Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Roz Rows - Book Review

After reading the obituary of her extraordinarily adventurous, unconventional life, Roz Savage sat back with a self-satisfied smile. But then she wrote a more truthful one of a life less exuberantly lived and decided that a drastic change in course was needed.

If you were nearing 40, unhappy with the life you thought you were supposed to be living, disenchanted with your job and in possession of a "modest-sized divorce settlement," what would you do? Savage decided she only had one choice. She had to row across the ocean in a small boat by herself.

And so it was that Savage became the only solo female among the 26 crews and 60 competitors entered in the 2005 Atlantic Rowing Race, with a goal of rowing 3,000 miles from the Canary Islands off the coast of Africa to Antigua in the Caribbean.

Assembled for the November start in a small marina, the mastless and engineless boats, Savage writes, "huddle together for mutual support like the oddball branch of a family at a wedding, shunned by their elegant, affluent cousins."

She lay wrestling for sleep in a cabin about the width of two coffins, contemplating her "near total lack of qualifications for this undertaking."

"Rowing the Atlantic" is the story of her physical and, especially, her mental journey. Savage had decided that her trip had to be solo if she had any hope of answering the question, "Who was I when I was not being someone's wife, girlfriend, daughter, sister, colleague, friend?"

Read more here.

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