The Voyage: Roz Savage
Day 96: Guest Blog: International year of the Reef
Pauline Sato
29 Aug 2008

I am honored to be asked by Roz and her support team to provide a blog entry so that Roz can concentrate on rowing to Hawai'i. We can't wait to greet her in Waikiki!

I have not had the pleasure yet of meeting Roz but from what I have read and heard, she is simply amazing! To even begin to imagine myself embarking on a 3-month solo adventure like this requires more courage than I could ever muster. But I share several insights with her from my limited but life-changing experiences on the sea on a traditional Hawaiian long distance voyaging canoe called Hokule'a (star of gladness), and as a person who cares deeply for the protection of our environment. (Last November Roz was given a tour of Hokule'a.)

Hokule'a is a 62 foot double-hulled sailing canoe designed after the canoes that brought the first people to Hawai'i. It has no engine and no modern navigational instruments. Navigators use the stars, wind, ocean swells, and marine life, including birds, to guide their way. When I read Roz' blog about birds visiting her more frequently as she approaches Hawai'i, I thought of how traditional Polynesian navigators used birds to help find their way home.

To talk about the who, what, why, and how of Hokule`a would take more space than I should for this blog, so if you are interested in learning more, please go to the website of the Polynesian Voyaging Society. It is a fascinating story and the canoe is a symbol of peace and caring.

The Hawaiian word to convey "caring for" is "malama." It's a powerful
word. There are many ways to malama - the environment, each other,
ourselves. And it is important to do that each and every day. I am a member of Malama Hawai'i, a coalition of more than 70 groups and hundreds of
individuals who take care of Hawaii's land, sea, and people.

Due to our isolation, Hawai'i is home to land and sea life found nowhere else on earth. While there are reefs in other parts of the world that are more abundant, Hawaii's reefs have a high percentage of unique species. They provide food for people and marine life and allow us to have the surf we ride and the beaches we enjoy. They also protect our coastlines from powerful waves.

But our reefs are in trouble. Land- and ocean-based pollution, invasive species, overfishing, and recreational overuse are major threats. Scientists estimate that our fish populations are 75% less than what they were 100 years ago. Now with climate change and ocean acidification gaining speed, we wonder how much more abuse our reefs can take.

It's not a time to give up, though. It's time to act, to make changes in our everyday lifestyles so that we are part of the solution, not the problem. Roz is doing that in her own unique way. She is sending a powerful message across the globe, and more people must listen and take part.

In that spirit, I invite those of you who are in Hawai'i to come to Waikiki Beach on August 31 to enjoy "Sunset on the Beach" celebrating the International Year of the Reef. There will be wonderful Hawaiian music by Leokane Pryor and Friends, visits by paddling great and ocean educator Donna Kahiwaokawailani Kahakui and the crew of JUNK, educational booths, and a feature family film. Festivities start at 5:30 pm, and best of all, it's FREE! Of course, we are all wishing for favorable winds and waves so that Roz will arrive on the 31st and join us.

For those of you who can't make it, please go to our website: to learn more about caring for coral reefs and how to get involved.

Mahalo and aloha,
Pauline Sato
Coordinator, Malama Hawai'i

Other Stuff:
Position at 2030 27th August HST, 0830 28th August UTC: 21 38.137'N, 155 56.101'W.

Fair progress today, despite a few passing squalls. There was an amazing cloudscape this afternoon - squalls all around, but also blue sky and fluffy cumulus. This is one of my favourite things about the ocean - the big skies.

ETA still uncertain. Touch and go whether it will be Monday or Tuesday next week. If I can finish before 2100 HST on Monday it would mean an
overall time of under 100 days, which would be nice. But I'm not going to bust a gut to do it. I shall remain zen and calm, and will get there when I get there!"

Click here to View Day 96 of the Atlantic Crossing 7 March 2006: A Place in Waiting - where Roz will tie up her boat on arrival.

My sincere apologies to anyone sending a message from the Contact form on this website. While I was preparing to travel to the USA and on to Hawaii, the messages were piling up in the SPAM box. Having just found them, I do not have the time now to answer each one personally. Questions have been sent to Leo, and messages will be sent to Roz. Rita Savage.

| | More
Day 95: Hello Hawaii - Almost
Roz Savage
28 Aug 2008, The Brocade

Today I passed the line of longitude of Hilo, which lies on the western side of the Big Island of Hawaii. This marks the start of the final countdown into Waikiki.

