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Monday, June 15, 2015

Woman Abandons Solo Row Journey From Japan to SF

Posted By on Mon, Jun 15, 2015 at 1:27 PM

click to enlarge SONYA BAUMSTEIN
  • Sonya Baumstein

Earlier this year, Sonya Baumstein made headlines when she announced she would row solo from Chosi, Japan, to San Francisco — the first woman to do so. A week ago, she embarked on the epic 180-day, 6,000-mile journey, but KTVU reports that on Saturday she was forced to call it quits after a steering system failure, bad weather, and a sense that “things weren’t going right,”

The solo trip was just the latest adventure for Baumstein, who previously rowed from the Atlantic to the Caribbean, paddle-boarded across the Bering Strait, rowed from Washington state to Alaska, and biked from the Mexican border to Seattle.

“The past eight days have been interesting and we knew we were taking a chance with the weather and late season, concerned more about the weather upon arrival in California in the fall,” Baumstein’s team said in a statement.

According to KTVU, Baumstein spent the first days of her journey close to shore as she adjusted to life on the water. On Saturday, she sent out a distress signal approximately 155 miles offshore — the limit of the Japanese Coast Guard’s range.

According to an interview with The Bold Italic published in March, Baumstein built a custom-designed carbon boat that sat five feet off the water and included both electric and hand-pump desalinators. In the interview, Baumstein said her biggest threats were tall waves, high winds, and dehydration.

On a note posted to her blog today, Baumstein wrote, "Keep pushing the limits, but always remain cognizant and be willing to take a step back. I’m happy to grow into an old prudent explorer rather than be stopped prematurely by being an impatient young adventurer."

KTVU reports that rescue costs are covered by Baumstein’s insurance.  


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Jeremy Lybarger


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