The Journey

ErgingWhen I took on this race I knew that I had an incredible journey ahead of me.  2400 miles across the Pacific – and that is if I row in a straight line.  The reality is that it will probably be more like 3000 miles by the time I am done.  Let’s face it there are going to be twists, turns and a few loops along the way – all of which you will be able to see online thanks to a tracking beacon on the boat.
This particular journey started in February 2012 when I attended an event in Mesa, Arizona.  That night I was going to a presentation by Roz Savage entitled Solo Across the Oceans.  When I went to the event I was just someone in the audience who thought that the presentation would be interesting.  When I left the presentation, it was a very different story.  Really Mary – you think you want to row an ocean????  Are you crazy?  And so the process began and Project Flight Plan was born.
P1150837One of the more shocking facts to my decision to row in the Great Pacific Race was the fact that when I signed up to do the race I had actually never rowed a boat in my life, so obviously that was the first item on the to do list.  So off I go to the Rio Salado Rowing Club in Tempe Arizona, tell them what I have signed up for and that they need to teach me how to row.  And I haven’t looked back.  I learned how to row in sculling boats on Tempe Town Lake which I figured would let me at least learn technique and I could row up and down the lake to start building distance.  It has been awesome.  I can’t thank Rio Salado Rowing Club enough for all the assistance they have given me in getting me started.
In February 2013 I had my first opportunity to row an ocean boat and I was both excited and nervous.  I was nervous for two reasons.  First Chris Martin from New Ocean Wave was in town and was there for my first row (please tell me I won’t mess this up), and I knew this boat would be different to row.  Once the nerves cleared though I was off and running.  The boat I rowed that day was Dippers, and as it turns out it will be Dippers I row across the Pacific.
P1240506.1The Great Pacific Race starts June 7, 2014 and it is going to be a real test.  I can expect to be seasick, have blisters to match the best of them, encounter waves up to 40 feet, winds in excess of 30 knots, live on freeze dried food, and some pretty uncomfortable living conditions.  I’ll row for about 16 hours a day with breaks in between to eat, sleep, maintain the boat, check weather and charts.  And throughout it all I will be providing updates so you can follow along the highs and lows.   The blog to this website will also give updates in the lead up to the race.