Day 20 — Dolphin encounter

by Katie on January 22, 2010

Ocean rowing is unlike most sports. You do not have the screaming fans as with organized sports or the booths with food and refreshments every few miles as with endurance races. And when you reach the fourth, third, halfway mark, you can be certain there is not going to be a welcoming party for you.

For the past couple weeks I have been focusing on 26W, about a fourth of the way to Cayenne. A fourth is not as significant as half, but most people find this first leg to be the most difficult and thus worthy of a small celebration. Once I reached this milestone I wanted to do something like have an extra chocolate bar or two (or three) or perhaps call home on the satellite phone or maybe a dance party. I was rowing along and less than a mile away from 26W when I spotted not one or two, but ten or fifteen dolphins! I dropped my oars, peered around the boat and was almost in disbelief to see so many dolphins surrounding my boat. For twenty minutes they swam around my boat, under my boat, and even jumped out of the water a few times doing flips and tricks – nothing short of amazing. And when they swam away, I began rowing, hoping they might stop by once again and ten minutes later they did just that.

A tortoise visits Katie

Yes, ocean rowing does not have the rewards that go along with other sports but if I had to decide between that and being visited by over a dozen dolphins? Well, I’ll let you take a guess at that one.


wes January 22, 2010 at 2:07 pm

Sounds awesome, looks like you did have a welcoming party after all

Keep it up Katie, great cause!

lamazelady January 22, 2010 at 2:11 pm

They were celebrating with you.
Good job Katie!

Mulleeboyz January 22, 2010 at 2:19 pm

WOW! You deserved that! We Love You!

Lupine January 22, 2010 at 2:36 pm

I have been following your trip most of the way. You are so awesome. The dolphins sound pretty cool.


annstavale January 22, 2010 at 3:20 pm

What a awesome sight to see!! Congratulations on your fourth of the way point!! We are so proud of you. I hope you get to see many more wonderful sights along your way.

Rosita1182 January 22, 2010 at 3:26 pm

Wow. What a great way to celebrate! I can only imagine of course how that would put a huge smile on your face and inspire you to moving forward for your wonderful cause.

PJ January 22, 2010 at 3:30 pm

Very cool…. and a big congrats!
(I love reading your posts – it’s fun to experience such an adventure vicariously, in the middle of a Cleveland winter!)

Sarah Outen January 22, 2010 at 3:36 pm

Serendipity at its best! Happy days and great effort out there Katie.

S x

Rick Barkley January 22, 2010 at 3:51 pm

Envious, SO envious! What a wonderful moment! You’re sure getting the most of the best along your way. Be well and safe; enjoy!

Betty January 22, 2010 at 4:13 pm

Katie your story gets better and better! I hope you are getting many good pictures! Love your blogs keep them coming and row girl, row!

Michelle January 22, 2010 at 4:40 pm


papaul January 22, 2010 at 5:05 pm

Congratulations Katie! I have been following ocean rowers for the last several years on web and the first 1/4 seems to be the toughest mentally. You seem to be in a very good place, you sound strong and you seem to be enjoying your challenge. My four year old daughter loves seeing the map of your progress, we check it together every day after daycare. She also has made a connection to you because she has grand parents that live in Sandusky OH. You are well on your way,enjoy it! – Peter

gescover January 22, 2010 at 5:31 pm


I believe you had your dance party-and you my friend are the guest of honor. You are so blessed! Good job reaching 26W. Thank you!

We are thinking about you! Jay and Gloria Escover and kids too!

Bob 157 January 22, 2010 at 6:06 pm

I guess you’re never really alone. The dolphins showed up to celebrate with you. That must have been special to see.

tro January 22, 2010 at 6:47 pm

Land-locked or water-bound, all mammals agree – you’re amazing! Keep going!

1/4 is 1/2 way to 1/2! Go Katie, go!

pspremulli January 22, 2010 at 7:02 pm

WOW! You are an amazing human being. I am in awe of your focus and dedication. I have heard about you in the news and now I am putting together a flyer for an appearance at Hamlet Village in Chagrin Falls upon your return. I just wanted to let you know your doing a fabulous job! God speed and may nature and all its fun creatures be with you! peace. Pam Spremulli

BevG January 22, 2010 at 7:08 pm

You are an inspiration to me and a lot of women. Sounds like the dolphins wanted to see what you’re all about. You’ve seen something not many people get to see. Crossroads in Lake County Ohio is behind you all the way.

doo312ood January 22, 2010 at 7:18 pm

Katie, keep up the great pace. At this pace you will equal the sound of light and we will be able to see your beautiful face tomorrow.

