American woman prepares to row the Atlantic

Katie Spotz has big plans for the new year. The 22-year old American is currently in Senegal where she is completing the final preparations for her attempt to row solo across the Atlantic Ocean. If everything goes according to plan, she’ll set out on her journey on the first day of 2010, and won’t step back onto dry land for three months.

The young woman from Cleveland, Ohio will depart from Dakar, and cover approximately 2500 miles, with the hopes of arriving in South America, somewhere along the coast of Guiana, in approximately 70-100 days. While out on the ocean, she’ll face huge waves, massive storms, and endless days alone on the water.

Katie will be making her journey on a specially designed 19-foot long rowboat. The boat has a small cabin that can offer some shelter from inclement weather, and specially designed hatches will help keep her gear and equipment dry. Two freshwater tanks are used as ballasts, while offering an emergency water supply, and the solar panels mounted along the deck will help keep Katie’s communications equipment charged, so that she can stay in touch while at sea. She’ll be making updates on her website, and sending back dispatches on her progress once she gets underway.

While the ocean row will be a challenge unlike anything that Katie has done before, she isn’t doing it just for herself. She is using the opportunity to raise funds and awareness of the Blue Planet Run, an organization dedicated to financing projects designed to deliver clean drinking water in remote places across the planet.

To follow along with Katie’s adventure stop by her website where you will find more information on her ocean row and read updates as she prepares to hit the water. Then return in the New Year to track her progress and watch her make an attempt on history. If she is successful, she’ll be the youngest person to ever row solo across an ocean, and the first American to row from Africa to South America.

Good luck Katie!