Sunday, March 1, 2009

Day 60

Wow, 60 days at sea. I'm pretty sure that I've officially been out here a long time now. And its March, too - I vow that I will not see April from an ocean rowboat!

OK, lots to cover here and it's already getting late.

A good day today considering the light winds and small seas. I made 30 nautical miles West during the day, which was interrupted by a 45-minute squall in the morning (longest to date), and my interview with CNN in the afternoon. Since I've been happy to go 30nm on days with 20 knots of wind, getting the same distance today with only 10k is a huge victory.

FUND RAISING -- I know people are curious as to how we're doing, and I've been meaning to give you an update. My best estimate from the middle of the ocean is that we've collected about 15% of our $500,000 fund raising target. Here's some color on that number:
- We projected that a big percentage of Row for Hope's donations would come from corporations, which hasn't happened in the way we thought it would for a host of reasons.
- The component that we planned for from individual donors like yourselves has been pretty strong. You guys are doing great!
- The current economic environment isn't helping us, but like my each one of days on the oars, we're working hard to make the most of what comes our way.
- We fully expect our fund raising numbers to continue to grow as public awareness of Row for Hope grows. My interview with CNN today is an example of that, and we're picking up steam in the PR area. More national news coverage is in the works and we'll keep you updated, of course, on where you can see us. After the row itself is complete, fund raising will continue as I make speaking appearances back in the States.

So, that's where we are on the fund raising front. Do we wish those numbers were bigger? Yes. How do we feel about raising what we have raised for cancer research? We're ecstatic! Pumped! Thrilled! And we obviously owe a lot of thanks to you as supporters of Row for Hope. Thank you again!

I saw a whale yesterday, but only briefly. It was mid-afternoon, small sea state and light winds (like today). I happened to look to the port side about 60 feet away (three boat lengths) and could clearly see the shape of a whale just under the surface gliding along with a wave. I could only see it long enough to make out the shape, see that it was dark-colored and shaped like a whale (not a dolphin, bigger, wider, with a big whale-like tail), and think to myself "Holy crap, that's a whale!" I ducked into the cabin to get my camera, but it was gone by the time I got back out.

Thanks to all who have supported this expedition and important research at Yale Cancer Center with a donation to Row for Hope. If you haven't donated, or if you would consider donating again, it would be much appreciated. To donate online use the link in the upper right-hand corner of this page or visit



Anonymous said...


So proud of your great efforts and the CNN interview. Just dropped off a DVD copy to your Dad and Nadine.

They saw it earlier but wanted a copy of it to relive.
We will keep spreading the word and I challenge others to get state plates which read ROW4HOPE (sorry NYS already done). I also have nice magnetic signs (see day 31). Contact me at and for just the cost of the sign we will get you some.

We will reach the goal if we all pitch in!

Good Bless,

Phil & Margo

Anonymous said...

I just saw the CNN story about you on I have to say that I am really impress with your determination and effort. This is an amazing project and for a great cause. I'm surely going to make a donation! Best of luck and Godspeed.

Kevin from Michigan

Michael said...

Hey buddy, I saw your story on CNN today! Unreal!! You're a celebrity! Keep pushing brother....

M Russell

Anonymous said...

Paul -
The timing for the corporate donations sucks, but you've got to keep pushing. It might take longer, it might take more work, but you have a cause and story that transcends anything going on in the world. Cancer doesn't care whether you have a job or health insurance. There is no "bad" time to contribute to a cause that could ultimately lead to something life saving for so many people.

I decided that I can live without going out to dinner or the bars for a couple weekends and doubled what I originally planned to give. I hope more people will do the same.

Ruddy said...

Hey Paul I just saw your story on CNN. Truly inspiring.

Melissa M said...

You rocked on CNN! I obviously cried my eyes out watching it. Talked to Joy today and we were laughing at the fact that they showed your crazy picture with the boat scraper as the opening....hahahaha

Ben Hallett said...


Congratulations on crossing the mid ocean ridge, you are now rowing across an entirely new tectonic plate (the South American Plate), after covering the African Plate! It looks like, you crossed yesterday. Anyways, not too many people rowing across these days...

