In their 2018 profile of Erden Eruç, Exploreweb wrote »
In July 2007, Erden Eruç set out from California’s Bodega Bay to row the Pacific Ocean in a 7.1m plywood rowboat. Five years, 11 days, 12 hours and 22 minutes later, he returned to Bodega Bay to become the first person in history to circumnavigate the world solo by human power.
Eruç rowed across the Pacific, Indian and Atlantic Oceans and cycled across three continents: Australia, Africa and North America. En route, he also climbed Mount Kosciuszko (Australia) and Mount Kilimanjaro (Africa) and trekked the challenging Kokoda Track in Papua New Guinea. In all, he traveled 66,299km under his own steam…
Erden Eruç has more time at sea in a rowboat than anyone alive, nearly three years all told, including 312-days alone on the Pacific. The 59-year-old Seattleite was the first person to circumnavigate the globe alone and under his own power, crossing the world’s three great oceans—Pacific, Indian and Atlantic—in an expedition that took five years and consumed his life savings.
By the time Eruç finished that 41,196-mile lap around the planet in 2012, he’d also cycled across Australia, Africa and most of the United States, hiked the breadth of New Guinea, and climbed the highest peaks on three continents. But he also skipped three summits, which explains why he’s starting another self-propelled global circuit this month. He has unfinished business, namely Aconcagua, Elbrus and Everest. A second circumnavigation (or close to it) just comes with the territory, along with an unprecedented ocean row from California to Hong Kong, or maybe Vietnam. Ocean rowboats don’t always go where you point them.
The project started as an office-cubicle dream, and later became a tribute to Swedish adventurer Göran Kropp, who famously cycled from his home in Stockholm to Everest, dragging more than 230 pounds of gear and supplies, then summiting without supplemental oxygen. Eruç’s round-the-world fantasy seemed to channel the spirit of Kropp’s adventures, and when the two met at a book-signing the Swede encouraged him to pursue it. The second time they met, Kropp asked why he hadn’t started. The third time, they went rock climbing, and Kropp fell to his death. Eruç was at the other end of the rope.
Eruç holds numerous Guinness World Records, including:
- First solo circumnavigation of the world by human power
- First to row the three oceans: Atlantic, Pacific and Indian
- First to row across an ocean from southern hemisphere to northern
- Greatest total distance rowed solo on the oceans (over 43,000km)
- Longest distance rowed across the Atlantic Ocean
- Highest total days for a solo ocean rower: 844
His achievements have been recognized through many awards, including:
- 2013 Citation of Merit – The Explorers Club
- 2013 Adventurers of the Year – Outside Magazine
- Best of ExplorersWeb 2012 – ExplorersWeb
- 2012 Sports Career Achievement Grand Award – Turkish National Olympic Committee
- Erden Eruç’s web site
- Record-breaking Turkish adventurer Erden Eruç embarks on new expedition – June 2021 – Daily Sabah
- Erden speaks of his upcoming adventure – June 2021 – Exploring By The Seat of Your Pants via YouTube
- Eliana Sheriff interviews Erden Eruç – Feb 2021 – YouTube