts were the last things on our minds.

I'm no longer so competitive, although it's an urge I still fight to resist. During the Atlantic Rowing Race I found myself in the discomfiting position of being competitive enough to hate coming last (although as the only solo female it's what you would expect) but not being sufficiently competitive to cut down on my already deficient sleep in order to row for more hours.

So I'm definitely happier in a non-competitive situation, just doing my own thing, as I am on the Pacific. The ocean is a tough enough adversary without adding other humans into the equation as well.

But I digress. Back to the Beijing Olympics. I hope that the older, purer attitude will prevail. Every athlete who has been selected to represent their country is already a winner. I've read autobiographies by athletes who have been to the Olympics, and it sounds like a wonderful and special experience that only the talented few will ever enjoy.

To pin "success" on a gold medal is a very black-and-white definition. I hope that the participants will find a more flexible definition of success, to enjoy the Olympiad for the unique opportunity to meet similarly dedicated athletes from all over the world, and to treasure it as a special experience, no matter what the outcome in terms of medals.

Good luck one and all.

Other stuff:

Position at 2100 7th August Pacific Time, 0400 8th August UTC: 23 16.327'N, 144 37.356'W.

Very rough conditions today, with high seas and strong winds making it difficult to steer a straight course for Hawaii. This was rather frustrating after the sterling progress of recent days. But the forecast is for the wind to drop slightly after tomorrow, so hopefully conditions will get a bit easier soon.

Thank you for the ongoing messages of support and encouragement - and also for the kind donations. The next stage of my row is due to start in Spring next year, and the kitty is all but empty - far from adequate to replace the many items (mostly electronics) that have ceased to function since I left San Francisco. So all contributions, no matter how small, are most welcome.

Just like your contributions to a better planet, they all add up!

Click here to view Day 75 of the Atlantic Crossing 13 February 2006: The Perfect Adventure.

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Day 74: Food, Food, Glorious Raw Food
Roz Savage
06 Aug 2008, The Brocade

I've been interested in food all my life, and interested in raw foods since I went on a retreat over Christmas and New Year this last year - the chef at the retreat centre was very into raw foods, and I gleaned as much information as I could while I was there. It was a relatively new concept to me, but it seemed to make intuitive sense - good for my body as well as good for the planet - and I resolved to incorporate much more raw food into my diet both on dry land and on the ocean.

As luck would have it, my friend Ami turned out to be something of a raw foods guru. She and I met when she was an instructor with the Bay Area Boot Camp (now renamed AlaVie). I trained with BABC last year, enjoying the camaraderie of a bunch of women assembling at unearthly hours of the morning to train in a local park. Great for the weak of willpower! (And yes, that DOES include me!)

So I asked Ami to write a guest blog about raw foods. Here is what she has to say.

I love food! I love to talk about food, eat food, and for the first time in my life, I love making food. My newest passion is raw, or "live," food -- a radically simple and healthy way to eat. Over a year ago, I met Roz as one of her trainers in Northern California, and she recently became interested in raw food as well. Roz is incorporating it into her diet, so she's asked me to write a little about my lifestyle and how to get started with raw foodism.

My introduction to raw food came several years ago, with the opening of Juliano'sRaw in Santa Monica. I was amazed at the potential of raw vegan food and the surge of energy and happiness that came with every meal. I was raised a meat-eater, but switched to vegetarianism 16 years ago, before becoming vegan last year. In the process of my own journey, I've read countless books, taken classes, and paid for nutritional advice -- all to find what would give me loads of energy, lose body fat and increase lean muscle. But it wasn't until earlier this year that I really dove into raw food.

Raw food is nutritious, available and easy. As a rule of thumb, stick to local, organic and in-season ingredients, with a staple diet of greens, green juice, green smoothies, salads, fruit, fruit smoothies, nuts, seeds and sprouts. Sprouts are very easy to grow, even in the middle of the Pacific Ocean! During her row, Roz is growing her own fresh sprouts, providing instant access to a great source of protein and vitamins A, C, E, and B. Raw chef and instructor Kristin Suzanne writes>, "There is no doubt that sprouts are one of the healthiest foods you can consume because they're considered a "pre-digested" food, making them more easily assimilated by your body."

More and more, ready-made raw food products are being offered because of growing demand from raw-curious consumers.
Larabar> and Lydia'sOrganics make it easy to not own a dehydrator for this aspiring raw foodist. Roz wrote about her supply of Larabars' "yummy fruit and nut bars" on day 32, writing, "My favourite flavours are Apple Pie, Banana Cookie, Ginger Snap, Chocolate and Chocolate Coffee." Lydia's Organics makes delicious bars, cereals, crackers, breads and trail mix.

But where do you get your protein? Sprouts, seeds, nuts, goji berries, spirulina, quinoa, collards, coconuts and more. Carbohydrates come from vegetables, fruit, and nut butters. Healthy fats are available in flaxseed, hemp seed, olive oil, avocados, nuts, and more seeds. And I'm one of those people that believes a day without chocolate is like a day without sunshine. So yes, I eat chocolate every single day!

[Roz's note:Roz is not vegetarian. She fully acknowledges that a vegetarian diet has a lower environmental impact, but has found that it just doesn't suit her constitution or lifestyle. But she keeps her intake of animal protein to a low level, and uses organic, free-range meat and seafood from sustainable fish stocks whenever possible.]

The raw food community is also abundant. Lovely people at Gone Raw and We Like It Raw post recipes and inspiring stories from all points of view.

I've found eating this way has given me energy, quicker recovery from physical training, sleep improvements, and beautiful skin, which I've struggled with most of my life having some minor rosacea and acne.

Plus, less processed foods mean less waste in the trash can and around the waist!

Other stuff:

Position at 2130 6th August Pacific Time, 0430 7th August UTC: 23 26.983'N, 144 12.168'W.

Strong winds and large swells have made for interesting rowing conditions today. After recent record-breaking days the pace has slowed down slightly - although wind assistance is good, too much wind makes it difficult to row well, so the ideal is a balance between brisk wind and rowable conditions, and I wasn't quite there today. This is the problem with oceans - always too much of something or not enough!

Have been making a deliberate effort to look around me a bit more. I noticed several small pieces of rubbish as I passed close to them. Some are on the surface of the water, some visible just beneath - it all depends on the density of the material. This is one of the problems with the pollution issue - so much of it is hidden beneath the surface that it's only through the good work of the Algalita Foundation (of which JUNK is a project) that we have any idea at all of the true extent of the problem, as they take water samples from all depths and measure the quantities of pollution.

I also noticed some little fishes swimming to keep up with my boat. But then I got a crick in my neck from all my rubbernecking, so may need to keep my eyes in the boat tomorrow!

I didn't receive my usual email from Mum yesterday with the comments from the website, so I can't respond to them. I shall have words with the management.

Click here to view Day 74 of the Atlantic Crossing 12 February 2006: Happy Days are Here Again.

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