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London February 20th

  I just now received a phone call from Richard's daughter Allison.
She said " my dad's row is over. He asked some fisherman to tow him to Ragged Island in the Bahamas (which was 6 miles away from where he met them). During the tow Dad's  boat filled with water and capsized" . Allison added "he is safe but exhausted, and is waiting to she if he and his boat can be taken by ship to Florida"

Kenneth F. Crutchlow Executive Director Ocean Rowing Society

  I have just spoken to Mr. Frank Davis 2nd Secretary and Vice Consul for the Bahamas High Commission in London.
Mr. Davis confirmed that Ragged Island (where Richard landed) is one of the  Bahama Islands he said "it is one of our least inhabited Island" The official  name of where Richard landed is, "The Commonwealth of the Bahamas", it is an Independent country that is a member of the British Commonwealth. Mr. Davis also suggested  that Richard has landed within a 100 miles of where Christopher Columbus landed. When Richard left The Canary Island he started within sight of the spot where Columbus took on water at Gomera. In other words Richard followed in the wake of Columbus.

Kenneth F. Crutchlow Executive Director Ocean Rowing Society


D E S E R E T  N E W S 

Deseret News Archives, 
August 23, 2000 

Why sail around globe? Why not? 

By Lee Benson 
Deseret News columnist 
Whether you think he's crazy or not, whether you think at 57 he should be past such nonsense, spend any time at all with Richard Jones, modern-day adventurer, and you'll come away impressed with the pureness of his intent. 
Why does this man who graduated from Salt Lake City's Granite High School 40 school years ago want to row 4,000 miles alone across the Atlantic Ocean? 
For profit? Nope. Already in the hole and getting deeper. 
For fame? Hardly. When he shoves off from the Canary Islands on or around Oct. 7 there won't be a camcorder or satellite feed in sight. 
For the record books? No chance. Already been done, first by an Englishman more than 30 years ago. 
For a higher cause? Nah. Nobody's paying charity pledges per knot or per mile on this voyage; there will be no banners urging the legalization or the de-legalization of anything. Look Richard Jones square in his steel blue eyes and ask him why he's planning to row straight through Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's Day and Valentine's Day, dodging hurricanes, perfect storms, sharks, vessels 400 times bigger than his, and subsisting on warm water and freeze-dried backpacker food, and here's what he'll tell you: 
"I just want to." 
It isn't Mallory's "Because it's there," but it will do. 
"I believe most everybody has a dream," says Jones, who just concluded a weekend of rowing from one end of Bear Lake to the other to make sure everything is ship-shape with his custom row boat "The Brother of Jared" before shipping it off to the Canaries. "It's important to chase your dreams, whatever they are," Jones continues. "The trouble is, it's so easy to get caught up in just trying to make a living that you don't get around to them. Then one day you retire and you look back and you wonder why." 
Well, Richard Jones isn't going to wonder why. He's already bicycled across the country and hiked all over the continent and run all the rivers in the West. He started World Wide River Expeditions in 1971 and has steered rafts through Cataract Canyon alone more times than you could count. All that river running made him think of rowing across something longer, something like the Atlantic. This will be his second attempt. The first was two years ago, when 
the starting point was Lisbon and the ending point was Lisbon. In between there was a colossal storm, a breakdown of his de-salinization drinking-water pump, and a compass reading that said he was closing in on England, not Florida. 
Back to the drawing board. Now, the de-salinization pump is working fine, the point of departure has been changed from Lisbon to the Canary Islands -- the site, by the way, of Christopher Columbus' first launch -- and Richard is confident if he can just get a start with three straight days of good weather, he and the trade winds will be on their inevitable way to Miami Beach. 
As Richard says, he's got a backup for everything . . . except his back. 
He's named his craft "The Brother of Jared" after some of the earliest trans-oceanic travelers to the New World, as recorded in the Book of Mormon by a man calling himself the brother of Jared. 
That was 2,700 B.C. 
Richard doesn't know how long it took the Jaredites to cross the ocean; all he knows is he has seven months of food, limitless water, almost limitless (solar) power, 25,000 miles of river-running rowing behind him . . . 
. . . and a dream he's still chasing. 
Lee Benson's column runs Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday.


