Rowing from California to Hawaii takes bravery - it's even harder when you suffer sea-sickness and have been attacked by a shark.

Waiuku resident Tara Remington is preparing to row the 45- to 55-day ocean crossing in May with friend and American Paralympian Angela Madsen.

Mrs Remington will row for two hours at a time and then crawl into a small cabin for whatever sleep she can get until her next shift. The University of Auckland academic lost 20kg on a previous Atlantic crossing.

"It takes its toll. And I also suffer from terrible sea-sickness, so it takes a really hard toll on me," she said.


"It does get better after the first week and then it just comes back with the storms. For the first week I'll spend most of the time rowing with a bucket between my legs."

Mrs Remington will set off on the 4000km voyage in May to raise money for New Zealand girl Charlotte Cleverley-Bisman.

Charlotte Cleverley-Bisman
Charlotte Cleverley-Bisman

Charlotte lost her arms and legs to meningitis as a baby in 2004. Now 10 years old, she needs ongoing assistance with prosthetic limbs as she grows.

Mrs Remington first got involved with the Meningitis Trust during a successful world record-breaking crossing of the Atlantic in 2007.

The trust folded in 2008 and now she gives directly to Charlotte, who has become her daughter Jade's penpal.

Mrs Remington, who left her native United States for New Zealand 18 years ago, will use the experience towards her PhD studies in adventure-based learning.

She said she became interested in ocean rowing after a long-distance rower spoke at a school at which she was teaching.

She and another teacher, Iain Rudkin, entered their first ocean race in 2005, the Trans-Atlantic Rowing Race from the Canary Islands to the West Indies.


About 18 days into the row a 3.5m shark battered their boat for 15 minutes, and on the 47th day they began taking on water and were forced into their life raft.

Two years later she gave the race another crack in a four-woman team, setting a new world record for a women's four.

Donations of gear for the trip would be welcome, Mrs Remington said, and any monetary help would go to Charlotte.

Donations can be made at:
Ocean Crossing
• New Zealander Tara Remington will row from California to Hawaii in May.
• The 4000km trip will take 45 to 55 days.
• Earlier transatlantic row was abandoned after shark attack and a freak wave that capsized her boat.