CAIRNS, AUSTRALIA—John Beeden, a 53-year-old British explorer has completed the first non-stop solo row across the Pacific Ocean from North America to Australia. Beeden reportedly left from San Francisco on June 1 with the goal of reaching Cairns in north-east Australia late November.
Beeden was delayed due to rough waters, strong winds and currents from bad weather, and spent a total of 209 days at sea. Beeden was welcomed by a warm reception of his family and Australian greeters in Cairns, Australia on Sunday, December 27. He is one of nine successful rows across the Pacific Ocean, and the only person to have started the expedition non-stop from San Francisco to Australia.
Beeden is originally from the city of Sheffield in South Yorkshsire, England, and now lives in Ontario, Canada. This expedition across the Pacific is Beeden’s second major row. His first row was in November 2011, across 2,600 nautical miles in the span of 53 days, 3 hours and 50 minutes. Beeden agrees that this row across the Pacific was extremely more difficult than he could’ve anticipated. “It’s been difficult the whole way but, in fairness, that was what I was looking for. I just didn’t realize it was going to be so difficult.”
Beeden rowed an average 15 hours a day and arrived at 10:00 a.m. local New Zealand time. He was given a helping hand as he was escorted on to dry land for the first time in nearly seven months. He used his Twitter account @solopacificrow to update over a thousand followers as he continued on his 6,100-nautical mile expedition, and posted a picture to his followers showing a celebratory gingersnap and thanking Cairns for the reception when he arrived on shore. Beeden also described how strange it felt for him be on solid ground, and tweeted a picture of his first few steps being escorted on land.