All in a Row

What's it like to cross the pacific alone in a rowboat? Ask France's 27-year-old Maud Fontenoy.

Jul 1, 2005
Outside Magazine
Maud Fontenoy

Maud Fontenoy

17 AGE at which she first attended school. Her parents raised her and two brothers on a schooner off France's Atlantic coast and in the Caribbean.

25 AGE at which she rowed from North America to Spain, becoming the first woman to stroke the Atlantic from west to east.

73 DAYS spent on her latest trip—January to March 2005—a 4,356-mile Pacific journey from Callao, Peru, to the Polynesian island of Hiva Oa.

73 NIGHTS she rowed in the buff. ("Damp clothes chafe," Maud explains, "plus there's no risk of sunburn, and it was very hot.")

25 Length, in FEET, of Océor, her expedition rowboat, which is made of fiberglass, Kevlar, and red cedar.

6 Consecutive DAYS she puked before getting her sea legs.

0 TIMES that she considered quitting.

1 TIMES she thought she was going to die. Four days before the finish, a 13-foot wave capsized Océor. Luckily, the boat righted itself after two minutes.

18 DAYS her iPod worked before failing, leaving her without the company of the Beatles, Norah Jones, and Bob Marley.

3 Number of FLYING FISH that hit her while she slept.

1 Length, in HOURS, of longest nap (average snooze: 20 minutes).

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