Update - Singapore to New Zealand "We pushed off today"
Day 1 Grant & Charlie have have made it successfully to their first stop over a distance of 42kms to prepare for immigration and appropriate conditions to take them through the channel to Indonesia.
This particular part of the expedition requires caution as they travel through a very narrow straight which also happens to be one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world, not only this but they need to ensure the currents are in their favour to make the crossing.
Kiwi adventurer Grant ‘Axe’ Rawlinson and Charlie Smith (Doing the Singapore to Darwin row leg) pushed off today from Raffles Marina Singapore to begin the most epic adventure of their lives! "Finally after two and a half years of preparation the wait is over!!! We pushed off today from Raffles Marina at 14:00 to begin the most epic adventure of our lives! Thanks to all the supporters and sponsors who came down to wave us off. Stay tuned and spread the word, Simpsons Donkey (boat name)" commented Axe on leaving.
Photos - Rowing from Home to Home
The Rowing Home expedition is expected to take over a year with Axe joined by Brit Charlie Smith an investment banker and later Kiwi Atlantic Rowing Race winner Rob Hamill. The first leg involves a 3,500km row, from Singapore, down through the Indonesian archipalego and across to Darwin in Australia. From here Axe will bicycle 4000km across the Australian continent to Sydney. The third and most difficult leg will be a 2500km crossing of the Tasman Ocean from Sydney to Taranaki in New Zealand.
Axe is no stranger to extreme adventure, he has scaled virgin mountains in Kazakstan, endured winter mountaineering expeditions to remote Pakistan, and summited Mt Everest along with many other peaks around the world. Three years ago, Axe became interested in challenging, human powered ‘Peak to Peak’ expeditions, which along with climbing, involved cycling thousands of kilometer’s and kayaking rivers and straits. Axe’s first ‘Peak to Peak’ expedition in 2012 was from the summit of Mt Ruapehu all the way to the summit of Aoraki Mt Cook, a trip which he made in 22 days, completely by human power, using no support vehicles or craft.
"This is the biggest and most committing expedition of my life. It is difficult to explain the amount of work that has gone into this. The whole team has gone well beyond the call of duty to do their piece to make this difficult and intricate puzzle fit together." commented Axe.
In an earlier interview Axe commented "This expedition definitely has high levels of risk and uncertainty” something that Axe says adds to the attraction. “This is a very unique expedition. I don’t take on expeditions like these because they will necessarily be easy, or the outcome is guaranteed. The challenges are massive and to be successful will require a huge effort in planning and preparation before we depart.” There will be two team members in the boat, Smith joins Axe as the second crew member, with the pair taking it in turns to row for 2 hour shifts, non-stop, 24 hours per day for days and weeks on end. “We hope to make around 2 – 3 knots/hour progress, which in good conditions could see us cover as much as 100km in a 24 hour period.”
Axe’s rowing boat is a state of the art vessel, built in the UK from a blend of carbon fibre and fiberglass. It carries a water maker, solar panels for power to run the GPS and communications system, and has a small cabin which the crew can shelter and sleep. In the event of rough weather and capsize, the boat is designed to be self-righting. Coming at a cost of S$120,000 thanks to very supportive companies who have come onboard as sponsors. Part of the value that Axe gives back to sponsors is in the form of his professional speaking services, giving inspiring keynote talks to corporate groups, on teamwork, leadership and change management.
Axe hopes his expedition will inspire and send positive messages that we can still achieve massive goals in sustainable ways without destroying the environment.