The Voyage: Roz Savage
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
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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
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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
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Day 72: Thoughts On Reaching Triple Figures
10 Feb 2006

My Simrad chartplotter showing 999 miles to go.

10 Feb, 06 - 20:33

Less than 1000 miles to Antigua. This is a major milestone for me - getting down into triple figures. The end may not be exactly in sight, but it soon will be.

There were times when Antigua seemed an impossible dream, inconceivably distant and unattainable. How many times in the first two months of my row did I wish that I could somehow be relieved of this challenge I'd taken on - that fate would intervene and allow me to unshoulder this burden without death or dishonour.

But now, having got this far, I will be forever disappointed if I don't see it through. Most of the crews who have come to grief have suffered their mishap between here and the finish, so I'm certainly not taking it for granted that I will get there, but I now feel strong enough to claim that if I don't make it to Antigua it won't be for lack of will or determination on my part.

Last night I dreamed I was arriving in English Harbour... but I mustn't get too excited, too soon. 1000 miles is still a long way to go, and anything could yet happen.

Other stuff:

Today has been a weary kind of day - humid and oppressive. Even the red ensign looked weary as it fluttered weakly from its mast. On days like this, when the wind and the waves are so silent, I get this awful feeling of being stuck in an eternal moment, as if I've been rowing this ocean for ever, and will be for evermore.

I was downcast for a while this morning, after getting a text saying Team C2 had taken 23 days to cover the last 1000 miles. If two big blokes rowing in shifts around the clock took that long, then surely my hopes of reaching Antigua by the end of the month were an impossible dream. But never say die. I can but try, and apart from anything else it cheers me up to think that dry land could be less than 3 weeks away. Still being at sea for longer than that I find unimaginable.

Yesterday I rang the Aurora, and asked them ever so nicely if they would mind please not coming to visit. It's tough enough to keep going as it is, and I fear for the effect on my morale if my routine is disrupted and I see people who have easy access to hot food and company. Best I keep myself to myself for a while longer.

Texts: thanks for messages from Caroline, Nige M, Margaret and Bob, Kurt (Monty useless as a rower, unfortunately - arms and legs way too short!), Alasdair from Team Sevenoaks, HSS, Lizann, John T, DB, Natalie (do please give me your support in this push for home - need all the help I can get! Pics of myself when there's a swell? There's ALWAYS a swell!), Kevin from Tamarind (looking forward to that free lunch), Mar (oh, it would be so nice if the 'right' wind is just around the corner!), Oliver aged 9 (Monty says hello), COTB (£1000? Tell me more!), Pascale & Terrence (hope to see you in Antigua asap!), Tim Ratbag.

Rita Savage's PS: Sponsored miles: 1972 Mar Alvarez; 1999 John Sugden and Henry Harris-Burland coming up soon.

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

Wind: E, about 12 knots (estimate)
Weather: overcast, humid, occasional hot sunshine
Sea state: moderate
Hours rowing: 15

Atlantic Row Part 3
| | More



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