Woman rows from Japan to Alaska

  • Associated Press
  • Tuesday, September 24, 2013 8:54am
  • SportsSports

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — A 28-year-old British adventurer became the first woman to row solo across the North Pacific Ocean Monday, arriving in Adak in Alaska’s Aleutians after 150 days and 3,750 miles at sea.

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

She left 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 land before winds and current started pushing her onto the rocks. Her support team decided it was safer to tow her into Adak’s small boat harbor.

“I’m so pleased and relieved to tell you that Sarah is putting her feet up in her cabin,” Mel Johnson, a spokeswoman for the expedition, said on Outen’s blog.

On the North Pacific row she battled dangerous seas, isolation, cargo ships, sickness and currents that often tossed her boat in the wrong direction, the newspaper reported.

In recent days she was nearly hit by a cargo ship after her radar failed. Outen also tweeted about whiteout fog and exhaustion-induced hallucinations in the final, treacherous miles to Adak.

Johnson wrote that Outen plans to return to the point she was towed in to shore in the spring of 2014 to continue her expedition by kayak.

Outen’s first attempt 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. She was shaken and boat-less when she returned to England.

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

Outen returned to Japan in April after raising money for a new boat and training all winter.

After leaving Chosie, Japan, she has been followed by a school of tuna and became engaged by satellite phone to her longtime girlfriend in the United Kingdom.

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