Sunk, but undefeated, Brooklyn man tries solo row across Atlantic

Mooney’s first trans-Atlantic attempt, in 2006, ended when a 24-foot, wooden rowboat he’d built himself sank off the West African coast just hours after he’d pushed off from a beach in Senegal.

By David B. Caruso - Source: http://www.brooklyneagle.com

A tenacious New Yorker who has been trying for nearly a decade to row solo across the Atlantic Ocean, but has been plagued by bad luck, shipwreck and maybe a little early naiveté, plans to embark on his fourth attempt at the epic journey sometime this week.

Victor Mooney, 48, of Brooklyn, left Wednesday for a roughly 3,000-mile row to the British Virgin Islands.

After landing in April or May, he plans to resupply his tiny boat and row another nearly 1,800-plus miles back to New York. Along the way, he’ll live on freeze-dried military rations, a variety of herbs and green tea and whatever fish he can yank from the sea.

“I feel very confident,” Mooney said by telephone last week from a marina in Maspolamas, Gran Canaria. “Everything is checked, double-checked. … I’m ready.”

This impossibly long, lonely path is one Mooney has set out on before. But so far, his tale reads less like “The Old Man and the Sea,” and more like the one told in “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” about a land-obsessed monarch who stubbornly builds his castle on swampland only to have it repeatedly sink or burn.

Mooney’s first trans-Atlantic attempt, in 2006, ended when a 24-foot, wooden rowboat he’d built himself sank off the West African coast just hours after he’d pushed off from a beach in Senegal.

Three years later, he tried again with an oceangoing rowboat boat built by a professional. Its drinking water systems failed after two weeks at sea and he had to be rescued.

In 2011, Mooney set off from the Cape Verde Islands in an even more sophisticated boat. But that vessel, dubbed the Never Give Up, had apparently been damaged in transit and sprang a leak shortly after he put to sea.

He escaped in a life raft then spent two weeks drifting 250 miles on the open ocean.

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