Turn of strength

Sonya Baumstein, 30, could be first woman to ever row solo across the Pacific Ocean

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An American rower is preparing to embark on a journey only two people in history have ever completed: rowing in a boat across the Pacific Ocean — solo. In total, the voyage, which begins in Japan and ends in San Francisco, covers 6,000 miles and could take anywhere from four to six months to complete. Baumstein, a 30-year-old rower from Washington, is expected to begin the epic trip sometime next week. She’ll be making the grueling journey in a custom-made 23-foot boat. On board, she’ll carry 1,200 pounds of freeze dried food, 180 high-carbohydrate drink supplements and a supply of olive oil. Only one other woman has even attempted the feat. Sarah Outen from Great Britain has tried twice but was foiled by inclement weather both times. And only two men have been able to pull off the challenge — Gerard d’Aboville completed the journey in 1991 and Emmanuel Coindre did it in 2005, according to reports. The isolation will be just as much of a challenge as the physical aspect of the voyage. Andrew Cull, Baumstein’s manager, put it like this: “Once she leaves Japan, the next person she’ll see will be in San Francisco. Unless maybe someone in a fishing vessel stops by to say ‘Hi’ in the middle of the ocean.”

Read the full story at Reuters.

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