Mylene Paquette is an ordinary woman. Or at least that’s how she appears. Having worked with seriously ill children whom she says demonstrate great courage and persistence on a daily basis, she decided to get up her own courage to undertake an adventure she had been thinking about embarking upon, one that would test her own strength of mind and stamina.

Mylene Paquette decided to row across the Atlantic Ocean. That’s 4,300  kilometers (over 2,600 miles). And she did just that. Originally from Quebec, she is the first North American woman to have successfully crossed the Atlantic in a rowboat, alone.

Due to bad weather, the journey took longer than expected. She capsized a dozen times, but thankfully without great harm, as her boat was designed to turn itself upright. Despite the harsh conditions, being knocked unconscious during a storm and losing many of her supplies, she rowed 8 hours per day, making it to France on 13 November 2013, 129 days after having set out from Halifax, Canada, on 6 July.

Mylene Paquette started rowing in 2002. She successfully soloed the large Saint Lawrence River of North America, which connects the Great Lakes with the Atlantic. That journey was 744 miles. She had also previously rowed across the Atlantic as part of a 6-person group to raise money for Saint Justine Hospital in Montreal, a pediatric health center.

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