When I did the Atlantic Rowing Race, the race organizers decided to call it a valid Atlantic crossing as soon as a crew passed the line of longitude of Barbados - even though the finish line was quite a few miles further west in Antigua. So on that basis you could say I have already rowed from California to Hawaii. but for me it won't be a successful row until I've made landfall on Oahu, my stated destination.

But it feels good to know I am this close to land. I can't see the Big Island - I am too far north for me to see it from here - but it's somehow reassuring to know it's there.

Today I've been listening to Jules Verne's classic, Around The World In Eighty Days - very enjoyable indeed, and it reminded me of yet another of the reasons I wanted to row oceans. I wanted to get a feel for the actual size of the planet. It's so easy, when you can jet everywhere at 500mph, to not understand how big - or how small - is this finite globe we call home.

On the one hand it seems very small, when you think we have to cram 6 billion of us (and counting) onto the dry bits of it, and find space enough to grow our food - and dispose of our garbage.

On the other hand, it seems very big - when you're rowing across one of the big blue bits of it at an extremely sedate pace.

And Phileas Fogg is my new hero and role model. No matter what disasters seem to threaten his adventure, he remains utterly imperturbable and calm, with a degree of stiff-upper-lipped-ness that I can only aspire to.

Other stuff:

Position at 2115 27th August HST, 0715 28th August UTC: 21 46.856'N, 155 20.407'W.

The JUNK was hoping to make landfall today. I haven't heard the latest news, but I hope that they did arrive and that they are enjoying a few well-deserved bevvies! I'm looking forward to seeing them again, just as soon as I get to Waikiki. Good of them to be my warm-up act! ;-)

Thanks for all the love and support - via messages, donations, and votes. I can sense the excitement building as I approach Hawaii. I know that some of you have followed my progress every single day, and I thank you for your interest, your loyalty and your words of encouragement. I have no idea what kind of welcome awaits me on dry land, but even if it's quiet and low-key, I will get great satisfaction to think of my internet audience celebrating on my behalf all around the world.

Thank you!

Day 94 of the Atlantic Crossing - Rita on her way to Antigua in the Caribbean. Click here to view Day 95 of the Atlantic Crossing 6 March 2006: Antigua Calling - first blog from Antigua.

My sincere apologies to anyone sending a message from the Contact form on this website. While I was preparing to travel to the USA and on to Hawaii, the messages were piling up in the SPAM box. Having just found them, I do not have the time now to answer each one personally. Questions have been sent to Leo, and messages will be sent to Roz. Rita Savage.

| | More
Day 94: Fundamental Issues
Roz Savage
27 Aug 2008, The Brocade

I've been at sea for over 3 months now, and it's starting to take its toll on my body. I've been fortunate so far - but this week I've started to fall apart. Nothing major - fingernails lifting from fingers (apparently due to some fungal thing), aches in the back, sunburned skin - but worst of all is the saltwater rash. It may sound like a trivial complaint, but grown men have been reduced to tears and/or excessive use of painkillers by this undignified ailment.

The best way to avoid the rash dreaded by all ocean-rowers is to bathe in fresh water, which I haven't been able to do due to the water shortage since my watermaker expired, so I am surprised that the affliction did not strike sooner. I have done my best to stay clean, bathing with salt water, supplemented with wet wipes and liberal application of tea tree oil. These measures probably bought me some spot-free time.

But now it has struck, and has struck with a vengeance.

Maybe it would have been better if I hadn't looked. Out of sight and out of mind. But I knew something was going on, so today I took out the small mirror and used it to take a look at my backside. It was not a pretty sight. For anybody who saw the pictures of James Cracknell's bottom after he had finished the Atlantic Rowing Race.. Well, I may not be able to beat James on the ergometer, but when it comes to spotty-botty I reckon I could give him a run for his money.

The main problem with this is that it makes it painful to sit on my rowing seat - which is the one thing that I simply can't avoid doing. So I shall have to grin (or grimace) and bear it. Only a few more days to go, but they may feel like long days indeed..

Other stuff:

Position at 2030 26th August HST, 0730 27th August UTC: 21 53.089'N, 154 43.757'W.

An underwhelming day on the mileage front today. Same number of rowing hours as usual, but it takes the cooperation of the weather to produce impressive leaps forward. At the moment I would say I'm 70% likely to arrive on 1st Sept, 30% likely to arrive later than that. I won't know for sure until I get there!

Mum sent me all the messages that had come through before she had to leave for the airport. So I probably haven't seen them all. Thanks for the ones I've seen. and for the ones I haven't!

