“Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
Paul’s unsupported trans-Atlantic expedition began in the Canary Islands on January 1, 2009. With only oars to power him, he set off from Africa toward South America, crossing the whole of the Atlantic Ocean. Along the way he rowed more than 3,000 nautical miles and spent 87 days and nights at sea, landing in the Caribbean in on March 29, 2009. While at sea, Paul slept in an enclosed cabin not much bigger than himself, and rowed 10-13 hours each day. Though Paul was in contact with a land-based support team via satellite phone and GPS telemetry, he was entirely alone on the open ocean with no chase boat or means of resupply. Paul’s journey was truly solo and unassisted.
The expedition was an opportunity for Paul to make a significant contribution to cancer research in memory of his mother.
- Departing in January helped to ensure the best possible weather in the Atlantic, though he encountered thirty-foot waves and gales of up to 30 knots.
- Paul relied on solar power for critical survival equipment, navigation and communication systems and employed some of the most advanced technologies in existence.
About the Boat:
- The boat is a state-of-the-art, custom-built fiberglass composite craft named Liv, Norwegian for “Life” (and translating in old Norse dialects to “protection” and “defense”).
- Liv is the product of a unique collaboration between the accomplished British ocean rowboat designer Phil Morrison and the world-class Rhode Island boat builders Aquidneck Custom.
- Liv was built specifically for Paul Ridley and represents the latest in ocean rowboat design:
Concept: Minimal accommodations for a single rower
Length: 19 feet, 4 inches
Width: 5 feet, 4 inches (at the widest point)
Weight (before provisions): 400 lbs
Materials: Marine closed-cell foam core (Nomex), s-type fiberglass
Paul Ridley's 2008 Trans-Atlantic Expedition blog:
View our photo gallery here: