In December of 2015 I rowed across the Atlantic Ocean with a friend from college. It took us 58 days 5 hours and 6 minutes. All questions are welcome! -Also, apparently I can't spell. Sorry for the title. EDIT: Thank you everyone so much for your questions! I was so amazed by how interested everyone was! If you are interested you can follow me on instagram @caitalexander31 I will post most of my updates on future adventures there!

Me Proof and More proof YouTube Imgur1 Imgur2

Comments: 2352 • Responses: 126  • Date: 

ScoffingYayap3501 karma

Yes hello.

What the fuck?

caitalexander1765 karma

Hello.

Not sure how to respond. Is it because you think I'm crazy?

ScoffingYayap2377 karma

Maybe I should rephrase.

Why the fuck?

caitalexander1515 karma

Better! I actually watched a youtube video about four guys that did it. It was so inspiring and looked like an amazing adventure. I just decided then and there and I wanted to do it!

ScoffingYayap1141 karma

Thank you! Follow up question...

How do I find joy in anything?

caitalexander1347 karma

My advice: get a dog..or a cat. Coming home to my dog being so excited to see me is the only thing that gets me through the work week!

AlbusTigris522 karma

I don't know you, but I love you. Dogs are the best!

caitalexander869 karma

I agree! Check out my pup: http://imgur.com/a/FWyDr

She's the best!

Require_More_Mineral96 karma

How hard was adjusting to the 9-5 grind after that?

caitalexander236 karma

I am still trying to adjust! Most days I sit and stare out my office window thinking about the ocean...

Require_More_Mineral77 karma

Well I hope you finish adjusting soon, and figure out how to make it easier after your next 4 voyages. :)

caitalexander61 karma

Thank you!

reddittwotimes129 karma

Yeah, I'm not clicking on any YouTube links in this thread. I have to work in the morning and have a family that depends on me.

caitalexander75 karma

Probably for the best!

BigPepperDog1359 karma

What is the night sky like in the middle of the ocean where there is no light pollution?

caitalexander3041 karma

It is absolutely the most amazing thing you can ever see. The stars were so bright and numerous that I would just stare until my neck started to hurt. We also rowed through bio-luminescent plankton which was mindbogglingly beautiful.

TheLittlePeace379 karma

Can you tell us more about the plankton? Sounds hella interesting.

caitalexander867 karma

Kind of a funny story.. both George and I had seen this "glowing stuff" in the water for a couple nights but both of us thought we were just losing our minds. Finally one of us said something. It was so cool though! When we would take a stroke and the water ran off our oars it looked like little gems falling down. Then the oars would make the water swirl and a huge cloud of the blue/green would come up. I tried so hard to get it on camera but it didn't work.

creaturesweets335 karma

There's a kayak tour in the San Juan Islands (PNW) that is at night so you can row through that bioluminescent glow!

caitalexander174 karma

That sounds amazing!

creaturesweets83 karma

I haven't done it before! I honestly didn't know that exited outside of more 'tropical' places until a couple months back. Also it's awesome your boat was from Pt. Townsend! I'm from Seattle and love seeing local companies excelling.

caitalexander69 karma

Awesome! I worked in Seattle on a yacht for a few months. It is a great city!

NoSoyTuPotato323 karma

How far off the shore would you say the sky is without light pollution? I've always wanted to do this although I'll never own my own boat. I imagine it was even more breathtaking during the new moon.

caitalexander734 karma

Hmm.. I'm not sure about that one.. We rowed for about 2 days before we finally lost site of land.

NoSoyTuPotato51 karma

no worries! Thanks for the reply though

caitalexander51 karma

no problem!

theangryintern362 karma

I crossed the Atlantic a few times in the Navy on a surface ship. Even with the little bit of light pollution from the ship, the night sky was one of the most amazing things I've ever experienced. So many stars visible that it's almost too much to comprehend.

caitalexander264 karma

Exactly! It's so hard to explain. I've also been to some really remote wilderness areas but this was a whole different level.

pirateofdw200 karma

I was in the Atlantic on a submarine. Very few lights. The way I describe it is there were so many stars they actually looked close. Like a ceiling that's only 20 feet up. Almost as if you could jump up and punch your hand through it. I'll never forget it and hope to repeat. I have plans to move onto a catamaran. Do you have youtube videos up? I'd love to watch them!

