Showing posts with label Sarah Outen. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sarah Outen. Show all posts

Sarah Outen Arrives in Montreal, Won't Row Atlantic Ocean Again

Last week I posted the news that round-the-world adventurer Sarah Outen had been forced to abandon her attempt to row solo across the North Atlantic due to an impending storm. The British woman was picked up by a ship called the Federal Oshima, which was bound for Montreal Canada at the time, although we knew it would be a few days before the vessel reached that destination. On Saturday,  Sarah was delivered safely back to dry land, and has finally had a chance to share her feelings about having to not only give up on her Atlantic crossing, but also abandon her rowboat in the middle of the ocean.

Sarah spent 143 days out on the water, on what would have been the final leg of her London2London via the World expedition. She has spent the better part of the past four years attempting to circumnavigate the globe under her own power. During that time, she has traveled by bike, kayak, and rowboat through some remote areas of the world, and the Atlantic crossing would have seen Outen return home to where the entire journey first started. Unfortunately, Hurricane Joaquin had other plans, and now Sarah is back in Canada, where she set out from back in May.

The row across the Atlantic was originally expected to take about 120 days to complete. But traveling west to east in a rowboat brings different challenges, and as a result it took much longer than expected. Ocean currents worked against Sarah's efforts, and heavy storms often kept progress to a minimum or negated it altogether. As a result, 143 days in she was still 1000 miles (1600 km) from the finish line, with time quickly running out.

As anyone who has followed Sarah's adventures knows, she has experienced similar issues in the past. While crossing the Pacific back in 2012 she was hit by a storm as well, smashing her boat and forcing her to call for assistance than too. But unlike then, Sarah now says that her expedition is over. In an interview conducted after her arrival in Canada, she says “I don’t have the resources, financially or physically, to take on another trip.”

The journey isn't completely over just yet though. Sarah will fly home to the U.K. today, and will then ride her bike from Falmouth, England to the finish line in London, completing a portion of the final stage of her journey. That ride will cover about 400 miles (643 km).

It's a shame that such a grand adventure had to end this way. Sarah has overcome a lot in the past few years, and for her to be so close to finishing before this latest setback is crushing I'm sure. But as always, she'll make the best of the situation, and solider on the end. Mostly, I'm glad she's safe, and on her way home at last.

Sarah Outen Forced to Abandon Atlantic Crossing

If you've been following Sarah Outen's London2London via the World expedition over the past few years, you know she's faced some tough challenges in her attempt to circumnavigate the globe completely under her own power. This weekend she may have reached her biggest hurdle yet however, as the 30-year old adventurer saw the final stage of that journey hit with a major setback. One that threatens to put an end to the entire project.

Sarah was 143 days into her Atlantic ocean crossing in a rowboat this weekend when she was forced to call for help by a passing boat. The seas had become incredibly turbulent and winds as high as 60 knots (69 mph/111 km/h) were being recorded as hurricane Joaquin took aim at her position. The storm, which is raging in the North Atlantic now, put Sarah in jeopardy, forcing her to call for assistance even as she was closing in on London, the starting point for this epic round-the-world adventure that began more than four years ago.

On Saturday, Sarah was safely retrieved by a passing ship called the Federal Oshima. That vessel is currently bound for Montreal, Canada and is scheduled to arrive there later in the week. Unfortunately, Sarah's rowboat – Happy Socks – was damaged in the rescue and had to be left behind on the Atlantic Ocean. That leaves her now heading in the wrong direction, and without a boat to complete the journey home.

The expedition first started back in the spring of 2011. Sarah paddled under the London Bridge on the Thames River, than set out across the English Channel to France. From there, she rode her bike across Europe and Asia, eventually returning to her kayak long enough to reach Japan, where she intended to row across the Northern Pacific Ocean. Her first attempt to complete that stage met with a similar setback when a major storm hit the region, forcing the British woman to call for a rescue, and abandoning another rowboat. She was able to recover from that challenge, and returned a year later to finish the crossing of the Pacific, reaching the Aleutian Islands in Alaska in 2014. Sarah than paddled the Aleutians to the mainland, returned to her bike, and rode across the U.S. and Canada, arriving in New York City this past March. After waiting for spring to arrive, she set out on the last leg of the journey – the crossing of the Atlantic.

