Continent to Continent For Conservation
The CWF Africa to the Americas Expedition left Dakar, Senegal on January 23rd 2013 to row unassisted across the Atlantic Ocean on a 3,569 nautical mile journey to Miami, USA. Using human power to propel the boat, and solar and wind power to charge its instruments, the crew conducted research on the ocean and themselves, sharing it in real-time to viewers worldwide. The crew of four men rowed the open ocean self-supported, 24 hours per day in 1-, 2- and 4-hour shifts. Photo: Erinn J. Hale
On the morning of April 6, 2013, the rowboat was hit by two irregular box-shaped waves traveling out of the usual swell pattern. While the crew was in shift change, exchanging rowers between the cabin and on-deck, water inundated the open hatch and capsized the boat, its self-righting capabilities compromised by the rapidly filling main cabin. Photo: U.S. Coast Guard
How this Expedition Created Awareness
- Together CWF and OAR Northwest reached over 20,000 students & viewers with this initiative
- Over 70 confirmed classrooms on four continents signed up for this free program, resulting in 10,296 unique education page views
- Participating classrooms in North America, Africa, Spain, United Kingdom, New Zealand
- 8 weeks of daily weekday classroom content on a wide variety of subjects related to the row were made available worldwide to teachers with an internet connection
- With over 700 page views, CWF’s marine biologist Dr. Sean Brillant created 6 educational webinars for students, offered live to schools and currently available on our CWF YouTube Channel
- Webinars offered students the opportunity to learn about:
- Ocean habitats and wildlife
- How we use the ocean
- Marine conservation
- What the rowers are seeing out there
- Live Q & A with OAR Northwest
- Wind, waves & wildlife
Photo: Markus Pukonen
Dakar to Miami by ocean rowboat. On the water January - April, 2013!
Catch all the action as it came to us live from the water during the 2013 CWF Africa to America’s Expedition!
April 8, Week 11
Day 54 / Mar. 18
Adam posts an entry from his diary after 3 weeks of storms, two broken oars, and a shorted wind generator. Cold, wet and slow, the crew morale was at an all-time low. Weather changed two days later, bringing a much needed infusion of hope.
Day 52 /Mar. 16
“For the last few days in a row, we have been visited by two or three large whales,” Jordan writes. “They have large, coal-colored bodies and a small fin on the back well behind their blowhole. They appear, give a deep intake of air, almost industrial in sound, and expose at least thirty feet of their body and it’s obvious that there is far more beneath the surface. It’s overwhelming, gentle power….
Day 51 / Mar. 15:
“Nighttime shifts have become everyone’s unanimous favorite. In the same breath, they can also be the most terrifying,” Jordan writes.
Highlights from Week Six
Day 47: Mar. 11
“I love this,” Marcus writes after describing his day.
Day 46 / Mar. 10
40 more days?!?
Day 40: March 4
“We have turned into lean, mean, rowing machines,” Marcus explains. “We now feel most awake, alert and alive when we are pulling this beast of a boat through the salty seas. It is everything else that we do that has become the most challenging and exhausting to execute…”
Day 39: March 3
“I would hope that when you’re learning about our trip – whether it be about history, science, the boat or the body – that this will not be the end of your own educational and exploratory journey, “Jordan writes. “I hope what this does most is spark your curiosity to go out and experience it for yourself and to take it with you for the rest of your life. Your perspective is different, and because of that it is valuable. We hope you learn a lot from this trip but we also don’t want you to just take our word on it. Go to YourWildAdventure.ca and join the ’100 day challenge’ to get outside and log it for yourself, and share it with us. You’d be surprised what you’ll find in your own back yards.”
Highlights from Week Five
Day 38/Mar. 2
What do we eat? The majority of our food sundries were generously provided by Lifestyle Markets in Victoria, BC. This company specializes in local, organic and healthy foods. Learn more »
Day 37/ Mar. 1
"Going out on long journeys with monotonous physical activity is a wonderful meditation and very peace-giving. Sure, there is the odd scary bit where your adrenal glands fire, oars break and you experience extreme stress. The reward of pushing through the extreme, though, is a meditative, physical presence – A connective existence that is simple, repetitive and empowering…."Adam writes
Day 36/Feb. 28
"I am not a rower," Markus writes. "Yes, it’s true. I’m on a boat with 3 men whose combined years of rowing experience is more than the years of my life. I’ve never followed rowing, and if you had asked me a year ago about the Canadian Men’s 8+ in Beijing (i.e.- the race Adam won a Gold Medal in), you would have received a blank stare or a 'what about them?' …Is it so bizarre and abnormal that an inexperienced rower attempt to row across an ocean?"
Day 35/Feb. 27
"So we have been billing our little vessel as 'the world’s most technologically advanced rowboat' Although our hull is no longer made of the latest materials and designs, we have a glut of fancy/awesome electronics that – a la our power situation (hopefully resolved now) – we have been struggling to keep working… Prognosis: optimistic," Jordan writes… When that first oar-breaking wave hit, we also lost one of our electronic scheduling devices. That was OK because we have three (always bring backups of the important stuff!). We also lost our fishing rod. That’s OK because we have some hand line and plenty of hooks. Losing the second oar was a bit more troubling – now we were down to four oars. Any more breakage and we are either rowing one person at a time, or turning the boat into a sailboat using our broken oars and some sheets. More on this later when I outline our contingency plans. Until then, the ocean continues to decide what we need and what we want."
Highlights from Week Four
Day 34 (Feb. 26)
Some scientific models state that the ocean pH will be down to 7.9 by the year 2050. What do you think the effects on the ocean will be if this comes to pass?
Day 33 (Feb. 25)
Adam cracks a molar 1,000 nautical miles from land and a dentist, but luckily he gets some advice via email.
Day 32 (Feb. 24)
We are so tired that we seem indifferent… You haven’t really ‘seen’ the ocean unless you have rowed it, Jordan jokes…
Day 31 (Feb. 21)
It was the middle of a four-hour row shift and I felt on the verge of collapse in my seat while waiting to cry, fall off my seat, or slam my shin with the oar. It’s hard to tell when one day starts or another ends, Pat writes…
Day 30 (Feb. 22)
"Sometimes a day feels like a week and a week feels like a day," Markus writes…
Day 29 (Feb. 21)
Cleaned 11 kg (25 lbs) of gooseneck mussels off the hull. Boat speed is up. Woot Woot.
Highlights from Week Three
Day 19: Feb.11
36-hours on sea anchor. What is your sea anchor? What do you use to weather the storms of your life? Email us.
Day 18: Feb. 10
Did you know we have our very own Leatherback in the CWF Great Canadian Turtle Race? How amazing that we’re crossing paths!
Floaters! Portuguese Man-o-war, Salp and Goose-neck mussels have joined our #wildadventure.
Day 16: Feb. 7
I believe a better future is possible and will come… Markus Pukonen
Highlights from Week Two
Day 14: Feb. 5
Day 13: Feb. 4
Day 12: Feb. 3
Day 9: Jan. 31
Day 7/8: Jan. 29/30
Highlights from Week One
Day 5: Jan. 27
Day 4: Jan. 26
Day 2: Jan. 24
Day 1: Jan. 23
These are a few highlights from the OAR Northwest team. To read the full blogs, visit OARNorthwest.com or sign up for their daily emails.
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