Savage’s incredible journey
Two women who were embarking on two different, but still challenging voyages, were the subjects of this column about a year ago.
The first was 30-year-old Natasza Caban, who was casting off from Oahu's Ala Wai Harbor aboard her 34-foot sloop in an attempt to become the youngest Polish woman to circumnavigate the world alone.
Those of us who wanted to sail with her vicariously were able to visit the Web site and follow her progress. However, for reasons unexplained and disappointing, her blog narration ended after her description on Oct. 17, 2007, of sailing from Vanuatu to Papua, New Guinea.
It has been rumored that Caban left her boat and returned to Poland in search of additional sponsorship funding, but there has been no official notice given.
The second sea-going adventurer was Roz Savage, a British woman who, after becoming the first female to compete in and complete the 3,000-mile Atlantic Rowing Race from the Canary Islands to Antigua alone, was attempting a solo row from California to Australia, via various Pacific islands, including Hawaii.
That effort regrettably ended unsuccessfully last year when Savage was forced to abandon her 23-foot carbon fiber boat "Brocade" in stormy seas not far from the West Coast. Her boat was salvaged shortly after she was plucked from the sea, and now Savage has begun a second try at a feat most would consider impossible.
It would appear from her Web site (www.rozsavage .com) that she has been able to overcome her first big challenge of rowing far enough offshore to escape the prevailing winds that might force her back to the coastline.
Still, she wrote in her blog on June 15, "Day 22: One step forward, two steps back. I claw my way a few miles westward, then the wind comes along and blows me back again."
This was her rather calm description as she charted her fourth crossing of an imaginary line in the Pacific some 500 miles southwest of Los Angeles.
But not all of her blogs have been so nonchalant.
Two days later a posting read, "Today I scared myself half to death. But only half, and I'm sure that half will soon recover itself."
Savage employs a sea anchor -- a parachute-like device -- to keep her boat from being blown off course when she cannot row for any reason. But apparently the line to it, which was attached to the bow, began to chafe on a fitting.
As Savage crawled over her boat's rounded cabin top with her harness clipped on a safety line, a large wave washed her half overboard. Fortunately she was close enough to fix the chafing problem, but it still left her dealing with how to get herself fully back on board.
Suddenly another large wave lifted her up high enough for her to grab a handhold on the cabin framework and pull herself into the cockpit.
"I stood there for several moments, spitting out seawater and thanking my lucky stars that I was still alive," she wrote.
For more on Savage's heroic efforts, check out her Web site for her daily blogs.