When a Korean fishing boat rescued 42-year-old British solo rower Andrew Halsey last week 1,200 miles southeast of Hawaii, he had not eaten in two weeks, his last munchie having come after a serendipitous run-in with a flying fish. Halsey, who was nine months into a planned eight-month, 7,500-mile trip from San Diego to Sydney, had exhausted his food supply after being delayed by unfavorable weather off the coast of Mexico.
Halsey's salvation came just three days after a Portugal-bound ship scooped up French rower Jo Le Guen a third of the way into a planned 5,580-mile voyage from Wellington, New Zealand, to Cape Horn. Le Guen was reportedly delirious and suffering from poor circulation in his feet. Three of his toes were black when he was found.
Also last week, the Trans-Atlantic Windsurf Race had to be canceled after the Canary Islands Coast Guard pulled four members of the five-man U.S. team out of the ocean several hundred miles from port. The Americans were aboard their 35-foot support boat—which was towing the disabled support vessel of die Brazilian team—when the U.S. craft was swamped in high seas.
If rowing or windsurfing across an ocean sounds crazy, consider R�my Bricka of France. On March 4, Bricka, 50, began what was to be a six-month "walk" from Los Angeles to Sydney on pontoonlike skis, towing behind him a catamaran carrying tracking and communication gear, a makeshift bed and, among other foodstuffs, 22 pounds of sauerkraut When the Coast Guard picked up Bricka—30 miles off the California coast only a day into his water walk—his tow had been flooded in 18-foot swells. The indomitable Bricka is planning to try again later this month.