ATLANTIC ROW (SOLO)
On Day 3 of my first row across the Atlantic, on board Gquma Challenger, I had a vivid realisation followed by a terrifying moment of doubt. “Oh my goodness, this is not what I expected at all,” I clearly remember thinking. “What have I got myself into?” The first crossing had been a journey into the unknown, and that in itself is an enormous X factor. But in spending 50 days in a rowing boat and completing one race, I had learnt many lessons. What could I have done differently? How might I do it better? These were the questions going through my mind early one morning in April 2008, about three months after stepping onto the pier in English Harbour and promising Kim I would never put her through something like that again. As I lay in bed reliving the Gquma crossing while tossing and turning and unable to get back to sleep, it dawned on me that the agony of the experience had miraculously faded away and doing the whole thing again was seeming like rather a good idea… The really clever part of my plan was that this time I should do it on my own. If things went well, I figured, I had every chance of winning the solo class.
It turned out to be one of the most incredible adventures imaginable. 76 days of isolation. Storms, making friends with fish and birds, raw hands and buttocks, loneliness and getting to the brink of madness all form part of this story.
You can read about this expedition and lessons learned in my inspirational book “The Eighth Summit” or watch “Not Alone” the documentary on the Peter Van Kets YouTube Channel.
The Woodvale challenge is a rowing race across the Atlantic ocean from the Canary Islands, 5400Km to Antigua in the Caribbean. (More people have climbed Mount Everest and ventured into space than have successfully rowed across the Atlantic !)
1.5 hours on: 1.5 hours off – 24/7
Violent Storms: Counter Cross currents
Headwinds: Salt sores
PETER VAN KETS – Atlantic Crossing
LIBERTY – The Nyamazela