In theory, it is possible to row a boat from any one point to another. However, when it comes to ocean rowing, traffic on the three major oceans has tended to be clustered around certain areas.
Below is a summary of the most common routes followed by ocean rowers.
Crossing the Atlantic Ocean
The M1 of ocean rows – the Atlantic was the first to be completed and has seen far more crossings than the others.
- Typical distance rowed: 3,000 – 3,500 miles (varies based on route choice and where the weather takes you).
- Most common route: East-west
- East-west start/finish areas: Canary Islands and North Africa to the Caribbean and northern edge of South America.
- West-east start/finish areas: North America to the UK and Northern Europe.
Of the possible combinations, the only major route across the Atlantic that is yet to be completed, is from South America to Africa.
As well as being the shortest option, the Atlantic is becoming increasingly well trodden which should make it easier to find out more information.
Crossing the Pacific Ocean
The Pacific Ocean is the biggest of the three and some people opt to make the crossing in stages, hopping between islands.
- Typical distance rowed: 5,000 – 6,000 miles.
- More common route: East-west.
- East-west start/finish areas: North America and Peru or Chile to Papua New Guinea and north Australia.
- West-east start/finish areas: Japan to North America.
Only nineteen people over sixteen boats have crossed the Pacific.
Crossing the Indian Ocean
Just twelve successful crossings of the Indian Ocean have been completed.
- Typical distance rowed: 3,600 – 4,000 miles.
- Only route completed: East-west.
- East-west start/finish areas: Western Australia to Mauritius, Madagascar and Seychelles.
Alternative ocean rowing routes
As well as the big three oceans, there are many other large bodies of water that can be rowed across in much the same manner. Few will be as large as an entire ocean but the same approach can be applied
Options are endless but some possibilities include:
- The North Sea between Norway and the UK
- The Tasman Sea between Australia and New Zealand
- The Bering Strait between America and Russia
- The Mediterranean, Black or Caspian Seas
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