British woman rowing across the Indian Ocean

Roz Savage is rowing across the Indian Ocean!British ocean rower Roz Savage just can’t seem to stay at home. The adventurous 43-year old has already conquered both the Atlantic and Pacific, and now has her sights squarely set on rowing across the Indian Ocean as well. She set out from Fremantle, Australia yesterday and is now making her way to Mumbai, India in a voyage that is expected to cover more than 4000 miles and take four and a half months to complete.

Roz wasn’t always an adventurer. Like many of us, she had a regular job, a house in the suburbs, and a bit of a mundane life. Sometime in her mid-30’s however, she discovered that she wanted something more, and set out on her first big adventure – rowing across the Atlantic Ocean. In 2005, she became the first woman to accomplish that feat solo, and it only inspired her to want to row some more. In 2008, she embarked on a successful three-stage, three-year solo row of the Pacific Ocean as well. In all, Savage estimates that she has rowed over 11,000 miles, using 3.5 million oar strokes, and has spent nearly a year of her life alone on the water.

All that time out at sea has provided Roz with a new found appreciation for our planet, and the oceans in particular. That has turned her into a tireless environmentalist who believes that the overall health of the Earth is directly influenced by the health of the oceans. She is hoping to convey that message to the world while she toils away on her latest voyage.

Despite the fact that she already has plenty of experience on the open water, Roz has taken steps to be extra cautious on this journey. On her previous expeditions for instance, she provided a “Roz Tracker” on her website to allow others to follow her progress online. This time out, she has removed that option to keep pirates operating in the area from knowing her whereabouts. She is also keeping her exact final destination a secret as well, for the same reason.

If she successfully crosses the Indian Ocean, Roz will have completed the “Big Three” of rowing. But that doesn’t seem to have put a damper on her plans for the future. Her website suggests that she’s already planning another crossing of the Atlantic in 2012, this time going from the U.S. to the U.K.

Like I said, she clearly doesn’t like to stay home.

[Photo credit: Roz Savage]

British woman sets out to pedal and paddle around the world

Sarah Outen has set out to pedal and paddle her way around the world.British adventurer Sarah Outen has set out to circumnavigate the globe under her own power. The 25-year old has dubbed her expedition “London2London via the World,” and vows to complete the journey by pedaling and paddling the entire way, which means she’ll be either on her bike or rowing a boat, for every mile of the journey.

Outen set out on her round-the-world excursion last Friday, April 1st, by paddling a kayak under the London Tower Bridge. The first stage of her journey will take her down the Thames River and across the English Channel to Brussels. From there, she’ll get on her bike and pedal across Europe and Asia, a trip that will take months to complete. When she’s finished that leg, she’ll get back into a boat and paddle across the Northern Pacific to Vancouver. After that, it’s back on the bike for a short jaunt to New York City, where one final challenge will await – rowing across the North Atlantic. If all goes according to plan, she’ll be paddling back under the London Tower Bridge sometime in 2013, ending the journey where it all started.

Outen is no stranger to challenging adventures. Back in 2009 she made a solo row across the Indian Ocean, becoming the first woman, and the youngest person, to accomplish that feat. She spent weeks alone at sea on the journey, which has helped to prepare her for the London2London expedition, but this latest adventure will test her in some unique and interesting ways.

You can join Sarah on her journey by following along on her website and reading updates to her blog. This promises to be one amazing journey, and Outen will be a great travel guide.

[Photo credit: Sarah Outen]


Human-powered circumnavigator climbs Mt. Kilimanjaro to raise money for Tanzanian school

human powered circumnavigationSeattle-based adventurer Erden Eruç has launched the next phase in his quest to circumnavigate the world under human power, for his charitable organization, Around-n-Over (AnO). The mission of the 501(c)(3) non-profit is to assist poor communities by providing basic educational aid, resources, and facilities as a means of guiding them into self-sufficiency.

