Savage rowing across Pacific
FOR the second time in a matter of weeks I am in awe of a woman who has set out to challenge the ocean, as well as herself, alone.
In July I wrote about Natasza Caban, a 30-year-old sailor from Poland who has embarked from Hawaii on a single-handed circumnavigation of the world aboard a 34-foot sloop.
Now I have learned about 39-year-old Roz Savage from Britain, who is currently rowing her way from California to Hawaii on the first leg of her attempt to cross the Pacific alone.
The physical and mental challenges both of these women will face in the coming months is obviously immense. Personally, however, I can't imagine rowing a boat across Mamala Bay, much less the Pacific Ocean.
Still, this isn't Savage's first ocean crossing. In 2005, she became the first solo woman to compete in and complete the 3,000-mile Atlantic Rowing Race from the Canary Islands to Antigua.
This time just getting started wasn't easy for her, according to meteorologist Rick Shema, president of Kailua-based Weatherguy.com, which is providing Savage weather information and route guidance.
"The most difficult challenge may have been finding a four- to five-day weather window of light wind and sea conditions for Roz to row about 100 miles away from the coast," Shema noted.
Otherwise, the prevailing northwest winds would have blown her 23-foot carbon fiber boat "Brocade" back on shore.
Savage is now well offshore and rowing her way toward our islands. But it's still a bit early to begin stringing flowers for her welcoming leis because she's not expected to get here for about two and a half months.
Fortunately for those who have numerous questions about her voyage, Savage has a hugely informative Web site at www.rozsavage.com that is chronicling her trip and thankfully giving us some explanations as to why she's even doing it.
First, she says, she wants to test the lessons she learned in the Atlantic on how NOT to row an ocean.
"Psychologically, I gave myself a much tougher time than I needed to," she writes. "I think I've learned the lessons, and I want to put them to the test."
Second, it's part of a long-term plan "to make a seven-year journey around the world on its surface using environmentally friendly transport, to get a feel for the true size of the planet."
And third, Savage believes, "If you don't keep pushing the boundaries, keep expanding your comfort zone, your comfort zone actually gets smaller and smaller, until you're shrink-wrapped in such a tiny comfort zone that you can't move, you can't achieve anything, you can't grow."
So, with determination, fair winds, following seas, and good fortune, Savage may row past Diamond Head around Halloween. And I think it's fair to believe her arrival in the Ala Wai Harbor should rival any of those in the recent Transpac fleet.