Deseret News Archives, 
Monday, November 6, 2000 

Utah rower not alone on oceans 

By Lee Benson 
Deseret News columnist 
Some men are driven by wealth, others by power. 
Right about now, Richard Jones is being driven by a northeasterly trade wind allowing him to lay down an average of 35 miles a day. Jones is the longtime Utah river-runner who is on what he's calling the ultimate river trip -- crossing the Atlantic from the Canary Islands to Miami Beach in a rowboat. He's been on the ocean for almost a month now since leaving the Canary Islands port of Los Gigantes on Oct. 10. Richard's 23-year-old son, Scott, shoved him off, and that was as ceremonial as it got. It took Richard two days to break out of the currents orbiting the islands and he's been rowing west ever since, surfing crossways across the swells that roll out of the northeast. He was seasick for a six-day period that, from the tone of his Web site reports, he will forever want to forget and will no doubt forever remember. 
But then he found his sea legs, and life returned to a bearable state. He is making, by his own account, good time. Almost 900 miles between him and the Canaries so far. If Salt Lake and San Diego were separated by water, he'd have already covered the distance. He's almost a fourth of the way to Florida, as the shark swims. There are no signposts where he is, no signs of land, no rest areas. His only company is a three-foot green fish with a yellow tail that keeps following the boat. As Richard writes in his captain's log: "I'm at the edge of nowhere heading for the middle of nowhere -- and it's where I'm supposed to be." 
He then adds, "What this all means, I have no idea." 
The current less traveled? Absolutely. 
"Being here, I'm certainly not in a position to help anyone or to be of service to anyone," says Jones in his captain's log from Wednesday, Oct. 25, pondering his current isolation. 
"You know, this is really not very adventurous," he adds. "One might get the same effect sitting on a hard board in front of an old-fashioned washing machine." Then again, one might not. Because if one is in front of the washing machine, one can leave. Plus, the waves in the washing machine never rise to 10 feet and drench you. And in another few days, it's over the side to scrape off the barnacles. It is a test out there; a test of wills, of nature, of limits, of courage. There's no telling how many people might be inspired by Richard Jones. With every pull of the oars, Jones is closing in on a plethora of firsts. 
First American male to row solo across an ocean; oldest person (57) to row an ocean; first grandparent to row an ocean; and the first American to row the Atlantic to his home country. Already, he has been a part of ocean-rowing history. With his boat in the Atlantic joining the boat of Jim Shekhdar's in the Pacific and the boat of Mick Bird's in the Indian, it marks the first time in history solo ocean-rowers have been on these three oceans at the same time. 
A group called the Ocean Rowing Society in London keeps track of all this. Shekhdar is attempting to row from Peru to Sydney, Australia. Bird is attempting to circumnavigate the Earth. So there are others like Richard Jones. He is not alone. Even if it feels like it. 
The Ocean Rowing Society has pictures and updates on all three of the above-named rowers, incidentally. You can access them on the Web at www.oceanrowing.com. Click on the Jones file and you'll see color photos of the Utah solo rower leaving Los Gigantes and of a beautiful sunset at sea. 
Right at the edge of nowhere. 


