Monday, December 16, 2013

Russian Adventurer Begins Solo Row Across The Pacific

At the beginning of November I posted a story about Fedor Konyukhov, a Russian adventurer who was planning a solo, unsupported, non-stop row across the Pacific Ocean. At the time, he was still in the planning stages of the journey but had hoped to set off sometime in December. This past weekend he hit the water at last and now faces 8000 nautical miles (14,816 km) of open sea as he travels under his own power from Valparaise, Chile to Brisbane, Australia.

According to this update from ExWeb, the Pacific crossing should take Fedor roughly 200 days to complete. During the first stage of journey he'll have to navigate through a maze of lightly mapped islands and atolls, while on his arrival in Australia he'll have to negotiate the Great Barrier Reef. In between, he'll have thousands of miles of open sea that he'll have to row entirely on his own in what is set to be the longest ocean row ever.

Konyukhov's boat has been equipped with the latest in ocean rowing technology. Solar cells will power all of the onboard electronics such as GPS and satellite communications equipment. Desalinization pumps will turn salt water into drinking water for him, while an autopilot system will help ensure that he stays on course throughout the journey. The boat arrived in Chile several weeks back, and it has undergone extensive testing on the ocean prior to Fedor's departure on Saturday morning. It passed those tests with flying colors, so hopefully it'll now be up to the task ahead.

You'll be able to follow along with Fedor's progress on his website, which does offer an English version. He also has a blog and Facebook page, both of which are in Russian. If you don't read that language, you'll need to use Google Translate or something similar to understand what is being said.

Good luck to Fedor on this epic journey. Hopefully the sea is kind to him over the next 6+ months.

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