Friday, March 20, 2009

Day 79

Long but very productive day on the oars today, and I made 37 nautical miles or so before turning in for the night. I did get some predawn rowing in that helped, but this doesn't explain the good boat speed I had all day. Whatever the cause, things seemed to all be working well with the wind/waves to help me along toward Antigua -- all I can guess is that the last several days of light but consistent winds have helped the seas to organize better than usual, which made for cleaner and faster rowing.

Today's sign of land was that I saw no less than seven planes today -- SEVEN! Two during the day and another five after dark, all one right after another and all seemingly headed toward the NE which I guess is toward Europe? I've decided that there are extra flights today since it's Friday and people are traveling around the weekends. The alternative explanation is that the Caribbean is going out of style and people are evacuating, which would be terrible timing for me.

Either way, I can't wait for Antigua -- 282 nautical miles to go!

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A Challenge to the Rowing Community

Do you row? Have you rowed? Do you know someone who rows? If so, here's a special challenge to you!

Taking inspiration from Paul Ridley's incredible solo row across the Atlantic, Bob Glendening has generously offered to match all new donations to from members of the rowing community. His generosity also stems from his family's devotion to rowing and its personal experience with cancer. The Glendening Boat House at Colgate was given by the family in 2004 in memory of his mother, who lost her battle with cancer in 2000.

So if you row and you want to show your support for a fellow rower who's crossing the Atlantic solo and unsupported, please consider an online donation to

Please be sure to add "Glendening Challenge" when completing the Gift Information section online at

Thanks, Bob!



Sara G said...

Wow, Paul. Cannot believe how stinkin' close to your destination you are!! Each day that I don't want to go do some Ironman training I tell myself that your journey is much farther than mine will be, so I need to suck it up!

Take care and have a cold Heineken in Antigua for me!

Anonymous said...

Your so close that you could give the directions that Behan would give. "take a left and another left and another left, and a right and go straight and your there" HA. Cant wait for your landfall buddy. For me its off to work on this lovely Saturday...


Anonymous said...

It's amazing how close you are! We are thinking of you and reading daily at Yale...looking forward to the day we can welcome you back to CT. Congratulations on an amazing 79 days...and counting.

Anonymous said...

it means you are getting close dude........row your fastest and enjoy it...Your shirt and tie and wating in the closet!!


Anonymous said...

Paul -

Sorry that I haven't left a comment before now, but I am just not a "blogger". Seriously - I mean Melissa still gets on me for not having Facebook.

Anyway - I just wanted to let you know that everything you are doing is tremendously inspriring. If there were more people in the world like you, what a place it would be.

Please stay safe in your remaining days and good luck! I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers!

Looking forward to the welcome home party!!

Jodi Malinovsky

BILL R. said...


Row your boat ashore! Right up on the frigin beach...and jump off to the nearest bar for a cold one or two or three...

You look like your are rowing very hard down the home stretch - GOOD FOR YOU MAN. Sprint to the finish in style.

We are all channelling our thoughts to you.

Row hard - no excuses

Dan said...

Best mileage day yet on Day 79? Thats doing work son!

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

Hi Buddy - OK, so now the plane thing is getting creepy. We have visions of you coming home, not being able to sleep, and you and your wild beard creeping up to the Boome County airport to lay in the grass and watch planes go over - and needing therapy badly!We'll have none of that. Seriously though, the prediction of making land at 4AM on Sunday really doesn't work for me. You need to make it sometime after 11AM Bloody Mary time and before 4PM Happy Hour time -that's when we'll be on the beach anyway. Work it out ok? There are no words to describe what we are all feeling as you get so close to the finish - just keep up the great work - head in the game, ass in the boat - xxoo-

Anonymous said...

Hello Paul:
Well congrats so far on your accomplishments. Kyle is planing to come down to Antigua and see you finish. she would like to get in touch with Joy. Is there a way you can get
Joy to call Kyle or get Joy's number to us? Keep up the good work, and stay in the boat!! No more bottom cleaning adventures..please.
Best- Bill K

Sheila said...

Do Work~!!

I can't wait! We are all so excited! Its awesome that you saw some planes and that you're making great time!

I have the Rob and Big Season 1-3 DVD set... hahaha.

Anonymous said...

Hi Paul,

Good for you close to the finish. Bet each day you will see more and more signs of land-life. Glad that the "tides" are turning in your favor and lifting your spirits.
I keep reading "head in the game, ass in the boat" I think that would make a great title for your book, and sure would be interesting to hear the thoughts on your father and step-mother being pastors with such a title....
Stay the course, be strong, watch out for boats, enjoy the little things that will make this adventure that know one will be able to take from you. It will soon be a fond memory.

Anonymous said...

Paul, you are so incredible, and so many people are following your journey from Kansas. Each time I see the photo you took of yourself after cleaning the barnacles off Liv, I think of Poseidon with his trident!
You are amazing!!!

Anonymous said...


Wow this is really coming to a great ending!! And it will be fast.

I know Row For Hope will continue on and people will still keep supporting and giving.

We all must keep encouraging everyone to contribute for such a great cause. Research costs so much & cancer kills way to many!!!!!!

Keep up the great work and so many of us will be with you and your friends and family in Spirit when you reach Antigua. (I know we all would like to be there in person).

Can't wait to see you sometime in good old Bingo!!

Many Blessings & Love,

Phil & Margo