In a journey she called “incredibly demanding,” British adventurer Sarah Outen successfully rowed solo 3,750 miles from Japan to the Aleutian Islands in Alaska, becoming what is believed to be the first to make the crossing from west to east.
Outen completed her 150-day voyage on Monday in the town of Adak where she was greeted by well-wishers and a support team.
“I have had some of the most intense and memorable months of my life out on the Pacific,” Outen told the BBC. “It has been brilliant and brutal at the same time. And it has been a privilege.
“But I have pushed myself to my absolute limits both physically and mentally to make land here in Alaska, and body and mind are now exhausted.”
Outen originally planned to row from Japan to Canada in her 2 1/2-year, around-the-world expedition, but changed the route because of high winds and bad weather.
This was Outen’s second attempt to cross the Pacific. The first time ended more than a year ago when Tropical Storm Mawar struck, damaging her boat and forcing her to be rescued by the Japan Coast Guard.
During the trip, Outen got engaged to her girlfriend via satellite phone and listened in on the same sat-phone as her brother got married.
Outen, the self-proclaimed “ocean girl at heart,” encountered rough seas and storms, capsized five times, and was confined to her airtight cabin for days. She narrowly avoided colliding with a cargo ship when she neared Alaska.
“Hot bath, food, and bed,” she posted on Facebook late Monday night. “A dry one that doesn’t roll.”
GrindTV Outdoor documented Outen’s human-powered London-2-London Expedition in May when she was already a month into her solo row across the Pacific. She plans to circle the world via the Northern Hemisphere using a bike, kayak, and row boat, raising money for charity along the way.
Next spring Outen plans to return to the Aleutian Islands to kayak to the mainland, as she continues the bigger journey. But first—rest.
Photos by James Sebright courtesy of Sarah Outen’s Twitpic.