Katie Spotz Sailed Across the Atlantic from Dakar to Georgetown, Guyana
On January 3, 22-year-old Katie Spotz hopped in her rowboat in Dakar, Senegal, and started rowing.
On Sunday -- 70 days later -- she arrived in Georgetown, Guyana, 2,817 miles across the Atlantic, making her the youngest person to row an entire ocean solo.
"You're in a situation that you can't escape, so you really have to dig deep," Spotz told the New York Times.
I'd say so. Spotz had all kinds of problems on the way, including wind and currents so strong toward the end of her journey that she had to adjust her route, adding an extra 400 miles. She also said she had trouble sleeping (yeah, I can kinda see how sleeping in a rowboat in the open ocean might be tough), and she feared her 19-foot yellow boat would capsize when it was hit by 20-foot waves.
But Spotz actually packed enough food (freeze-dried meals, granola and dried fruit) for 110 days, so that wasn't an issue. And she was equipped with a GPS device and a satellite phone and was in communication with a friend who rowed the Atlantic in 2008. She also had solar panels on the boat, which powered a nifty contraption that takes the salt out of ocean water so she can drink it. The solar panels also powered her iPod, on which she listened to audio books.
Overall, it sounds like an amazing journey for a young lady who grew up in a suburb of Cleveland and has always been interested in endurance sports. It's hard not to feel a lot of admiration for Spotz. Even if it's easy to understand why her father said his initial reaction to his daughter's plan was, "Are you nuts?"