My weather gauge is a man who resembles Locke on the ABC series Lost but has a tan deeper than George Hamilton's. His uniform never changes--sleeveless shirt and cutoffs. On warm days, he slouches in his beach chair in front of the apartment building down the street from me. If I see him sitting there, I know it's safe to go outside without a sweater.
Roz Savage's weather gauge is a bit more sophisticated. Savage, who aims to be the first woman to row solo across the Pacific Ocean, relies on people like Rick Shema. Shema, heads up a company in Hawaii called Weatherguy.com, which is providing her with marine forecasts and helping her refine her route. She'll be regularly uploading data from an onboard weather station.
Recently, Savage got the forecast she was hoping for--she set off Sunday morning from the harbor in Crescent City, Calif., just south of the Oregon border. She had planned to take off from San Francisco about a month ago, but weather was not on her side.
Savage, who also aims to raise awareness about the effects of pollution in our oceans, is rowing across the ocean in three stages. The 39-year-old Brit expects to reach Hawaii in a few months. In all, she plans to travel about 6,700 miles, ending up in Australia in 2009.
Among the safety gadgets she has aboard her 24-foot boat is a positioning beacon from Marine Track. You can follow her latest position by clicking here. Information includes latitude, longitude and distance to finish. As of Monday afternoon, she had traveled 22.5 nautical miles, with 2,030.3 more to go.
In her first blog entry since she set off, Savage writes: "This afternoon I listened to an audio book of Robinson Crusoe, which seemed appropriate in the circumstances. It helped to listen to a story where everything happens at snails's pace--it takes him about month just to make a table--as it helped me lapse into the slower pace of ocean life."
Ah, a slower pace. I have a feeling that my sun-smacked neighbor down the street knows a little something about that too.