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Rowing the Atlantic: Lessons Learned on the Open Ocean

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3.96 of 5 stars 3.96  ·  rating details  ·  168 ratings  ·  39 reviews
STUCK IN A corporate job rut and faced with an unraveling marriage at the age of thirty-six, Roz Savage sat down one night and wrote two versions of her own obituary -- the one that she wanted and the one she was heading for. They were very different. She realized that if she carried on as she was, she wasn't going to end up with the life she wanted. So she turned her back...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published October 6th 2009 by Simon & Schuster (first published 2009)
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Books Ring Mah Bell
I am happy to be an armchair adventurer.

At the age of 30 something, Roz Savage decides to pull the plug on her ordinary, ho-hum, comfortable and secure life. She's got a great job - sure, she hates the job, but it pays well. She's got a great husband, great in that he takes good care of her, and after he hears of her infidelity, he handles it with grace and asks her not to leave. (so, maybe he's great AND stupid.) The fact is, the nice husband bores her. Her lover bores her. Her job, ditto.

What...more
Bob Steen
Wow. This woman has an ego. The book tells of her journey from a materialistic woman in London through a period of "finding herself" during which she hurts almost everyone in her life (and never seems to realize it) to rowing solo across the atlantic. With only herself for company, she becomes totally content and happy and finds the meaning to life: her.

I'd rate this book a "1" but it is well written.
Robin
Not to be confused by:
Across the Savage Sea: The First Woman to Row Across the North Atlantic
by Maud Fontenoy

I read the Fontenoy book a few years ago and now I know why this book by Roz Savage sounded so familiar! Anyway, the Roz Savage book is better than the Fontenoy book--at least as far as I can tell.

Update: Well, I thought this would be better but I was wrong, it was about equal to the Fontenoy book only a little more introspective and inspirational--if you need to be inspired.

After gettin...more
Isis
Two and a half stars, really. I wanted to give it more - I saw and enjoyed a documentary movie about the author's voyage - but it's not (to me) a particularly inspiring book. She got lots of sponsors who gave her money to buy the boat and the gear. She had a Satphone and was texting messages to her website. Things broke, and most of them she didn't know how to fix. She came in dead last in the Atlantic race. Not my kind of role model, sorry.

(I should point out that some years ago my husband and...more
Renuka Soll
I highly recommend this book. It's about a 36 year old woman who feels stuck in her job and has a marriage that is unraveling. She became the first solo woman to enter the Atlantic Rowing Race. She rowed 3,000 miles and reflects about her life as she struggles with lots of things going wrong. Her stove stopped working just 20 days into the race, all her oars had broken by the half way point, her boat capsized, etc. Her determination is remarkable, and it was hard for me to put the book down.
Nick
Roz became a hero of mine after I read this book, which I just accidentally picked up from a table at the Borders one night. Her personal story of jettisoning a life that no longer fit her and choosing a new path, one she had no reason to believe she could, is frankly inspiring. I expected all kinds of lessons about perseverance, but the book is really about how to forge your own track in life. You're never too old or too young.
Linda
Roz Savage quit her ordinary job after writing two obituaries for herself and deciding she wanted the one with adventures and accomplishments. A solo row across the Atlantic was the start of her changing her life and what she chronicles in this book (she also has a blog and a website). Those pithy philosophical statements that I love are here as well as much to base discussions on - good for book clubs from teen to adult
Emily
I could not believe the things I was reading! A 38 year old woman rowing the Atlantic Ocean by herself! I would never brave enough to try something so daring and dangerous. I could see why Roz Savage wanted to take such a risk. I think that everyone wants to escape reality for a time to reflect and actually thing about where your life is going.
Cheryl
This is the best book/memoir I have read in awhile. Funny, honest, heartfelt, inspiring - a fantastic read. Highly recommend!
Joe White
From Roz's blog and webcasts, I had expected this to be a very wordy prattle with preachy environmental overtones.
Instead it is one of the best edited and written summations of the reason to do an ocean row, what organizational challenges are faced, and enough actual on-water content to convey the experience without resorting to an overbearing tale of agony. The hazards and setbacks were almost understated. For example a four oar failure would ordinarily verge on catastrophe, but the account he...more
Lauren
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
LizG
Roz Savage's story is inspiring proof that doing amazing things doesn't start with being a special kind of person. Rather, one becomes a special kind of person for taking on the challenge and hanging in to the finish line, despite considerable odds and considerable hardship.

See mom, "stubborn" IS an excellent quality to have.

Being a most unlikely candidate makes Savage's success all the more sweet. Not athletic, not a daredevil, not self-confident, not a man, she still manages to row across th...more
Helen Dunn
So far so good! I love reading about people and their crazy adventures.

I have mixed feelings on this. I wanted to know more about actually rowing the Atlantic and less about the author's personal growth.

