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Stroke by stroke - Soundings Online

Stroke by stroke

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JULY 11 — An amateur Dutch adventurer has reached the halfway mark on his bid to be the first to row solo, non-stop and unassisted across the Pacific at the ocean’s widest point.

As of late last week Ralph Tuijn, 35, had rowed nearly 4,500 miles since getting under way March 15 from Callao, Peru, a press release says. Tuijn plans to row his 23.5-foot rowing boat, Zeeman Challenger, 10,000 miles to Brisbane, Australia.

“I can finally start rowing towards a place and not away from a place,” Tuijn says in the release. “I can finally start to count down instead of add up and, frankly, I needed that after 109 days at sea.”

Tuijn faced a number of setbacks during the first few weeks of his passage, according to the release. Strong currents nearly pushed him into the rocky shores of the Galapagos Islands. His water maker no longer works and a shark has been following him for several days.

In preparation for his trans-Pacific journey, Tuijn and his brother, Michael, spent nearly three months rowing across the Atlantic from La Gomera in the Canary Islands to Curacao in the Dutch Antilles, the release says. Tuijn decided to row across the Pacific, in part, to raise money for a children’s charity in India.

To follow Tuijn’s progress, click here.

Jason Fell