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U.S. woman sets out from Japan on 9,600-km Pacific crossing by rowboat

34 Comments
By ELAINE KURTENBACH and KRISTIN J. BENDER

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34 Comments
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...she hopes to stay within the 100-kilometer-wide Kuroshio current that arcs across the Pacific...

So, in other words, she hopes to drift across the Pacific.

-16 ( +7 / -22 )

So, in other words, she hopes to drift across the Pacific.

Who wants to row against the current, even in rivers?

8 ( +11 / -3 )

Baumstein will be generating 30 liters of water an hour.

30 litres an hour? Or should that be 3?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Fair winds and following seas.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

So, in other words, she hopes to drift across the Pacific.

Hey good point! When you look at it this way her feat is meaningless. Absolutely meaningless. She's only drifting across the pacific ocean in a boat with no motor, by herself. Lame.

-7 ( +13 / -18 )

Hope she completes the trip safely!

5 ( +6 / -1 )

no, she hopes the current will aid and speed up her trip. and even if she were "drifiting" across the pacific, it's a lot cooler than what you two are doing sitting at your computer being judgemental.

15 ( +15 / -2 )

Apparently my sarcasm at the stupidity of the comment I quoted has gone over some people's heads.

-2 ( +11 / -12 )

I wish her all the best! Good luck!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

What happens when she sleeps? Does the boat drift aimlessly?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

What's she going to do with 30 liters of water an hour?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Where is going to do #2? Into the ocean? Gross-

-14 ( +1 / -13 )

The boat still drifts easterly when she sleeps not to loose ground...er water.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Best of luck to her! I hope she arrives safely.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Hima na?

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

no, she hopes the current will aid and speed up her trip. and even if she were "drifiting" across the pacific, it's a lot cooler than what you two are doing sitting at your computer being judgemental.

Cool. Really? Who's picking up the tab when she gets caught in a squall/heatstroke/dehydration/stuck up a whale's backside?

All these foolhardy adventurers are "cool" right up until the point they get into trouble and pointlessly risk the lives of their rescuers.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

Don't think she needs the olive oil.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

She's tougher than I'll ever be. I suspect one big risk is just falling overboard. I wonder how she handles that. If the boat gets away from you that's it.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

She's got my respect. Fair winds and following seas!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

What a lonely time she'll have. I start talking to myself ten minutes after the wife leaves for work....

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Wishing her all the best.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

So, in other words, she hopes to drift across the Pacific. if whe did that itll take her about 2 yrs to finish, no she most definately have to row and a damn lot

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Several of us, including Guinness World Record holder solo sailor Minoru Saito, had dinner with her about 3 weeks ago.

She is one determined lady and has already made an Atlantic ocean crossing in a rowboat, though not solo. This is not her only long-distance solo effort. She is also a world class adventurer in several different areas, including long-distance kayaking and biking.

She'd be bonkers not to hitch a ride on the Black Current -- she'll have enough to frustrate and fatigue her just those days when the wind will drive her backwards (she'll put out a drogue / sea anchor until it passes). The current is EVERY boater's friend or foe.

If she comes out of the boat, she'll be on a tether and even if it rolls it's not a death sentence. That's one of the benefits of a capsule-type rowboat -- you can haul yourself back in.

Someone made a comment about her weight ("olives") -- she has intentionally gained a lot, full well knowing she will need every reserve of calories. She has 3 separate assemblies of clothes -- her current size, Medium, and Small.

The ones who come up with the "who'll pay for the rescue" bitching should review human history. If there were never any brave souls like Sonya what a boring world this would be!

I, as well, wish her the very best!

6 ( +6 / -0 )

She's like Amelia Earnhardt in my book, one extremely gutsy person!

2 ( +1 / -0 )

Very best of luck to her... hope she does it and keeps safe...

Setting off on an adventure is the best feeling in the world.

All the preparation and thinking and agonizing about whats and ifs... it all just falls away and it's just you and the challenge.... brilliant.

I just wish she could somehow inspire more young Japanese people to undertake this kind of challenge...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Sorry but look at the pick she looks like she need the exercise she wont have them bingo wings if she makes it to Japan

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Will she pay back the costs of the rescue mission?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I'd imagine the current zone is so she stays on course when she sleeps and isn't fighting against current, not for speed. She wouldn't have enough food or water for drifting.

30 litres an hour? Typo

Falling out of the boat might be less of an issue by using a surfers ankle chain or wearing a seatbelt

I'm more concerned about the amount of plastic sludge in the water and the ability to filter out the smaller bits.

Good luck to her

0 ( +0 / -0 )

She went on a weight gain diet just to have some reserves. She'll look completely different if she reaches her destination... Good luck !

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Good try but she will not likely complete the trip. Electric outboard motor hook up with solar cells may give her some more chance....

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

It is true that if the winds are with you, your boat may drift downward about twenty-five to fifty miles each day without lifting an oar. But if the winds are against you, you may go backwards and lose ground each day. And if you are caught in storms, you may not go anywhere for days at a time. So it is hard to tell how long it will take to row a boat across the Pacific. It all depends on the weather, the currents, and how much rowing you do. For the same reasons mountaineers climb mountains, strong-minded mariners like a good stiff challenge, and moments of adversity bring out the best in them. They are goal-oriented, and self-discipline run in their veins and they like being outdoors in the wide open spaces. They connect with the sea, porpoises, fishes, whales and sea turtles in their watery domain. In the end they are the masters of their fate and captains of theirs souls.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"She went on a weight gain diet just to have some reserves"

I'm not sure that's a good idea. The heart needs to pump harder when you're fatter, to distribute more blood over the bigger body mass. That makes you tire out quicker when doing physical activities, and this venture seems to require lots of stamina.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

“The stars are incredible. They’re my favorite thing,” she said in an interview by Skype from her boat before her departure.

“It’s very cool to see wildlife, but to watch the passing of the stars, because I row all night if it’s good weather. To see the complete Milky Way,” she said."

I'm starting to like this woman...

No engines! No computers! Not even any sails! Just her arms and oars!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Best of luck to her. She is a true adventurer and professional who knows the risks involved. For those of you whinging about the cost of a rescue? Have a word with yourselves!! What price is a human life? And without folk like Sonya, half the world would still be undiscovered. In a world full of hate and evil...have a little spirit and wish her well. Fair winds and calm seas Sonya.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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