We're really proud of you, keep it up! Glad you are having better weather than in NY.

Way to go!

K-Rock and #1 Wild Bill said...

Hi Buddy - I can hear you yelling at me - NO CRYING!! Well, maybe just a little! The CNN interview was super. We are beyond proud of you. For those who haven't seen it and maybe don't see Joy's FaceBook messages, the interview is available on - it's under the video section - easy to find. I can already see by all the new Blog commenters that the story hit home with many. Welcome aboard everyone! Those of us who have been crying and praying for the last 60 days are happy to have you along for the rest of the ride. Keep reading, keep telling others, keep sending your messages to Paul. As he said on the news, he really loves hearing from everyone. If there are going to be more media events, I hope Mark & Joy will post the info here so we can all join in the fun! Paul, head in the game, ass in the boat - good times.xxoo-

Anonymous said...

Much respect! I just saw your interview on CNN and became aware of your mission. Be careful out there! Get your folks on land to set up donations via Paypal, so folks like me can chip in!

Anonymous said...

Paul, you an inspiration to so many people! Thank you for all you do!

Anonymous said...

Hi Paul, your media out reach is picking up steam. I just found out about you from cnn interview. Keep up up all the good work and thank you for your inspiration....


Anonymous said...

Hey Paul,

60 days at sea-that is unreal! I wish you all the best in your journey and the CNN interview today was great! Good luck with everything...
Impossible is nothing, even impossible is spelled: I'M Possible!
Best Regards from Egypt!

Pastor Michele Fischer said...

Great interview on CNN!

Robert said...

Wow 60 days... 2 months... countless strokes. You're gonna make it man! I just checked out the cnn interview, very cool. I've always been a bit of a stargazer, but this fairfield county light pollution makes it tough. I thought Vermont had nice dark skies, so I can only imagine what you have been able to see out there. Reminds me of that moment in Madagascar where they thought they saw a star in NYC, but it was a helicopter... lol Stay Strong.

Anonymous said...

Hi Paul,
Saw the CNN interview - that was great. My 8th graders are still cheering you on from their math seats!! We are going to work on a fund raising idea this week.
Very proud of your efforts - 20 + or - more is nothing compared to the 60 so far.
Keeping you in my prayers.

Anonymous said...


Saw your interview on CNN ... It's is also posted on the MPIP ..Melanoma Patient Info Page... I personally want to thank your for doing this. I also have Stage 4 MM.

Stay strong...fair winds...Battle the Beast...

Debbie Hennessy Stage 4 MM

Niall McCann said...

Hi Paul,
Just a quick biological interlude: The whale you saw is very likely to be a young minke whale. The behaviour you described (gliding in the wave) is indicative of minkes. This individual will have been checking you out today, hopefully it will build up the confidence to come and have a really close look at you next time.
We had exactly this same experience: i saw it in a wave one day; 3 days later it circled us at a distance of 30ft for half an hour and another 3 days later it spent 35 minutes with us and came under 4m from the side of the boat!
No need to worry about the ups and downs of little targets (like lines of longitude etc) any more as you can now see every mile you have left there on your GPS,there's all the encouragement you need!
Enjoy Paul, keep pulling hard.

Niall McCann
Chairman, Association of Ocean Rowers

Anonymous said...

Hi Paul,

Your star talk reminded me of something that used to make me giggle everynigth while I ws going across. The Big Dipper is up on it's tail, and for the first few night shifts we used to do, it looks just like a giant cosmic question mark ! WTF am I doing here kinda question

Keep paddling chap... keep on looking out for the Pterodactyl birds ! scary buggers

Cath, Atlantic 07/08

Anonymous said...

Paul -

What an awesome adventure for a very important cause! I saw the artical on CNN and discovered your effort for the first time yesterday. You can rest assured I will be following your progress and talking about you to everyone I meet now. While I am sure you have had (and will have) some nasty times the experiance of crossing the Atlantic alone and under your own power at the mercy of the sea must be amazing. What stories you will be able to tell to all of us that can only dream of such an a adventure. Good luck and safe rowing. We are all cheering you on!

Matthew Nickels