No sail or engine. An encounter with the Pacific Ocean and nothing but a pair of rowing paddles in her hands. Brave, 28-year old Sonya Baumstein is setting off on a 9600km and 4-6 months long adventure. She will be rowing from Japan to America. Alone. Epic!


Sonya is ready to go as soon as weather conditions allow, probably within the next couple of days. According to the Ocean Rowing Society records, 16 men attempted this bravery so far and only 2 reached the end of the journey with success. Gerard d'Aboville did it in 1991 and Emmanuel Coindre in 2005.

When asked why, her answer was very simple - she relishes new challenges. Easy to believe, as this is not the first challenge she chose to tackle. In 2011, she rowed, joined by three other crew members, from Spain to Barbados. One year later, she travelled from Mexico to San Francisco on a bicycle. Even a car accident that interrupted her rowing career at the university for three years, did not stop her from trying again. Sonya says she is now more fit than ever before.

Once away from the coast of Japan, the next human being she will see will be in a few months time in San Francisco. Unless, of course, an occasional fisherman treats her with a courtesy wave somewhere in the middle of the Pacific. Her 7 m long boat has been filled up with 544 kg of specially prepared food containing high level of carbohydrates. Drinking fluids with additives will help Sonya retain as much of her body weight during the long journey.

Is there anything more to say than good luck?

May 24, 2015 Living photo: Sonya Baumstein

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