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Stop Drifting, Start Rowing: One Woman's Search for Happiness and Meaning Alone on the Pacific Paperback – 15 Oct 2013
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About the Author
Roz Savage is a British ocean rower, environmental campaigner, author, and speaker. She holds four world records for ocean rowing, including first woman to row solo across the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans. She has rowed more than 15,000 miles, taken around five million oar strokes, and spent cumulatively more than 500 days of her life at sea in a 23-foot rowboat. Her first book, Rowing The Atlantic: Lessons Learned on the Open Ocean, was published in 2009. She is a United Nations Climate Hero, a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, a fellow of the Explorers Club of New York, and has been listed among the Top 20 Great British Adventurers by The Telegraph. She was named a 2011 Adventurer of the Year by National Geographic; and in 2012, she became a Yale World Fellow.
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But this is far more than an account of a rower, rowing. Roz is not only crossing the oceans "because it is there" but also and more importantly to raise awareness of environmental issues. Her description of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch an area "around twice the sae of Texas consisting of 3.5million tonnes of rubbish" and of the amount of, and damage caused by, plastic pollution will make even the most cynical user of disposable products think twice. Plastic in the oceans not only floats on the surface approximately two thirds sinks to the bottom where it interferes with the natural gaseous exchange between the ocean bed and the water. 80% of this plastic pollution comes from the land. The plastic is degraded by sunlight thus making smaller and smaller pieces. These are eaten by small fish and other creatures at the bottom of the food chain so that the toxins released are concentrated as the chain goes higher. She tells the story of the maui maui fish that had been caught by one of the sailors of Junk, a boat made from 15,000 empty plastic bottles, that was so full of plastic that the toxins and hormone inhibitors will have made the fish dangerous to eat. Plastic is not inert it will damage us when it finally reaches us as creatures at the apex of the food chain.
Her account of her conversations with the President of Kiribati both in his country's capital, Tarawa, and during the ill stared Copenhagen conference left me with a lingering sense of sadness and potential loss. The islands that make up Kiribati are nearly all less than 25ft above sea level. As the oceans rise over the next decades, the inhabitants will by necessity become migrants and have to move to wherever they are able. They will become a lost nation.
The other element of this book which makes it a great read and continues from her first book, Rowing the Atlantic, is her discussion of her philosophy of life and how she came to reject commercialism and our longing for "stuff".
One of the heart warming aspects of her tale is the generosity shown to her by people throughout the world, it really does help boost your optimism about human nature. From the straightforward offers of accommodation and food through the donations of cash (ocean rowing is not in the same league as the Americas Cup but is not free) and sponsorship by manufacturers Roz is eloquent in her acknowledgment and thanks to her "Rozlings".
In recent months Roz has been appointed an Member of the British Empire - well deserved.
This book will repay your attention - enjoy.
"Stop Drifting ,Start rowing" is much more than just a record of an epic solo ocean rowing voyage . Roz Savage tells of her environmental epiphany and how she became driven to change her lifestyle from that of a woman with a well paid job in the City of London, with all the material trappings, to a sustainability advocate. The description of Roz's traditional upbringing, and how she was moved to change and leave her mark on the planet, is fascinating and inspiring. The story of her massive physical struggles with a small boat traversing the Pacific Ocean is coupled with details of her emotional "ups and downs" along with her observations of how mankind is polluting and exploiting the Oceans. Extracts from her daily log of events are revealed , some of which , especially those at the start, are frightening! One woman alone struggling with all that nature can throw at her coupled with equipment failure.....incredible.
The book is inspirational in so many ways. It highlights how mankind's throw away use of materials , especially plastic, coupled with global warming is severely damaging the planet. It challenges conventional thinking and examines how Roz "Stopped Drifting".
Her occasional encounters with others on the solo ocean journey are fascinating, as are the discussions with politicians on the Pacific islands that are threatened by global warming
Stop Drifting, Start Rowing is a fascinating , inspirational book from a unique and incredibly brave woman.
Stop Drifting, Start Rowing: One Woman's Search for Happiness and Meaning Alone on the Pacific
This book allows you to get inside Roz as she attempts (and sometimes nearly fails) to row single-handedly across the vast Pacific ocean. It is honest, it is enthralling, it is gobsmacking!
Read it - I guarantee you won't be disappointed.
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