caitalexander74 karma

That is a great way to describe it! I would love to have a sailboat some day for my house. Yes I do! Here is the link to my page: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCH-eItC2NRHMNyS4X2_Jq0w

forthelulz11221059 karma

How did you poop?

caitalexander1094 karma

In a bucket. It wasn't the most fun but it worked!

iwas99x666 karma

How heavy did that bucket get?

caitalexander966 karma

Haha we emptied it after each poo.

stillusesAOL123 karma

How did customs/passports work going to a different country by sea like that? Did you have to register with customs across the ocean when you got there?

caitalexander162 karma

We had to go through customs in Antigua. I think the race organizers kind of worked out a deal with them. We didn't have to go immediately.

Archer2408947 karma

Did you have any memorable moments encountering wildlife?

caitalexander1411 karma

We saw a bunch of fish that I had no idea what they were! We also saw some whales. The first time we saw a whale we rowed in circles for half a day trying to follow it and get a picture.

Archer2408419 karma

Sounds like an amazing experience. After reading about the hurricane I'm glad to hear y'all made it out alright!

caitalexander435 karma

Thank you! It really was. I wish I could have had a camera on my head the entire time so I could remember everything.

Foxehh2323 karma

GoPro and go again?

caitalexander543 karma

That's the plan! Just have to get some sponsors on board.

chan1628285 karma

If there's ever a time for /r/hailcorporate to do good...

Here's an opportunity

Edit: oops

caitalexander183 karma

A girl can dream!

mtaks770011 karma

Probably pelagic fish like Mahi and Tuna

caitalexander13 karma

I tried to look them up when we got back. I think definitely some tuna!

caitalexander306 karma

Also.. tons of flying fish!

Californib649 karma

How long were you into it before you said "Man, what the heck am I doing?"

caitalexander949 karma

Honestly I don't think it really sunk in until we lost sight of land. That was when it finally felt real. Then we just kept rowing until we saw land again! There were some times that rowing got really tough and I just wanted to be done. We hit a weird current that was pushing us back East and we would row for 24 hours and stay in the same spot or lose a couple of miles. It was really frustrating!

Californib548 karma

Let me just tell you that I'm a 47 year old dude who doesn't know how to swim, so I look at your achievement as something akin to the moonshot. I'm incredibly impressed that somebody ever thought "Know what? I can do that." and then actually did.

caitalexander376 karma

There was a 67 year old dude that did the row! I'm sure there have people that have done it that are afraid of water as well. It definitely was a bucket list thing to start with but I fell in love with it and want to do more!

OSRSgamerkid231 karma

How on Earth do you tell if you move from one place to the next if you're surrounded by nothing but water

caitalexander482 karma

GPS!

pro_nosepicker147 karma

Two questions/comments:

 ***Background: I was a college  Big Ten Club level rower from a Big Ten school and farming state just like you

1) What the hell were your hands like after two months of that nonsense? (Bonus points for photos). Aside from that, biggest health limitations or discomfort?

2) I was interested in opening your link and seeing you were from Luverne. I have a good friend I went to college with from NW Iowa who ended up in Luverne. Small town city I haven't heard of in a long time; if you need a tax lawyer for these sponsorship deals I can gladly hook you up.

caitalexander150 karma

  1. Our hands were surprisingly ok! I think we rowed enough on the ergs that we had good calluses. They did have a lot of dead skin and were very sore but no blisters at least! There is a picture of my hands in the Video Diary video!
  2. That's awesome! I love how it is such a small world. I will definitely keep that in mind as I work toward more sponsors. Thank you!

chriswasmyboy480 karma

How did it feel going that long without a shower? I can only imagine how gross that must have felt....

caitalexander642 karma

It was not fun..I did try to swim after each shift so I could at least get some of the sweat off! I also washed my clothes a couple times a week with freshwater so they wouldn't get crunchy. The first shower on land was pretty amazing!

frakking_you260 karma

Didn't you get that itchy salty feeling putting clothes back on?

caitalexander335 karma

Yes! We tried to rinse our clothes with fresh water frequently because they got really crusty. I also would try to do kind of a sponge bath with fresh water after each shift.

zpressley210 karma

You might have already answered this, but how did you have enough fresh water for the entire trip?

caitalexander430 karma

So we had to bring an emergency supply which also acted as ballast weight. This was bottled water that was stored in the lowest part of the boat. Then for every day use we had a desalination machine that made fresh water.