It's hard to say where this puts Sarah's circumnavigation attempt now. As you can imagine, she is heartbroken over having to call for assistance, and leaving her boat behind. Whether or not she'll be able to raise the funds to buy another boat remains to be seen, but I have no doubt that she'll still want to see this undertaking through to the end.

We should know more once she reaches Canada in a few days. It'll probably take some time to sort out the logistics, but I suspect she'll find another way to overcome this obstacle in time as well.

London2London via the World Update: Sarah Outen Nears Half-Way Point of Atlantic Crossing

The last time we checked in with Sarah Outen, she had just wrapped up her crossing of North America on a bike, and was enjoying some time in New York City. That was back in the spring, and since then she has pedaled her way north back into Canada, and more importantly launched the final stage of her expedition, as she is now rowing across the Atlantic Ocean, and making her way back home.

For those who haven't been following Sarah's fantastic journey, it all began back in 2011 when she set out from London to circumnavigate the globe under her own power. She first started by paddling a kayaking down the Thames River in London, followed by a crossing of the English Channel. From there, it was on to her bike for a long ride across Europe and Asia. After that, she returned to the water, making a crossing of the Pacific that took a couple of tries to complete. Eventually, Sarah made it to Alaska, where she returned to the bike for her ride across North America. She has spent the better part of this summer rowing across the North Atlantic on her way back to where she started in London.

Originally Outen believed it would take roughly two years to complete her round-the-world adventure, but a series of unforeseen incidents have stretched that time much further. For example, back in 2012 she was caught in a massive storm in the Pacific that forced her to abandon her attempt at rowing that section. It took some time to recover from the loss of her boat and schedule another attempt, but eventually she was able to finish that section as intended.

Sarah has now been out on the ocean for 90 days, and has just received a resupply in the middle of the ocean from some French sailors. She wasn't in need of any assistance at all, but three sailboats were going to be passing along her route, and they decide to rendezvous to deliver some treats, including beer, bread, salami, and chocolate, to help make the remaining leg of the trip a bit easier and more enjoyable.

As of this writing, Sarah is about 1700 nautical miles (3148 km/1956 miles) away from England. When she arrives at the shores of her home country, she will get on her bike one last time, ride it to the Thames once again, and kayak back up the river on her way to the finish line at the London Bridge. That is probably still a few months off, but she is closing in on the end at long last.

Follow Sarah on her voyage at her official website, where she is posting daily dispatches from the water.

London2London Via The World Update: Sarah Arrives in New York City, Atlantic Ocean Lies Ahead

It has once again been far too long since we checked in on Sarah Outen, the British adventurer who has been making her way around the planet completely under her own power. Since my last update on her progress, she has completed a six-month long cycling journey across Canada and the U.S. – much of it in winter – and is now preparing for the final stage of her journey, a crossing of the Atlantic by rowboat.

You may recall that Sarah launched her London2London via the World expedition four years ago by first paddling down the River Thames in London, and then across the English Channel to France. From there, she then proceeded to ride her bike across Europe and Asia, encountering many interesting people and adventures along the way. Eventually she arrived in Japan where she intended to cross the North Pacific by rowboat. That was back in the summer of 2012, and soon after she embarked on that ocean crossing she encountered a nasty storm that damaged her boat, and sent her back to shore. Undaunted, Sarah returned a year later and rowed from Japan to the Aleutian Islands in Alaska. Then, last year she kayaked through the islands to the Alaskan mainland, where she returned to her bike for a long ride across North America.

