The Voyage: Roz Savage
Day 76 The Ultimate Valentine Greeting
14 Feb 2006

SHIP AHOY! HMS Southampton

14 Feb, 06 - 20:44

It has to be the ultimate Valentine's greeting - HMS Southampton dropped by today en route from Grenada to say hello and wish me a happy Valentine's Day. They would have happily brought chocolates (and a bacon butty) as well, but unfortunately race rules forbid.

I got a text from my mother this morning: SOUTHAMPTON IMMINENT, so I was on the lookout for them and luckily I spotted them before they spotted me, giving me time to make myself decent. Thank heavens they didn't see me leaning in through my hatch, desperately trying to find some shorts, full moon on display.

Four guys came speeding over in a RIB to say hi - the first human faces I'd seen since 27th December. And what nice cheery faces they were too. They passed on greetings from my friends Rodney Byram and Jill and Colin Habgood.

The guys pop over to wish me a Happy
Valentine's Day.

Once they'd returned to their vessel and I'd taken up my oars again, there was a magical moment - HMS Southampton steered alongside me, Her Majesty's Ship looking impressively huge, Sedna Solo looking incredibly small, and they sounded their klaxon. The men on deck waved to me and I waved back, then the great ship pointed herself east and with a roar of her engines and a gust of diesel fumes she cruised off into the distance.

Who could ask for a more special Valentine than that?

Many thanks to Rodney Byram and Cdr Mike Pearey for making it possible.

P.S. For anyone concerned about the effect on my morale/routine of this visit, fear not. Clicked straight back into schedule.

Texts: thanks to Marina (thanks for offering to send a copy of Ben and James's documentary - would love to see it. Mum's address is on my website), James O, Susan Collett (wow! There's a name from the past! Lovely to hear from you), Guy Clayton in Hamble, Pauline (thanks for the Valentines Day thought - how true!), Luke J in Dublin (next time I'm in Dublin I'll take you up on that Guinness therapy), Hugh and Paula and all the little Tebays, Sam K (phew, relief! thought you'd deserted me), M&B, Karen Luscombe, Kevin, Tom in NZ, Duncan, Tim (hope today's dispatch answered your question), Natalie (no worries! you hit nail on the head - pride and frustration two main driving forces at the moment), John T (I was on TV? - cool!), HSS, Mark Reid, George Simpson (sensible advice - am getting the hang of it now), Trish (good to hear from you at last!), Pascale and Terrence, John T (was that red rose from you?!), AJ.

Rita Savage's PS: Some more thankyous today: to the person who sent me a bouquet of flowers on Valentine's Day, nice to be thanked for looking after my own daughter. To the one who sent a single red rose addressed to Roz, but with my Leeds address: I have taken a photograph of it for Roz and told her about it. She thinks she knows who sent it! Thanks to some more people who have made donations, and/or sent messages.

For GPS position, race position and miles from La Gomera, see

Wind: E, 20kts (estimate)
Weather: sunshine, numerous squalls
Sea state: rough
Hours rowing: 12

Atlantic Row Part 3
| | More
Day 75: The Perfect Adventure
13 Feb 2006

If in doubt, use a pic of the sky ... here's a
nice sunrise for you.

13 Feb, 06 - 20:41

The perfect adventure

Last night as I rowed along under the full moon, I was thinking about what constitute the ingredients for the perfect adventure. Here's my theory...

It should involve the achievement of some external goal, ideally at the end of the adventure. This is the problem with mountains - once you've reached the summit you still have to get back down. This is at best an anticlimax and at worst the point at which it all goes disastrously wrong.

To heighten the drama, there should be a period of stuck-ness, around two-thirds or three-quarters of the way through, when it seems that obstacles will prevent the achievement of the goal... followed, hopefully, by a triumphant conclusion.

Throughout the adventure there should ideally be little highlights - special moments of beauty to inspire and encourage the adventurer, to be remembered and appreciated when looking back.

And there also have to be tough times. This is the crux of the matter. The adventure should, as well as achieving an external goal, allow the adventurer to achieve a personal objective - to either discover or develop at least one desirable character trait. To do this they will have to step outside their comfort zone, and this by definition causes discomfort and despondency.

My hypothesis is this:

The degree of suffering is directly related to the distance outside the comfort zone. The greater the distance outside the comfort zone, the greater the personal growth will ultimately be.

This is good news. It means that bad times are actually good times, because in the end they make it all more worthwhile. It also means that if circumstances conspire to frustrate the external objective (capsizes, sinkings etc), the adventurer may well have achieved the personal objective so all is not lost. The adventure is as much about the journey as it is about the destination..

I'm quite fond of my theory. It certainly sums up what I hope to get out of my adventures. Feel like I've had enough of the hardship/journey bit now though, and quite keen to get to the 'triumphant conclusion' bit. This ocean is just a bit too big.

Other stuff:

As you may have gathered from yesterday's hasty posting, conditions here were finally in my favour. Maybe it was the scream therapy. Maybe it was due to happen anyway. But I'd like to think it was the power of all the good vibes coming my way from all you lovely people. I was quite overwhelmed by all the supportive messages I received after Saturday's crisis - thank you all very much.

Just as well I made the most if it yesterday - conditions today have been at their most capricious. Frequent squalls have created patchy conditions, with the wind sometimes rising and dropping 10 times in as many minutes. If I was a sailor I'd have been manic - reef in, reef out, reef in, reef out. As it is, my moods have been manic. At this rate it will be a miracle if I reach Antigua a) at all, and b) sane. Mr Atlantic has made it very clear who's running this show.

