Boat Shape: Unlike traditional rowboats, the rowing vessel is built with the latest in rowing technology. The team will have two watertight cabins – one is for sleeping and the other is for gear and food.
Food and Water: The team will use a desalinator which will convert 400-pounds of salt water into the 24 liters of drinking water the crew will need every day. Also, the team will eat at least 5,000 calories of dehydrated food, energy bars, and trail mix each day.
Communication: The boat’s instruments are powered by solar panels mounted above the cabins. These solar panels will charge batteries which connect to a VHF radio, GPS, and navigation system. The team will jam out to an iPod for music and use a laptop to track the weather, update a blog, and tweet.
In case of emergency: Ensuring safety to the crew is paramount. The cold conditions add an additional level of complexity because exposure to the water is not survivable for a long period of time like other warm climates. In order to minimize these cold weather dangers the team will be harnessed to the boat at all times.
Additionally, a life raft, grab bag, and survival suit are on board to use at any point. In such a situation, theteam would activate an EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon) to provide the boat’s coordinates to rescue coordination centers. Furthermore, the Ocean Rowing Society is on call on behalf of the rower during the ocean phases.
A unique, computer-based, voluntary global ship reporting system called AMVER is used worldwide by search and rescue authorities to arrange for assistance to persons in distress at sea. With AMVER, rescue coordinators can identify participating ships in the area of distress and divert the best-suited ship or ships to respond.
Route: Arctic Ocean South to North
Duration:20-30daysweatherdependingThe team will launch from the North-East corner of Iceland in early July 2012 and travel North-East through capricious currents. Because of atmospheric refraction in the Arctic Circle, the team will row through near constant daylight. In all, the crew will travel 1,100 miles across the Arctic Ocean, at which point the team will arrive in Svalbard – the edge of the polar ice cap.
Ocean Rowing Statistics
According to the Ocean Rowing Society (as of September, 2011), the number of ocean rowers to successfully cross an ocean is just 495. And no one has ever completed an Arctic Ocean crossing. As a comparison, over 1,500 individuals have successfully climbed Mount Everest (including our team member Neal).