The Great Pacific Race promises to be a special one. In the inaugural regatta, competitors won't sail to Hawaii, but row. Individuals, teams of two and teams of four will set off from Monterey, California on Tuesday June 17. Their arrival time in Honolulu will depend mostly on crew size, experience, and skill.
Solo rower Mary Rose is expecting her voyage to take three months. The reason it will take her so long is because she's a novice to the sport.
"Being an accountant who's never rode in the ocean before, it's not that easy" she said.
Additionally, she's had to foot the bill largely by herself.
"Personally, I have about 85-90 thousand [dollars] into it".
If that doesn't sound amazing enough, then consider why she's doing it…for bird conservation.
"For me, it's worth it, because that's what's driving me" Mary said in a phone interview.
"She's facing really, the journey of a lifetime". Cinde Fisher, President of the Aloha Hawaiian Parrot Association, is a financial and emotional supporter of Mary's.
"She's doing it all for bird conservation, which is a very important cause in Hawaii with our endangered birds" Fisher continued.
According to the American Bird Conservancy, there have been 71 bird species to become extinct in Hawaii. 32 of the remaining 42 are federally listed on the Endangered Species Act. For Mary, activism to protect birds like these is worth it, even at the great physical and financial cost. Some may call her crazy, but she's fine with that.
"I have heard that, and I take it as a complement these days, but you're going to be exposed to what the issues are".
If you would like to help Mary's cause, you can do so at maryrows.com
To learn more about the Aloha Hawaiian Parrot Association, please visit alohahawaiianparrot.com