It’s unlikely that as a lad attending Crane and Bishop Diego High School, Brad Vickers imagined one day he would row a boat across the Atlantic Ocean. Yet, after graduating from college, that is exactly what he did. On the crew team while a student at the University of Puget Sound, Vickers subsequently joined a four-man rowing expedition to race across the wild sea. In 2006, he and his squad set off from New York in a 29-foot-long, 6-foot-wide custom-made fiberglass rowboat, spending 71 days on the open ocean before disembarking at Bishop Rock, a tiny lighthouse outpost off the coast of Cornwall, England.
The first Americans to attempt crossing The Pond via wee seacraft, Vickers and his teammates battled Mother Nature — tropical storms, 30-foot swells, and sharks — and near misses with gargantuan container ships. Add to those dangers sleep deprivation, seasickness, hunger, boredom, and rowing more than 12 hours a day, and it’s a wonder they achieved their goal intact — physically and mentally.
Vickers, who is currently working on a documentary of their 2,863-nautical-mile adventure, will be sharing his experience with hometown folks in Rowing the North Atlantic from New York to England, a multimedia event next Thursday, February 20, 7 p.m., at the S.B. Maritime Museum, 113 Harbor Way. Cost: Free (members), $10 (non-members). Register at sbmm.org or call 962-8404 x115.