I'm asking myself how I feel to be listed as a Famous Sailor. On the one hand I am unbelievably flattered to be listed alongside such dazzling luminaries as Francis Chichester, Robin Knox-Johnston, Joshua Slocum, and Ellen Macarthur.
On the other hand, I am definitely the odd one out - especially as I don't know my luff from my leech (or I do now, but only because I looked it up on Wikipedia).
In fact, I think I may even have an inferiority complex about being a rower rather than a sailor. Sailing seems so much more glamorous than rowing. My image of the sailor is not of the storm-battered sailor battling his way through a Force Ten, but of a serene sea captain, wind in his hair, flying swiftly across the sparkling waves with the wind in his soap-powder-white sails.
Whereas the rower, no matter how hard they row, is rarely going to top four knots, and the miles are won by blood, sweat and tears.
I'd be interested to know - how do you perceive the life of the ocean rower? Does it seem a romantic, noble cause? Or a fool's errand?!
[photo: one of the better days... the Atlantic, December 2005]
Still working hard - lots of behind-the-scenes activity going on with boat refurbishment, website redesign, and some very exciting developments around the environmental message for the next stage of the row... I'm not ready to go public with the details yet, but you can be sure that as soon as any announcement is ready, readers of this blog will be the first to know!
Meanwhile, for your entertainment and (hopefully) edification, here is an interview that I did with Cooler Mag, all about what motivates me to row across oceans and how I keep going when the going gets tough....
My stated goal? To be happy, healthy and wise - and if I can be happy on a tiny tippy boat in the middle of the ocean, then I reckon I can be happy anywhere!
[photo: happy, healthy - and maybe one day - wise!]
04 Dec 2008, Hawaii
This report on the condition of the Brocade - from our man in Hawaii, John Kay...
"Roz's boat is basically in fine shape but does need work to prepare her for next May.
She needs to be completely rewired and new navigation and communication equipment installed. All of it has suffered from flooding, or splashing, or condensation since she was first launched in '05. The fact that things have (mostly) worked so well for so long is a credit to the people who worked on her. This is the most expensive item on the to-do list and also the most vital. Herb Fuller (our marine electrician here on Oahu) is being very generous with his time but we still have to pay for equipment and materials. We need several thousand dollars for that.
Most of her metal fittings show signs of rust, some quite severely, so we must remove all of them to check for hidden damage. Only then can we see which to reuse and which must be replaced. Unfortunately there are a lot of metal fittings, not only on the outside (such as the antenna mounts, cleats and safety grab-handles) but also in both cabins and some of the hatches. I estimate that we shall need two or three people for a couple of days for that. The cost of parts will depend on what needs to be replaced.
Her paintwork needs a lot of work too and we would love to repaint her entirely. That would cost far too much, so we can only retouch the places where it is chipped and worn away. This is essential to protect the hull material from sunlight and is one of the last things to do. It will keep someone busy for a day or two.
All the cordage needs to be checked. For example, the grab lines may be fine but they look worn and they are an essential safety feature. We need the help of an experienced boater who is obsessive about safety. The cost will depend on what he or she finds.
That, briefly, is where we are now. We have enough time to do all that's necessary; what we need are qualified volunteers. Oh - and money! So if you can help in some way, please let us know. Use the Contact link on the Home page at rozsavage.com, and there's the PayPal link if you would like to contribute money."
[photo: rust on the rigger of the Brocade]
This morning anybody working out in Fitness First in Exeter might have seen a pink-faced woman, sweating away on an elliptical trainer with an iPhone strapped to her arm and earbuds in her ears - laughing quietly to herself. That was me.
And no, I had not gone crazy. I was listening to the Wiggly Wigglers podcast.
It featured none other than me - although that wasn't the bit that was making me laugh. It was young Ricardo, aka Richard "Frugal" Fishbourne, referring to me as "charismatic", while Heather Gorringe insinuated that it may not have been my charisma that first caught his notice...
Anyway, you have to listen to it really. It's a brilliant podcast series - a glimpse into life on a farm in rural Herefordshire. You may come for top tips on how to deal with a rat infestation, but you'll stay for the sheer entertainment value of the banter between Heather, Farmer Phil, and Ricardo.