Desert News Archives 
Wednesday, November 22, 2000

Young man and the sea -- and me 

By Lee Benson 
Deseret News columnist The phone rang this past Monday at just after 1 in the afternoon. 
"This is Richard," said the caller, the connection crystal clear. 
"Richard who?" I asked. 
"Richard Jones." 
Any of you who have been following the progress of modern-day adventurer Richard Jones have to know what I asked next. 
"So, who," I wanted to know, "is manning the oars?" 
In case you just tuned in, Richard Jones is the Salt Lake river runner who is in the midst of a five-month-or-so quest to row the Atlantic Ocean from East to West, a 4,000-mile voyage, hoping to land on Miami Beach sometime this coming spring. He left the Canary Islands on Oct. 10 and has been rowing southwesterly ever since, averaging around 35 miles a day. His quest is foolhardy, dangerous, unnecessary, irresponsible, high risk and monotonous -- and I, for one, am completely engrossed. Richard is speaking to the Walter Mitty in all of us. In my case this past Monday, you could make that literal. 
"So, how is it out there in the middle of the ocean?" I asked him after he explained to me that it was already nighttime in the Atlantic, and he had pulled the oars in for the night. His 12-hour shift for Monday, Nov. 20, was history, and so were approximately 35 more miles of ocean. Richard's description of a spot on the planet few if any of us will ever physically see was actually quite encouraging. He said the air was absolutely pristine, the water was clean and pure, the 
temperature of both air and water hovered around 80 degrees, and all day long on that particular Monday, he'd chased fluffy little white clouds across the sky. Also, a couple of schools of dolphins, maybe 20 each in number, cruised by, bound for who knows where, and a huge sea turtle, about 2 1/2 feet in diameter, developed a fixation for the rowboat's 
rudder and tagged along for several hours before finally losing interest. 
"Sounds great," I said to Richard, "Anything you miss about civilization?" 
Long pause. 
Finally, "I'd love some lettuce, tomatoes and poppy seed dressing," 
he said. 
For Thanksgiving dinner, Richard said he'll enjoy freeze-dried mashed potatoes, a can of turkey with gravy, chocolate milk and a 
Fig Newton -- although he didn't exactly use the word "enjoy." One problem he's discovered out there is that he's lost his sense of taste, for some reason. He's lost 30 pounds. He's also lost track of the news. He had no idea the presidential election was still being sorted out in Florida. I told him at the rate he's going, he should get to Miami before 
they get it decided. Richard expects to reach the 1,500-mile mark by Sunday and the halfway point another couple of weeks later. After that, it's all downhill. At least psychologically. He said he deals with the boredom by keeping his mind occupied with projects -- he's taken apart and put together the vintage Model A back home in his garage at least a hundred times -- and he deals with the huge 15-foot swells that routinely roll in from the north by taking himself back to the days on the Colorado River when he would run category fives. The only difference now is that sometimes 
the cat 5's last all day long. 
Finally, after an enjoyable half-hour of conversation that seemed like five minutes, we hung up, Richard returning to his solitude, me to my keyboard, where I developed a sudden urge to finish this column and go out and have a nice tossed salad with tomatoes drenched in poppy seed dressing. 
Lee Benson's column runs Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday. 


Deseret News Archives, 
Wednesday, December 20, 2000

Rower faces rough seas and 'Maytag' 

By Lee Benson 
Deseret News columnist 

You're trying to get it all done by Christmas, you're wondering if those tires will make it through February, you're planning what you'll do on New Year's Eve. Meanwhile, Richard Jones is trying to make it to the Caicos Passage 
without a rudder and with batteries that are soaking wet. Our intrepid adventurer and veteran Utah river-runner has been at sea for almost two and a half months now, ever since dropping his rowboat over the side of a Los Gigantes, Canary Islands dock on Oct. 10 and aiming for Miami, 4,029 miles away. He overcame seasickness and some tricky currents to row safely out into the heart of the Atlantic, where Halloween and Thanksgiving passed quite peaceably. But about a week ago the ocean changed its mind and ever since, Richard has been battling high seas and a nasty prevailing north wind that wants to deposit him somewhere in Brazil. 
So every day he rows northwest, against the current, uphill all the way, bound or bust for the Caicos Passage, a patch of deep water that sits between the Bahamas and the Caicos Islands in the upper Carribean. It is the only viable entrance to the coast of North America when you're a 30-foot rowboat without radar, sonar or an engine. 
"If my starting point was the State Capitol and my ending point was somewhere in Utah Valley," Richard explained yesterday via satellite phone, "I'd have to take State Street to get through the Point of the Mountain. Well, the 22nd Parallel is State Street for me. I have to be on it to get through the Caicos Passage." As if that isn't enough to worry about, he currently has to ride out the high pressure system that has settled on him like an anvil, bringing with it temperatures of 110 degrees and waves that never quit. Just yesterday they took out his rudder. But that wasn't the worst. The worst was last Friday, when a violent wave put the boat through what surfers call a "Maytag." 
Picked it up and rolled it completely over. "To my utter, utter amazement, the boat righted itself," said Richard. "That's something it never did in all the test trials I put it through on the lakes back in Utah." That 360-degree roll, along with the constant pounding seas, have managed to soak the compartments fore and aft, knocking out the cabin lights. Now, Richard is left only with flashlights at night, and he's working hard to keep the electrical connections for his batteries and phone dry enough to be functional. 
"We'll keep going forward," Richard said, as stoically as possible with 1,700 miles remaining to Miami and 1,100 to the Caicos Passage. "It's hour-by- hour and day-by-day and pray things don't deteriorate any more than they already have." 
For Christmas, he'll open a number of small wrapped packages put in the boat by friends and family when he left Utah last September, and he'll call his family. 
"I miss the little things," said Richard as he thought of home and the holidays. "I miss singing hymns at church, visiting the old people, dinner at the tableand the warmth of friends. Those things mean a lot." 


