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Thread: Brit adventurer John Fairfax, first man to row solo across Atlantic, dead at 74

  1. #1
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    Brit adventurer John Fairfax, first man to row solo across Atlantic, dead at 74

    For that matter, he also rowed across the Pacific, too, with his girlfriend - the first people ever to row that ocean.

    John Fairfax, Who Rowed Across Oceans, Dies at 74 (New York Times)

    He crossed the Atlantic because it was there, and the Pacific because it was also there.

    He made both crossings in a rowboat because it, too, was there, and because the lure of sea, spray and sinew, and the history-making chance to traverse two oceans without steam or sail, proved irresistible.

    In 1969, after six months alone on the Atlantic battling storms, sharks and encroaching madness, John Fairfax, who died this month at 74, became the first lone oarsman in recorded history to traverse any ocean.

    In 1972, he and his girlfriend, Sylvia Cook, sharing a boat, became the first people to row across the Pacific, a yearlong ordeal during which their craft was thought lost. (The couple survived the voyage, and so, for quite some time, did their romance.)
    ---
    The whole story at link above.

    An even better obit - documenting Fairfax's earlier career as a gun smuggler and whiskey runner - from the Daily Telegraph:

    John Fairfax
    John Fairfax, who has died aged 74, was a British adventurer in the classic mould,
    and achieved celebrity in 1969 as the first person to row solo across the Atlantic.
    Last edited by wfgodot; 02-18-2012 at 11:30 PM.

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  3. #2
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    That may be an older picture (1969), but he was certainly a stud. So, he didn't marry Sylvia. Wonder how he met Tiffany, his wife - such a surprise that an adventurer like Fairfax settled down.

    Indeed, this was a man who truly lived life.

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  5. #3
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    I just read the online news clip about him. This man not only rowed solo across the Atlantic, but he and Sylvia Cook rowed across the Pacific. On that journey he had a chunk of his arm taken off by a shark, yet he kept going. He also spoke 5 languages, and before his journeys he lived as Tarzan in the jungles of SA. He also had a stint as a pirate. Amazing guy.

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  7. #4
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    Truly, as Daily Telegraph's obit put it, "a British adventurer in the classic mould." I love to read stories about these people.

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