Row, row, row your boat. Then keep rowing, 12 hours a day, for 30 days, through harsh arctic conditions, until you’ve rowed nearly 1,300 miles, benefitting science and making history along the way.
That’s the adventure four American Adrenalists will embark upon later this month. Paul Ridley, Scott Mortensen, Neal Mueller and Collin West aim to be the first humans ever to row unsupported and nonstop across the Arctic Ocean.
Their itinerary is brutal. On July 15, they will take off from Inuvik in the Northwest Territories of Canada and then hook across the arctic, passing a Shell oil rig and crossing through the Bering Strait. If all goes according to plan, they’ll make landfall at Provideniya, in eastern Russia on August 15.
They’ll face a number of challenges on the water including frigid winds, unpredictable ice floes and even polar bear attacks. Global climate change is what has made the route passable for the first time. It is, however, also causing polar bears to go hungry, increasing the likelihood they’ll attack a 29-foot rowboat pushing through their hunting grounds.
Of all the perils the rowers may face, however, dehydration and exhaustion might be the most dire. To stay hydrated and keep energized, the men will drink desalinated seawater and eat up to 5,000 calories per day. To keep from succumbing to fatigue, the rowers will alternate shifts, with two men rowing and two men resting. At no time over the epic journey will the boat be dead in the water. Not even for a moment… at least that’s what the team intends.
To keep track of Arctic Row, check out the team’s website, or follow them on Facebook.