After 121 days at sea, Aurimas Valujavičius arrived in Florida to a crowd of family, friends, and journalists looking to celebrate him becoming the third person to take a solo trip across the Atlantic.
After spending four months alone at sea, a Lithuanian man has just become the first from his country and the third person in the world to make a solo rowing trip across the Atlantic.
Aurimas Valujavičius, 28, started his journey in Spain on Dec. 26, 2022, after two years of prep. With only his single-seat rowing boat, the Lituanica, Valujavičius set out on the 5,000-mile trip. After 121 days, Valujavičius arrived near Coral Gables, a town in south Florida, and received a warm welcome from locals there.
For Valujavičius, the trip was “tricky in parts,” but it gave him a “good feeling.”
“I’ve crossed the Atlantic Ocean successfully,” he stated proudly to LRT.
Valujavičius’ adventure is an inspiration for many, especially young Lithuanians.
“[Lithuania] is such a small country in the world,” Lena Laukavicius, a Lithuanian community member who was part of the welcome group, told WSVN. “And I think it’s going to be more well-known now. It’s a huge thing.”
However, the journey didn’t come without challenges. Valujavičius rowed basically nonstop for the duration of his trip, about 12 to 14 hours a day, subsisting mainly on tactical food packs and only stopping to catch fish, collect water, and sleep.
“This is a lifetime experience when you can be with yourself like more than three months — no people,” Valujavičius said, as reported by WSVN. “No physical contact, nothing.”
Valujavičius documented the experience on social media so people could follow his journey. In many of his posts, Valujavičius flexes or shows off his calluses to entertain and inspire his followers.
Originally, Valujavičius set out to break current speed and distance records, but rough sea conditions forced him to scrap that goal. At the distance Valujavičius traveled, he would have needed to cross the Atlantic in 110 days to beat the record.
In particular, the Caribbean presented a huge navigational challenge that put him behind.
“I guess Caribbean, Bahamas islands, there was a lot of navigating and so on, so yeah, it was tricky in parts,” he said to WSVN.
He also faced the challenge of finding a port that would allow him to dock on short notice and complete his journey. Valujavičius spent an extra night in his boat because many ports refused to let him dock. Despite this hiccup, Valujavičius finally completed his adventure on April 25 at Castle Harbor Boats, a small port in Florida, after receiving proper authorization.
When he arrived, Valujavičius was greeted by his family, a group of Lithuanians, and journalists who all gathered there to celebrate his accomplishment.
“It’s a fantastic journey, and we’re so proud of this guy,” welcome party guest Edgaras Lauce told WSVN.
Following his return to dry land, Valujavičius expressed how happy and tired he was from his experience.
“This was another trip, but bigger in every sense,” he said, as reported by LRT. “I’m tired and exhausted, but that’s always the case. You recover and move on.”
With the journey at an end, Valujavičius is most looking forward to relaxing and eating good meals, but he still encourages others to pursue their own life-changing adventures.
“Pursue your dreams — everyone has their own Atlantic Ocean,” he said.
After reading about Aurimas Valujavičius and his solo trip across the Atlantic, discover the story of the Frenchman who crossed the Atlantic in a barrel. Then, read about the story of Terry Jo Duperrault, the 11-year-old who was lost at sea for 84 hours after escaping from a terrible crime on a yacht.