The_MoonCricket473 karma

What was the hardest or most dangerous part of your journey?

caitalexander844 karma

The hardest part was when we got caught in weird currents and would row as hard as we could and get pushed backwards. It happened when we were only about 400 miles from the finish line! We were so close to being done but we just couldn't move! We had one tropical storm hit us that turned into a hurricane! It was scary not having weather radar because we really didn't know what to expect. We had a satellite phone so people gave us weather updates but we really just had to wait and see what happened. it ended up not being that bad but it was a little scary.

smileedude812 karma

"Only about 400 miles from the finish line"

The word only here really puts some perspective on the size of this race.

caitalexander509 karma

Yeah..it seems crazy! Once we got to 999 even..just losing that 1 digit helped so much.

windowpuncher160 karma

What was the total length?

Did you have anything for entertainment besides rowing?

caitalexander316 karma

Just over 3,000 miles. We had music and some audio books!

lolwuuut68 karma

What do you do when a hurricane hits?

Edit: Nevermind someone asked the same question, I read your response to them :)

caitalexander99 karma

Thanks for the question! It's a common one. Luckily the tropical storm that hit us waited to turn into a hurricane until after it passed!

CatatonicAlarm5445 karma

You mentioned rowing through a hurricane..

How does one even do that? How do you manage yo keep a rowboat upright through a hurricane or tropical storm?

caitalexander790 karma

When we found out the storm was coming we tried to row as far south as possible to miss the worst of it. Once the wind was strong enough in the wrong direction that we were not making any progress we deployed our sea anchor. A sea anchor, or para anchor, is basically a parachute with a hole in the top. You put it out in the water and it hovers ~50-75 ft away from you below the surface. It keeps you perpendicular with the waves so you are less likely to roll and it also slows down your drift. Once we did that we hunkered down in the cabins until the storm passed!

savemejebus0294 karma

This is unbelievable. How confident were you in the boat? Was it tested enough for situations like that? Good lord.

caitalexander601 karma

I loved our boat! I never once felt unsafe. The company that built her did an amazing job. We didn't have a single equipment problem on the entire journey which is basically unheard of. Before the race the boat had to be flipped over in the water to make sure it was water tight and also to make sure that it self righted.

savemejebus0164 karma

That is truly amazing. Amazing accomplishment. Congrats.

caitalexander381 karma

Thank you! If you are interested there is an amazing documentary on Netflix called Losing Sight of Shore. It's not me..but it is about 4 amazing girls that row the pacific ocean.

10111001110136 karma

Holy cow the Pacific is massive and anything but pacific. Also how did you get food out there?

caitalexander212 karma

We had to bring all of our food with us! 70 days worth.

10111001110124 karma

Holy cow that's a lot of food! Also serious props to you, that is no small feat and you raised money for charity. You are some pretty cool folks

caitalexander92 karma

Thank you!

CatatonicAlarm58 karma

Thanks for the reply! I get nervous driving through storms on the highway, I can't imagine doing what y'all did

caitalexander16 karma

I think I mostly slept through the storm! It was about the second week of rowing and we were so exhausted. It ended up being a nice break!

jgirvine88419 karma

That's absolutely incredible! How did it feel being in a tiny boat, knowing how incredibly deep the ocean underneath you was? Also, how did you get all the way across and still spell 'Atlantic' wrong?

caitalexander348 karma

Wow that is really embarrassing! I don't think I can change it either. Whoops. I guess I was nervous and typing fast. It was weird being in a tiny boat but I think we got so used to it. Then when I watched some footage of our boat in the water it looked like a tiny toy!

jgirvine88187 karma

All good, I'm only teasing. I honestly didn't realise it was even possible to row across the Atlantic until 5 minutes ago - what an adventure!

caitalexander158 karma

I had never heard of it either! It's still fairly new..I think more people have been to space actually. Surprisingly though, it is one of the safest endurance sports. Compared to something like Everest it is really safe! I think 10 people have already died trying to climb it this year and since modern ocean rowing started I don't think even 10 people have died.

chan162894 karma

it is one of the safest endurance sports. Compared to something like Everest it is really safe! I think 10 people have already died trying to climb it this year and since modern ocean rowing started I don't think even 10 people have died.

I believe what you're saying..

