Row, Roz, Row
16 April 2012
How do you get through the solitude of rowing across 8,000 miles of Pacific Ocean? With audio books of course!
In 2005, Roz Savage became the first woman to complete the Atlantic Rowing Race solo. 103 days after setting out from the Canary Islands, she arrived in the English Harbour, Antigua. During her final days she lost all communication when her satellite phone went down and completed her epic journey in isolation. As we will find out audio books have accompanied her on the most amazing adventures.
At Oxford University, while she was studying law, Roz rowed for both the Women’s Boat Club and Lightweight Rowing Club against Cambridge. Even as a busy management consultant she continued rowing for the Thames Rowing Club.
In 2003 she embarked on her first big adventure: spending 3 months in Peru on an expedition in the Peruvian cloud forest discovering the Inca Ruins. This was followed by two mountaineering trips in the Cordillera Blanca. For these achievements she was elected a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.
Following her Atlantic accolade, she has achieved further records becoming the first woman to row the Pacific and Indian Oceans and was the ‘National Geographic’ adventurer of the year in 2010. She has spent 500 days at sea, covering 15,000 miles and made an estimated 5 million oar strokes. She has rowed alongside the most amazing creatures including turtles, whales and sharks.
About reading she says: “I love books! They represent so many opportunities to stand on the shoulders of giants, learning from those who have gone before, or who have a different perspective on life”
Her favourite books include: Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist (Catalogue no.5367); Michael Palin’s travel books such as Around the World in Eighty Days (3761) and Tony Hawks’ very funny Round Ireland with a Fridge (6712).
Yann Martel’s Life of Pi (6174) won the 2002 Booker Prize and features a 16 year old boy, a hyena, a zebra, an orang-utan and a 450 pound Bengal Tiger cast adrift in a solitary lifeboat in the Pacific Ocean.
Roz says: “ The first time I read it as a hardcopy book, the second time I listened to it on audio book, while I was on my boat, which is about the same size as his life raft. It came alive for me a lot more the second time around. It made me very glad that the only animals I have on my boat are of the stuffed, squishy variety. But also a very interesting commentary on how we all create our own reality. Especially at sea."
Speaking to Calibre members she goes on: "I have derived a huge amount of pleasure and knowledge from audiobooks during my 520+ days at sea in an ocean rowboat. But I'm sure they are very enjoyable in less extreme environments too! "
Her favourite books and her own inspirational book: Rowing the Atlantic: Lessons Learned on the Open Ocean , published by Simon and Schuster, can be found on her website: www.rozsavage.com