Sailor attempting to be youngest person to row across Pacific arrives


The port of Pago Pago is the latest stop for Australian Tom Robinson, currently on a journey to become the youngest person ever to row across the Pacific Ocean.

The 23-year-old arrived here on Sunday and intends to explore the place, people and culture before he continues on his journey of over 8,000 nautical miles, which started in Peru and will end in Australia. Tom is sailing in a vessel he has designed and built by hand, Maiwar.

His last stop was Penrhyn in the Cook Islands.

According to his blog, Tom had planned to sail into Ta’u, Manu’a, but as he passed by, he had a good look at Ta’u ,which, at 931 meters high, was easy to see from a distance. However, given that a more populated port would make the tasks of provisioning and maintenance so much easier, Tom decided to forgo a visit to Ta’u and head for Tutuila.

Close to exhaustion after 3 days on the oars and with almost no sleep, Tom decided to shelter in Fagaitua Bay for a well earned rest. He, then, rowed the last 5 or so nautical miles (9km) to the port facilities at the head of Pago Pago Harbor.

Describing Pago Pago harbor, his blog says, “It is ringed by lush mountains that are the remains of the caldera of an ancient volcano.” Tom may also have experienced the delights of the olfactory emissions from the tuna fishing boats and the tuna canning factory on the harbor shore. These days, Pago Pago sometimes gets a bad rap on account of its cannery and the aftermath of the pollution caused by the 2009 tsunami which resulted in large amounts of debris and oil being deposited in the harbor.

“We’re sure Tom will be unfazed by these factors and be pleased to meet the locals.”