Me with Mick Bird in Hood River yesterday
Me with Mick Bird in Hood River yesterday

Hood River, Oregon

It is almost impossible not to laugh when you are around Mick Bird, although the Hawaiian-born rower must have had his sense of humour sorely challenged when his first and second attempts to row the Pacific both ended prematurely.

The first attempt, from Monterey, was attended by about 250 assembled media, sponsors and friends, but ended after two weeks when his comms system failed.

The second attempt, from Oxnard, was attended by about 20 friends, and ended after just a couple of days when Mick realized he was being swept too far south.

The third attempt, from Fort Bragg, was attended by a sea lion (the two friends who had helped him tow his boat there had already left saying, “Yeah, yeah, see you next week”), and ended triumphantly with a full Pacific crossing to Australia via Hawaii, the Marshall Islands and the Solomon Islands.

As Geoff Holt found, expeditions don’t always go quite according to plan. But the setbacks are what separates the doers from the dreamers. I hope that a) I don’t have to suffer the setbacks, but b) if I do, that I find the strength and determination to persevere as Mick did.

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