Charlie Martell: Pacific 2012 challenger

At 2051BST on 4th May 2012, double Guinness World Record holder Charlie Martell departed Choshi, Japan, to row solo and unsupported for 4,500 miles across the North Pacific to San Francisco, USA.  He set out to raise funds for three charities, and hoped to set new world records:

  • fastest crossing of the North Pacific Ocean
  • first unsupported row across the Pacific Ocean
  • first solo Briton to make the crossing

Charlie was at sea for 36 days, 1 hour and 33 minutes, before being rescued by MV Last Tycoon after Tropical Storm Mawar compromised the integrity of his boat, Blossom.  Mawar was ‘uncharted territory’ for an ocean rowing boat and it is testament to the quality of Global Boatworks’ skills that Blossom remained intact, protecting Charlie.

Total distance rowed: 629.4nm

For the full statistics on the voyage, go to the Pacific 2012 stats page


LATEST BLOG 26th June 2012

It’s been over two weeks since you were last updated and that was with the news that I was safely aboard MV Last Tycoon. Even though the weather conditions were still not good, Captain Kornilov and his crew managed to recover Blossom, my boat, from the Ocean. My praises go to the Captain and his crew.

Twelve days on board the Last Tycoon, a relatively sterile environment, gave me some time to reflect on my voyage from Choshi, up to and including my rescue from the Pacific Ocean. The questions I asked myself are similar to those the media have asked me since I have returned to the UK – the main question being, “Will you try again?”

My answer remains, “It’s too early to say.”  Blossom is currently on her way back to the UK; when she arrives, we’ll wait to learn if she is fully repairable.  I will also need to discuss my options with my sponsors.

I arrived back in the UK on Friday 22nd June and then spent a very enjoyable weekend with my sister and brother-in-law and also spent some time with my god-daughter, Eliza Blossom. It is great to be back and I do look forward to catching up with more friends in due course.

I am truly grateful for all your support; it’s amazing to have read through the sheer volume of messages.  Fear not, I will keep you all updated!

This weekend, I will be joining Toe in The Water, for the annual Round The Island Race – wish us luck!


We’ve a newsletter.  During the voyage, it was called Pacific Specific.  The next issue might be under a different name – but it will contain news that you won’t want to miss…don’t be shy, sign up here now!

Thanks to the spammers, we’ve had to disable comments on this page.  With any luck, we’ll find a way to defeat them and then the messaging facility will be back.

  • Rob Hallam:

    Hi mate – Glad to see you have hit Terra-Firma ….. “Mosquito Creek Marina” Hardly sounds inviting though…… best head for the nearest bar of ill repute !

    Catch up with with you soon enough no doubt.

    Cheers – Rob

  • Suzy Belcher:

    Welcome back to dry land Charlie – We have had a few days of not hearing anything so am longing to hear it all – i am sure it will come. Enjoy Vancouver! how long are you there for? Much love xxxxxx

  • Elaine:

    Like the sound of those Dark & Stormy cup cakes! They’ll go down a storm at Cowes Week and RTI :) ))
    Dark & Stormy – definitely the drink of choice when you hit land.

    Elaine x.

  • Alina:

    Charlie, so many words of your friends have already expressed what I wanted to say, neverheless, I admire you so much for your courage. I am happy you are safe and sound now…All the best, xxx

  • Jojo:

    Charlie, I have created the best cup cakes yet, ‘dark & stormy’ … Rum, lime & ginger. I’ll have a batch ready for your return!

  • Wendy:

    Charlie, hope all is going as well as can be and you arrive soon in Vancouver. My son called me from Bali to say your rescue had been mentioned on the news a couple of days ago. Look forward to your next endeavour, life not the same now, no dot goggling! W

  • Phil davies:

    what cooperation internationally.So glad all is well ? time to hang up your boots/boats and return to rugby at ?Minchinhampton who were kept on the field by my daughter and her cheltenham sports clinic !
    Will celebrate your safety with some Stinking Bishop Cheese on sunday—Fathers Day
    best wishes
    phil davies

  • Tommy T:

    well done Charlie, hoping that morph suit makes another appearance during the rescue.


