Turkish thrill-seeker becomes 1st man to row across Pacific Ocean
Erden Eruç, a 17 Guinness record holder Turkish rower who is mostly known for “finishing an around the world trip under own muscle power,” has broken another record by crossing the Pacific Ocean in 239 days.
“I spent 239 days on the ocean all alone,” 60-year-old adventurer, who came to Istanbul for a book promotion some time after his Pacific Ocean trip, told daily Milliyet on June 8.
Rowing trip between the U.S. and the Philippines was part of Eruç’s second round the world trip.
The adventurist started rowing from California on June 22, 2021, and reached Hawaii in 80 days. His next stop was the Guam Islands, where he arrived 128 days later.
Then it took a month to come to the Philippines, to finish the trip in 239 days and become the first man to cross the Pacific Ocean through muscle power alone.
When asked about the feeling to be alone on the ocean, he said, “Through the 239-day journey, my only friend was a gannet.”
“The seabird accompanied me on the boat for five days. It was just leaving me for food, then coming back to the boat. I fondled and fed it,” he added.
Pacific Ocean trip is already over, but his life, full of action, will not end as he will continue his second round the world trip.
Born in 1961 in Nicosia, North Cyprus, Eruç moved to the western province of İzmir with his family when he was one and a half years old. Graduating from the mechanical engineering faculty of Istanbul’s Boğaziçi University, he then settled in the U.S.
Eruç, who is also the founder of Seattle-based Around-n-Over Society, a non-profit organization, airs his trip details on his personal website named after him, erdeneruc.com.
When asked about the motivation behind his adventurous life, he pointed out his Swedish friend’s death two decades ago, in an interview he made last year.
His friend fell and lost his life in September 2002 when they were rock climbing together, and this reminded him that “life is short,” and it is time to “take action to make dreams come true.”
Then he started drawing the route on a world map, and his journey on the oceans started.
He has now gathered all his experiences in his second book named “Dalgalar Beni Çağırır,” roughly translated “Waves Are Calling Me.”
He promoted the book in the Rahmi Koç Museum in Istanbul on June 6.
“Being the first man to row the three major oceans,” “completing the fastest circumnavigation of the globe by human power,” “covering career distances by rowing all alone on the ocean,” are just some of his Guinness World Records.
“I have 17 Guinness World Records. When the second trip is over, I will have two more. When I reach Vietnam, I will ride to the Everest Mountains on my bike,” he expressed.