Thanks for texts from: Gwenaelle and Hayden, Natalie (ouch! You know how to hit me where it hurts - got me right in the pride!), Sandi (see Technical page for explanation of Sedna. Also happens to be Andes backwards, harking back to my adventures in Peru), Caroline (good questions, I know the answers! Thanks for generous financial incentive - in the nicest possible way, I'll try to cost you dear!), HSS, AH, Philip Goodier, Kevin, Pascale & Terrence, Pauline, Caroline, Mike M, Kurt, John T, Alastair & Kath, Tim (very appropriate lyrics from the Kinks - thanks - but next time you want to send such a lovely long message would you mind please using the Contact page on my website - my poxy Iridium phone can only hold 29 messages at a time), Bri (thanks for advice. Will try to do so), JB, Frances (great mental image!), Brian (no idea. ask me nearer the time!), Patrick, Lynne, Duncan, Matt at Univ, Bethia Woolf (wise words), Tiny, Jeff, AJ, Westie (plenty to do yet - don't I know it?! I swear these miles get longer...)

Andy - excellent news that there is some duct tape in my Sailingunlimited Sea Survival Pack. Thank you!

Rita Savage's PS: Grateful thanks from Roz and myself to people who have recently contributed to the Prince's Trust Charity through Justgiving and to The Voyage through PayPal. An added encouragement to Roz as she continues on her way with all of its ups and downs.

For GPS position, race position and miles from La Gomera, see

Wind: E, variable (estimate)
Weather: sunshine, squalls
Sea state: rough
Hours rowing: 12

Atlantic Row Part 3
| | More
Day 74: Happy Days Are Here Again
12 Feb 2006

hang on to your hats - a Buff stops my baseball hat
taking flight. Very Grace Kelly, don't you think?

12 Feb, 06 - 21:19

Conditions superb. This is what we've been waiting for. Ladies and gentlemen, we are in the zone.

Want to make the most of it while it lasts. No time to sit in cabin writing dispatch.


Rita Savage's PS: If Roz is on a roller-coaster ride, so are we who read and watch and hope and pray! She has now gone racing ahead of me and the sponsored miles again: 2006:Tom Burnett; 2007 James Frederick; 2009 Aaron Frederick. Grateful thanks to these, and to those who are sending encouraging messages to Roz.

For GPS position, race position and miles from La Gomera, see

Wind: E, 20 knots (estimate)
Weather: overcast
Sea state: rough
Hours rowing: TBD
Thought for the day: success happens when opportunity meets preparation

Atlantic Row Part 3
| | More
Day 73: At Sea Nobody Can Hear You Scream
11 Feb 2006

Savage scream: vocal therapy.

11 Feb, 06 - 20:23

(with apologies to the makers of Alien)

Today I hit the wall. Big time. By lunchtime I'd already abandoned two shifts early, stormed off in a sulk, procrastinated, petulated and generally behaved more like a spoiled child than an intrepid adventurer.

I'd tried every trick in my emotional toolbox but I just couldn't find it in me to row another stroke. Routine and discipline had totally broken down.

How many times have I done this? I've lost count. Each time I recover and I think I've cracked it, but then a few weeks later it happens again. Maybe I just don't have an ocean-rowing temperament.

I'd maybe put myself under impossible pressure by announcing my intention to reach Antigua by the end of the month. I've been putting in an extra rowing shift at the end of the day and reduced my sleep to 4 hours, but without the wholehearted co-operation of the weather this strategy has succeeded only in making me weary and teary, without achieving any extra mileage.

So for now the Big Push is postponed, and I'm reverting to my 12-hour routine. I need to be gentler with myself. In my current state I'm worse than useless - I'm self-destructing.

I'm going to have a restorative nap - a brief journey to the Land of Nod to take a mental break from being an ocean rower - and then I'm going to try out a suggestion from ocean rower Westie. I'm going to stand stark naked on deck, hanging onto the roll bar and facing the bows, and I'm going to yell and scream and curse at the ocean until I've vented all my frustration. And then, hopefully, I can get down to some rowing.

Other stuff:

Correction to Team C2 information texted to me yesterday: they actually took 13 days to cover the last 1000 miles, not 23. So maybe my goal isn't impossible, although it will require a) more help from the weather, and b) more rowing from me than was achieved today.

Thanks to Lucy from Woodvale for the messages. Nice to hear the whole of Antigua is waiting for me! Will try not to keep them waiting TOO much longer.

Messages: thanks to Mike & Izzy Urry (great to hear from you!), Mel and tribe, Bri, AJ, Sean Chapple, John T, HSS (forgiven!), Avelline, the Galls, Andy & Emer (you serious? Thank you! Hope rib now better), Kevin, Margaret and Bob, Kurt, Tanya, Lynne (lovely message - thanks), Anton, Mike M (will be good in your absence. Write a book? Think there are enough books about ocean rows already!), Susan Frederick.

For GPS position, race position and miles from La Gomera, see

Wind: E, about 12-18 knots (estimate)
Weather: overcast and humid in morning, hot sunshine in afternoon
Sea state: moderate to rough
Hours rowing: 6

Atlantic Row Part 3
| | More



Powered by XJournal