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Latvian Rower Shares Lockdown Tips and Plans for Next Adventure

August 9, 2020, 05.06 PM

RIGA, – Karlis Bardelis spent 140 days rowing across the ocean without any human contact and the Latvian rower offers some valuable tips for those in lockdown.

Karlis Bardelis completed a two-year journey in Peru in July 2018 during which he reached French Polynesia in five months time.

He completed the rowing journey in June 2020 in Malaysia.

Along the way, he was rammed by sharks off Papua New Guinea, had to use a battery to replace a lost anchor and faced some near misses with other boats.

His longest stretch on the open sea without seeing anyone lasted nearly five months.

"If we can't change the circumstances, we can change our attitudes towards them," he told AFP in his native Latvia, having spent two weeks in mandatory quarantine upon return from Malaysia.

Read also: Malaysia Considering Mandatory Face Masks as New Covid-19 Clusters Emerge

"A lot of people asked me if I didn't lose my mind or become insane," said the 35-year-old, adding: "No, I just enjoy it, because that's what I choose to do."

Bardelis documented his epic 26,000-kilometre (16,155-mile) journey on his Bored of Borders Facebook page.

He rowed up to 13 hours a day to make his way from South America to Asia with no engine and no sails on his seven-meter plywood boat, plastered with sponsor decals.

Read also: Asian Countries Battling Second Wave of Coronavirus Infections

Reaching two meters at its widest point, the rowboat is equipped only with a small cabin for sleeping and storing supplies and equipment.

His trip from Peru to Malaysia was documented on the website and is believed to be the first of its kind.

"I'm 200 percent certain that I made the first solo rowboat trip from South America to Southeast Asia," Bardelis said.

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