Roz Savage — ocean rower, author, and environmentalist — will launch the second stage of her three-part voyage across the Pacific at the Waikiki Yacht Club on Sunday. She’s on her way to becoming the first first woman ever to row solo across the Pacific Ocean (from the U.S. to Australia), having conquered the Atlantic in 2006.
Thanks to the help of the Project Niu team at Archinoetics, fans will be able to track her progress across the ocean with the “Roz Tracker” (not yet live). Roz’s course will be mapped via GPS, along with the Flickr photos, YouTube videos, and Blogger entries she posts along the way. The “Roz Tracker” includes real-time statistics and charts, from miles traveled to the number of times she’s rowed. In fact, the “Roz Tracker” will also be available as a Facebook application, an iGoogle widget, and an iPhone app.
The work by the Project Niu team is only one example of how local businesses and individuals have stepped forward to help Roz on her mission. She and coordinator Nicole Bilodeau have been effusive with their praise of the local “geek corps,” many of whom they met at the second annual Hawaii Geek Meet last month.
On Friday, there will be a fundraiser at ING Direct in Waikiki, which will include a silent auction of great items (such as signed Jack Johnson memorabilia). Then, at sunset on Sunday, she’ll set off from the Waikiki Yacht Club after a final press conference and a Hawaiian blessing. Hopefully a supportive crowd will gather there and at Magic Island to cheer her on.
I’m excited to see Roz begin this next phase of her historic mission. I was there when she arrived in Hawaii from California last September (see my video here), when she became the first woman to make the crossing alone. Since that 99 day trip, she’s been busy with her advocacy work and speaking engagements, and planning for the rest of her voyage.
Each of the three stages has a specific environmental message. Having passed through the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch” on the first leg, she encouraged people to cut back on the amount of plastic in their lives, from disposable water bottles to plastic bags. Now, her focus will be on climate change, as global warming is threatening the very existence of some of the small island nations she’ll likely be visiting on her upcoming trip. A forthcoming initiative will challenge people to walk as many steps as the number of times Roz has rowed, foregoing cars in favor of the footmobile.