Helena - fantastic effort on the beach-cleaning front. Well done! Interesting what you said about the number of straws. I wonder if there are reusable ones, or biodegradable ones. What did we used to do before straws were invented? That's quite an interesting question for most plastic objects - what did we used to do before they were available? After all, we survived for thousands of years before plastic came along!

Thanks also to Sandi (for my ongoing journey from Lands End to JO'G), Olivia in Oxford, and John H - informative as ever!

Click here to view Day 93a of the Atlantic Crossing 3 March: (I) Like a ship Passing in the Night. At last some news from Roz, via a passing ship.

Books Box: Do check the list of recent "reads" mentioned by Roz when talking to Leo Laporte. Available from; and also from Amazon if you click on the title.

| | More
Day 93: Waikiki or Bust!
Roz Savage
26 Aug 2008, The Brocade

In 2002 I went to the Explore weekend seminar at London's distinguished Royal Geographical Society. I was to be the sponsorship organizer for an archaeological expedition to Peru, going in search of Inca ruins in the cloudforest near Machu Picchu, and the expedition leader had recommended Explore as a great opportunity to learn about the nuts and bolts of planning an expedition.

At the end of the seminar a man came on stage to demonstrate the "Buff" - a tube of thin fabric that could be twisted into all kinds of headgear (beanie, balaclava, skullcap, snood), tied around a ponytail, used as a tourniquet, whatever. And we were all given a free sample.

My faithful Buff then traveled with me the length and breadth of Peru, up mountains and down gorges. It came with me across the Atlantic, holding my baseball hat on my head on the windier days. And now it is here with me on the Pacific, still going strong.

But I'd never really LOOKED at it until the other day. It was just a garment, not something to be examined. But it caught my eye, dangling from a line in the roof of my cabin, while I was eating my dinner. And what did I see when I looked at the grey repeat pattern of the fabric?

Waikiki Beach.

Yes, the design on my well-worn Buff shows an illustrated map of my present destination. As well as the beach, it shows the Outrigger Canoe Club, Moana Hotel, Waikiki Tavern (sounds promising!), Kalakaua Avenue and the Royal Hawaiian Hotel.

It seems just a little bit spooky.

And this seems like a good opportunity to say Aloha to Bobbie Jennings and the other wonderful people at the Waikiki Yacht Club. I was introduced to them by my friend Adrian Flanagan, who had to pull in there for impromptu repairs during his solo vertical circumnavigation of the world a couple of years ago. I gave a presentation there last November, and was given the warmest of welcomes. I know they have been working with my weatherguy, Rick Shema, in preparation for my arrival, and I'd like to say a big thank you, and that I can't wait to be back at the WYC.

And the Peruvian expedition? Yes, we did find our Inca ruins!

Other stuff:

Position at 2030 25th August HST, 0730 26th August UTC: 21 57.569'N, 154 14.907'W.

Today I crossed another line of longitude - and one of latitude. The Waikiki Yacht Club lies at 21 17.250'N, 157 50.550'W, so I am gradually homing in. Michael has kindly plotted my position, plus that of the JUNK and the WYC. Looks like I am following exactly in their wake! Very exciting to see how close I am to Hawaii. I am still using my Tomtom for navigation, but it hasn't yet found a road for me to follow to the Waikiki Yacht Club.

Meanwhile, my mother is homing in on Hawaii too. Today she flew from the UK to San Francisco. She spends a couple of days there before flying to Honolulu on the 28th to await my arrival.

More birds, more tweeting today. They seem to like traveling in groups of 5, and they circle vertically, as if they were on an invisible ferris wheel - very entertaining. I've been getting a crick in my neck, trying to watch them while not letting up at the oars!

Thank you to all the people who have written in, especially: Mikala - afraid I won't be in Hawaii for the Molokai race at the end of September - duty calls on the mainland - but I will be back January-March next year. I hope to see you very soon! John H - waves up to 25 feet in the Molokai Channel? Not sure I wanted to know that! Hi also to Milly, Ami, Margo and Greg., Sandy, Nancy and Cathy.

And if you haven't yet voted in the Amex Members' Project - please, please, please do so. You don't have to be an Amex cardholder - you can register as a guest. It won't cost you a penny, and could seriously help me out - and help me spread the message about the oceans. Thank you!

Click here to view Day 93 of the Atlantic Crossing 3 March 2006: Whether the weather helps or not.

| | More



Powered by XJournal