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Arcade Publishing, 1993 - Sports & Recreation - 167 pages
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This is the incredible story of one heroic man's battle against almost impossible odds, a tale of pain and anguish, of bravery and utter solitude, a tale that ends in his victory not only over the "enemy" - the implacable ocean - but also over himself.
Gerard d'Aboville was forty-five years old when he set out on his improbable mission: to row across the Pacific Ocean, from west to east, from Japan to the United States. He had already rowed across the Atlantic, from Cape Cod to the port of Brest, France. But that had been ten years before, when he was in the prime of life. Still, the nagging challenge of the Pacific - twice as vast as the Atlantic and several times as dangerous - would not be denied. His rowboat, the Sector, was 26 feet long. The ocean was 6,200 miles wide. His watertight living compartment, a scant 31 inches high, contained a bunk, a one-burner stove, a ham radio, and a telex (both powered by solar panels). Fresh water came from two desalination pumps.
After months of meticulous and often frustrating preparations, d'Aboville set out from Choshi, Japan, in mid-July, already several weeks behind schedule. He rowed ten to twelve hours a day - an average of 7,000 strokes per day - battled headwinds that pushed him backward or made him stand still (once for a full two weeks), cyclones with 100-miles-per-hour winds, and 40-foot waves that hit him like cannonballs and sent him hurtling into troughs 30 feet deep. His boat capsized more than thirty times; once he was trapped inside his hermetic cabin, upside down, for almost two hours, with the oxygen almost depleted, before he managed to right the boat. Finally, 134 days after his departure, he came ashore at the little fishing village of Ilwaco, Washington. He was bruised and battered - and weighed thirty-seven pounds less - but truly unbowed.
"I have chosen the ocean as my field of confrontation, my field of battle," writes d'Aboville, "because the ocean is reality at its toughest, its most demanding. As my weapons against this awesome power, I have human values: intelligence, experience, and the stubborn will to win."

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Alone : The Man Who Braved the Vast Pacific and Won

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In 1980, d'Aboville crossed the Atlantic Ocean in a rowboat and lived to tell about it. Eleven years later, he yielded to his insatiable desire for adventure and, once again, on July 11, 1991 ... Read full review


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