Nautical writer Peter Marsh met long distance rower Lia Ditton (rowliarow.com) in August as she as dropping her boat onto the trailer at Schooner Creek in Portland. She was about to embark on a row down the Oregon Coast to San Francisco Bay, and left Ilwaco, Washington, on Sept. 2.
And what a journey it was. She rowed through rain squalls, howling winds, and at one point braved 60-foot waves, "rowing watery mountains." You can read her blog at bit.ly/LiaRow
One day a cruise ship stopped for her, thinking she was in distress. A tanker got way too close for comfort to check her out for the same reason, as did several fishing boats, all of which was pretty unnerving.
And then there were whales, and the "heavy-breathing seal who joined me for dinner … (who) splashed around my boat all night, grabbing fish … and eating them loudly."
Finally, on Sept. 26, she pulled into San Francisco Bay. "I expected to be emotional when I finally reached the Golden Gate," she wrote. "I wasn't. I was overjoyed!"
Next on her agenda: Rowing from Japan to San Francisco, starting next March.