Woman solos on Lake Michigan

Mike SchoonveldIf you see a strange looking, yellow boat being rowed south along Michigan’s Lake Michigan shoreline in the next few weeks or shored up in one of the harbors, don't be surprised. In fact, cheer Jenn Gibbons on to finish her quest. She’s attempting to become the first person to row a boat around Lake Michigan.

Gibbons is a rowing coach and co-founder of ROW (Recovery On Water) a group that uses the sport of rowing to rehabilitate breast cancer survivors. She has pledges that will translate into dollars for each mile of her journey as well as plans to make numerous stops along her journey to raise money for her cause.

Originally, her plan was to row across the Atlantic Ocean but the Chicago native decided a loop around Lake Michigan made more sense. On the ocean, she’d be on her own except at the start and finish. On Lake Michigan, she’ll be in constant view and better able to raise awareness of her quest and cause.

Her row boat is a high-tech fiberglass 19-footer weighing about 700 pounds when fully provisioned. It can be fully enclosed and is self-righting, supposedly capable of navigating in waves to 30 feet.

Let’s hope she doesn’t have to cope with anything like that. The normal summer conditions she’ll most likely encounter will be challenging enough.

I wish Gibbons well on her journey. Had I heard of it sooner, I’d have given her a rod, reel and a few salmon lures so she could catch a few fish along the way.

You can follow her progress from her website www. row4row.org.

Categories: Michigan – Mike Schoonveld

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