DOO and Ellen

heidi January 22, 2010 at 7:26 pm

Maybe it was Lady Gaga and her entourage at your dance party cheering you on-what a fun celebration! It’ll be interesting to see who else will be celebrating with you on your journey!

rose January 22, 2010 at 8:08 pm

I just read your last two entries. You are an amazing girl Katie. I hope you have a lot more wonderful encounters and good moments while you complete your journey. Thanks for sharing your stories. They take me out of the office and the day to day thing if just for a little while.

elli January 22, 2010 at 8:09 pm

WOW! just reading about the dolphins gave me goose bumps! This is WAY better than cheering crowds!!!!!!!!!!

michelle January 22, 2010 at 10:33 pm

This sounds like a case of the Universe providing!! Thank you so so much for sharing this amazing journey with us. It really does make my own life much bigger!

Lbeyreis January 22, 2010 at 11:20 pm

Katie, are you twittering with Jessica Watson?
She is the youngest girl at 16 to sail solo
around the world. She just rounded the cape.

AnnieB January 23, 2010 at 2:10 am

All your friends here at WWC are cheering for you! I love reading your updates! Happy 3 weeks!

jocelynd January 23, 2010 at 2:12 am

Keep focused and God’s speed!!

Bill January 23, 2010 at 5:25 am

You might not be hearing the “roar” of the crowd but I am most certainly shouting “Go Katie Row, Row Katie Go” here in my landlocked little part of Iowa.

Lucy January 23, 2010 at 5:27 am

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Toddthecarver January 23, 2010 at 6:50 am

Truly inspiring. Keep it up!

Ben Larsson January 23, 2010 at 10:32 am

But you do have screaming fans, thanks to the internet! YEEEEAAAHHH GOOOO YOOUUU CAAAANN DOOO IIITT!!!!

olbrscience January 23, 2010 at 11:18 am

Inspirational for my kids. They are tracking your progress daily. Keep up the effort.

rowan January 23, 2010 at 11:52 am

I just learned of your trip yesterday, and what a great post celebrating your 1/4 way point!

DOO312 January 23, 2010 at 4:07 pm



dessie118 January 23, 2010 at 6:01 pm

I miss you. Wow your stories are great. I want to see some of those pictures of your new friends. I love you. Be safe.
Love ya,

Erin from St. Louis, Mo January 23, 2010 at 6:32 pm

Katie, for me your journey is much more fascinating than any usual sport! I’m keeping you in my thoughts and prayers for many more wonderful experiences to inspire you on this wonderful journey!! Those dolphins were just as impressed with you just as you were with them, I’m sure.

Paul January 23, 2010 at 6:48 pm

Small boat, big motive
Cross big ocean day-by-day
Row with peace and strength

Paul (the Mac&Cheese guy)

bethP55 January 23, 2010 at 7:14 pm

You go girl! It is absolutely awesome what you are doing. Every fiber of my heart and soul are cheering you on, and apparently so are the dolphins!
Harrisville, NH

Paul January 23, 2010 at 7:25 pm

P.S. Congrats on your great progress!

dan lafree January 23, 2010 at 7:48 pm

I am very impressed. Praying for your safety, as are many im sure. Heard about your adventure on the radio and became quickly impressed with your heart and your humbleness! Best of luck!! dan

Ben Pounds January 23, 2010 at 9:15 pm

Your dedication is an inspiration to me.
-Ben Pounds

Ben Pounds January 23, 2010 at 9:21 pm

Sorry the tone there for that last one was too impersonal. Way to go and keep going! I always knew you could!

mr ed January 24, 2010 at 1:24 am

Howdy!! I heard your interview on NPR and have checked in a few times. Following your endeavor brightens my day! ed

Carol January 24, 2010 at 2:42 am

WOW – you couldn’t have asked for any better way to celebrate your 1/4 of the way party!! What an awesome sight those dolphins must have been. ;-}
I showed my 1st graders pictures of your boat and they were amazed that it is so little and that there wasn’t any room for you to walk around! They were very curious about where you slept and where you kept your food. I remembered you telling us about all those details when we met you at GaREAT so I was able to give them the answers.
Continue your amazing adventure – stay safe – and may God speed.

Weston January 25, 2010 at 5:03 am

Wow I’m jealous

You are already a quarter of the way? Congrats!

wekeepyoualivetoservetheship January 26, 2010 at 7:56 pm

This post gave me chills, but the good kind.

rowon January 29, 2010 at 1:38 am

A 5 year old,7 year old, and 40 year old- all amazed! Good cause- keep it up! Thanks for sharing your advenure.

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