Well, it’s December 5th and only a little less than six weeks till we plan to head back to Florida and Pandora. Just a short six weeks ago I returned home after running Pandora south and it’s hard to believe that the time is half over. Last night I hosted a speaker at the Essex Yacht Club, Sonya Baumstein, a women that I met at the Annapolis Boat Show back in October. I was very pleased to meet her when I was there and couldn’t resist arranging for her to speak at our club.
I guess after a decade of working on events I am wired to say something like ” HI, I’m Bob Osborn and would love to have you speak at our (fill in the blank) depending on what ever the “flavor of the month” group or event I am working on. What am I doing? I am not even involved in any sort of committee at the Essex Yacht Club. I had better watch out or I will be drafted to help, or not…
Anyway, I was very much looking forward to Sonya’s talk as her talk would be about her experiences of rowing across the Atlantic Ocean, biking from Mexico to Seattle and, as if that’s not enough, kayaking from Seattle to Juneau Alaska.
Oh yeah, she also paddle boarded from the US to Russia (the first one ever) via the Bearing Straight. Paddle-boarded across the Bearing Straight? Don’t ask why. She just did it. Actually, Land Rover liked what she had in mind to put together a video of her trip. It seems that she had to wait something like five weeks up in the tundra for a weather window which lasted only two days. She headed across on the second day, just in time…Anyway, at the tender age of only 28, she has accomplished all that and is now in the midst of planning a solo row across the Pacific Ocean from Tokyo Japan to Seattle WA in May of 2015. Well, at least she knows where Seattle is… She’s already been there. And, all of this will be done on a boat that is being custom designed and constructed just for her and this particular trip.
I don’t know if my reaction to this should be “You go girl!” or “are you kidding me? You can’t be serious.”. And, she is planning to do this alone. I wonder if her mother knows what she’s up to…
It seems that on her recent trip across the Atlantic she was the only one of the four on board that didn’t want to give up and call for a rescue. And the other three were guys. Go figure…
So, in her talk to a full house at the Essex Yacht Club last night, she did a great job and provided a nice mix of information with a terrific delivery. There were plenty of questions after her talk and interestingly, most were from women who seemed particularly fascinated with this tough and determined young women.
As I mentioned, I first spied Sonya in Annapolis where she showed her boat from the Atlantic crossing. One afternoon, prior to the show. Sonya rowed by Pandora.
Pandora was anchored near the show on a particularly rainy day. The whole thing looked very uncomfortable to me from my vantage point, but based on her presentation last evening, she saw worse, much worse, on her crossing. The boat, and she has a new one under construction for her Pacific crossing, looks like it can take a beating in stride. It’s pretty clear that Sonya can take quite a lot of abuse as well.When I saw Sonya row by I wondered who the guy in the stern was. I hope she knew that he was there… A stowaway or a big benefactor? “Ok, ok, you can come along, but you have to bring your own snacks.”Well, more to come on Sonya’s exploits. I plan on keeping track of her in the coming months as she continuing raising funds and planning her voyage. I hope to help her find other speaking engagements here along the Long Island Sound coast as I have many friends who are members of the clubs between the CT River and New York.
Want to have her speak with a group that you know? Make a donation? I recommend it. Check out her site here.