A record-breaking crew of female rowers has arrived in Australia nine months after setting off from San Francisco to cross the Pacific Ocean.
After 257 days at sea the women became the first female crew – and the first crew rowing four at a time – to cross the Pacific when they landed their 29ft boat – called Doris – at Cairns, in western Australia, this morning.
According to the Guardian, the women have raised $77,500 (£54,500) for charity, with the proceeds of the effort going to Breast Cancer Care and war veterans’ charity Walking With The Wounded.
The whole expedition has been filmed for a documentary called Losing Sight Of Shore:
Their adventure started in San Francisco in April and ended 9,600 miles (15,500 km) later with wobbly steps on to Marlin Marina at Cairns in north Queensland, reports the BBC.
The six-strong crew was made up of Laura Penhaul – a physiotherapist for British Paralympics Athletics, Natalia Cohen – an adventure tour leader, Emma Mitchell – an ex Cambridge University and England rower, Isabel Burnham – another former Cambridge University rower, Lizanne van Vuuren – a South African osteopath and Meg Dyos, an English graduate who works in London.
Mitchell, Cohen and Penhaul each rowed the entire trip while Burnham, Van Vuuren Dyos rowed a leg each.
Along the way they were battered by a tropical storm with waves the height of houses, approached by a humpback whale that surfaced just yards away from their boat and faced with temperatures so hot they cooked a pancake on the deck of their boat.
On top of all this they could only sleep for two hours at at time in a tiny cabin the size of a two-man tent.
Emma Mitchell said:
It’s very hot and very sweaty, especially in big waves where we have to keep the hatches closed.It’s kind of like being in a two-man tent-sized sauna.
What an incredible achievement, congratulations to all of you!