Friday, March 27, 2009

Day 86

Quick update from the Atlantic -- my last until I hit dry land!

Lots has happened since I wrote last, but spirits are much improved. Imagine my surprise to learn two nights ago that the recognized "Atlantic Ocean Rowing Crossing Line" line was only 11 miles away at 59º37W, which I crossed early the next morning. This is the line of longitude that Bridgetown, Barbados, lies on and thus is used to make all ocean rows comparable. So, I've done it! All I have left to do now is taker 'er home safely to Antigua!

Easier said than done with these NW winds, but with my Dad and other family and friends on the ground in Antigua and working with the Antigua and Barbuda Search and Rescue people (who are being extremely helpful), I am being very well watched as I make my way to land. It's up in the air as to whether this weather will allow me to row into Antigua under my own power, but once I've officially crossed and passed by some land mass that I could have landed on, I'm not going to be picky about how I get in. Right now I'm 30 nautical miles from the eastern-most point of Guadeloupe, so that will take care of itself as I fight my way north toward Antigua.

So, all is good again out here and I'm optimistic that I'll get in to English Harbour one way or another by Sunday evening. I will write more on this subject later, but I owe lots of thanks to my expedition support team for getting me this far -- my Dad (and his support team, Nadine), sister Joy, and friend Liz Tomic have been invaluable through all phases of the expedition, and without their constant and unflinching support I surely would not have made it this far.

With that, I'll turn the updates over the the team until I'm able to write again from Antigua! I can't thank you all enough for the countless notes of encouragement and advice, as well as donations, over the last 86 days and beyond.

Next time from LAND!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
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!



VNS said...

Congratulations Paul! Thats Awesome!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations, Paul, you are in the history books! Tremendous job! Bring Liv home and get some sleep! WAYYY ENOUGH! -- ETS

Anonymous said...

Faith wins!

Congratulatons just doesn't seem to say enough!

Safe journey as you get close to the harbor!

Charles and NRRA

Anonymous said...

Awesome and Congratulations!!! and a huge THANK YOU for bringing all of us along for the journey of a lifetime and inspiratin to last a lifetime.

Be well. Be safe. Row steady into the Harbor.

And, to the land team, I think we're all hoping that you'll have a professional photographer on hand to capture the landing. Can't imagine that any one of you will be able to steady yourselves to man a camera! Cheers to all of you!

Anonymous said...

Fantastic news.

Now get yourself on to dry land (safely)!


Anonymous said...

WOO HOO!!! Congratulations! Enjoy the party!

Anonymous said...


All of this is so amazing - enjoy the reflection period on what you have just accomplished.

We will cheers you here from the States.


Michael said...

Woohoo! AWESOME news - congrats! When I think of all the things that it's taken me 3 months to do, I am humbled by your accomplishment!

*I think it would take me more than 3 months to row across Lake Morraine! ;-)

Anonymous said...

Dear Paul,

Here's what the 2nd graders at MacArthur school want to say to you: "Keep it up, Paul! You can do it! Go, Paul, go! Good luck! We are happy for you! Have fun in Antigua! We're bouncing off the walls for you!! Great job! You are our hero!! You are awesome!"

From Mrs. Barber's class

Bill R. said...


Your Corinthian efforts pervail...

See you when you get back to LIS.

Maybe we can go for a row (HAHAHA)


Anonymous said...

Congrats buddy.


Pete said...

CONGRATS Paul. Never doubted for a second that you'd achieve your lofty goal here, and couldn't be more thrilled that you've done it. It's been great to follow you and get a view of your progress and temperament through the blog these last few months. Soon enough you'll be able to sit back and enjoy a few well-earned beverages with the strong Chi-town contingent that is waiting for you in Antigua. Congrats again.

- Pete

Anonymous said...

hi Paul you are so close i know you made it good job keep it up

Robina said...

Congratulations Paul! I'd missed a day of reading and was so excited to hear about all the progress you've made!

Enjoy your last days out on the ocean!

JoAnn said...


Anonymous said...

