(Mark Wilson/Globe Staff/2008)
He has rowed for 93 days through stormy seas and blistering heat. And he's been rationing food for a couple of weeks now, eating just two meals a day, so he doesn't run out before he makes it ashore.
But retired deputy US marshal Leo Rosette called from the Atlantic today to say he remains strong and determined, with just about 350 more nautical miles to go until he reaches Antigua and sets a record as the oldest American to row across an ocean alone.
"It's been harder rowing these last 500 miles than this whole trip,'' Rosette, 59, of Marshfield, said in a brief interview via satellite telephone. "You just want to get there, so you row more and you row harder.''
Rosette has rowed more than 2200 nautical miles since he launched his 24-by-6-foot rowboat, Halcyon, from the Canary Islands on Jan. 4 along with 30 other boats competing in the Atlantic Rowing Race 2009. He said he is a little worried about the wind, which is pushing him south of his target, but still hopes to make it to Antigua within two weeks.
Twenty-two boats -- most with two or four people on board -- have finished the race, and three dropped out. The progress of Rosette and the other four boats is posted here: atlanticrowingrace09.com. Rosette has always said it's about finishing, not winning.
After end his 20-year career with the US Marshals Service in August 2007 when he turned 57 -- the mandatory retirement age for deputy marshals -- Rosette said he started training for the ocean row because he was determined to prove he could still achieve great things.
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