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  • Katie: 300 miles down; 2,200 to go

    Katie Spotz has been rowing for over 9 days. Her quest is to be the youngest person to row across the Atlantic Ocean.  Cayenne, French Guiana is getting closer every day! Help her raise money for the Blue Planet Run Foundation.

    One of the latest posts on her site explains exactly how she is managing to get across the ocean. Here is an excerpt:

    "It’s no secret that, along with the odd bit of water, you’ll find wind, waves and, to a certain extent, currents in the ocean. And these are all factors that Katie had to take into careful consideration when planning this row. The ocean is a very powerful place, capable of causing problems for even the biggest boats – in fact, the ship carrying “Liv” from USA to Senegal was delayed by nearly a week due to the ocean conditions – so attempting to battle against it in a little rowboat would be futile, at best.

    Instead, you have to pick a time of year and route that will lead to as little obstruction from the weather as possible. That’s why Katie left from Dakar, Senegal in January.

    The currents in the North Atlantic Ocean are sort of laid out in a clockwise direction, flowing from USA to Europe and then Africa to South America. But it’s not quite that straightforward. On the route from Dakar to Cayenne, Katie has to contend with the North Equatorial Counter Current, an area where, to be honest, the ocean seems to do absolutely whatever it wants! Katie will come across large areas where she is battling the ocean pushing her north, south or east; sometimes she may get lucky and get a bit of help to the west.

    But the current isn’t the only factor to worry about. There’s also the not inconsiderable obstacle of a wave or two, sometimes towering over 30-feet high. If going the right direction, these can be pretty helpful as “Liv” surfs down them; that is if they’re not breaking on top of her, soaking Katie to the bone and capsizing the boat over and over again (don’t worry – it’s designed to cope with that). However, while there’s very little that you can rely on when it comes to oceans, one thing is for certain: it won’t do what you want! And so far the Atlantic has been living up to expectations, delivering waves from the north-west ever since Katie set off, attempting to push her back down the African coastline."