Deseret News Archives,
Sunday, January 14, 2001

Rower counts on oars, faith

By Lee Benson Deseret News columnist
However slow the year's starting out for you, rest assured you're still making better time than Richard Jones.
Since slamming into a weather pattern Dec. 31 that he refers to, and not fondly, as "The Wall," Richard and his rowboat, "The Brother of Jared," have covered barely a hundred miles of the Atlantic Ocean.
That works out to about a half mile an hour. For two straight weeks.
At this rate, Richard and his boat will arrive at their intended destination on the coast of Florida in time for the next millennium.
"It's a roller-coaster of emotions out here," Richard reported Thursday via his sat phone during our usual bi-monthly update. "It's been one mile forward, one mile back." That's the discouraging news. The encouraging news is he feels strong as an ox, he still has 70 days of food left, and there's a high-pressure system that just might break through
sometime later this week, bringing back those lovely northwest breezes that helped Richard cruise through the first 2,000 of his intended 4,000-mile trans-Atlantic crossing in just under two months.
"For some reason, I feel stronger than I should, and I have a peaceful calm feeling, so I'm not shaken up so much by every loss of mile that occurs," said Richard.
At least three times since the first of January he's lost every mile gained due to the dreaded southwest headwind.
When he's asleep, he dreams of sailboats. One consolation: He never thought it would be easy. If he'd wanted comfort, he'd have crossed the Atlantic the way most people cross the Atlantic -- crammed into a coach seat and asking the flight attendant to please leave the whole can of 7-Up. Another consolation: all the people who are rooting for him, pulling for him (although not literally) and, especially, praying for him. A religious man -- the name of his boat refers to a scriptural character in the Book of Mormon who crossed the ocean -- Richard sent out an SOS of sorts when the cross currents hit and the southwest wind started blowing two weeks ago, threatening to return him to the Canary Islands where he started, like a human version of fast-reverse. On his Web site at www.oceanrowing.com he asked everyone to pray with him and for him. "God knows how much I'd like to finish this," he said on the phone. "If it's to be in the boat or on a freighter, more than ever I now believe that's up to him." All Richard can do is man the oars and hang on to his faith. Lately, he's been rowing at night in an added attempt to counteract the contrary winds. "It is beautiful at night, especially now with a silver moon," he said. "It's so peaceful and relaxing and cool." He'd enjoy it even more if he wasn't going backwards. He reckons he's 1,260 miles from Florida -- if he rows on a straight line. At 25 miles a day he'll be in sight of Miami in a mere 50 days. He'd have 20 days food to spare. He could just cruise around the harbor for three weeks, but of course he won't. Meanwhile, he's out there alone, with only a whale that's taken a liking to
"The Brother of Jared" for company.
"At least I think it's a whale," said Richard. "He's surfaced a bit a couple of times, and it looks like a whale."
Sometimes, he said, when he's snuggled in his hold, getting some rest, he can hear it breathing. "Not a whole lot of people get to do this," he said as he hung up. "I'm very fortunate."


