Sonya Baumstein is trying to row her way into the record books.
No woman has ever rowed across the Pacific Ocean on a solo, non-stop journey, according to the Ocean Rowing Society.
Baumstein set out from Choshi Marina in Japan Sunday on a 5,700-mile odyssey, with San Francisco as her intended destination. The 30-year-old Washington state native is rowing 16 hours a day, battling threatening seas, heavy winds, shipping traffic and even whales.
“The first three days were pretty hellish,” she told ABC News, speaking from her custom-made, 23-foot boat Thursday via satellite phone. “I was hit by a 30-knot storm and turned around to see a fishing vessel coming at me.”
Baumstein is making the trip with 1,200 pounds of freeze-dried food, 180 high-carbohydrate drink supplements and a supply of olive oil that she’ll drink to retain weight.
She expects to burn up to 10,000 calories a day. She even gained 40 pounds before taking off, in anticipation of losing the weight.
Baumstein is inspired by her journey ahead, which will take an estimated four to six months.
“It’s not always one foot in front of the other,” she said. “It’s navigating the unknown, and there’s something really incredible about that.”