On March 15, Sarah rode her bike into New York City, essentially wrapping up the final cycling portion of her journey. She will eventually tack on another 400 miles (643 km) to the ride when she heads for Cape Cod in a few weeks, but for now she is enjoying some time in NYC, where she has been catching up with old friends, making new ones, and starting to prepare for the next stage of her grueling journey.


In May, Sarah will set out across the North Atlantic in her rowboat. The plan is to cross the ocean and row back up the Thames, passing under the London Bridge, which was her official starting point those many long months ago. If everything goes as planned, the Atlantic crossing should take roughly 4-5 months to complete, putting her back home in London sometime in the fall of this year.

While the journey has taken longer than Sarah had anticipated, it has been quite the experience and challenge. Circumnavigating the globe completely under her own power is an impressive accomplishment, and now just the Atlantic Ocean stands in the way of her achieving that goal. Outen is no stranger to ocean rowing however. In addition to having rowed across the North Pacific, back in 2009 she also rowed solo across the Indian Ocean as well. When she launches her Atlantic crossing in May, it'll feel like old times I'm sure, although this time she's heading home.

Over the next few weeks, Sarah will be dealing with logistical issues, resting, and getting her boat ready for launch. The weather needs to improve and stabilize before she begins rowing the Atlantic, but by mid-May or so she should be about ready to go. There are still thousands of miles of ocean ahead of her, but London is calling and the journey is nearing an end at long last.

London2London Update: Sarah Begins Cycling Stage Across North America

It has been quite some time since we last checked in on Sarah Outen and her London2London Via the World Expedition. You may recall, Sarah set out from London, England back  April of 2011 on her attempt to circumnavigate the planet completely under her own power. She started by rowing down the River Thames, then crossing the English Channel by kayak, before riding her bike across Europe and Asia. Upon reaching Japan, she then attempted to row across the Pacific Ocean in the summer of 2012, only to be caught in a tropical storm that damaged her boat, and left her stranded on the water. She returned to the Pacific last summer, finishing the row by reaching Alaska's Aleutian Islands just as the fall weather was about to make things very difficult for her.

In May of this year, Sarah resumed her journey exactly where she left off, and she has been making steady progress ever since. She, along with companion Justine Curgenven, first completed a massive kayaking stage along the Aleutian Islands that covered more than 1355 miles (2180 km) over 101 days. That consumed almost the entire summer for Sarah, who made landfall in Homer, Alaska back on August 15.

Of course, that impressive kayaking journey was just to get her back on dry land so she could start riding her bike again. Sarah has now returned to her two-wheeled mode of transportation, and launched her ride across Alaska last Saturday. She has already ridden all the way to Anchorage, and of course that is just the start of her big ride. She'll now travel by bike across the U.S. and Canada, making her way towards New York City. Once there, she'll return to the water once again and begin a row across the North Atlantic, which will eventually take her home. She now expects to wrap up the London2London journey in September of 2015. That's a bit off her original schedule, but it will still be a great achievement on her part.

Sarah is an inspiration for would-be adventurers for a number of reasons. First, her determination and will to complete this journey, no matter what hurdles get put in her way, is admirable. She has faced adversity numerous times, and experienced things that would put an end to many expeditions, and yet she picks herself up, dusts herself off, and just keeps moving ahead. But on top of that, you have to love her adventurous spirit. After rowing across the Indian Ocean back in 2009, she wanted to find other adventures to keep her occupied. She came up with this idea of circumnavigating the globe under her own power, and she set off to do it. It is easy to plan for an adventure, but it is hard to actually go out and execute it. She is doing just that.

The ride across North America should be a relatively easy one for Sarah. The roads are good, towns are plentiful, and she'll probably get good support from the locals wherever she goes. There are still a lot of miles to cover however, and I'm sure there will be times when it'll be a challenge. But ahead lies the Atlantic Ocean, and another difficult water crossing. I'm sure she isn't anxious to get back on the water again anytime soon.