  • Elaine:

    “Anybody who says he can’t do something never had it standing between him and survival.” … Harvey Bob.

  • rob holden:

    very happy to hear you are safe mate. rob

  • Sue Clarke:

    Hi Charlie
    So pleased to hear that you are safe. Unfortunately, on this occasion, a fearsome typhoon put a decisive end to your brave attempt but you will be back I look forward to following your next endeavour, which I am sure will happen – you sound like a man who will not give up.


  • Morph:

    Hey Charlie – Really glad to hear you are ok mate. Perhaps we can have a reunion drink sooner than anticipated!

  • Mabrok /Basra:

    hi charlie
    I am very sorry to hear about the damage to your boat but i am very happy you are ok i hope see you soon

  • Mandy:

    Hey Charlie!
    Wow, your name gets about. Was at a 5 year old birthday party today standing next to Hugh Wallace (same year as us at school (Cumming)) who as a daughter the same age as mine. He said he was listening to the radio this morning and heard your name, ‘is that our Charlie?’ he asked me, and I said yes but he suspected as much as not many people would do that sort of thing. He is, as wel all are, are delighted that you are ok… but good effort! (Small world!)
    My cousin has a rather good, so I believe, whisky bar in the middle of Vancouver, if you are feeling the urge when you arrive?
    M x

  • Allie Rimes:

    Hey Charlie! No mean feat for a challenge! Really glad to hear they’ve picked you up out of the water and you’re in one piece, next time hey with blossom # 2??!! See you in Cirencester some time! Allie xx

  • don:

    Charlie how much did it cost of hard tax dollars to pick you up are paying for any of it yourself. I am a little tired of people promoting themselfs and when they fail the tax payer foots the bill, like the banks to big to fail thang. I noticed all positive commets so I am sure this won’t be posted, looking forward to seeing you on the today show.

  • Cherriskyy:

    Glad you’re safe!! Maybe you can visit those Canadian friends you mentioned :)

  • Al Smith:

    629.4nm in such a short time, Outstanding Effort Charlie and only ended by a typhoon! Mother Nature at it’s most powerful! Very Glad you are okay and have been rescued, as has Sarah Outen, whose boat was also damaged by the typhoon… Very proud of you mate as will everyone who knows you, what a tremendous effort, Well Done! hope you are enjoying a few deserving Vodka’s with our Russian friends ; )

    Nice One Charlie, will look out for your next endeavour…

    AL and all the team in Boz who have been following your progress…

  • Michael:


  • Matt & Ness:

    We were relieved to hear you’ve been picked up safe and well along with Blossom after your dramatic ordeal! We can only wonder what sort of thoughts must have gone through your mind in the 36 hour wait for rescue! Hours must feel like days…I’m sure! A very frightening experience!
    Glad you’ll be on terra firma in a few days time in Vancouver! In the mean time, keep off that Russian Vodka! ;-)
    Best wishes
    Matt, Ness, Scott and Sienna

  • Wendy:

    Great news Charlie! I’m so so pleased to hear you’ve been picked up safe and sound -:) Like everyone else I have been glued to your site permanently for the last tew nervous days, can breath a sigh of relief!Just arrived back last night from St Malo with Condor on a VERY rough crossing and just can’t imagine what its been like for you! So proud of what you have achieved, well done. Relax and enjoy rest of the journey, I think i’ll have a couple of vodka’s myself tonight x

  • Amelia Martell:

    Hooray! What a relief to see that Charlie has been safely picked up! Hope they can bring Blossom too! Chris and I spend ages talking about the madness of being strapped into a tiny boat in the pitch black being tossed around in mighty ageless storms – you complete nutter – SO happy you’re safe and well – hoping 10 days to Canada is fun!

  • Peter Workman:

    Charlie, pleased you are in safe hands now. You have been dealt a cruel blow by mother nature but not truly defeated.
    I am sure the next challenge is already in your head! Improve your Russian and mind the vodka!

  • Julia from Walton Towers:

    I am so happy to hear you are safe and unhurt. I hope you can get Blossom out too. Fingers crossed and safe journey home.

