Tuvalu News

Roz Savage Forced to Change Course, Rows to Kiribati

August 28, 2009 (updated sept 3, 2009)

By Brian Cannon

Roz Savage, the solo Pacific Ocean rower has expressed her regret and disappointment that she has had to alter course and head for Tarawa in Kiribati, rather than Funafuti, Tuvalu.

Due to harsh climate conditions that were pushing her strongly westward, she determined that she would be unable to row south without jeopardizing her safety.

Roz gives her explanation in the following extraction from her blog on rozsavage.com:

"I wanted to believe it was possible, not least because Tuvalu has become synonymous with the human impact of climate change, which is the key message of this stage of my row as we approach the crucial summit in Copenhagen. I knew getting to Tuvalu would be challenging, but I was prepared to put in the hard work to make it happen.

However, a few things had changed during the course of the last week. I had discovered that the coordinates I had for Tuvalu were for the westernmost island [Nanumea], not the capital Funafuti, which is the easternmost island [and further south]. This would make it much harder to reach the capital than I had realized. Then some brisk easterly winds had halted my progress for 36 hours while I waited on the sea anchor – this had two implications. First, it would only take a few more days of such winds to put Tuvalu beyond my reach. And second, if I had to use the sea anchor on a regular basis to stop westward drift, it would take me much longer to get to Tuvalu. And time was limited – by my water supply."

Ms. Savage and her advisors determined that Tarawa would be the best bet to end the first leg of the Pacific crossing journey. Tarawa is almost directly west of her current position, and the location gives her the advantage of the easterly winds and currents.

TuvaluIslands.com will continue to support the efforts of Roz Savage in her attemps to promote the dangers of global warming.

The voyage may be tracked live here: http://rozsavage.com/adventure/roztracker/

Kiribati Information and Map

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