A 7,200 mile odyssey: Roz Savage bids to become the first woman to row solo across the Pacific Ocean
After surviving the frequent tipping-over of her 23-by-6-foot boat, the breaking of all four oars, and the complete breakdown of a navigation system, satellite phone, stove, and music player while rowing solo across the Atlantic Ocean in 2005, Roz Savage might be expected to be through with rowing oceans forever.
Quite the contrary. Ms. Savage has never been more eager to get back into the open waters as she now prepares for her next journey: rowing solo across the Pacific Ocean. If she's successful, she'll be the first woman in history to do so.
For the past few months, Ms. Savage has been living in Woodside in a friend's cottage, preparing for her Pacific odyssey — raising money and finding sponsors. During that process, she spoke to local residents, and the Almanac, about what motivated her.
After realizing she wasn't satisfied with the life she was leading back in Britain, she said, she set out to row the 3,000 miles of the Atlantic Ocean as part of the 2005 Atlantic Rowing Race in order to gain perspective of her life and to challenge herself.
"I was at a stage in my life when I had turned my back on the corporate rat race, looking for a life that was more about who I was rather than what I owned," she said. "The way I wanted to do that happened to be to have a big adventure."
Once successfully completing the 103-day long journey across the seas, Ms. Savage decided to take on the 7,200 miles of the Pacific Ocean, this time doing things differently.
Instead of attempting the journey all at once, she has divided it up into three different stages. The first stage will be from San Francisco to Waikiki, Hawaii; then she will proceed to the islands of Tuvalu in the South Pacific, and on to Australia, where she hopes to arrive in 2009.
She's also got a lot more technology aboard her boat, The Brocade. The boat is a communications powerhouse filled with $80,000 worth of equipment including laptops, satellite phones, navigation systems, digital still and video cameras, and a water-maker that provides drinking water — all powered by solar panels, a wind generator and batteries.
Working with groups like the Blue Frontier Campaign and the National Environment Trust, she said she hopes to use all this technology to help raise awareness of the state of the world's oceans.
If the weather conditions are right for her to row out of the San Francisco Bay by the end of the month, Ms. Savage will embark on her biggest challenge ever, which will ultimately test her body and mind like never before.
"I believe that if you don't keep pushing the boundaries, keep expanding your comfort zone... you can't achieve anything, you can't grow. And so I keep pushing, keep developing, keep evolving. I keep showing what an ordinary person can do when they put their hearts and minds and souls into it," she said.
To keep posted on Ms. Savage's journey across the Pacific, you can check her Web site at www.rozsavage.com, which she plans to update regularly.