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New world record? Russian explorer rows through half of southern Pacific in 100 days

New world record? Russian explorer rows through half of southern Pacific in 100 days
Russian traveller Fedor Konyukhov, who is rowing through the stormy waters of the southern Pacific, managed to cross half of the ocean in just 100 days.

The famous Russian survivalist and explorer started his round-the-world voyage aboard a solo rowboat on December 6 in Dunedin, New Zealand. Despite sailing through especially turbulent waters in strong winds known as the Roaring Forties, Konyukhov is advancing at an unprecedented rate.

“It is a landmark achievement by all standards,” the traveler’s son and chief of the expedition headquarters, Oscar Konyukhov, told RIA Novosti. “No one has ever spent 100 days in a rowboat in [the] roaring forties,” he said.

Konyukhov is currently heading to South America and intends to pass through the Drake Passage. In a recent Instagram post, the explorer wrote that he is almost 1,800 nautical miles away from Cape Horn, the southernmost point of the continent. With wind, rain, snow, and hail already accompanying the journey, Konyukhov expects the weather to worsen as summer in the Southern Hemisphere comes to an end.

I want to enjoy the ocean, but here’s it’s largely struggle and survival.

He also described a surprise encounter with a giant whale which surfaced just a few meters from the boat. “I was working on the deck with a water distiller and was not fastened. Suddenly [I heard] a loud exhale… I was of course pleased to see a whale, but his sudden appearance left me confused,” Konyukhov wrote, adding that he had already seen another whale near the shores of New Zealand.

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The 67-year-old adventurer, who is also an Orthodox priest, has set other world records. In 2002, he crossed the Atlantic Ocean on a seven-meter rowboat in just 46 days and four hours, setting a record that remained intact for 11 years. In 2016, Konyukhov broke another world record by managing a nonstop solo balloon flight around the globe in just 11 days.

Konyukhov’s current trip will cover 27,000km and is expected to wrap up by 2020.

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