I'm very very happy for you
This imminent arrival is absolutly fantastic
I'm french, I live in France and I had great pleasure to read you on this blog since the first day you left Gran Canaria
Thank you, thank you very much for your generosity
You can be very proud, Mister Ridley !
and please take care until arrival

Anne L.

Susan T. said...

Awesome, awesome, awesome, Paul! You've done it. You've not only rowed across the ocean, but as if that weren't enough, you've brought SO much attention to the cause of cancer research!

As I believe I told you in my last post, ironically my cousin was diagnosed with skin cancer on Feb. 16th, and I am now in Virginia helping care for her. She goes in and out of lucidity, but well remembered your journey, and had donated to it before she was diagnosed.

The treatments are tough on her, but a couple of nights ago she said to me that "if he can row across the ocean, then I can fight this battle!"

To say what you're doing is affecting so many lives in both big and small ways is an understatement.

You are not only a hero to me, but one of my two great motivators. This same cousin who now has cancer was a huge supporter of Relay for Life, and walked ALL NIGHT LONG (age 65) every year for the cause. I am now going to dispense with my own excuses that "I'd have to find someone to watch my daughter" and take on that challenge myself each year from here on out. (Not the rowing across the ocean thing... I'll leave that to!)

God bless you. You did it!!!!! Enjoy your last night at sea. Savor the fact that you've now changed the course of a lot of people's lives..... especially your own.

Catch up with you on Facebook!

Susan T.

thomas marshall said...

hi Pual,

it's great to know that you are only one day away from Antigua. we have been watching over you since the beginning. i am in mrs meagher's sixth grade class in newark valley new york.

Thomas Marshall said...

Hi Paul,

Im sorry I spelled your name wrong. I am just so nevous and I hope that you are going to go staight from Antigua to Binghamton. I really want to meet you. Have a safe trip and please dont scratch Liv on the way in.

Anonymous said...


Yeah!!!!! We knew you would do it with such a great support team & the help up above!!

Congrats goes to you and all your effort!! Nice going.

Can't wait to see you in Bingo = Spiedies and a beer or two are on us.

Much Love,

Phil & Margo

Anonymous said...

Well done!!! I bet you can't wait to put your head on a nice soft dry pillow!
I guess I will soon have to find a new blog to follow. Bummer. But I'm very glad to here you are just about to your party destination. My 12 year old son just asked if we could fly to Antiqua tomorrow to meet you. Buying an airline ticket without 7 days advance notice....not good. :(
Lori H - Endicott

Anonymous said...

YEEEEEEE-EFFIN'-HAWW! All the right effort for all the right reasons. Tell J. Dogg Riddlesworth hello!

Anonymous said...

There is an old Croatian saying that, "if you dive your finger into the sea, you are connected with the whole world".
Bravo Paul, for your extraordinary journey! I'm thrilled for you.

Anonymous said...

Wow Paul your amazing! Congrats!!!

Mrs. G

Anonymous said...

kudos bubba....finish strong! party stronger.


Anonymous said...


Everyone at YCC is awed by your commitment to raising awareness and funds for melanoma research and the enormous challenge you set for yourself to do it! Way to go!

Enjoy your celebration on dry land and we look forward to personally congratulating you on campus this spring.

Peter Lamothe

Anonymous said...

Congtatulations Paul! What you have done is amazing!

Now - get to Antigua safely and enjoy some time with your friends and family!

Jodi Malinovsky

Anonymous said...

Hi Paul, it's Alexander. I'm glad you finished. Congratulations. Will Liv come home with you? See you in CT - you are very cool!!

Anonymous said...



If you hear something faint in the distance, it's just all of us cheering really loud from Hamilton, NY!

Amazing. Amazing. Amazing.

Bring Liv in safely and enjoy the Party!!!! Can't wait to hear your reflections and, I hope, see some photos of the landing. A lot different than rowing back to the boathouse on Lake Moraine, huh? :)


Pastor Michele Fischer said...

Congratulations, Paul!

Rob said...

Paul -

Let me add to the congratulations. It's great that you were able to get some good fortune after the weather difficulties. Enjoy your time on land with family and friends.