25 Aug 2008, The Brocade
.Not saying I've missed these things, because it is just a different existence out here - but they are all things I enjoy that I haven't been able to do for over three months now: And now that the end of my voyage is drawing near, I am starting to think about my "other" life again - my life on dry land.
- bathing in fresh, not salt, water - washing my hair - getting dressed up and putting on makeup - eating out - having a drink with friends - walking - trees - massage - freedom to do a lot more things than can be done alone on a small boat - NOT rowing - curling up in a comfortable chair with a good book - the internet - emailing my friends - not just my team - people - chance meetings - serendipity - using my Macbook rather than a PC - my coffee-shop-and-journal therapy sessions - going to see a movie (is "Sex and the City" still showing anywhere? I left a week before the premier!) - a glass of something nice - champagne (Veuve Clicquot), wine (chenin blanc or pinot noir), beer (English) or margarita (straight up with salt) - depending on mood - and, of course, caramel lattes!
I am not wishing my time away (much), but the ocean is a tough environment and I am looking forward to being somewhere where the sun is high and the living is easy (or at least easier).
Position at 1945 24th August HST, 0545 25th August UTC: 22 01.106'N, 153 46.358'W.
Today has been a bit poor on the mileage. The wind is good now, but for most of the day it has been very variable due to squalls. And it was very light last night - normally I would expect to make about 9' of longitude overnight, but last night I only got 4', so that was not a flying start to the day.
But the weather varies quite a bit from day to day, so with a bit of luck tomorrow will be an improvement. But we may now be looking at Sept 1 or 2 rather than August 31. It doesn't matter too much one way or another - so long as I get there safe and sound.
Thanks to Karen and Megan for the kind donations - much appreciated, and Karen, I promise I will put it towards my day of massage and pampering. I can't wait!
To Texino and anyone else who is concerned about the safety of my arrival in Hawaii: please don't worry! It will be, errr, challenging, but my weatherguy and I (and various other helpful people, including the wonderful folks at the Waikiki Yacht Club) are all on the case and will make sure that my landfall is as safe as possible. Worry ye not! That's OUR job!
And thanks for all the other lovely messages of support too. Each and every one is read and appreciated.
Click here to view Day 92 of the Atlantic Crossing 2 March 2006: Has she or hasn't she? About drinking ballast water.
(Tomorrow these details will be rather late in the day as I am travelling to San Francisco from the UK - Rita.)
24 Aug 2008, The Brocade
Today I saw five birds, all circling my boat at the same time. This in itself was unusual - I often see a solitary bird, sometimes two, but this was positively a crowd.
And the other unusual thing was that they were tweeting to each other. Then, later on, I saw another bird, on its own, and it was tweeting too.
This may not sound like a big deal, but all the birds I have seen on my crossing have circled my boat in silence. Not a tweet, a chirrup, nor a trill. And now I remember it was the same on the Atlantic - the birds in mid-ocean were mute, and it was only when I was nearing Antigua that they became more chatty.
I have no idea why this should be, but that's how it is. And it's exciting to get this first sign that I am nearing land. Today I crossed 153 degrees West. My chart of the Hawaiian islands starts at 155 degrees West, so soon I will be able to start plotting my position as I row past the Big Island and Maui, and approach the Molokai Channel that will lead me to Waikiki on the southern coast of Oahu.
The end isn't yet in sight, and many oarstrokes still lie between me and Hawaii, but I am starting to sense the nearness of my goal. It's been a long time coming.
Position at 2100 23rd August HST, 0700 24th August UTC, 22 09.406'N, 153 19.723'W.
