To Row Across an Ocean: A Phenomenological Investigation of the Rowers’ Experience
Bjorn Anders Holmberg, University of Tennessee, USA
Theme: Group dynamics
Poster Number: 115
Program ID: POS-2
Presentation: October 4, 2013 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
The primary objective of this study was to describe and understand the experience of rowing across an ocean. Existential-phenomenological interviews were conducted with eleven ocean rowers ranging from 23 to 63 years old (SD = 12.2 yr), who had accomplished to row singlehanded across the Atlantic Ocean, the Indian Ocean, and/or the Pacific Ocean. Qualitative analysis of obtained data revealed a thematic structure containing a ground and six figural themes, supported by participant quotations. The ground was to row across an ocean. The six figural themes that emerged were planning the crossing (e.g., boat-related issues); first few days (e.g., sea sickness); 2 hours on / 2 hours off (e.g., routines); physical and mental exertions (e.g., sleep deprivation); isolation (e.g., unsupported crossing); and personal and interpersonal matters. These findings have implications that may facilitate a better understanding of the lived experience of extreme adventurers.