Rower Roz Reaches Tarawa, Kiribati
Roz Savage, the 41 year old British rower attempting to become the first woman to row solo across the Pacific Ocean, has reached Tarawa in the Republic of Kiribati.
Ms. Savage was escorted towards the treacherous western reef of Tarawa, near Betio islet, by a launch with a film crew aboard and a kayak paddled by the New Zealand High Commissioner to Kiribati.
The Tarawa run was the second leg of her journey, she had already rowed from San Francisco to Hawaii in the summer of 2008. Savage departed Hawaii May 22, 2009 and arrived in Tarawa on September 5, after a voyage of 3,158 miles (5,082 km) in 104 days.
She received quite a welcome on Tarawa, according to her blog on Rozsavage.com: "incredible welcome. hundreds of people. traditional dancers. and ice cold coconut water... trees! people! pigs! (seriously!)."
The voyage was not without difficulties. The original plan was to reach Funafuti, the capital of Tuvalu. However, a combination of bad weather and having been given the wrong coordinates led her too far to the west to allow for a safe row down to Funafuti. Savage decided it would be safer to head west and slightly north to Tarawa. Even then, she was just able to safely clear the northern tip of Abemama Atoll, 86 miles south east of Tarawa, with strong winds from the east at her back. Fortunately after that, a wind shift helped her row up the east side of Maiana, the next island, 30 miles south of Tarawa.
Miss Savage is rowing solo across the entire Pacific Ocean, in hopes of raising awareness about environmental issues, including pollution and climate change. She expects to continue her journey from Tarawa to Australia in the spring of 2010. But first she will head back to the United States to do a book tour, for a book she has written on her past row across the Atlantic Ocean in 2005.
More information: Rozsavage.com
More Photos on Facebook (Nicole Bilodeau)
Project Niu, a Pacific Project for Students and Teachers
Updated Sept 10, 2009
Photos (c) Roz Savage, used with permission
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