A Deptford doctor is embarking on a record-breaking attempt to row across the Pacific Ocean – travelling an epic 2,400 miles in around 40 days.
Aoife Ni Mhaoileoin is part of a four-person crew aiming to become the first women to row the epic stretch from California’s Monterey Bay to Honolulu in Hawaii.
The 26-year-old may face storms and sharks, but her worst fear is gruelling sleep deprivation as they row 24 hours per day with a routine of two hours on and two hours off.
Pioneering team Boatylicious will carry all their supplies in 24-foot boat Black Oyster - which won the GB Row Challenge 2013 - and are setting sail on June 7 to raise around £40,000 for charities including WaterAid.
Expedition doctor, Ms Mhaoileoin, who had never rowed before taking on training, told News Shopper: "After nine months of practice, it feels so exciting it is only weeks away.
"I would love to see whales but I would also love to see sharks, although I know it is a fear for some of the others.
"The first five days are going to be the worst jet lag anybody’s ever felt, but I’m reassured if new parents can do it, we can do it."
She added: "I am looking forward to getting a real routine – the simplicity of getting on and doing the same thing every day. Usually you do a million things, instead it will be row, stop, eat, navigate."
Ms Mhaoileoin, who lives near the Ahoy Centre, off Deptford Green, has had intensive training in navigation, rowing, sailing theory and survival tips.
The crew practice 36-hour rowing sessions at weekends and have even had their boat flipped by a crane to prepare them for conditions at sea.
She said: "It’s been a steep learning curve.
"The ocean rowing boat can self-right if it capsizes.
"It feels a bit like being in a washing machine but at least it comes back around."
They will each consume around 4,500 calories per day and eat foods such as dehydrated macaroni cheese and use solar power water supplies.
Ms Mhaoileoin did not know the other three women before the feat but says it will “give them something to talk about” on the long journey ahead.
Boatylicious are rowing as part of New Ocean Wave's Great Pacific Race. To find out more about their challenge visit boatylicious.org
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