Crossing the Swell: An Atlantic Journey by Rowboat

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Rocky Mountain Books Ltd, Mar 1, 2010 - Biography & Autobiography - 206 pages
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That first day is hard. The hands begin to cramp, drops of blood start oozing through your fingertips . . .

In 2003, Tori Holmes, a 21-year-old from Alberta, Canada, and Paul Gleeson, a 29-year-old financial advisor from Limerick, Ireland, met in Australia when Holmes answered an ad to drive the support vehicle for Gleeson's 5,000-kilometre cycling trek across that country. During their first adventure together, Gleeson fell hard: both off his bike and for the woman driving the car.

Once Australia was behind them, it became clear that crossing a continent together was simply not enough. Acting on self-assured determination and an ever-growing sense of adventure, Gleeson and Holmes embraced the dream of rowing a tiny boat across the vastness of the Atlantic Ocean in the 2005/06 Trans-Atlantic Race. Of course, neither of the young adventurers knew how to row, so they connected and trained with the only Irishmen ever to have completed the same race, Eamonn and Peter Kavanagh.

In November 2005, after months of training, Paul and Tori left the Canary Islands to row 4,800 kilometres across the Atlantic. In February 2006, they completed their epic journey after 86 days of huge seas, violent storms, terrifying capsizes, unbearable thirst, bizarre hallucinations and sleep deprivation. Along the way, however, during one of the darkest moments in the race, inspiration came in the form of an unseen, yet completely perceptible, presence. Old seafaring lore has several theories as to what this might have been, but both adventurers are keeping their minds open on it.

Part inspirational adventure story, part travelogue and part romance, Crossing the Swell is an honest and intimate portrayal of what it takes to truly engage in the many adventures that life has to offer.

 

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Contents

Acknowledgements
9
Fiftyfoot Waves
11
Have a Read of This
23
Lovers Crossroads
33
Would You Have Any Interest in Rowing the Atlantic?
37
Meet the Kavanaghs
43
Family Reactions
47
Meet Christina
53
Sea Anchor
109
Tears at Sea
117
Sea Anchor Again
123
Christmas on the High Seas
129
Geardid and Ciaran Go Down
135
How Low Can You Go?
141
Barnacles
161
Halfway and a Third Person on the Boat
167

Just Do It
59
The Sponsorship Game
63
The Daily Grind
69
Chapter n A Maiden Voyage and a Flash New Car
75
A Sprintfor the Line
79
La Gomera
83
How Did We Get This FarfAnd a Lastminute Crisis
89
The Race Begins
95
Seasick
101
Dear Dad
175
Stand Up and Fight
181
Nighttime Traffic
187
Dreaming of Simple Pleasures
191
Crossing the Finish Line
195
Life after the Row
201
Overall Race Rankings
205
Copyright

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About the author (2010)

Tori Holmes went to Bangladesh after school to do volunteer work on various projects. In February 2006, after the events recounted in "Crossing the Swell", she entered the record books as the youngest woman to row an ocean. After a time as a financial advisor, Paul Gleeson craved adventure and packed his bags to go traveling.

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