But I have a hard time believing it

When I think of the ocean, I'm imagining George Clooney in The Perfect Storm or Chris Pine in Finest Hour

Isn't the water very choppy when you're out in the ocean?

caitalexander83 karma

It is choppy, but the boat just rolls over the waves. I never once felt us close to tipping over or flipping. As long as you are smart it can be a very safe journey.

Yubuqq400 karma

Did you ever feel like you weren't gonna make it?

caitalexander675 karma

Yes! About 400 miles from the finish line we hit this weird current that was pushing us back East. It was super frustrating. We basically didn't move for about 2 days until we finally were able to break out of it.

Supersox22325 karma

Did the boat have everything you needed or were there support type vessels with you? If so, what kind of services did they provide you?

Also, does your mental state become an issue? I feel like I'd start to get a little funny doing the same thing day in and day out for 2 months.

caitalexander618 karma

Since it was a race there is a sailboat that tries to sail around the entire fleet in case someone needs help. Luckily we never needed any help. If you get assistance of any kind you are disqualified from the race. I didn't think I was weird after the row but my family and friends said I was really spacey. They said it was hard to carry on a conversation with me because I would just start daydreaming.

DrakePecker202 karma

Wow! That's a big pile of supplies. Just out of curiosity, how many calories and how many cups of fresh water did you guys consume per day? And what kind of stuff did you eat?

caitalexander312 karma

We tried to get 5500 cal per day. We had 3 freeze dried meals each per day along with a bag of snacks that had a variety of things in it..granola bars, trail mix, chocolate.. etc. I think I drank 3 of my camel baks every 12 hours.. so 6 liters. We drank a lot! I don't think I ever stopped sweating.

hounoka306 karma

How uncomfortable was it being on your period?

caitalexander573 karma

I actually planned a head of time and started taking my birth control continuously so I would not have to deal with that!

liverlad87257 karma

See anything strange or unexplainable?

caitalexander600 karma

Not really..we did see a lot of floating garbage which was sad.

Pinuzzo146 karma

What kind of garbage / how big?

caitalexander293 karma

We saw a few tires, and random stuff that maybe looked like plastic bags? It was hard to tell.

gjbbb254 karma

Did you see any sharks, whales, wildlife of any kind?

caitalexander340 karma

Whales, fish, dolphins, no sharks (thankfully) I think I would have been too scared to swim if we had seen sharks.

J_Johnson268 karma

You swam?..that's crazy. I couldn't imagine more surreal moments then swimming in the open ocean.

caitalexander361 karma

I have to admit I was pretty scared the first time I jumped in. I got used to it but it is a really weird feeling.

J_Johnson187 karma

That's awesome, your fearlessness is inspiring

caitalexander219 karma

Thank you! That was my goal for the trip..when I came back I wanted to inspire even just one person to do something that scared them.

Catfishn95 karma

Did you ever look down?

caitalexander377 karma

Yes...and I saw...blue.

ttubravesrock218 karma

I have a couple of questions.

Looking through the pictures, it looks like neither of you lost much weight (not that there was much weight to lose in the first place). Was this due to a lack of exercising that you could do?

Also, did you guys end up having any sex during the row?

caitalexander247 karma

We both put on way to much weight before the race! People made us nervous that we would lose like 50+ pounds. Girls on average lose only about 10lbs..the guys lose quite a bit more! No naughty time was had. We have always been just friends!

ttubravesrock104 karma

Thanks for answering! Reading your story stokes my desire to do a long distance hike. I am good at walking. I am good at not falling. And... I already have 'strategic' calorie reserves so it would take me longer to starve to death.

caitalexander79 karma

The US has some great long distance trails for something like that!

Sleepingstudent2192 karma

What was a typical day like, what were you eating?

caitalexander329 karma

We rowed 3 hours on 3 hours off. So one was rowing while the other was sleeping. Basically you would just wake up, get dressed, eat something, start rowing, finish rowing, change your clothes, eat something, sleep, and repeat. I did have to run the water maker every day around noon to make our fresh water for drinking. We mostly ate freeze dried meals and a lot of Costco bulk snacks!

