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Two men row from Japan to San Francisco

Mick Dawson and Chris Martin rowed a 25-foot rowboat to the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California this morning, 5100 miles and more than six months after leaving Choshi, Japan last April (May 8?). The men accepted a tow to the Golden Gate Yacht Club. The ABC site has a video.

According to, the boat was 23 feet long and made of Kevlar. The two British adventurers had each previously rowed across the Atlantic Ocean – Dawson, age 45, twice, and Martin, age 28, once. The voyage appears to be the first unaided and unescorted voyage across the Pacific Ocean in a rowboat. The two men took turns rowing, two hours on and two hours off, 24 hours a day! Although the distance is about 5000 miles, the two men estimated that the trip covered more than 6900 miles, since currents sometimes moved them backward.

The trip involved encounters with bitter cold, waves estimated at 60-feet tall, and close encounters of the “whale” kind!

The boat’s name is Bojangles, and it contains modern electronics. The men sent daily blogs and texted friends and supporters.

In response to a message, Gary Wooton, a Napa Valley winemaker, flew a helicopter 90 miles west of San Francisco and dropped them 150 pounds of food, two “Big Macs,” and a couple of “Bud Light” beers. Had Martin and Dawson not entered the Golden Gate when they did, the turning tide would have meant that currents flowing out to sea would have delayed their entry into San Francisco Bay for hours. A flotilla of small boats met them, instead, with Anchor Steam beer brewed in San Francisco.

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newson welcomed the men, as did British consul general Julian Evans.

The two men had each lost 20% of their body weight on the voyage. They ate steak and eggs and drank champagne and Guinness to celebrate their achievement.

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