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Katie Spotz, 22, past the halfway mark in her Atlantic Ocean solo row attempt

February 11, 2010 |  3:31 pm
Halfway On Tuesday, Katie Spotz, 22, reached the halfway point of her 2,500-mile quest to become the youngest person to solo row across the Atlantic Ocean.

Now 40 days without seeing another person, the Mentor, Ohio, resident continues to keep a sense of humor, as evidenced by her recent blog entry about cooking aboard her 400-pound, 19-foot specialized ocean rowing boat, "Liv," as well as her mental state after reaching the midway milestone:

Ocean rowboats are good for one thing and one thing only: rowing. Anything else is awkward at best, especially cooking.

Tonight I was cooking dinner in the cockpit with a small Jetboil stove. I could not ask for a more efficient and compact stove but it is handheld and the boat is without a place to secure the stove. With stove in hand, I was hit by a wave, slid off my seat, and beans and bulgur went flying in every which direction. Oh, bulgur. Nearly had my shoes on fire when the stove landed in my foot well, still aflame! I couldn’t help but have a good laugh, although my hungry stomach was not very pleased (and I’m sure I would not be either if it was my only stove). Just another one of the many awkward moments living on a rowboat!

Aside from the minor stove drama, there has certainly been a shift in mentality after reaching the half-way mark. The more competitive and goal-orientated Katie has emerged and left the laid-back version behind. Very focused on progress now with calculating best speed per hour, setting several targets a day, seeing what the max speed is, etc. Maybe the motivation stems from finding out that I am making better progress than some of the big, burly men rowing solo across the Atlantic at the moment, too.

Was getting a bit carried away with watching my progress on the GPS tonight and was rudely interrupted when a flying fish hit me, er, in the bum! It was not a small one either, and rather startling to be hit without warning in the dark of the night. Perhaps it was a sign to slow down, stop and smell the roses. Or fish, or whatever.

Spotz is attempting to row from Senegal in West Africa to French Guiana in South America to raise funds and awareness for the Blue Planet Run Foundation, a charitable organization that funds safe drinking water projects for billions of people around the world in need.

-- Kelly Burgess

Photo: 1,230 miles away from the nearest land, marking the halfway point. Credit: Katie Spotz

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Katie Spotz, 22, is attempting to become the youngest person to complete solo row across the Atlantic Ocean

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