Sleepingstudent2133 karma

Ahh, how was it adjusting to that level of sleep?I'm also assuming the ocean isn't the nicest place to lay down

caitalexander196 karma

The first two weeks were pretty rough. I felt like I had been hit by a truck. After that my body slowly started to adjust and things got easier. Waking up to row at night was definitely the worst! The cabin was surprisingly comfortable! Laying down was OK it was hard to sit up though without smacking into the walls.

HogarthF110 karma

Since redbull didn't want to sponsor you,,,s,ounds to me like you should approach Costco

caitalexander122 karma

They are on my list!

Alias3141161 karma

Were you both conscious of the "Personal time" a human needs when at sea for 58 days? Did you accommodate for that or just ignore it?

caitalexander206 karma

We kind of had our personal time during our rest hours when the other person was rowing. We never really got sick of each other because we didn't actually see each other that much!

nottodayortom140 karma

What did you use for navigation? If your electrical system failed what would you rely on to know your position?

caitalexander225 karma

We had a very complex Garmin system called NMEA 2000. This included our GPS, AIS (which pings our location show we show up on other ships radar), wind/weather info, and navigation. We used the GPS a lot in the beginning because there were several small islands close to the one we started on and we wanted to make sure we didn't get to close. After that..we pretty much rowed west/southwest and went with the wind. If our electronics had failed we did have a handheld GPS that we could have used for navigation but it would have been very dangerous to be out there without an AIS. Since our boat was so small the big cargo ships could hardly see us. If we didn't show up on their radar there is a good chance we could have been hit.

Engine8213 karma

Thank you for using the AIS. I'm a ship captain and it's hard to pick up small boats on just radar, especially in rough weather and/or with fiberglass hulls.

caitalexander198 karma

I never shut it off! I was so terrified. I knew there was no way they could see us. Congrats on being a Captain! I am hoping to get there one day.

Run-DMc87 karma

Did you see many other ships out there?

caitalexander294 karma

Quite a few cargo ships! We also saw one sailboat from France. They circled us a few times and talked to us. I think they were confused as to why we were in this tiny boat and were concerned that we needed help.

nottodayortom131 karma

What was the plan if the boat was damaged and sank? Was there a small life raft in the boat somewhere? Handheld emergency beacons?

caitalexander163 karma

Our boat had 2 emergency EPIRBS and our lift raft had 1. The race made sure that we had all of the safety equipment and training we needed!

KaylaChinga120 karma

So, are your arms tired?

caitalexander146 karma

Haha a little bit! I was overall just very tired when I got back. I kept want to nap like every three hours.

SimplySabrina105 karma

You mentioned that upon your return your family/friends(?) claimed you couldn't keep a normal conversation. Do you feel different?

caitalexander181 karma

I don't feel like I was spacey but I do remember feeling overwhelmed by all of the noise.

StevenSanders90210102 karma

Have you thought about doing other oceans?

caitalexander275 karma

yes! I want to be the first person to row across all 5 oceans. Right now I am working on getting sponsors so I can get a bigger boat. I want to take different people with me for each journey. I believe it is truly life changing and I want to share it with as many people as possible! After I attempt those...I would like to start a company that helps organize rows for people.

dat_dope_boy_k176 karma

Two words:

Red

Bull

caitalexander149 karma

You aren't going to believe this..but neither of us were big caffeine drinkers..I think the most caffeine we had on board was in the chocolate.

dat_dope_boy_k171 karma

Nah, dawg. Sponsorship ;)

caitalexander266 karma

I tried asking them.. they told me they could give me a couple cases of Red Bull haha.

Ghooble45 karma

I think they're saying Redbull would sponsor it...they probably would.

caitalexander95 karma

I tried talking with them before the first one and they said they would give me a few cases of Redbull to take with. I haven't tried again since I got back but I probably should!

BigPepperDog96 karma

How much rowing dod you do in prep for the journey?

caitalexander155 karma

I rowed for 3 years in college on a club team so I had some experience. We did the row as part of a race and a lot of the people on other teams had never rowed a boat before in their lives! There was definitely a wide range of people from hard core athletes to every day people and everyone ended up making it across!

Bnagy87 karma

Wow this is extremely inspiring. Might have to try and do something like this within the next couple of years. Were there any times you were scared for your life?

caitalexander90 karma

Do it! It will seriously change your life. If you want some inspiration watch Losing Sight of Shore...it's on netflix! I was never scared for my life but I did get a little nervous a couple times.

apexevo987 karma

Man I hate even swimming in the ocean where I can't see whats around me, and you manage to travel across an entire sea! How were you okay with the fact that you're in this small boat with hundred of miles of sea under you? That seems terrifying.

caitalexander72 karma

Sorry I missed this comment earlier! It was definitely a little freaky swimming for the first time..but the water felt so good that I quickly got used to it!

