18-year-old Becomes Youngest Person to Solo Row Across Atlantic

Row, row, row your boat: Crane, celebrating in Antigua.
According to ABC News and Expedition News, 18-year-old Oliver Crane of New Jersey became the youngest person to row solo across the Atlantic Ocean when he finished the 3,000-mile journey on Jan. 28, arriving on the Caribbean island of Antigua after a 44-day trek that began off the coast of Northwest Africa on the Canary Islands.

"You are out there with just you, the boat and water, day after day. You get really lonely. And then coming into Antigua harbor, seeing my family and friends. I've never felt so much joy, seeing them all, never felt so much love. It was an amazing experience," Crane says.

The teenager rowed in a 23-foot custom-made boat that had a solar-powered water maker but no toilet (he used a bucket. His food was just as improvised. "I ate mainly junk food," he says. "I was supposed to eat freeze-dried food as my main energy source, but I had a hard time getting it down, so I lived off of Pringles and candy for a long time."

Crane beat the previous record set by then 22-year-old Katie Spotz in 2010.

With the trip, Crane raised money for homelessness and is already planning his next adventure - this time on terra firma. "Maybe climb a few mountains," he says. "Land-based, definitely. I'm going to take a break from the ocean for a while. I'm enjoying solid ground."

He was participating in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge, billed as the world's toughest row. He now plans to tour schools and yacht clubs in the U.S. to talk about the challenge and ocean conservation.

Info: www.homeward-bound.com

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