I find the idea of dropping out of the rat race to do something adventurous admirable but I also think she made some very poor decisions. I think they type of people who make the leap to pursue this type of thing are much more accepting of risk than I am though, so I don't know why her behavior...more
Desiree
I love this story about a woman who realized she was not living the life she wanted, threw everything to chance, and did something amazing. It's a story about self-discovery on the ocean. (as the title suggests) It's less about the tragedies and trials of spending months in a rowboat then it is about the strength she gained coping with them. At first I felt like it might be a little chick lit for me, but it turned out I couldn't stop turning pages. When she made it to Antigua I really felt that...more
Renee
A well told and honest account of a thirty-something year old woman (and non- athlete) from England who left her secure career, and marriage to row solo in a 24’ boat from the Canary Islands to Antigua The 3000 mile voyage took 103 days. The author was the first solo woman to complete this race and the 6th woman to row solo across an ocean. In 2008, Roz Savage became the first woman in history to row solo from California to Hawaii. In addition, to this great reading adventure, the book is packed...more
PJ
This was a fun book to read. As much about setting goals and achieving dreams as it is about the actual accomplishment of rowing the Atlantic. The storytelling is very good, though the prose does seem kind of forced at times... as if the author might be trying just a little to hard, especially in the first few pages. Thankfully, though, once the actual preparation and adventure starts, Roz Savage finds her cadence and pace in her writing. She takes you along on a journey of discovery and dreams.
Sean
Great armchair adventure book. Quick read about a brave and slightly crazy woman who dropped everything to do something extraordinary.
Kris
I loved Roz by page 4. I agree with other reviewers who compared the book to Cheryl Strayed's "Wild", though I liked Roz's story better. 'Rowing the Atlantic' lost a star from me because it is part adventure tale and part self-help, motivational-speaking fodder. So 5 stars for the adventure part (self-help books never hold my attention). I never even heard of ocean rowing until Roz and it was just the kind of adventure I LOVE to read, and Roz is a great writer.
N.T.
Truly enjoyed this book, with a pace that picked up to sail (pun intended) right into the end and celebrate with the author and rower and true adventurer that is Roz Savage.

I highly recommend this tale of a woman overcoming her demons, her grown self that was a sludge she wanted to shake off to become who she wanted to be,

A great tale of the hard toil of translating a newfound dream and search for self and purpose into a great read.
Pbwritr
Excellent, inspiring book. 38-year-old decides to ROW across the Atlantic solo, never having been much of an athlete and never having rowed the ocean. Spellbinding account of her reasons, thought processes, fears, hopes, obstacles, triumphs as she does indeed succeed in rowing the ocean in 103 days! Amazing feat, and since then she's now rowing the Pacific!
Julie
Really 3.5 but I decided to round up because I quite enjoyed it despite her occasional Bridget Jones-worthy self-doubt which was a bit grating (though I did appreciate her sharing this very human aspect of the journey for her). Overall it was fascinating to read about what it was like for her to cross the Atlantic alone in a small rowboat. Quite a remarkable feat.
Nancy
Oct 14, 2009 Nancy rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Jamel
I read this in one sitting. I couldn't put it down. What a challenge the author gave herself and achieved. I'm amazed at the courage. It was truly frightening at times and her story is an inspiration to all of us who want to get free of our inner critical voices. I'll have to do it in another way since I'm no way brave enough to do anything this daunting.
Eric Schipper
A very inspiring and motivating tale of human spirit. Anyone can accomplish anything if they set their mind to it. I enjoyed how much the author just laid bare her emotions and told some of the dark truths about how she came to where she did. Not everything went according to plan, she came in last place in the race, but she finished.
Peter Realeza
i enjoyed this adventure book. but what i really liked was her search to find herself. the idea that we all can change the course of our existence and make changes is truly inspiring. i dont think that change needs to be as drastic as hers, but if we are questioning ourselves, we owe it to find answers.
Brian
Speaking as someone who generally goes for fiction, this is some of the best non-fiction I've ever read. I followed Roz during (most of) her Pacific crossing, and it was interesting to go back and read about her Atlantic crossing, as well as the events and decisions that led to it.
Melissa
reads a little bit like "eat,pray, love" which irked me but it was definitely inspiring and made me think about my life and whether i'm living it to it's full potential. doesn't mean i'm going to go row an ocean but am i pushing myself to live life to its fullest....
Kristin Redmond
This was and enjoyable and interesting read about a woman and trying to find herself. To find herself, she decided to row across the Atlantic!! She did it, with a lot of hard work, planning and training. Along the way, she found out a lot about herself.
Lorra Fae
Excellent + interesting journey - proof that the only thing stopping someone from achieving lofty goals is themselves. You can do anything if you put your mind to it - cliche but true. This is a woman who has done just that.
MelJoy
I am inspired by Roz's courage and perseverance. A tale well told--interesting and exciting. She’s an inspiration to me as she gets what life’s about; the days are long, life is short!
Clmahan
I liked this book and even though the rower was a bit self centered I think she recognized that in herself and it drove her to complte and complete her goal by herself.
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2906083
Roz Savage is an ocean rower, environmental campaigner, author and speaker.

In case this makes her sound intrepid, you should know that as a child she was small, unathletic, and bookish (and is not so different now). Her parents were both Methodist preachers and moved house frequently, so the young Rosalind took refuge in books. She yearned to be a writer herself, but as she went through that pain...more
More about Roz Savage...
Stop Drifting, Start Rowing: One Woman's Search for Happiness and Meaning Alone on the Pacific Rowing the Atlantic Stop Drifting, Start Rowing: One Woman's Search for Happiness and Meaning Alone on the Pacific

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“I have learned to be kinder to myself, to imagine that I am my own best friend, whispering comforting words in my ear and drowning out the voices of Self-Doubt and Self-Criticism. I have learned to acknowledge and appreciate the 98% that I have achieved instead of the 2% that I didn’t.” 5 likes
“When you stand at the bottom of the mountain and look up at the mountaintop, the path looks hard and stony, and the top is obscured by clouds. But when you reach the top and you look down, you realize that there are a thousand paths that could have brought you to that place.” 5 likes
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