Sabin2k86 karma

What was the first meal you ate when you got back?

This is one the coolest and most fascinating AMAs I have ever read. What an adventure!

caitalexander96 karma

Thank you! I really appreciate it.

The race organizers had a "first meal" set up when we got back and it was a burger and fries!

aramisorwell84 karma

How long did you train?

Which season and route was best?

When is the inspirational Disney Release?

Can you too the door from a fridge? (Lats)

Peace out

caitalexander80 karma

I trained for about 2 years leading up the race. I was rowing in college at the time so it was easy to stay in shape. For the southern Atlantic (East to West) the best time to start is in December. It is the time with the fewest hurricanes. East to West Atlantic is also probably one of the easiest routes. It has one of the most consistent currents and trade winds in the world. No Disney release. Just a few YouTube videos for now! My arms are still pretty strong and it has been a year and a half!

karl-marxman75 karma

What's your favourite sea shanty? Any spontaneous renditions of "row row row your boat?"

caitalexander145 karma

So this is kind of embarrassing but we both had really weird songs that we loved. I was a big fan of Celine Dion's "That's The Way It Is", "Jack Sparrow" by Lonely Island, and "We Didn't Start the Fire" by Billy Joel.

PirateCaptainSparrow318 karma

Captain Jack Sparrow. Savvy?

I am a bot. I have corrected 8154 people.

caitalexander80 karma

Exactly! That song did it for me for some reason.

ballseniormouth57 karma

  1. How did decide when was the best time to leave? 2. How long did you estimate that it would take?
  2. Was there any romantic activity between you and George on the trip and if either of you were not single, how did your s.o. feel about you being in a boat with someone else?
  3. What was the plan in case something horrible happened?
  4. How much weight did you lose by the time you were done?
  5. Were you noticeably stronger after rowing for ~60 straight days?
  6. How'd you poop and pee and what'd you do with the toilet paper?

caitalexander83 karma

  1. The race takes place in December-February because this is the time with the least hurricanes.
  2. Our goal was to finish in under 60 days. We made it in 58.
  3. We had emergency beacons, a satellite phone, and a lift raft if shit really hit the fan. Maritime law would be our friend..any boat that is able to respond to a distress call has to.
  4. I lost 20 lbs. I had put on a lot of weight because people scared me and told me I would look like I was starved. I probably didn't need to put on as much as I did.
  5. Definitely! My back was so strong.
  6. We had a bucket for our toilet. We used biodegradable wipes for TP.

paohale153 karma

How much food did you have to take? Was it mainly tinned/dried food?

caitalexander99 karma

We took 75 days worth of food. We had 3 freeze dried meals per day and lots of snacks! Our snacks included: trail mix, cheese its, goldfish, granola bars, candy (m&ms, snickers, hershey's), poptarts, mini muffins, and various other munchies. The snacks were mostly just calorie fillers and not meant to be very nutritious.

Harddaysnight199042 karma

What'd you do with the trash?

caitalexander154 karma

We kept all of it on board and put it back in the compartments. We have to show our trash to the race organizers at the finish to prove that we were not dumping it.

nonplusaurus42 karma

What about the poop bucket?

caitalexander112 karma

Well we threw the poop overboard every time we went and rinsed the bucket out. The poop bucket was retired to a dumpster once we made landfall.

tubco53 karma

wow that's amazing.. were you bored at any point?

caitalexander122 karma

Oh, definitely! At one point my spotify playlists stopped working and I was left with two albums and some audio books. Lets just say I have those songs memorized. Sometimes I would count strokes..1000 would be about an hour. Definitely did a ton of daydreaming!

nim_opet46 karma

Oh My God! I never even thought that's possible! Amazing and congratulations! Why? :)

caitalexander35 karma

Thank you! I've always loved the ocean and I saw a YouTube video of 4 guys from the UK that did it. Their video was so inspiring that I really got motivated to do my own row.