Eruç will continue his Six Summits Expedition, to climb the highest summits on the six continents he reaches after approaching each by bicycle, on foot, and by rowing across three oceans. His goal in raising awareness about his journey is to instill in young people the values of selflessness, sacrifice, and perseverance in the tradition of historical adventurers and expeditions. In November, 2010, Eruç became the first person in history to have crossed three oceans (Indian, Atlantic, and Pacific) via rowing. He is also the most experienced ocean rower alive.

The next leg of AnO’s Six Summits Expedition takes Eruç to Tanzania, and the continent’s highest peak, Mt. Kilimanjaro, to raise awareness for the Mateves Secondary School in Arusha. For this journey, AnO has collaborated with Mountain Madness, a Seattle adventure travel company who will provide guides and support for the climb. The goal is for AnO and participants to raise money to use toward the building of new classrooms and educational support. Mountain Madness will also donate a portion of the fees they receive from participants toward the school. To donate, click here.

British woman completes solo row across the Pacific Ocean

British ocean rower Roz Savage arrived in Madang, Papua New Guinea yesterday, completing the third, and final, stage of her solo row across the Pacific Ocean. Her arrival marked an end to an adventure that she has dedicated more than five years of her life to finishing.

Roz first came up with the idea of rowing across the Pacific after she completed a solo row across the Atlantic back in 2005. That journey took 103 days to complete and covered 2935 miles of open water. In 2007 she launched her first attempt on the Pacific but was forced to return to land a few days after getting underway. Undaunted, she returned to the water in 2008, and completed the first stage of her journey, rowing the 2324 miles from San Francisco to Hawaii in just under 100 days. In 2009, stage two took her from Hawaii to Tuvalu in the South Pacific, covering an additional 3158 miles over 104 days.

For her third, and final stage, Roz planned to row from Tuvalu to Australia, but strong ocean currents, persistent winds, and other conditions prevented her from traveling that far south. Instead, she drifted towards Papua New Guinea, where she finally stepped back onto dry land after covering an additional 2248 miles in just 45 days.

By completing this final leg, Roz has now become the first woman to row solo across the Pacific, a voyage that took a total of 249 days to complete and covered 7730 miles in total. A former management consultant for a major bank in the U.K., Roz quit her job back in 2001 to pursue a life of adventure. Since then, she has become a tireless environmental activist who has worked hard to raise awareness of the plight of the world’s oceans and is likely to continue pursuing that cause in the future. To that end, she recently launched a new website called Eco Heroes that has become a social network for the environmentally conscious set to connect.

Katie Spotz completes solo row of the Atlantic

Way back in December we told you about Katie Spotz, the 22-year old American woman who was planning to row solo from Dakar, Senegal in western Africa to the east coast of South America. This past Sunday, Katie arrived in Georgetown, Guiana, completing her journey, while becoming the youngest person to ever row solo across an ocean in the process.

The expedition covered more than 2817 miles of open ocean, requiring 70 days, 5 hours, and 22 minutes to complete. Reportedly, Katie could have shaved an additional eight days off of her time had she allowed a boat to tow her into shore as she neared her destination. While on approach to Guiana, strong winds and ocean currents conspired against her to make the final leg of the journey that much more challenging, but rather than take the tow, she elected to row an additional 400 miles northwest to Georgetown, where milder conditions allowed her to finish the trip under her own power.

While Katie did hope to set the new record for the youngest to row an ocean, and become the first American to row solo from one continent to the next, she actually had even loftier goals in mind when she set out. The entire expedition was used to raise funds for the Blue Planet Run Foundation, an organization dedicated to funding clean drinking water projects around the globe. For her efforts, Spotz raised over $70,000 for the foundation, money that will now go to improving the lives of others around the globe.

The 19-foot long, specially designed, rowboat that was used in the Atlantic crossing weathered 20-foot waves and occasional storms, but for the most part performed admirably. Fitted with solar cells to charge her gear and a desalination system to provide clean drinking water, the boat was Katie’s floating home for the past 2+ months. Aside from a breakdown in the original steering system, and a GPS device catching on fire, there were few technical setbacks to the journey.

Congratulations to Katie on a job well done. The rest of us would have, you know, taken a plane, but your way of crossing the Atlantic works too.