Apr 112013

Let me start this off by giving thanks to the men and women of the United States Coast Guard and the Captain and Crew of the MV Heijin.  It can never be said enough.


Just Another Sunrise

It was the last half hour or so of Adam’s and my 4-hour rowing shift.  Dawn was breaking on our 73rd day at sea.  Winds and waves were building and we were making just around 3kn towards Miami.  At shift changed we discussed the building seas and the possibility of the sea anchor being deployed despite the favorable speeds west.  Markus climbed out and hopped on the bucket, he would soon be literally caught with his pants down, while Jordan took over steering in the bow seat.  Adam was tucked inside the hatch as I folded myself inside.  Our last words of the discussion to the boys on deck were literally “remember think safety first”. Continue reading »

Apr 102013


Live Classroom Conversation with Trans-Atlantic Rowers

Dear Educator-

The CWF Africa to the Americas Expedition reached a dramatic conclusion last weekend with the capsizing of the OAR Northwest rowboat 375 nautical miles north of Puerto Rico. Now the rowers have been rescued and are safely back on shore to continue their marine conservation efforts.

The CWF Education webinar, an interactive conversation with the rowers that was scheduled to happen live from the boat, will now take place on dry land!

  • When: Friday, April 12 at 1:00 1:30pm Eastern Time/10:00-10:30am Pacific Time
  • How to joinReserve a spot today to have your class take part in this exclusive interactive conversation!
  • What will be discussed: The rowers’ incredible adventure, what they learned, their amazing rescue, and what’s next.

To get ready for the big event, your class can prepare by watching our other CWF Education webinars:

CWF would like to thank the OAR Northwest rowers who believed enough in conserving our marine environment that they risked their lives to raise awareness of the danger the world’s oceans are in. If you are unable to attend the event, it will be recorded for use in your classroom.

Luba Mycio-Mommers, Ph. D.
Director of Education


Safe on dry land

 Posted by at 11:59 pm  25 Responses »
Apr 072013

(L to R) Adam Kreek, Jordan Hanssen, Patrick Fleming, Markus Pukonen arriving safely to the United States Coast Guard base in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Credit: CWF/Erinn J Hale Photography

Last night (4/7/13) at 9:45pm EDT, the courageous crew of the “James Robert Hanssen” set foot on dry land in San Juan, Puerto Rico, reunited with family members after a harrowing 12 hours at sea in a life raft.

73 days and 2,700 nautical miles into a first-ever attempt at a mainland Africa to mainland North America unassisted rowing expedition, weather conditions were finally at their best for rowing. With Jordan and Markus at the oars with perfect tailwinds and following swells, opposing currents created two successive “standing waves” which pitched and rolled the boat into a position that would permanently capsize it for good. Just over 24 hours ago, at 6:50am EDT, the rescue beacon was activated and the rowers spent the next 6 hours trying to manually right the ocean rowboat. Unsuccessful, they recognized the need to collect supplies in their life raft and hunker down, waiting for help to arrive. The sound of a C-130 aircraft overhead started the rescue process.

More to come as details emerge and time allows. It is very busy at the moment for rowers and land support crew in Puerto Rico, and we’ll keep you updated as best as we can.

Thank you for your fantastic words of encouragement.

Greg & Crew

Apr 072013

The crew is arriving at 6pm Eastern Daylight Time aboard the commercial vessel Heijan.

They are uninjured, shaken, but excited to get back to land this evening to reunite with family and friends, and share the challenges and great successes from the 73 days at sea prior to the capsize.

More to follow.

Greg Spooner
OAR Northwest – Mission Control
San Juan, Puerto Rico