Irishman to Row Across Indian Ocean in the Nude

Mar 15, 2011
Outside Magazine

Mauritius, Whelan's destination. From matze_ott on Flickr

Irishman Keith Whelan hopes to break a world record this summer by rowing nearly 6,000 km (3,728 miles) across the Indian Ocean, from western Austrailia to Mauritius, the Herald (Ireland) reports. He also plans to make the journey completely naked. He claims his decision to row in the nude is a logical one.

"When you're at sea, and you're outside for three or four hours rowing, the salt gets encrusted in your clothes, and you can't wash them," he told the Herald. "Eventually, your clothes will begin to feel like sandpaper."

The decision, of course, leaves him vulnerable to other problems, such as sunburns.

"I have a very nice sunscreen sponsor, Soleo. My sister had skin cancer so I take it very seriously," he said. Yet "if you get a bad burn, no one can help you."

Whelan will be making the trip in a 23-foot-long, 6-foot-wide rowboat. The trip is expected to take four months, with Whelan rowing 12 hours a day.

"People think of the Indian Ocean and they think of a nice beach in Mauritius," he said. "But it's very large water, and the weather conditions can change dramatically. There is a reason that there are only three people in the world who have rowed it solo."

You can learn more about Whelan and his journey on his web site,

--Michael Webster

Filed To: Water Activities

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