Roz Savage Update: Rowing Across the Pacific
On top of completing rowing the oceans, she is making a stand for environmental improvement and hoping that her missions will inspire others to start caring more about the environment.
Roz will be the first solo woman ever to accomplish such a feat as to cross both the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean on her 23 foot purpose-built vessel. It’s just her, her boat, and the mysterious ocean, except for electronic communitcation.
Physically surviving surprisingly is not that difficult for Roz while at sea for months at a time. She eats for the most part freeze-dried food, bean sprouts, raw food snacks prepared by her Excalibur dehydrator, and Lara Bars. For her source of water she has a water maker on board that converts saltwater into freshwater.
Roz is an idol to thousands around the world. Sir Steve Redgrave, a quintuple Olympic gold medal winner, said, “Roz has spend and unbelievable 103 days in a 24-foot boat. This is an incredible adventure. I admire her stamina and determination. This must have tested her resources to their limit.”
Mentally, she is a lot more prepared this time. An instant question that pops into my head is- “doesn’t she get scared?” After all, reading about shark attacks from her voyage across the Atlantic, being surrounded by uncertain waters and weather conditions sounds like a scary environment.
She says she is not scared because she has prepared everything she can and there is no point in worrying over what can’t and will not be controlled.
She communicates through satellite phone. With a huge fan network now and the general public being intrigued by Roz’s mission, the satellite phone helps her keep in touch while in the middle of the ocean. She keeps daily blogs and also has a twitter site which she comments on very frequently.
She shares her mission with everyone who is interested and uses it as an expressive way to show gratitude for everyone’s support. She has no support boats around her because for her, this trip is important to stay unsupported by others. After all, she's commited to her mission of going solo to show she is happy in her own company and to prove to herself that she can tackle big challenges.
The mission for the Pacific Ocean consists of three stages. Stage one started in the summer of 2008 and she started rowing from California to Hawaii, a 2,700mile journey that took her 99 days to complete.
Her environmental statement for this voyage: to encourage people to cut back on their usage of disposable plastic bottles, cups, and bags, thereby reducing the amount of plastic ending up in the ocean.
Stage two, which she has recently accomplished, started May 24th 2009. She rowed from Hawaii to the South Pacific island of Tarawa, an astounding 104 days at sea alone, approximately 1,335,834 oar strokes!
She mentioned that this stage was very tricky because around the equator there were alternating currents and she was surviving with only 6 hours of sleep in a 48 time span.
The environmental goal in this part of the trip is to inspire people to consider their role in rise of C02 levels and consider walking more, driving less.
In fact, she is extremely proud to have a partnership with the United Nations Environmental Programme. She is part of the Climate Heroes.
“The climate heroes support a select group who are undertaking exceptional personal feats, high-profile expeditions and other innovative acts of environmental activism," she says, "to demonstrate their commitment and to raise awareness for one simple idea: the planet needs you!”
To her, this is an accomplishment on its own and can also be recognized as a great achievement which Roz really deserves.
Communicating at Sea
She also keeps blogs and twitter updates. Her most recent blog described her excitement to have reached Tararu after 104 days. The blogs discuss her struggles, her physical health, her thoughts, the environment she is in and arrives in, how happy she is to be able to take a warm shower.
Her blogs are interactive and conversational. She displays a sense of character more than just the facts about her mission.
She cares about her followers and those she has inspired. She always leaves a huge thank you at the end of her blogs for everyone’s support.
An Idol still Faces Controversy
People criticized Roz for leaving that life behind to follow her dreams of rowing across the ocean and ultimately making herself happy. The controversy doesn’t end there, for there are still some people who post critical statements on her blog.
As I read her blog, there were many more positive responses than negative, and when anyone made a negative statement Roz supporters came to her defense, saying how proud people were of her. “She is one awesome Brit,” one fan wrote.
When someone left a comment saying her “ego was getting out of control,” one of her followers had this response:
Roz’s story and blogs are appealing and intriguing, and so are the fans and critics who follow her. There are comical statements like one comment when Roz said she needed to find a good dermatologist. A follower responded, “I do know a good dermatologist: me!”
Ultimately, people want to help Roz and be a part of her mission. I’m sure there are several people who would like to drop everything to pursue their dreams, as Roz did. Most people can't, but they can live that experience through Roz, who took that controversial step into the unknown.
Her goals are not only personal, but global, in making the world a better place. As Roz finalizes her mission of rowing across the Pacific Ocean, one thing is for certain, that she is a great source of inspiration for us all.
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