Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Roz Savage Within 200 Miles of Completing Third Ocean Solo Row - The Indian Ocean

Sometime within the next week or so, British rower, Roz Savage, will become the first woman to row the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans alone.  I wrote a couple of posts about her Pacific effort at its conclusion.  Now she is approaching Mauritius, having left Fremantle, Australia on May 4th.   Here's waht she wrote about this leg of the journey, before leaving Australia:
The route may seem surprising, and indeed the original intention was to aim for Zanzibar in Africa. However, given recent problems with pirates operating in the waters off the east coast of Africa, I decided after extensive consultation with my weatherman to aim for Mumbai instead.

The winds and currents are likely to help in this choice of route. Once in the Arabian Sea, the conditions will shift from the southeast to the southwest, allowing a long, looping arc to the west coast of India.
Apparently, during the early part of this trip the goal was changed from Mumbai to  Mauritius, again, because of pirate dangers in the Northern Indian Ocean.

What she has done and is doing is not just a very remarkable athletic achievement, it is a triumph for those of us who are concerned about the fate of the oceans and the planet.

Her trips are designed to raise global awareness on oceanic pollution, particularly, plastics.  here is a video of her explaining what she is about, back in April 2010:

Her efforts to raise awareness of ocean pollution have earned her several awards:
She is a United Nations Climate Hero, a trained presenter for Climate Reality, and an Athlete Ambassador for

She is on the board of Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation and co-patron of the Greener Upon Thames campaign for a plastic bag free Olympics in 2012. She is a Blue Ambassador for the UK-based BLUE Project.

Her voyages are projects of the Blue Frontier Campaign
While rowing alone, she keeps up her blog, podcasts and other communications with the rest of the world.

Back in 2010, at the conclusion of the Pacific Ocean leg, I helped get Roz into contact with my close friends, the Alaska adventuring family of Erin McKittrick and Bretwood Higman.  In 2008 and 2009, they walked from Seattle to Unimak Island in the Aleutians, solely by walking, skiing and pac-rafting.   Like Savage, these two blogged, took videos (posting some on Youtube) and photos, gave talks in communities along the way, and ended up writing a book about the experience.

Here's a distillation from videos they made on the trip:

Earlier this month they embarked on a multi-month journey to Alaska's Malispina Glacier, where they will document changes there since the 1890-era Israel Russell Expedition.  Like Savage,  Erin and Hig are seriousc environmentalists, using their trips - as does Roz - to bring awareness to environmental degradation.  (I'm writing an overture for the Anchorage Youth Symphony's 2012 European tour, about their 2008-2009 trip,  titled The Wild Coast)

One thing that has struck me about Erin, Hig and Roz, is how little the media cares about these three iconoclastic winners.  I watched the Alaska media all but ignore Erin and Hig during their trek up the coast, which was entirely unprecedented.  At the same time, the movie about Christopher McCandless' foolish, somewhat suicidal trip to Denali was  getting dozens of Alaska and hundreds of national press articles.  The media seems to want to portray nutty people returning to nature, not the rational ones.

You can follow Roz best at her blog - here.
You can follow Erin and Hig best at their blog - here.

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