Solo Rower Katie Spotz, 22, Youngest To Cross The Atlantic

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It took 70 days, five hours and 22 minutes to get from Dakar, Senegal in West Africa to Georgetown, Guyana in South America, arriving March 14.

Katie Spotz, who spent two years planning her trip and raising $100,000 to pay for it, also raised more than $70,000 for the Blue Planet Run Foundation, which finances drinking water projects worldwide.

Reports The New York Times:

Spotz had packed enough food to last 110 days: half a million calories’ worth of mostly freeze-dried meals, granola and dried fruit. Her crossing took much less time because she had help from the trade currents, and was fortunate not to face any major weather or technical problems.

Her 19-foot yellow wooden rowboat was broadsided by 20-foot waves as she approached South America. It was a frightening ride, even though the boat was built to withstand hurricanes and 50-foot waves, said Phil Morrison, the British yacht builder who designed it.

Early in the trip, Spotz broke the cable that allowed her to steer with her foot as she rowed, forcing her to use a cumbersome hand steering system. A day before landfall, Spotz smelled smoke. Her GPS tracker, which she used to update her position on her blog, was on fire. Spotz extinguished it. Her GPS device for navigation was not affected.Most important, the boat’s solar panels, batteries, water desalination machine and the iPod she used to play audio books on Zen meditation remained functional.

Spotz developed painful calluses and rashes from rowing 8 to 10 hours a day.

Good for her!

Solo ocean voyages are rough on everyone who tries them, from sailor Tania Aiebi, who circled the globe alone at 18, to French pro Isabelle Autissier, one of my nautical idols, who had to be rescued from the Southern Pacific ocean, a ferocious spot, in 1999 after her boat capsized mid-race. It so rattled her, she gave up solo-ing.

(photo from Associated Press)

One thought on “Solo Rower Katie Spotz, 22, Youngest To Cross The Atlantic

  1. ebizjoey

    That’s great, a museum (Crawford) here has a boat the size of a V.W. Beetle, smaller maybe that is made of wood that some-one whose name I forgot and can-not find now did this in the 50’s in, point being so many people do these things now, but the pioneers really were solo, no radio, radar, now to even swim the English Channel they have a boat alongside them, I even sound cranky to myself, oh well. Good for her, congratulations!!!
    Next time I go there I will get you a digital picture, you just have to see it to get my point.

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