  • Jojo:

    Charlie, I am so sad this has happened but I am so happy that you are safe! Very pleased that you have been picked up. Looking forward to seeing you safely back in blighty xx

  • Helen Outen:

    Wow!!!! Just seen the tweets……………I am so , so pleased that Charlie has been picked up. HUGs to him and his family.

  • Del Boy:

    Hey Charl, tried to post on here last night, but it must have been too busy…so here we go again:

    Truly gutted for you mate – nothing you could have done, mother nature is a massively powerful mistress, both you and Blossom have unfortunately been subjected to the full force of here bingo wings and Blossom couldn’t handle it – but I hope she’s still able to protect you!

    Hope you’re ok, hanging in there? You’ve done the right thing by signalling for help – you’d be crap at raising more for charity if you weren’t here to do your next challenge (I’m sure there’ll be another in the pipeline!). The rescue mission seems to be well underway and going according to plan, Thunderbird 2 is en route and will hopefully pick you up in a very short time – so hang in there buddy, we’re all really proud of what you’ve achieved and your family, friends and followers are all rooting for you to be picked up safely and soon.

    Catch up when you’re home – until then stay safe :-)

  • Mike hands:

    Hi Charlie, you showed it can be done, just nature dealt a bad hand. Walk proud mate as we are proud off you. Good drills Charlie. All the Best Michael and Tomoko.

  • Chris H:

    Long time no speak! So sorry to hear the bad news but chin up and stay safe, gutted for you.

  • Lauraine:

    Gosh Charlie, we have just been watching you on the news….what an incredible story to view!!!…Words cannot express how proud we are to be your friends, and Eliza Blossom is blessed to have you as her Godfather. Hang in there, not long to wait now, so much love from us XXXX

  • AlfieJeavons-Fellows:

    hi charlie , hope you’re safe, the whole family are gutted for you :(
    come and see us when you’re back, mum says that she will cook you a meal when you’re home
    see you soon :)

  • Chris Innes:

    Better to have tried and failed than failed to have tried !

    Live to fight another day my friend ! REspect !

  • Rick Gannon:

    Hey Charlie, your preparation was excellent you and Blossom were very well setup but you have taken a good beating, we’re all glad you’re safe hope you get picked up soon.

    Rick, Laura & William

  • chuck:

    charlie,my hat is off to you…i raise my glass to you..HERE,HERE!!….from your fans here in arkansas,usa

  • Anna:

    All men dream but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes to make it possible.
    T.E. Lawrence

    keep dreaming Martell you are such a bloody huge inspiration to so many – chin up and head down (if that doesn’t sound too uncomfortable!) not long now x

  • Heather:

    Charlie that must have been very hard for you, your amazing boat Blossom has once again kept you safe and protected you! What an experience, stay safe.
    Love and light

  • Rob Hallam:

    Threaders for you on reading the latest news mate :-(

    Top effort regardless tho’ & ‘live to fight another day’ applies !

    Safe recovery.

    Cheers – Rob

  • Doug Ritchie:

    Hey Charlie.

    Glad your ok. Hope they pick you up soon. I know you’ll be gutted but at least this way you get to try again. Stay safe mate.

  • Suzy Belcher:

    First thing i did this morning was to check if there was an update on you. I know it has got to be tough but hang in there for your iminent rescue on Saturday – this is the real test of courage and i am sure that, like me, we all support you in any way that we can. Be strong and Stay safe! xxxx

  • Amelia Martell:

    Hoping this message finds you being rescued – and poor Blossom! What a ride and what a crazyamazinginspirationalslightlybonkers thing you did! I hope its not too hard to get your head round it all preparing, enduring and now being thwarted by the tempest – sending all our love and respect and support – from the Singapore Martells x x x

  • Helen Outen:

    Hi Charlie. Time is ticking on now, nearer to being picked up.
    HUGE hugs for you and Blossom. Hang in there. Keep strong . You can do it.
    Helen Outen

  • Robert Ames:

    Charlie, we are all thinking of you. We are so frustrated on your behalf, but so proud of you, and know you will look back on this with a smile when you’ve succeeded!

  • Jenny:

    Hang in there, I imagine with every passing hour that the wind slowly abates and the waves decrease. I can only imagine your experiences through this storm. Stay safe.

