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Thirst for adventure

MARCH 23 -- An amateur Dutch adventurer last week set off to make, what he says, will be the first row solo across the Pacific at the ocean’s widest point, “from mainland to mainland.”

Ralph Tuijin, 35, kicked off last week from Callao, Peru, aboard his custom 23.5-foot rowing boat, Zeeman Challenger, a news release says. Over the next eight months Tuijin plans to row nearly 10,000 miles to Brisbane, Australia.

Even after months of training Tuijin found after the first night that he needed to make adjustments. “The first night was [a] difficult one,” he writes in his daily blog. “I had to get used to the rhythm of two hours rowing, two hours resting once again. Everything was slowly starting to hurt again. Hands full of blisters again, pain between the shoulder blades and in my lower back and feet. Everything will have to get ‘rowed in’ again.”

A week later, Tuijin seemed to have settled in, and was enjoying his time alone on the ocean. “Yesterday I saw flying fish again,” he writes in the blog. “Shortly before sunrise another group of dolphins came leaping past — always a beautiful sight.”

In preparation for his trans-Pacific journey, Tuijin 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. Tuijin decided to row across the Pacific, in part, to raise money for a children’s charity in India.

For more information about the charity, and to follow Tuijin’s progress, click here.

Jason Fell