Home Featured 3 Dubai Guys Are Half Way Across The Atlantic In A Rowing Boat And Their Adventure Is Truly Incredible

3 Dubai Guys Are Half Way Across The Atlantic In A Rowing Boat And Their Adventure Is Truly Incredible

3 Dubai Guys Are Half Way Across The Atlantic In A Rowing Boat And Their Adventure Is Truly Incredible


Rowing across the Atlantic in a boat that’s no bigger than an average car is no easy task. Undertaken by few, it’s a noble challenge 3 Dubai guys have set themselves for a very important cause. And while everyone else was tucked in over the winter holidays, the trio is out battling the harsh, solitary unknown of the Atlantic Ocean.

The Arabian Ocean Rowing Team, made up of James Raley, Rai Tamagnini and Toby Gregory are sailing through waves of up to 40ft, while also facing extended sleep deprivation and rowing 2 hours on, 2 hours off for 5,000km across the Atlantic.

It wasn’t a clean start with the weather going against them and while tackling huge waves the team made the decision to drop the para-anchor

The para-anchor is a device that stabilises the boat via a hydrodynamic drag, acting as a brake – like a parachute under the water. It meant Toby, James and Rai could all get some rest in the safety of the cabin, without drifting, until the weather cleared.

The trio is sharing what it’s like to row through the unknown and it’s truly incredible

Night shifts are slowly getting colder and colder. They’re also pretty solitary. You basically row as hard as you can in total darkness while waves crash around you. It’s impossible to see anything but the speed monitor.

You know the size of the waves around you by the speed on the monitor. The higher the speed recorded the bigger the wave.
The auto tiller keeps the boat on track and heading in the right direction – your job is just to row.

That said the night sky is something else. A rich tapestry of stars. We each see at least 5 or 6 shooting stars every night. It’s quite magical.

Occasionally you might see the lights of a passing ship in the far distance. As we head further into the ocean those sightings are becoming less frequent.
Finally during the day the wind was behind us giving us a good push. It’s been a rough ride so far to having the wind on our side and being able to surf waves was a welcome relief.

At one point we had a huge container ship heading directly for us. We called them on the radio to tell them we were there!!
They were super nice – they altered their course – they were very curious what an rowing boat was doing in the middle of nowhere!

The team rowed through the holidays, they read letters from home to raise spirits

Difficult conditions and stormy weather have continued to challenge the crew of 3

The team have now completed nearly half of the brave adventure, and they’re documenting the trails and tribulations including watching for sharks

While the morning started with some lively waves, we had always planned to clean the bottom of the boat today, so that’s what we did – wearing harnesses and having a secure line to keep us attached to the boat.

The oceans currents would carry us away in seconds.

With Rai keeping watch for sharks and other challenging visitors James and I jumped in.

At the point where we stopped it was over 3 miles deep. As you look down into the abyss their was a delicate blue glow as the sunlight reached down into the depths. It was magical.

We set to work trying to get the barnacles and other creatures off the bottom of the boat. It took about 30 minutes – comprised of 2 minutes cleaning, 1 minute checking the vicinity for sharks.

Another ocean rower had a surprise the same day, as a large shark 🦈 suddenly appeared from the depths.

Sharks tend to be more curious than anything else, so James and I were actually quite keen to see one.

Normal service quickly resumed as we returned to the oars and we battled our way through the ocean. Finally making the turn west towards Antigua 🇦🇬

The mission is to raise awareness about ocean waste

The Arabian Ocean Rowing Team partnered with the United Nations Environment Program’s (UNEP) Clean Seas campaign, which works with organisations around the world to reduce marine littering and its negative impacts.

Arabian Ocean Rowing Team are using the ocean row and the global publicity it will bring to raise awareness about environmental sustainability, reducing marine litter, and protecting the oceans.

In the lead-up to the challenge, they visited countless schools in the UAE to raise awareness for the #BePartOfIt campaign which aims to raise awareness around ocean health and the need to build humanity’s relationship with the ocean.

WATCH: Toby Gregory on The Lovin Dubai Show talk about the mammoth training and planning needed to take on this adventure!

Here’s wishing the team the very best of luck for a very important cause!


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