NEAR CORAL GABLES, Fla. (WSVN) — Mission accomplished for a man who rowed across the Atlantic all the way to South Florida.
The trip was quite an adventure, and he called this a once-in-a-lifetime journey.
Imagine rowing across the Atlantic Ocean all by yourself. That’s just what a young Lithuanian athlete has done arriving in Miami Tuesday after four months at sea.
His arrival at Matheson Hammock Marina near Coral Gables made waves.
After 121 days at sea, Aurimas Valujavičius finally set foot on dry land, tired but happy.
“Five hours without stopping and rowing against the stream, but yeah, so far so good,” said Valujavičius.
The 28-year-old left Spain the day after Christmas, rowing his single-seat boat, the Lituanica, 5000 miles.
After asking how he felt after all of this, he said, “A little bit dizzy, maybe dizzy.”
He is the first Lithuanian to do a solo row, unsupported, from the continent of Europe to the continent of North America.
Edgaras Lauce was among those who welcomed him, as he arrived.
“It’s a fantastic journey, and we’re so proud of this guy,” he said.
He prepared for the trip for two years and rowed a brutal 12 to 14 hours a day.
Welcoming him was the South Florida Lithuanian community who turned out to cheer on their hero and say congratulations.
“I think it’s the most challenging I can think about,” said Viktor Jutasi, “so this is the biggest deal in my life ever, you know?”
“It’s such a small country in the world,” said Lena Laukavicius, “and I think it’s going to be more well-known now. It’s a huge thing.”
They may not have met him, but these people feel they know Valujavičius. For the last four months, he’s been posting his daily adventures on social media.
School kids and fans from all over the world had a front-row seat to his Atlantic crossing.
7 News spoke to Valujavičius earlier this month, while he was at sea, about what it’s like out there all alone.
“This is a lifetime experience when you can be with yourself like more than three months – no people,” he said back then, “no physical contact, nothing.”
He slept in his boat, ate meals from tactical food packs and made his own water.
He also caught some fresh fish along the way.
Valujavičius was trying to break a world record for speed and distance but bad weather and currents slowed him down.
“I guess Caribbean, Bahamas islands, there was a lot of navigating and so on, so yeah, it was tricky in parts,” he said.
Now, the journey of a lifetime has come to an end.
He says he just wants to rest and relax and have some really good meals.
Copyright 2023 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.