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Four women, all marine scientists, plan to row 3,000 miles across Atlantic Ocean

Three generations of USF academics are on a mission "for the oceans"
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Posted at 4:51 AM, Jan 16, 2023

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. — Four women, all marine scientists, are training in Palm Harbor for the ultimate test of physical and mental endurance.

Or, as they like to say: "rowing across an ocean, for the oceans."

They call themselves Salty Science, three generations of USF academics joining forces to row a small engine-less boat named Emma 3,000 miles across the Atlantic Ocean.

They'll be competing in the 2023 Atlantic Challenge race later this year and hope to raise awareness and money for ocean conservation.

"The oceans are facing a lot of threats right now, from climate change to overfishing, and we need people who can solve those problems," says Noelle Helder, one of the Salty Scientists. "We want to help train the next generation."

While they are raising funds for their own epic mission, they will also be helping three other organizations: The Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre, Green Wave and Shellback Expeditions.

Led by Chantale Begin, a senior instructor at USF, the crew includes Noelle, Lauren Shea and Isabelle Cote. They will launch from the Canary Islands in early December.

They will each row about 12 hours a day, with no bathroom onboard and very little sleeping space. They will pack 55 days' worth of food but hope to make the trip in 45 days.

Calls home will be few. Their feet won't touch land for over a month.

Their biggest threat from what lies beneath? Marlin strikes to the bottom of the boat!

For Lauren, focusing on enjoying the mission instead of dreading the enormity of it is key.

"If you spend all your time thinking about how much more rowing you have to do, I think you'd go crazy," she says with a smile.

To find out more about Salty Science and support their mission, CLICK HERE.