Burningmeatstick39 karma

What kinda supplies did you bring with you?

caitalexander85 karma

Besides food we had our clothes which consisted of spandex shorts mostly, underwear, I mostly rowed in my sports bra or swim top, we brought goggles, cleaning gear for the boat, a pretty extensive med kit, ipods, pictures from home, santa hats for Christmas, lots of sunscreen, and a couple gopros!

geyserpj47 karma

What was the power supply for electronics?

caitalexander97 karma

We had 220 watts of solar power!

wunderbreadv213 karma

Did the nights ever get super cold or really hot?

caitalexander19 karma

The nights did get a little chilly! It was also that nasty wet/cold too. I had a light blanket that I brought with and usually would row in a long sleeve shirt at night.

Sarsinnj37 karma

Who sings louder? I tried finding it in your videos but wasn't able.

caitalexander51 karma

I'm not sure! I know I definitely sang super loud but I don't know if George got it on camera. We both just belted songs out. It was one of the only ways to stay motivated. I also have "We Didn't Start the Fire" memorized now! :)

Kruikoi11 karma

Why?

caitalexander62 karma

Just to say I did it. I also got a t-shirt and a bottle of whiskey with my name on it.

x7478 karma

Did you encounter any wildlife?

caitalexander9 karma

lots of fish! both the swimming and flying kind. (they actually have wings..it's so crazy!) a few whales and some birds!

nottodayortom7 karma

Who designed and built the boat? How much would that cost?

caitalexander36 karma

There are basically two boat builders out there for these special boats. One is in the UK and their prices vary from ~20k-50k. We got our boat from a new company that just started a few years ago. They are in Port Townsend, WA and are called Spindrift Rowing. They are super cool and did an amazing job with our boat! Ours was actually the first American made boat to cross an ocean so that was really special!

SnowyNW5 karma

1) How did you guys stay clean? Was it even an issue? 2) Watching your video, seems like dryness was an issue, any recommendations in hind-sight? 3) Could your average in shape person do this? 4) Would it be possible to do an 8 hr on 8 hr off shift? 5) Have you ever done a long backpacking trip? How would this compare to doing say a week long 100 mile 30k elevation gain trip in terms of daily effort? Obviously a lot longer, but I hope my question is at least somewhat clear?

caitalexander6 karma

  1. Sponge baths with fresh water! Lots of baby wipes! 2. dryness like our skin? or the boat was always wet? I don't think we can fix the boat thing..it's just too humid! 3. Definitely! There were very un-athletic people in our race. 4. I do not think you would want to row for 8 hours. Your butt would be dead and you probably would be barely moving by the end.

baker109234 karma

Can i see what you boat looked like?

On a personal note, How did you figure out restroom issues?

caitalexander12 karma

check out my first Imgur post here: http://imgur.com/a/QnXs0 it has a lot of good pics!

We had a bucket that we used as a bathroom. Wasn't the best setup but worked pretty well!

upvoatsforall3 karma

Are your arms tired?

caitalexander5 karma

not anymore! my hands hurt pretty bad for about two months after the row.

catalinafightsong3 karma

Shot in the dark question: Would you like to go out sometime?

Question about adventure: How long did this whole journey take to prep, from idea to on the water?

caitalexander2 karma

Answer to first question: Do you live in Montana?

Second question: I would say about 2.5 years!

catalinafightsong2 karma

I do not live in Montana. Now I wish I lived in Montana. :/

Wow. That's a long time. Did you or your partner ever think about backing out during that time?

caitalexander2 karma

We had a lot of fear that we would not get enough money to get the boat built and pay the entry fee for the race. It was hard trying to find sponsors because we were both in school still. Eventually though we ended up getting some key sponsors as well as some generous donors and made it happen.

catalinafightsong1 karma

That's awesome. Glad it all worked out for you both! That'll be a story you can tell for years! I'm sure you have many from that adventure. I'd love to hear them!

caitalexander2 karma

Definitely! I wish I would have taken more videos so I could remember everything. I love talking about the journey so feel free to get in touch!

catalinafightsong2 karma

I'll definitely do that! I've never met someone who has done a long journey like this. My friend wants to hike the Appalachian Trail, but I don't know if they will. It's so cool that you did it!

caitalexander1 karma

That's awesome! My friend is doing the PCT right now and I honestly would rather row another ocean. I don't think I could even run a marathon.

catalinafightsong2 karma

Woah! That's so cool! Are they doing the full PCT? And what ocean are you thinking next?

