Virginia Couple Plans Cape Cod Departure in Attempt to Row Across Atlantic

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BARNSTABLE – A couple from Alexandria, Virginia will be leaving Cape Cod this spring in an attempt to row across the Northern Atlantic Ocean.

Cindy Way, who attended Tabor Academy in Marion, and her boyfriend James Caple will leave the Cape in mid-May for Dingle, Ireland.

The two will pilot a 24-foot ocean rowing boat.

Caple and Way would be just the sixth pair to ever row this route across the Atlantic.

“If we are successful, we will be the first Americans to ever row this route from West to East,” Caple said.

Caple said achieving something great is the main reason he is attempting the trip.

“That’s one of the big things that is driving to do that, is just to put my stamp on the world before I die,” he said.

A view from the inside of the vessel to the rowing deck.

A view from the inside of the vessel to the rowing deck.

Way said she wanted to be a rower after watching Rob Lowe in the 1984 movie “Oxford Blues.”

“It’s one of the reasons I chose to go to Tabor Academy,” she wrote in a blog post announcing their trip.

The nearly 3,300 mile trip is demanding both physically and mentally.

“We are erging and we lift weights constantly,” Way said.

The couple is also using yoga to help with the physical preparations.

Caple said the mental preparations have been more demanding.

“It’s mostly planning and project management,” he said. “That’s the real challenge of the whole thing.”

Caple said he is not too worried about the physical demands as both are accomplished rowers.

Caple has been a rower since attending college at The Citadel, and later at graduate school at Boston University. After moving to Northern Virginia he trained and attempted to make the U.S. men’s National Skulling Team. Caple then found out about ocean rowing.

“I realized that people were actually able to cross ocean’s in a rowing boat and I was hooked on the idea,” he said.

Caple has been planning to cross an ocean since 2008.

Way said she was a flat water rower until she met Caple.

“I didn’t even know that people rowed across oceans and thought that was the most amazing thing in the world,” she said. “Fortunately, being a flat water rower, it’s the same sort of stroke that you would use in an ocean rowing boat – modified slightly.”

Along with the physical and mental preparations for the trip the two are also taking safety seriously.

Row-7

A map of the route the couple plans to navigate across the Northern Atlantic Ocean

“We are taking all the necessary precautions,” Way said. “My father graduated from the Merchant Marine Academy so he has been working with us extensively on navigation lessons to include the use of the sexton if, god forbid, all the power went out.”

They have also been through the Annapolis Safety at Sea Seminar which teaches the basics of being out in the middle of the ocean including getting into a life raft.

Caple and Way have also learned how to use all their safety equipment which can notify rescuers if necessary.

Way said the boat is almost ready to make the trip and their oars are on the way.

“There’s a few tweaks that we still need to do but the boat’s just in great condition and we had it inspected,” she said.

The boat was built at Sea Sabre in Great Britain by Justin Adkin.

“He is a phenomenal boat builder so we have the utmost respect for our boat,” Way said.

The vessel, which is currently in the couple’s backyard in Virginia, has traversed the Atlantic three times.

Tabor Academy will host an event for the pair on May 16.

“That will be open to the public where you can come meet and greet and talk to us,” Way said.

The event will most likely be held in the afternoon and details are still being finalized.

Way and Caple have not set an expected departure date as they need to wait for a five to eight day window of good weather conditions to get away from the coast.

“We are hoping to get away pretty quickly,” Way said. “But worst case – we may be stuck there for a couple weeks.”

British Adventurer Sarah Outen left Chatham in May of 2015 in an unsuccessful attempted to row across the Northern Atlantic on the final leg of her voyage around the world. She needed to be rescued from Hurricane Joaquin after being on the open ocean for 143 days.

By BRIAN MERCHANT, CapeCod.com NewsCenter

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