Adventurer completes solo row from Japan to Alaska

ANCHORAGE, Alaska —

A 28-year-old British adventurer became the first woman to row solo from Japan to Alaska, arriving late Monday at a small town in the Aleutian Islands after 150 days and 3,750 miles at sea.

“I have had some of the most intense and memorable months of my life out on the Pacific, it has been brilliant and brutal at the same time,” Sarah Outen said in a statement. “And it has been a privilege.”

Outen celebrated with a bottle of champagne in Adak, Alaska, and greeted community members and supporters, her first human contact in nearly five months, as first reported by the Anchorage Daily News.

“I have pushed myself to my absolute limits both physically and mentally to make land here in Alaska, and body and mind are now exhausted,” she said.

She left Choshi, Japan, on April 27. It is part of her plan for a global trek by an ocean rowing shell, kayak and bike.

On Monday afternoon Outen came within a half mile of the Alaska shore before winds and currents started pushing her onto the rocks. Her support team decided it was safer to tow her into Adak’s small boat harbor.

On the row, she battled dangerous seas, and her boat, Happy Socks, capsized five times. She also fought the psychological battle of being alone. In the last few days, she almost hit a cargo ship after her radar failed, and battled cooling temperatures and increasing darkness.

Outen also tweeted about whiteout fog and exhaustion-induced hallucinations in the final, treacherous miles to Adak, the newspaper reported.

But for Outen, who has a biology degree from Oxford University, seeing wildlife like albatross and whales made up for all the uncomfortable moments. According to the statement, the highlight was a shark circling her as she rowed.

Along the way, she also got engaged to her longtime girlfriend back home during a satellite phone call from the middle of the ocean.

She had initially wanted to row from Japan to Canada, but the punishing weather caused a course change to Alaska.

Next spring, she plans to return to Adak with a teammate, Justin Curgenven, to continue the kayak trip to mainland Alaska. She will then bike across Canada and North America before attempting a solo row across the Atlantic Ocean to the United Kingdom.

Outen’s first attempt at the crossing ended in 2012 when she and another ocean rower had to be rescued near Japan after their boats were badly damaged in a tropical storm.

Before that, Outen became the youngest person and the first woman to row alone across the Indian Ocean in 2009, going from Australia to Mauritius.

More in Local News

Snohomish man, 63, missing from home since Monday

He left without his keys, wallet and phone, saying something about going to “the river.”

Firefighters come to the rescue and give mom new stroller

Donations to the Good Neighbor Program covered the $143.20 cost.

Case unresolved: The noose at an Edmonds construction site

Though two were fired over comments about it, police were unable to determine who put it there.

To get drug money, Lynnwood man says he cut 911 wires

Those wires happened to be the ones used by 911 dispatchers, but emergency services weren’t affected.

February trial set for suspect in deadly Marysville shooting

There had been questions about Wayne Alpert’s mental health.

Fatal car crash reported on Highway 92 near Lake Stevens

The 3 p.m. accident and investigation stopped traffic in both directions near Machias Road.

Motorcyclist killed in crash had high level of THC

A motorcyclist had more than eight times the legal limit… Continue reading

Investigation recommends girl shot by officers face charges

The teen is accused of assaulting her boyfriend and the responding police officers.

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)
Higher tolls could improve traffic speed in I-405 toll lanes

A report recommends lifting on the maximum toll and charging only by segment.

Most Read