Ocean Rowing Roundup for April

Since our last roundup, very little has occurred in the ocean rowing world. At the moment, just two soloists are attempting to cross the world’s oceans. Both are trying to complete human-powered round-the-world journeys.

Louis Margot: Margot is circumnavigating the world by cycling and rowing. He started by biking 2,400km from his home country of Switzerland to Portugal. From there, he embarked on his first rowing leg — a 10,800km paddle from Portimao to Columbia.

His first attempt ended after five days due to bad weather. He restarted on Nov. 6 and rowed to Gran Canaria where he resupplied, then continued onward to Martinique.

After spending six weeks on the island, Margot restarted rowing on April 11. He aims to cross the Caribbean and land in Santa Marta, Colombia, in 20 days. His biggest worry has been strong currents and ensuring he doesn’t overshoot and miss his landing.

And sure enough, currents and winds continue to push him northward, and he has to fight hard to stay on track.

Ellen Magellan

Ellen Falterman: The American restarted her “Ellen Magellan” expedition in February. She aims to be the first person to circumnavigate the globe purely by rowing. She began in September 2022 in East Texas; from there, she followed the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway to the Florida Panhandle. From there, she rowed the Gulf of Mexico and landed in South Florida.

At this point, she had to put her expedition on hold after suffering a few family bereavements. Over a year later, she packed up her boat again and set off from Sarasota in Florida. The next leg of her journey will take her to Panama, something many people have been critical of. No one has rowed this route before, and many people have told her it is impossible and that she is “a silly woman” for considering it.

Falterman does not care. No one has done it before — that doesn’t mean it’s impossible.

Ellen Falterman cleaning her boat in the Everglades.

Ellen Falterman cleans her boat in the Everglades. Photo: Ellen Falterman


Over the first month, she made her way to the Everglades and waited for a good weather window to tackle the Gulf Stream. She did not give any updates while the crossing was in progress. However, she has since confirmed she “successfully made it to another country” by completing her crossing six days ago.

Overall, the crossing took her 38 hours, and it was a section she was nervous about — for good reason.

Falterman faced strong winds, choppy conditions, and huge boat traffic on the water. At one point, she was so stressed and exhausted that she threw up.

She was supposed to land in Bimini but missed it by five kilometers, so she had to double back to get to her finish line. Now, she is in the Bahamas and is planning the next section of her row.

Rebecca McPhee

Rebecca McPhee is a freelance writer for ExplorersWeb.

Rebecca has been writing about open water sports, adventure travel, and marine science for three years. Prior to that, Rebecca worked as an Editorial Assistant at Taylor and Francis, and a Wildlife Officer for ORCA.

Based in the UK Rebecca is a science teacher and volunteers for a number of marine charities. She enjoys open water swimming, hiking, diving, and traveling.