Men and women have stood on top of the highest mountain on the planet, crossed deserts, flown continents and even stood on the moon, but those who have been foolhardy enough to row across oceans are few and far between. To cross an ocean in a vessel that is only a forty or so feet long is at the mercy of the worst weather that an ocean can throw at it is a high-risk challenge.
Julia Immonen was joined by four other women for their attempt to row three thousand miles across the Atlantic from the Canaries to Barbados. Even in perfect conditions, this would be a gruelling trip, a monumental effort to power their way across an ocean by hand. But Julia saw it as more than that, she was looking for a way of raising the profile of the thirty million people that are suffering under the modern day slave trade. It was to be a trip with moments of danger, minor and major setbacks and challenges caused by the strong personalities on the boat. To add to it, they were in a race against a number of other teams.
Whilst it was quite an achievement rowing across the Atlantic and it was a row that would set records I found the prose was quite dry and often uninspiring. What was more interesting was her work with those that were victims of modern slavery and the telling of their stories and the small but significant successes that they people have had after their release. Not bad, but not entirely what I thought it was going to be.