Solo ocean rower nears Alaska
ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- A British adventurer is making her second attempt at becoming the only woman to row solo across the North Pacific Ocean, and she is closing in on an island in Alaska's Aleutians.
Sarah Outen was about 250 miles southwest of Adak in Alaska's Aleutians on Wednesday, the Anchorage Daily News reported. The 28-year-old woman is hoping to land there in no more than three weeks.
She left Japan on April 27 and has been at sea for more than four months. It's part of her plan for a global trek by an ocean rowing shell, kayak and bike.
But storm intensity is increasing now as northerly latitudes will ocean surface temperatures in the tropics stay warm, said Rick Thoman with the National Weather Service.
"It's a volatile mix," he said.
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.
"I went into a really black period, coming to terms with everything," Outen said.
Before that, Outen became the youngest person and the first woman to row alone across the Indian Ocean in 2009.
After last year's failed global attempt, Outen knew she wanted to try again. She returned to Japan in April after raising money for a new boat and training all winter.
After leaving Chosie, Japan, she has since eaten her last piece of fresh fruit, has been followed by a school of tuna and became engaged by satellite phone to her longtime girlfriend in the United Kingdom. To commemorate the engagement, Outen drew a ring around her finger with the marking pen.
So far, she's covered 1,845 ocean miles, according to global positioning data.
Outen's original plan for the expedition was to finish the row in British Columbia's Vancouver. However, she lost much time being thrust backwards by storms, currents and wind, she said. Now the Aleutians represent her best chance for a safe landing, she said.
She plans to visit Adak, fly home to England and train all winter before returning next spring to her landing spot in the Aleutians.
Outen's expedition includes corporate sponsors and a team that includes a sports psychotherapist, a public relations specialist and technology to communicate with the outside world.