7-person rowing team crosses Indian Ocean

NAIROBI, Kenya — The skipper of a seven-man rowing crew on the cusp of setting an Indian Ocean speed record said Thursday his team is looking forward to getting their feet dry on the island nation of the Seychelles after 57 days on the water.

Skipper Leven Brown said in an interview by satellite phone from his 44-foot ocean rowing boat that his team outmaneuvered hurricane-force winds, successfully evacuated a member of the team who burned himself while cooking, and hit a blue whale with their boat.

The team covered 4,578 miles, starting from Geraldton, Australia in June, and will reach Mahe, Seychelles later Thursday.

As the boat approached the Seychelles and East Africa’s waters in general, the team had the potential of a Somali pirate attack on their minds. On Wednesday they were approached by three fishing vessels, but all were friendly, Brown said. Team members never slept for more than two hours at a time, so fatigue is an issue.

The Ocean Rowing Society will confirm the exact timing of landfall to record the apparent record-breaking time. Brown said mid-Thursday that the team was on course to break it and that he didn’t foresee any problems ahead.

“You get out of the boat and you always swear that you’ll never do this again. But this is my fifth time. I’ve spent almost a year at sea between all of my expeditions,” he said.

The international crew is raising money for several charities, including Save The Elephants, Multiple Sclerosis Research Australia, and the Fiann Paul Foundation. Brown said the last four similar voyages he has undertaken have raised more than $1.6 million.

As the boat approached the Seychelles on Thursday, Brown said the island nation rose out of the water like a scene from the TV show “Lost.”

“There is a great draw back to the oceans. It’s a wonderful environment, one of the world’s most pristine wilderness settings. … But we are very glad to have Seychelles in front of us.”

More in Local News

Longboarders from near and far hit the trail in Arlington

The Centennial Sk8 Festival was serious competition for some and just for fun for others.

Signs show the rates for using the express toll lanes for traffic headed southbound on Interstate 405, Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2016, in Bothell, Wash. Gov. Jay Inslee announced plans Tuesday to try to decrease congestion on I-405 in answer to commuter complaints that the new express lane tolling system is making traffic worse. The governor said he would not be shutting down the tolling system as some people have called for. But the state transportation department is making plans to add new northbound general purpose lanes to ease some of the congestion and also plan to make it easier to move into and out of the express lanes. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
After a 2-year trial, are I-405’s toll lanes here to stay?

Lawmakers will decide whether to keep them or end the experiment and try something else.

Weary drivers using toll lanes say they have little choice

Congestion continues to be a tedious reality for commuters on I-405, which is as clogged as ever.

Council passes six-month moratorium on safe injection sites

Proposal by County Councilman Nate Nehring passed unanimously.

Terrace woman held following collision in Everett

The three occupants in vehicle were transported to a local hospital in serious condition.

Information sought on drive-by shooting in Everett

Debris from an apparent crash, evidence of gunfire found in the 2800 block of California Street.

Crews recover body of man who fell over Wallace Falls

The area where the man fell is called Sky Valley Lookout, 2.4 miles from the parking lot.

Herald photos of the week

A weekly collection of The Herald’s best images by staff photographers and… Continue reading

This week’s Herald Super Kid is Nathan Nicholson of Snohomish High School. (Dan Bates / The Herald)
‘The future is biotech,’ but for now he’s busy with everything

Snohomish senior Nathan Nicholson is a student leader and media master.

Most Read