In April, Roz Savage rowed out of the port city of Fremantle, in Western Australia, in a 23-foot purple rowboat named after the Inuit goddess of the ocean. It was the start of a planned 4,000 mile voyage across the Indian ocean to Mauritius.
When the 43-year-old British environmentalist pulls into the port at Grand Baie sometime within the next 12 hours - based upon her last transmission she was 9 miles away - Savage will enter the history books by becoming the first woman to successfully row across the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Oceans.
Yes, you can now say "Wow!" in a loud voice. A very loud voice.
As remarkable a feat as this sounds, it has become fairly routine for Savage, if one can describe a solo ocean journey in a glorified row boat as routine. In 2006 she completed a solo row across the Atlantic, while in 2010 she became the first woman to row solo across the Pacific. On this latest trip, Savage generally rowed 12 hours a day, in three-hour stints, resting for an hour in between shifts to eat. On board, she had a desalinator to make saltwater drinkable and kept a six-month supply of fruit and nut bars and freeze-dried meals, along with a small pot in which she grows bean sprouts.
But don't confuse routine with easy. Savage, who has been updating her online blog during her journey, noted that this latest voyage has taken its toll on a boat that has seen better days.
"Water is seeping into previously watertight lockers. The marine ply of her deck needs completely replacing. Not a single piece of electronic equipment is fully functional. Even the electrical system itself is working courtesy only of a few inches of electrical tape and a rhino clip," she wrote recently.
It's also taken a toll on Savage, who after 6 years and 15,000 miles, recently announced that she's hanging up her oars - not to mention tempting Poseidon. Repeatedly. But her pursuit of the record books was also tied into a larger ambition to use her long-distance rowing adventures to promote environmental causes and raise awareness of plastic debris polluting the ocean. She hopes to encourage people to use biodegradable trash bags and reusable grocery bags.