Alex Bellini - Rower Rescued After 10-month Journey

By william on 8:42 AM

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Alex Bellini is an Italian explorer who planned to row across the Pacific Ocean from Lim a, Peru to Sydney, Australia, alone and unassisted. He began his journey on February 21, 2008, and speculated that he would reach Sydney sometime in December, 2008. The journey was expected to take about 9 months and a distance of 18,000 km (10,000 nautical miles) would be covered.

Before he could reach his destination, however, Alex was faced with fatigue and had to give up the remaining distance to be covered. He reached Newcastle, Australia, which is 100 miles (160 km) north of Sydney on Saturday morning.

Here is the article from Yahoo! News:

SYDNEY, Australia — An Italian adventurer who spent 10 months rowing more than 9,500 nautical miles (18,000 kilometers) across the Pacific has been rescued a mere 65 nautical miles short of his goal — Australia — after rough weather sapped him of his final shreds of energy.

Alex Bellini, who began his voyage off Peru in February, contacted his wife Friday to say he was too exhausted to row his 25-foot (7.5 meter) boat any further, despite being nearly in sight of the eastern Australian town of Laurieton.

Bellini's wife contacted authorities, and an Australian tug boat towed the 30-year-old to shore. They reached Newcastle, 100 miles (160 kilometers) north of Sydney, Saturday morning.

Although looking weary and thin and sporting a bushy beard, Bellini grinned and appeared in high spirits as he was reunited with his tearful wife, Francesca.

"I'm feeling good. I'm exhausted," Bellini told The Associated Press. "I need some time to relax."

A strong wind had hampered his efforts to get closer to shore for days. By Friday, he said, his energy was gone.

"For the next few days, the weather would have been even worse," said Bellini, who has also rowed across the Mediterranean and the Atlantic. "It has been a grueling, grueling effort."

Bellini said the journey was not about breaking records; he is not the first person to row solo across the Pacific and is not yet sure whether his trip is the longest solo journey. Instead, he said, the voyage was about testing his own limits.

"The reasons of my trip was double. First of all was to cross the Pacific," Bellini said. "But the other reason of my trip was making a trip inward. So it was discovering something of myself."

Bellini used a satellite phone to keep in contact with those on land and survived on dried food and desalinated ocean water. He also used a small cooker to fry up fish and to boil water for pasta. He found himself craving sweet foods — especially tiramisu and apple cake — and was looking forward to gorging on desserts.

"It made me crazy. I want all the sweets here in Sydney," he said with a laugh.

The worst part of his journey was the loneliness and the longing he felt for his wife. But despite their 10 months apart, Bellini said it was as if no time had passed when they laid eyes on each other Saturday. The two plan to return to their home in Trieste, Italy, in about a week.

For now, Bellini has no immediate plans to return to the open ocean. He has other priorities.

"I miss my bed. I miss my home," he said. "I need to go back and settle down."

1 comments for this post


admirable determination

Posted on December 14, 2008 at 12:58 PM