They’re young, fit, determined — and maybe a little crazy.
They’re four guys in a boat, a 29-foot, oar-powered vessel they plan to row around Vancouver Island nonstop for 14 days next April.
To do so would break the current 15-day record for the 700-mile circumnavigation of the island.
But that’s only a prelude to an Africa-to-South America row in late 2012.
“We’re four guys in a giant bathtub,” said Adam Kreek, of Victoria, British Columbia, who has a gold medal in rowing from the Beijing Summer Olympics.
Greg Spooner of Bellingham, Wash., is a physical therapist who, with teammate and travel writer Jordan Hanssen of Seattle, set a record rowing from New York to England five years ago.
Richard Tarbill of Seattle is a Boeing flight-test engineer who rowed for the University of Washington.
On these trips, their daily routine is row, eat, sleep, row, eat … “That’s pretty much it,” said Spooner.
Two men at a time row, while the others hunker down in the stern.
To fight boredom they sing, play word games, joke and do a live video feed of their challenge.
There’s eclectic music on the speakers, from rock to classical to sea shanties.
Their dehydrated food is enlivened with water from a solar-powered desalinator.
This trip will have a few simple “luxury” items: a bucket with a toilet seat, a mandolin played by Kreek, a couple of books, fishing gear and a satellite phone to talk to family back home.
“We’re like a band,” Spooner said. “When they make great music they stick together.”
Read more about it at oarnorthwest.com.