Thanks for the messages. Special mentions to: Sarah Outen- have a great time in Iceland. Sounds like the boat is coming on apace. Can't wait to see it - and you! Nancy Wilhelms - thank you so much for the donation. A thousand blessings on you and yours! Karen Morss - I listened out, and yes, I think I heard you cheering me on! Thanks for spreading the word among the Lemon Ladies about voting in the Amex awards. You're a star - and a great inspiration! Bob Proctor - I'd be really interested to see my list of daily mileages. Do you have them in a spreadsheet? If so, I wonder if you could send it to email@example.com. Annie - thanks for the Emerson quote. It was too long for the comments box, so it got cut short. Can you tell me which book it was from and I will order it up as an audiobook for my next row! Sharon et al - much love to you all! Sandi - so I'm nearly in Scotland?! Thanks for the little history lesson on Lindisfarne too! Katharine - 6 months before I set out again from Hawaii. Time to wait out the winter storms, refurbish the boat, catch up with friends, learn about Hawaiian culture, and fatten up! Helene - sticktoitiveness now joins justdoitiveness as new words created by my voyage! Also Mike D, Karyn, CabSav Lane, Duane, Dana, Erin, John H, Roger, Margo, Sindy, and Allen. For those people who don't already have all the reusable grocery bags they need, we are producing bags with the Savage logo on them, and the slogan "If we pull together, we can make a world of difference". They are made from recycled plastic, and are themselves recyclable. There has been a long lead time on them, but they should be available within the next few weeks, if you can hold out that long to save the world!
Click here to view Day 91 of the Atlantic Crossing 1 March 2006 Antigua Here we Come - getting nearer.
If you have not yet voted for Roz, please do - go to the Members Project box on the right and sign up as a guest - won't cost you anything, and could make a BIG difference to Roz and the film project. (But please don't vote more than once - it will be cancelled out.)
23 Aug 2008, The Brocade
Ninety days already. Or ninety days - seems like forever! I'm not sure which I feel. On the one hand, now that I am well into my daily routine, weeks seem to whizz by. But when I think back to my departure under the Golden Gate Bridge at midnight on May 24, it seems like forever ago.
And now the end is drawing near. But how near? That is becoming an interesting question.
My ETA - with the emphasis on the E - is still August 31. It had started to slip towards September 1, but today has been a good day with conditions helping me along towards a better-than-average daily mileage. It would be nice to finish in under 100 days. But still anything could happen.
When, on the Atlantic, my satphone stopped working on Day 79 severing all communication with land, I thought I had just a couple more weeks to go. Those two weeks ended up taking me nearly a month. The wind dropped away to nothing and I slogged along in relentless heat for what felt like an eternity - about ten days. It felt like I would never get to Antigua. My poor mother was waiting there for about 10 days before I eventually showed up.
And one of the other crews rowing the Atlantic got within 180 miles of the finish (the total crossing is about 3,000 miles) when they capsized. Their boat refused to self-right and they had to be rescued. So near and yet so far. On this Pacific row I still have to face the dangers of the infamous Molokai Channel, where wind speeds of 30 knots are fairly typical. We are preparing and planning carefully, but it will be challenging nonetheless, and is increasingly on my mind.
And then there is the matter of actually hitting Hawaii. The winds are different every day, and it is rarely easy to make a straight course. Up a bit, down a bit, constantly adjusting my latitude, because if I miss the islands. well, missing the champagne celebrations would be the least of my worries.
So I now know better than to make any assumptions about when or if I will arrive safely. This is still far from being a done deal, and I won't truly relax until I have my feet firmly planted on dry land. And if that dry land happens to be in Waikiki, and happens to be on August 31, then that is a bonus.
Position at 2100 22nd August HST, 0700 23rd August UTC: 22 17.290'N, 152 46.041'W.
Hi to Karen Morss (am just about surviving lemon-less, but looking forward to a citrus resupply!), Nave, Will, Holly H, and all the regulars.
And thanks to Texino for his kind words - seems they are not easily won!
And a special thank you to Joan in Atlanta, who posted this lovely comment: I'd like to suggest that all the readers who wish they could be in Hawaii for the landing celebration hit that Donation link above and send along the monetary equivalent of the bottle of champagne or round of drinks you'd happily buy if you could be there. A generous bit of funding for the next leg of the crossing is the best congratulatory gift we could give. I'm sending along a magnum donation.
If you live in the UK and wish to make a contribution to Roz and don't wish to use Paypal, send a message from the Contact area of this website for details
Click here to view Day 90 of the Atlantic Crossing 28 February 2006: Stripped Down - a recounting of all the items that Roz has lost en route.