Australian solo rower, Michelle Lee, is nearing the end of her historic journey to row across the Pacific Ocean, solo, unassisted and with no stops.

In what was planned as a 360-day journey, Michelle having recently crossed the 200-day mark can sense her row will end soon, possibly 100 days better than expected.

Michelle Lee became the Australian Geographic Adventurer of the Year in 2019 having the year prior completed a solo row across the Atlantic Ocean, taking 68 and a half days.   That journey decorated Michelle with the title of being the first Australian woman to row across an ocean, non stop, solo and unassisted.

The magnetism back to the ocean was too strong to stay on land, so her vision for another crossing started in 2020.  Once successful, her journey will break more world records and give her the satisfaction to achieve something never done before.  Her personal motto of “Don’t die wondering. Start thinking you can and you will” has given her the strength to attempt this extraordinary adventure.

On the 8th August in 2022, 3 days after her 50th birthday, Michelle left Ensenada on the West Coast of Mexico to row her boat “Australian Maid” to the east coast of Australia.  The journey of around 14,000 km would require a strong will and an exceptional mind-set.

Her journey has not been all smooth rowing, with a series of challenges presenting themselves. Having dodged multiple cyclones on her departure from Mexico, most recently, Cyclone Gabrielle introduced significant delays to Michelle’s row, resulting in 9 days spent locked in her cabin, sitting on her drogue anchor and unable to row.

Michelle was able to get back on the oars over the past week, and although progress is slow at the moment, she remains in good spirits, has all the provisions she needs, and ‘Australian Maid’ remains strong and is doing an outstanding job.  

Once again, wind, waves and currents have played havoc in recent days sending her backwards, requiring another deployment of the drogue anchor and slowing her journey. 

Given the challenging weather conditions in the Coral Sea, a date and location for her arrival is unknown. Whilst she would like to arrive in her hometown of Sydney, her safety remains a priority.  The finish location will be determined by her ground crew who have been guiding her throughout the journey. 

  • Days at Sea: 210
  • Current Location: Approximately 1300 km from the East Coast of Australia
  • Distance travelled: Approximately 12,900 km from Mexico
  • Departed: Ensenada on the West Coast of Mexico 8th August in 2022
  • Expected Arrival: Late March / April – North coast Queensland, Australia