Hawaii is a great vacation destination, but would you want to spend a few months trapped in a 24-foot-long enclosed space without hot water to get there? Oh yeah, and you’ll have to be doing manual labor in the sun every day on the way there. That’s the journey a dozen teams are undertaking with the Great Pacific Race, the first rowing race from California all the way to the islands.
Teams range from just one person to a pair or four people, who take turns paddling their way across the ocean. It’s 2,400 miles of open water. The fiberglass boats used for the trip are tiny self-sustaining environments with watertight cabins, water filters, and a stash of food supplies. But it’s not all hardship. Rowers have traveled right next to whales and dolphins—moving solely by arm strength, it’s the closest you can get to the ocean without being in it.
Fees for the race range over $25,000, but that should discourage anyone not quite committed enough to pushing themselves across the Pacific. The director of the race, Chris Martin, completed a rowing trip across the Atlantic solo in 2005, so competitors have a lot to live up to.
The teams are setting off now, and their progress can be tracked by GPS on the race’s website. Warning: It’s a slow process.