Friday, August 28, 2009
Ocean Rowing: Roz Changes Course
We'll stick with the nautical theme for the day, and check back in with Roz Savage, who I haven't written about for a few weeks time. Roz is still out on the water, and is still working away on the second stage of her attempt to row solo across Pacific, but it has not been easy for her in recent days, and circumstances have conspired against her, forcing her to change her course away from Tuvalu, her intended destination.
Conditions out on the water have been extremely challenging for Roz of late. Westward drift has pushed her further than she had expected, and even using the sea anchor has not been all that useful at halting her slide. Now normally, you'd be thinking "Isn't westward drift a good thing when crossing the Pacific?" and you would be right, unless you're trying to hit a very specific target, like the island nation of Tuvalu. Roz has now drifted so far west that it'll be almost impossible for her to continue moving south and reach that nation. So, in her latest dispatch, she has announced that she is no longer attempting to reach Tuvalu at all, and will instead head towards Tarawa, another tiny island in the Pacific.
This announcement is a bit disappointing for Roz, who had hoped to arrive in Tuvalu as a way of bringing awareness of global climate change to a nation that is already being directly effected by that change. But, Tarawa is now well within her sights, and is just 300 nautical miles away, meaning she should arrive in the next week or two. According to the RozTracker, she has now been at sea for more than 95 days and has traveled 2747 miles, using approximately 1,161,981 oar strokes to cover that distance.
So, it seems that Stage 2 of Roz's journey will come to an end soon. And with this change in location, her journey next year, on Stage 3, will be altered as well. But, such is the life of an ocean rower, who must adapt on the fly and be prepared for anything. Knowing Roz, I'm sure she'll have an optimistic spin on things and will take it all in stride. For now though, I'm sure she's just glad to be on her way to dry land again.