Day 10: Avia Non Grata
Added: Wed. Jun 03, 2009 12:53pm
Posted in: Eco-Travel
Roz Savage is a British ocean rower, author, motivational speaker and environmental campaigner. After 11 years as a management consultant, she embarked on a new life of adventure by rowing 3,000 miles across the Atlantic. Her unlikely transformation from office worker to ocean rower, described with humor and soul-baring honesty in her blogs, captivated a worldwide audience. Roz is now attempting to become the first woman to row solo across the Pacific.
This is one in a series of blog posts from Roz during her journey. To follow Roz's adventures, visit http://rozsavage.com.
Last night I was woken at about 2am by a bird scrabbling to keep its
footing on the skylight just above the head of my bunk. I was quite wide
awake, so I got up and rowed for half an hour or so, just to get tired
again, then went back to bed and slept relatively soundly.
But when I got up again at 6 this morning, I found the boat in a
horrible state. The bird who had alighted on the skylight had evidently
told his friend to come on by, here was a handy place for a sleepover.
When I went out on deck I found the two of them, a mature booby and a
younger one still acquiring its adult plumage, perched on the fore cabin
and looking at me guiltily, like two naughty teenagers caught smoking
behind the bike sheds.
And quite right that they should feel guilty. They had made a hell of a
mess. I don't mind feathered friends dropping in, but what makes them
think that it's okay for them to poop all over my boat? Why, with a
whole ocean to do it in, did they have to liberally dollop their
droppings all over my cabins? The whole boat stank of guano, and long
white streaks ran across Brocade's pretty silver paintwork. Not a flying
(no pun intended) start to the day.
I swore at them and shooed them away, and spent some time, nose wrinkled
in distaste, scrubbing away the evidence of their visit. I know there's
a superstition that it's good luck to get pooped on by a bird, but I
think I've had about as much good luck as I can handle for the immediate
[photo: playing the innocent - the two culprits. I will spare you the
photo of what is hidden beneath the sun canopy... but it wasn't pretty.
A nice day, with high wispy cirrus clouds giving me hope that the trades
might be about to kick in. But despite my best efforts, another day of
slow progress. 10.5 hours of rowing, 20 miles covered. Sigh. Still, at
least I've got a good book to listen to – Cold Mountain. A contrast with
Crave of the Day: nothing, really. Even getting used to drinking very
warm water. Only wish would be to instantly eradicate the soreness of
the skin on my bottom and the sunburn on my back.
Rave of the Day: Cold plunges into the ocean at the end of every rowing
shift, and rawfood falafel alongside beansprouts with tahini and nama
shoyu sauce for lunch. Mmm, mmmm.
Wind: 5-12kts from the East
Swell: 5-8ft from the East
Other: sunny, hot, with cumulus and cirrus clouds giving occasional
relief from the sun
Weather forecast, courtesy of weatherguy.com
(with feedback on my lament that it's not easy to maintain a southerly
Easterly trade winds slowly increasing tomorrow and increase to the 20kt
range by June 4th.
Forecast below is for a SWerly course. Proceed the most southerly course
possible. Since leaving Hawaii, you have made more south progress than
west by about 50% in distance. So hang in there. You are doing great!
Date/Time HST Wind kts Seas (ft)
02/1800-03/0900 E-ENE 8-13 3-4
03/0900-03/1800 E-ENE 13-18 3-4
03/1800-04/0000 E-ENE 15-20 4-5
04/0000-08/0000 E-ENE 18-23 4-6
Continued clear and sunny with little chance of rainshowers.
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