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The History of Ocean Rowing

Back in 1896 the first crossing of an ocean in a row boat was made by two Norwegian men, George Harbo and Frank Samuelson. setting out from New York and arriving on the Isles of Scilly fifty five days later.They conquered the North Atlantic in their eighteen ft oak row boat. With nothing but oilskins and a cover to hide under, the men survived a capsize managing to right the boat by two handles they had fixed to the hull. There food was topped up by passing steam ships. It took a further 70 years before another successful crossing was made.

It wasn’t until  seventy years later in 1966 the next crossing was made by two British men Chay Blythe and Robert Ridgeway, in Their 20ft open dory. 
Important improvements were made in Cape Cod on advice from experienced fishermen who knew the treacherous Grand Banks which they would have to cross in the early stages of their daring voyage. 

During their epic journey they braved two hurricanes, vicious storms, huge waves, whales bigger than their boat as well as fatigue and rations that were eked out as a result of damage caused by Hurricane Alma.

After 92 days at sea and around 3,000 miles later, they reached the Aran Islands off the Irish coast in gale force conditions.

Having heard what his army friends Chay and Ridgeway  had accomplished. In 1969 Tom Mclean set out to become the first person in history to row the North Atlantic from west to east single-handed. Using his experience as a survivor and with no previous knowledge of sea conditions, he completed this record-breaking ordeal in just 70 hard days.
These crossings all have the same in common, they were completed in traditional wooden built Dories, my mission is to relive what these men went through taking on this adventure in a similar traditionally built dory.