the idea

In 1990, towards the end of a 4,000+ mile / 145-day solo sea kayaking trip from Key West, Florida to Nova Scotia, Canada, I thought, if I had a different boat that could carry more gear and handle the seas, I could just keep going on around the world.

Just before arriving in Nova Scotia, I pulled into Portland, Maine and took a 3-day Greyhound bus to Colorado for a best friend’s wedding. I knew I was committed to that next expedition when I met a gal there and used it as a line to impress her, “I’m going to be the first to solo row around the world.” It worked out pretty well. We’re still together after 30 years.

Photo: 1990 sea kayaking trip from Florida to Canada

Photo: 1990 Mick's sea kayaking trip from Florida to Canada

the plan

I knew it would take a bit to put it all together. I had no money. No sponsors. No boat. And have I ever done any rowing in my life? No.

I finished my kayak trip and moved back home to Hawaii and crashed with my mom for a few. I had to get stable and start figuring out how to mount a rowing expedition around the world.

I got a job as a lifeguard on Waikiki beach, Stacia moved to Hawaii and we eventually bought an old wooden sailboat and moved aboard.

Photo: Yep. That’s me lifeguarding on Waikiki Beach. 1991