Jacob Adoram Passes Hawaii and Keeps Rowing
I am way overdue in giving an update on the progress of solo Pacific rower Jacob Adoram Hendrickson. At least my belated timing here comes at a milestone point for Jacob’s record-setting endeavor: he recently hit the halfway mark of his incredible journey.
The former fighter pilot, whom the boatyard supported in his departure from Neah Bay, Wash., last July, was halfway to his destination of Cairns, Australia, as of Jan. 19.
While Jacob is a few worrisome months behind schedule, he is upbeat about his monumental quest to complete the first solo and unsupported row across the Pacific Ocean. He doesn’t sound as though he’s ready to throw in the towel — or oar — yet, either.
“As of today, it’s officially equidistant between Neah Bay and Cairns,” he posted on his Jacob Adoram Facebook page on Jan. 19. “I’m halfway there!”
Just to recap, Jacob calculated that his record-setting journey would traverse the Pacific across 7,145 statute miles of open ocean. That makes it the longest solo, non-stop attempt from North America in the history of modern ocean rowing, according to his Jacobadoram.com website post before he set out last summer.
Pacific Rower Remains Determined Despite Being Behind Schedule
After a send-off party of supporters at The Club @ the Boatyard, the former fighter pilot with the U.S. Air Force embarked July 7 from Neah Bay on his 28-foot custom-built boat, Emerson. His plan was, and still is, to not touch land until he reaches his destination of Cairns, Australia — although he has had long moments of doubt, as one can imagine.
You can follow Jacob and read about his journey and thought process on both his Facebook page and website. The latter is especially insightful as he weighs options in the unfolding dilemma of more months of journey remaining than his initial 10-month food supply.
Excerpts of Jacob’s website blogs:
Dec. 5, 2018 – We are rapidly approaching the 5 month mark. I’m currently on sea anchor due to a low pressure system passing north of Hawaii, moving northeast. While waiting and drifting, and waiting some more, I’ve been contemplating the critical juncture up ahead. Should I continue past Hawaii as planned? We already know it’s not as planned, I’m a couple of months behind schedule.
Should I continue past Hawaii even though I’m short on food? That’s the real question. We also know there is no question, I’ll continue. Regarding food: Yes, I’m definitely going to be short at my current pace. But, I have options. Four that I can think of. Quit early, catch food, go faster, or eat less. Since quitting isn’t an objective, I’m planning on combining the last three options.
Jan. 14, 2019 – It’s 10 minutes before sunset. I stop rowing and temporarily stow the oars. This has always been my favorite time of day. The distant far west clouds are something else now. They are bands of pure radiant gold.
Today I’m lucky enough to have company for the celestial light show. It’s another Booby! He’s circling. I raise the hardtop and secure it open with the makeshift doorstop for better viewing. The Booby is interested in Emerson. Emerson is 28 feet long, with plenty of flat surfaces. This Booby instead decides to land on the thin edge of the raised hardtop, about 3 feet from my face. He ignores me entirely.
This Booby is of the Blue-Footed variety. I watch this bird with amazement and some level of envy. No frustration, no particular concern, no identifying new grooming locations. This is it. It’s a bird at a place trying to do a thing, that’s it. It’s so beautifully simple.
“We’re just here. Let’s get after it, even if the world is against us 80% of the time.” – Pacific rower Jacob Adoram as he neared the halfway mark of his Pacific quest.
Yet here we are, together. At the moment, we have nearly identical life objectives. Eat, rest, groom when required, and keep moving. We are the same, except the obvious – the awareness.
And so it comes back, the (sunset’s) pastels faded, the gold worn dull. But for a moment, however brief, I was less in my head and more out there with the Boobies. In that place, it doesn’t matter that Mr. Blue Foot selected an outrageous thin perch, nor does it matter that I made the outrageous choice of trying to row an ocean.
We’re just here. Let’s get after it, even if the world is against us 80% of the time.
The world seemed to be listening the same day Jacob posted the above blog, and was with him a little bit that day: he caught his first fish of his journey. It was a small spotted oceanic triggerfish, which he decided to release. This time.