  • Alex Marsh:

    Hi Charlie
    Me and Rodders have been following your progress for a while and cant believe how brilliantly you have been doing. Gutted for you now but glad you will be safe. Thinking of you. Much love
    Alex and Rodders

  • Ray Bentley:

    Glad to hear that you and Sarah are both safe, i was plotting your position and the storm last night,
    was worried when i saw you were going right through it, a great effort, you should be proud,
    hurry back to land, hope the pick up goes well, Ray, London.

  • Elaine:

    Oh Bum! And other words to that effect.
    It is a brave decision to make to call up Falmouth, rather than battle on regardless. Then you’re in trouble!
    Your pride may be dented but I’m sure it will bounce back into shape rapido. Sickening to have to call it a day but definitely NO FAIL!
    Pit of stomach stuff.
    Japanese Coastguard are very hospitable so party hard to celebrate your achievement to date:))

    Elaine x.

  • Rup, Becs 7 the boys:

    Totally gutted for you – keep safe and hope the pick up goes well. need new morning routine now as checking out your site the first thing I have been doing for the last 34 days!

  • Billy MacLeod:

    Gutted to hear that you have had to make a call to get picked up mate because of the damage to the boat. You are an inspiration mate and have achieved much more than most can only dream about. I know you will regroup and conquer the next time. Speedy return mate. Ubique!!!


    Charlie, Sorry that storm has broken Blossom and your challenge. Keep safe and spirits up until the ship arrives and you have truly been a STAR.

  • Rodney and Alex:

    Mate !
    Well that wasn’t meant to happen. Me and the kids were just getting into this, and I was in the process of sending a message last night to say how bloody daft you were , and that last night Blossom should probably be renamed Bosch – as in a washing machine but that was when she was just going round and round, and not end over end.

    Really enjoyed all your antics so far, and been plotting how to get you more air time, as we think that although you are truly stark raving bonkers , you are also an inspiration to all of us and more importantly our kids.

    By the time you read this I suspect you will be on shore sorting your sh#t out and on your chin strap. But I suspect you have been in worse scrapes before, and as soon as Blossom has had her delicates wash fixed you will be on your way again.

    Most importantly will be that you are safe and well, and will at least have the chance to do it again. If nothing else you are still one of a very select few that have even attempted this .

    Chin up !

    Rodders,Alex ,Sienna,Felix and Clemmie

  • julie cross:

    hi charlie stay safe , await blog to say safe and well on dry land.

  • Sharon:

    An epic man made an epic attempt for the sake of others. Well done for what you have achieved and a speedy rescue, you are simply amazing! xxx

  • Rob Jess James:

    Good luck with the pick up mate, keep safe and well done on such a great effort.

  • Wendy:

    Charlie, I am so sorry to hear the news, I cant imagine how you are feeling. I hope you and Blossom are rescued soon and in safe hands. You are still an amazing, inspiring person to attempt this voyage and have always been thinking of others first and foremost and for the amount of money raised for the charities so close to your heart. Thinking of you x

  • cherriskyy:

    !!!!! praying for a swift rescue
    M. xx

  • Mandy:

    Sorry to hear that you are having to call it a day on this trip.
    You can hold your head high as not many people (in fact nobody else I know, as they all think you are nuts!) would have had a stab at this.
    And delighted that you are ok.
    Well done Charlie!
    M x

  • Wigs Catto:

    Hi Charlie, truly gutted for you!!! Can’t say anything else!!! Glad you are safe! Much love xx :-) xx you are still an inspiration to many!

  • Suzy Belcher:

    Hi Charlie – Very sorry to hear that you have had to abort your epic journey – have got all my fingers crossed that the fast boat gets to you and that your rescue is soon. I know you will be gutted but i know that you would have continued if you could and this difficult decission would not have been made lightly. I just want to say to you that you continue to amaze and inspire me in all that you do so thank you for the dot goggling and the blogs and all the superb updates that your fabulous shore support have given us in the 34 days and 20 hrs. Much love and continued support xxxxx

  • Gaz Mc Bride:

    Stay safe Charlie, prayers are with you mate, you are an inspiration to so many.

