Sydney: A British environmentalist has become
the first woman to row alone across the Pacific Ocean,
receiving a rock star welcome in Papua New Guinea after
finishing a nearly 13,000-kilometre journey.
Thousands turned out to welcome Roz Savage, 42, as she
rowed her 7-metre boat named Brocade toward Madang yesterday.
Several people paddled canoes alongside her as she
cruised into the harbor, where well-wishers adorned her with
"Once on dry land I must have shaken about 1,000 hands,
everybody wanting to touch me and congratulate me. It was
phenomenal," she wrote on her blog. "I feel like I have
5,000 new friends."
Savage`s trip was meant to raise awareness about climate
change and plastic debris polluting the ocean. She wants
people to use biodegradable trash bags and reusable grocery
She estimates she made 2.5 million oar strokes during her
250-day trip, which was broken up into three different legs.
She set off from San Francisco on May 25, 2008, and rowed
4,640 kilometres over 99 days to Hawaii.
On May 22, 2009, she left Hawaii and rowed 5,053
kilometres or an estimated one million oar strokes before
reaching the tiny South Pacific nation of Kiribati in
September. She left Kiribati on April 19.
Savage said she officially finished the row late Thursday
night but wasn`t allowed to dock immediately because she had
to clear customs the next morning. Instead, she spent the
first night post-adventure on another boat albeit a fancier
one than the vessel that has carried her across the ocean.