caitalexander1 karma

Yeah she's trying to. She left a little late so she might not make it before the snow comes. I'm not sure yet! There is a Pacific Race from California to Hawaii every year in June. I think it would be a cool one to do to get more experience before I do some bigger oceans.

nottodayortom3 karma

Any surprises along the way? Would you do anything different on your next ocean row?

caitalexander10 karma

We had a pretty uneventful row in terms of equipment failure, weather, or injuries; which is definitely a good thing! I think one of the worst things that happened was we had downloaded a bunch of playlists of spotify so they would be available offline without wifi..and about 30 days in all of the sudden they were unavailable! Luckily I about 20 songs and my audio books left..but rowing 12 hours a day..20 songs is not a lot! The next row I want to outfit the boat with better cameras! I feel like we missed filming a lot of cool stuff because we didn't take time to set the cameras up. I also would bring fruity candy! I surprisingly got sick of chocolate and probably would have killed for some starbursts or skittles.

heyjude3213 karma

Why did you choose a 3 hour on and 3 hour off shift? Was there a reason behind not choosing a longer shift?

caitalexander4 karma

We tried to do 2 hrs on 2 hrs off but realized it was not enough sleeping time. We both felt pretty comfortable rowing for another hour and thought it was worth it to get that extra hour of sleep. I do think we lost a little bit of productivity in that third hour but since we weren't concerned about racing it worked out.

savemejebus02 karma

Wait, I only read a few comments, did you go out with no other boat? Nothing trailing along side?

caitalexander5 karma

Nope! It was a race so there were 26 rowing boats but we didn't see another boat after we started. There is a sailboat that is the support boat and will come rescue you if you need help but it could take a few days depending on where they are. We saw a lot of cargo ships and one other sailboat from France. They thought we were crazy!

GSGS892 karma

Are you familiar with the story of George Harbo and Frank Samuelsen?

caitalexander3 karma

Yes! So incredible! I have no idea how they did it.

GSGS892 karma

I listened to a great podcast about them and it sounded like a very perilous journey, in a time with no modern conveniences. Even today though that is still an amazing accomplishment, congratulations!

caitalexander2 karma

I know my mother would have never let me do something like this back then! She was a mess even when she could talk to me pretty frequently. Thank you!

zlittle5862 karma

Where is the Atlanitc?

caitalexander3 karma

It's the big blue blob between Europe/Africa and North/South America.

InsidiousTroll2 karma

I'll go with the obvious:

Y tho?

caitalexander2 karma

Free t-shirt at the end...a bottle of whiskey with my name on it..just to say I did it..not really sure!

Supersox222 karma

Seems like there's no choice but to get comfortable with bodily functions on a trip like this. How long before you two were comfortable farting in front of each other?

caitalexander6 karma

Well honestly we were never really together! When I was rowing he was sleeping and then we would switch. During the storm when we weren't rowing we were in opposite cabins to try to balance the boat.

merkkyboy112 karma

What did you row in? Did you ever step off of it into another boat? When you hit land did your heart sink to the floor?

caitalexander5 karma

In a teeny boat that you can see here: http://imgur.com/a/QnXs0 We never got off the boat during the 58 days except to swim. Walking was really tough when we got back! I felt like a drunken sailor. I couldn't walk straight and kept bumping into people. I'm sure it was quite entertaining.

merkkyboy113 karma

Congrats.

caitalexander2 karma

Thank you!

leclittoris2 karma

On a personal level, what are some of your favorite films?

caitalexander2 karma

Hmm.. I'm a big fan of Remember the Titans, The Guardian, Lord of the Rings, actually..pretty much anything! I'm definitely not a movie snob.

chrismatt2132 karma

Two questions (if that's ok)

How did you get back home (if you did lol)?

What were you feeling/thinking when you left?

I'm just an adventurer, who plans on traveling.

Thanks!

caitalexander2 karma

I flew home with my family from Antigua to Minnesota (it was freezing). It was a very strange feeling. The finish was amazing! but we had spent almost the last 3 years of our lives planning this journey. Every spare moment was dedicated to it and then all of the sudden it was just over. The first few months back home were pretty tough for me. I really felt kind of empty and not sure what I wanted to do with my life!

BobBobuliss0 karma

Why?

caitalexander9 karma

why not? It seemed like a life changing adventure and it was!