PORTLAND, Ore.--After rowing solo across the Atlantic Ocean and a good stretch of the Pacific for more than 8,400 miles so far, Roz Savage is getting better at finding pleasure in it.
"I won't say that I positively enjoy it. It's more like enjoying not banging your head against a brick wall anymore," Savage said in a recent interview. "Some people love it out there on the ocean. I'm a land creature."
So what's a land creature like her doing in a place like that on a 23-foot row boat?
Partly, to challenge herself. But mostly, to inspire people to take better care of the planet. This week, the ocean rower and environmental campaigner is temporarily trading her boat for a much bigger one, the National Geographic Endeavour, where she will speak at an ocean-themed TED Prize conference in the Galapagos. Next week, if conditions are right, she plans to set off on the final leg of a three-stage trip in her attempt to become the first woman to row solo across the Pacific.
Savage admits she does not fit the description of your typical adventurer of old. As she puts it in her book "Rowing the Atlantic," she doesn't sport "a frost-encrusted beard," nor is she tall. She is just under 5'4" and blonde. Savage, 42, was born to Methodist preachers in Cheshire, England, and attended Oxford University, where she first took up rowing. For more than a decade, she worked as a management consultant and project manager. While she may not be a Shackleton or a Cook, she does have a name fitting of an explorer. (A student asked her during a recent visit to a San Francisco Bay Area school, "How did you come up with your stage name of Roz Savage?") … Read more