Ocean Rowing: Roz and Sarah Suffer on the High Seas

Our two favorite British rowers continue to pursue their goals on separate oceans, both making progress, but suffering in the process.

We’ll start with Sarah Outen, who I haven’t checked in on in a few weeks. She’s still out on the Indian Ocean, and steadily making her way to her final destination on Mauritius, where she’ll become the first woman, and youngest person, to row across that body of water.

Sarah has now been out on the water for 90 days, and the past few have been interesting to say the least. Yesterday, she wrote in her blog that she would like to see some sharks out on the high seas, and while she still hasn’t had that happen, she did have a couple of whales stop by for a visit today. A few days back she also marked a milestone of sorts, passing the 80º East mark, and edging ever closer to dry land.

It hasn’t been all sunshine, whales, and landmarks however. On Thursday, Sarah was facing some of the roughest, most dangerous seas she has experienced yet, the worst of which rolled her little row boat, the Serendipity, and sent her flying overboard. Luckily, she was still roped to the boat via lifeline, but in order to get back onboard, she had to unhook herself, untangle it from the gate for the oars, and scramble back on board. Scary stuff to be sure. But Sarah took it all in stride and remains upbeat, despite suffering a broken oar, sprained wrist, and the loss of a couple of seat cushions, which my have the longest lasting effect on her journey. She is safe though, feeling well, and making outstanding progress at the moment.

Switching over to the Pacific, Roz Savage is more than 1150 miles into the second stage of her trans-Pacific row. She completed the first leg last year, going solo from San Francisco to Hawaii. This year, she’ll be completing the leg from Hawaii to Tuvalu, with an eye on finishing the journey next year, ending in Australia. When she’s done, Roz will be the first woman to row solo across the Pacific, covering some 7000+ miles in the process.

Life hasn’t been a bed or roses for this British rower either. When she isn’t dealing with choppy seas, she’s rowing naked in the rain. And if that wasn’t bad enough, she’s also been attacked by flying squid, which inexplicably flew from the water onto the boat. Today’s wonderful blog post answers all the burning questions you’ve had about ocean rowing, including her “bucket and chuck it” method of going to the loo.

To keep tabs on Roz’s progress, check out the Roz Tracker, which now has her at nearly 36 days at sea, and having rowed more than 494,000 times.

Kraig Becker

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