  • Anna:

    prayers for a safe return, utterly gutted for you but looking forward to the update to say you are safe home. off to add to your fund now (sod waiting for pay day!)xx

  • Sue Clarke:

    So sorry to hear about the damage to your boat Charlie but glad that you’re ok. Sometimes you just can’t argue with Mother Nature. Wishing you a speedy and safe rescue. Sue x

  • Lauraine:

    Gutted for you Charlie. But so glad you are safe, and praying for your swift rescue. So much love from us and thinking of you XXXX

  • Pauline B, Perth Aus:

    Hi Charlie, my thoughts have been with you continually and I am so sorry to hear the latest news about your aborted voyage. There is no way in the world that I can even begin to imagine your disappointment so I won’t even go there, I will just be happy to hear that you are safe and sound back on dry land. Poor Blossom must have taken one hell of a battering but at least she kept you safe (thank you Blossom and the builders who put you together!) God speed you back home Charlie pet xxxx

  • Rachel:

    Charlie – oh no! So sorry to see Blossom has been damaged in the storm … am gutted for you … but more importantly I hope you are OK and rescue comes quickly. Rachel

  • Yoko & Eddy:

    Hey Charlie,
    We`ve been following you all the way, checking in daily.
    You`re probably bouncing around like crazy, but you`d feel much the same on pretty much any British train, except that you have a far higher probability of getting to the next stop.
    Dig in, the winds will drop soon, and beer is still waiting for you on the other side.
    Yoko & Eddy

  • Stephen Kay:

    So so inspired by your progress Charlie, just been looking at your satellite tracking, REspect to you mate, I hope everyone’s messages are keeping your spirits up, you certainly sound chipper.
    You take care and try and keep safe.
    Ubique REspect

  • Wigs:

    Charlie we as in Newmans Cattos & Gearons are sitting in the pouring rain at Edgbaston waiting for some cricket!! The boys are discussing their rowing training in Geece over the summer!! Keep going & stay safe!! We’re thinking of you. :-) xx

  • Windy Weaver:

    Well Charlie, your certainly living up to the Engineers Ubique!!!! Well done mate your a source of inspiration to us all. Looking forward to the video blogs again soon. If its any consolation (probably not!) we are due gales in the UK today!!!
    Well done mate


  • Lauraine:

    Oh my Gosh!!! All those capsizes!!!!!! I cant believe the size of the waves that must be engulfing you!!! Keep thinking of the calm after the storm….Eliza and I saw a beautiful double rainbow after a (little!!) storm here, and of course, made a wish for you!! I love your amazing photo, what a treat!! keep strong Mr M!! xxxx

  • Helen Outen:

    Hang in there Charlie. STAY SAFE!!!!!!!! Rooting for you!
    Helen Outen

  • Sean:

    Ahoy Charlie,
    JJ told me on FB you were doing this challenge. Hope you’ ll have a safe journey. Did you see Venus pass the sun the other day?

  • Gaz Mc Bride:

    Griz it out Charlie, many many people keeping tabs on you and wishing you all the best mate.

  • Julia from Walton Towers:

    Well Charlie you have travelled north north east, that is, as you have said, better than south. So, reasons to be cheerful. List the things that you are grateful for, that is a good place from which to start the journey east. You made it through the typhoon. That will make an excellent chapter. What do you want to see next? I was wondering what the moon looks like where you are? And what about the sunsets? What is it like at night, with the stars, the colour of the sky….Looking forward to all your news, soon.

  • Wendy:

    Hello Charlie, hope the typhoon has not been too cruel to you and cant wait to see you on the video blog’s again. Keep strong and positive like i know you will be.Jersey must be in sympathy with the Pacific as strong gale force winds are expected tomorrow and Friday, typical as i have booked to sail to St Malo on Friday for a girlie day out. Better go easy on the vino!! Keep rowing all the best x

  • cherriskyy:

    …hope all’s well out there and the storm is not tossing you around too harshly…hang in there buddy
    M. :-)

  • Jenny:

    Keep going Charlie! Sounds like you’ve had a tough few days lately but keep at it. My fingers are crossed that the winds change to be in your favour asap. Keep up the hard work! Thinking of you in Bamyan. Jen