Rowing The Indian Ocean: Sarah Crosses 90º Longitude

Polar Explorers go off in search of the elusive 90º point. In their case, it is usually the end point of their expedition, as when you reach 90º north or south, you’re at the respective Pole. But for Sarah Outen, who is in the process of rowing across the Indian Ocean, 90º is a completely different type of milestone.

Earlier today, Sarah crossed to the west of the 90º longitude on her 52nd day out from Australia. She is attempting to become the first woman to row across the Indian Ocean, and the youngest person to do so. She’s also hoping to make the row in record time as well. If everything continues to go as planned, she’ll finish her journey in Mauritius, off the coast of Africa, in another 50 days or so, give or take a week.

If she’s going to set a new speed record, she’ll need better weather than she’s had recently. Storms battered her little boat, dubbed the Serendipity, the past few days, and Sarah was confined to the cabin for more than 40 hours. During that time, she also lost 18 nautical miles to negative drift, something that North Pole explorers can relate to as well. The intrepid 24-year old says she’s not ashamed to admit that it was one of the scariest nights of her life, being stuck in the boat while the storm raged around her. The fact that she hasn’t seen another boat in 36 days, didn’t exactly inspire confidence either.

Still, today she seems in great spirits, having achieved this milestone, and she is moving ahead, each day bringing her a bit closer to her goal. While she does have a long way to go yet, each of these little tests that she over comes inspires her to row just a bit stronger.

Sarah also took a moment to send a shout-out to Roz Savage, who is preparing to set out this weekend on the second stage of her journey across the Pacific. I’ll be writing more about that one once she gets underway.

Kraig Becker

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