On June 27th, 37-year-old biology teacher Bryce Carlson from Cincinnati, Ohio left St. John’s, Newfoundland in his 20-foot boat, Lucille. Over the next 38 days, six hours and 49 minutes he rowed more than 2,000 miles to the other side of the Atlantic, averaging a speed of two knots and setting a new world record in the process. When he arrived on England’s southwestern tip at St. Mary’s in the Isles of Scilly, he had completed the crossing more than two weeks faster than anybody else who’d ever done so in history.
“I feel like I had a lot of luck along the way, and a lot of help,” he said. “Help from my friends, my family, the community — from some higher power, I don’t know.”
And luck probably did have something to do with it all. According to the Associated Press, Carlson’s boat capsized several times and he even rowed through the remnants of a hurricane along the way. In all, it cost him about $75,000 (of his own money, reportedly) to set a speed record for a west to east solo, unsupported crossing of the North Atlantic along with becoming the first American to row solo and unsupported from west to east, although he’d actually expected the trip to take between 50 and 60 days.
Funny enough, the first thing he said to a friend waiting to greet him on land once he’d arrived in the Isles of Scilly was “Are you exhausted?” No, Bryce, that’s what we should be asking you.