Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Paul Ridley

The evening has given away to the blackness of the night and in my solo comfort I think of another member of this earth also alone but in the vast expanse of the Atlantic Ocean. Paul Ridley is a young ‘rower’ of 25 who has decided to cross the Atlantic and presently as I write this Blog is on the last leg of his solo voyage in a 19 foot boat. You see Paul, who lost his mother to cancer, has taken his considerable rowing and boating skills and is making this crossing to raise money for cancer research. He is hoping individual donations will reach $500,000.00. As of March 6, 2009, Paul has been rowing 65 Days. Departing Canary Islands in December the westward crossing is intended to end in English Harbor, Antigua; a total distance of 2,950 miles. Presently 650 nautical miles lay ahead.

I picked up on Paul’s story in a CNN interview, while he was at Sea, about a week-and-a-half ago. It got my attention because we have been deep into the project of “The Fox Sculpture and Monument. Perhaps Paul got his inspiration from George Harbo and Frank Samuelsen, subjects of our Fox Sculpture. They were the first men to dare the North Atlantic in 1896. They made their two man crossing under oar only in 55 days and since that event no one has matched their crossing time. That voyage was from west to east, Paul’s is east to west. Theirs was a northern crossing, Paul’s a southern route.

Each crossing has it’s own particular problems. I think the loneliness of Paul’s and the difficulty of being the only propellant to the boat must be his. Harbo and Samuelsen could at least rest while the other rowed;- albeit in an open boat.

Paul makes a daily entry to his Blog:- Solorow.blogspot.com and you can track his progress on Google Earth, presently he his on day 69 and is delayed because of weather.

Paul’s web site is:- RowforHope.com and you make a donation to Cancer research there.

We all wish Paul and his Norwegian named craft LIV all the best for a safe return.

Bill Osmundsen