Because of the pandemic, most expeditions and major adventures for the year have been put on hold or cancelled outright. But back in June, ocean rower Lia Ditton set out on an attempt to row solo across the Pacific, providing something for us to follow while we all stay close to home. Initially, Lia’s goal was to set a speed record for rowing from California to Hawaii, but as the Pacific continues to make things difficult this year, she now finds herself racing against the clock in effort to reach the finish line before she runs out of food.
Over the weekend, Lia posted an update on her progress and to say it has been difficult would be an understatement. Right now, she’s 46 days into the journey and has covered approximately 934 miles (1503 km), leaving her with 1316 miles (2117 km) left to go. That means despite the fact that she’s been on the water for more than a month and a half, Ditton still has well over half the distance yet to cover, putting an end to any ideas of setting a new record.
Constant winds and strong currents have made rowing the Pacific extremely difficult over the past few months. This was something that Angela Madsen struggled with as well, spending 60 days battling the same conditions. Sadly, she ended up perishing while en route, but also found herself racing the clock in her efforts to reach Hawaii too.
In her most recent dispatch, Lia says that the forecast is in her favor for the next 10-12 days. The weather is expected to be calm and manageable over that time, which will hopefully translate into smoother seas and faster progress. She’s going to need that to be the case, as she has set some impressive goals for herself in the days ahead, all in an effort to reach her destination safely.
According to Ditton, she’ll need to average 33 miles per day in order to arrive in Hawaii in 86 days. That would put her 11 days past amount of food that she has brought along with her however, which means she is already rationing her dwindling supplies. Considering that date is also 40 days out, that means she’ll be attempting to do more work on fewer calories, which is never something that is easy to do. Hopefully, the predicted good weather will continue on for an extended period of time, allowing her to make up some ground and arrive safely.
We’ll be keeping a close eye on Lia’s progress in the days ahead. Not just because it is one of the few adventures taking place right now, but because it will be high drama out on the sea. Hopefully she can avoid having to call for a resupply or a rescue, but safety is always of the utmost concern.