A young American lady, Katie Spotz, has just started to row across the Atlantic Ocean on her own. Why? Katie, 22 years old, hopes to raise $30,000 for Blue Planet Run and give clean water to 1,000 people by doing this!
Katie just pushed off from Senegal yesterday and is on her way. She hopes to make the 2,500-mile journey in just over 100 days. The map above shows her progress up until now (updated every 20 minutes on her twitter page by Google Earth).
Apparently, she really will not see another human being for the entire trip (although she is sure to have bird visitors — her first one photographed in the picture below). She has not been rowing for long, but apparently she is not new to such adventures.
Katie will be the youngest person to row an ocean solo and the first American to row from the mainland of Africa to the mainland of South America if she completes the trip.
With the money she hopes to raise for Blue Planet Run (a San Francisco based non-profit that has funded clean drinking water projects for hundreds of thousands of people in 18 countries), approximately 1,000 people in developing nations will get clean water.
Katie does not even have a tiny sheet of cloth to block the sun, since she doesn’t want anyone to think she cheated by using a small sail (she does have a cabin to sleep in, though). She is living off freeze-dried food, trail mix, energy bars, and other high-energy, low-weight food.
As mentioned above, Katie is not new to this type of adventure, but she is fairly new to rowing. She has swum the entire length of the Allegheny River to raise awareness of the problem of lack of clean drinking water around the world. Apparently, though, she has only been rowing for two years and was “the slow kid on her high school swim team.” However, she has run marathons, ultramarathons and bicycled across the US. Endurance seems to be her forte.
The food and equipment she is bringing take her 440-pound boat to approximately 1,000 pounds. That would be a challenge to get across the Atlantic Ocean.
The equipment she has? Solar-powered electronics such as a water desalination machine, a GPS unit, radios, a satellite phone (for texting and updating her Twitter feed), and a laptop for updating her blog.
Google Earth is also updating her location via satellite every 20 minutes (see the image at the top of this page).
Wow. Makes you think, “What have I done today?”