Deseret News Archives,
Monday, January 29, 2001

Utah rower well on way to Miami or somewhere

By Lee Benson Deseret News columnist
Sitting on a sofa in a home in Midvale surrounded by Richard Jones' family, Kenneth F. Crutchlow, executive director of the Ocean Rowing Society of London, England, summed up Jones' current situation very British-like. "He cannot say 'I'm going to land in Miami,' " said Crutchlow, "What he can say is 'I'd like to land in Miami.' " Jones, of course, is our man in the Atlantic Ocean, attempting as we speak to become the first Utahn, the first American male and the second human being in history to row all the way from the Canary Islands and run into Florida, preferably Miami Beach.
He's been at it 111 days now, ever since he left Los Gigantes in the Canaries on Oct. 10, 2000. Seeing him off that day was Crutchlow, a rowing aficionado of the first order who helped start the Ocean Rowing Society in 1983 and persistently keeps the organization afloat as doggedly as any lone adventurer on the high seas bucking the currents, the winds, the unrelenting challenges, and, of course, the odds. Crutchlow has never personally attempted anything so far-reaching as an ocean row, he was saying from the sofa.
But he's all for those who do.
Crutchlow made his appearance here in Utah to meet the rest of Richard Jones' family -- he already met Richard's son, Scott, at Los Gigantes in October -- and help coordinate plans for what is starting to look like a successful, keep your fingers crossed, crossing. Richard has over 3,000 miles down and less than a thousand to go, and while it's true he's been bucking strong currents and wicked head winds for the past month -- and he's lost his rudder -- it's also true he keeps inching closer to land forms in the southwest Atlantic. Crutchlow puts the odds of the Utah rower finding land under his own power as "very high." "It's practically an inevitability now that he'll land somewhere," said the
executive director. "What I'm not prepared to say is where." "He could hit the currents and wind up in North Carolina . . .
" . . . Or he could hit Cuba."  Thirty-two years ago, when the only other human to leave the Canaries and successfully row to Florida came ashore in Miami, Crutchlow was there. The rower was John Fairfax of Great Britain. Fairfax and his rowboat, Britannia, took 180 days to cross the Atlantic from January to June of 1969, and as Crutchlow recalled, they narrowly avoided catching the currents that could have easily sent them another 90 miles south. "Fairfax almost ended up in Cuba," Crutchlow said. "You really can't control it. It's winds and currents." Landing in Cuba now would be a dicey bureaucratic situation, but nothing compared to landing in Cuba in 1969. Fairfax might still be there. Wherever and whenever Richard Jones comes ashore, Crutchlow wants to be there to greet him. That's what he told the Joneses on his visit to their Midvale home. An ocean crossing is no small accomplishment and it deserves to be officially sanctioned on the spot, and by nothing less than the world's governing body of such things. The uncertainty of it all is the least of Crutchlow's concerns. "I told (the Jones family) to buy airline tickets that you can change for just the $75 fee," he said as he sat on their sofa. He's learned from experience that you have to have that flexibility. That's airline tickets to Miami, by the way. No time now to stop being positive.

Please send e-mail to benson@desnews.com and faxes to 801-237-2527. 
2000 Deseret News Publishing Co. 



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December 16th - 17th

December 16th 2000 12.10pm
Yesterday evening I received a telephone call from Service Argos operations center in Toulouse I was told that the Argos transmitter Richard was using had not given a new position for several hours. I phoned John Hollenhorst at KSL TV in Utah (knowing he had the sat phone number for Richard) and asked him to try and reach Richard, he tried but with no success. Several hours later still I received a phone call from Scott Jones in Utah (Richard's son) he said he had spoken to his father, this of course was good news indeed.
December 17th
Richard Jones called me on his sat. phone he said "yesterday was a little scary" (referring to a storm that turned his boat through 360 degrees) He also said I am fine now, I am going to far South for my liking if I don't get further North I could well end up in Puerto Rico".
For the moment there is no explanation as to why the Argos stopped transmitting, I have asked Richard to turn on his back up Argos unit in a few hours once the satellite makes a pass we will know if the back up unit is operational.

PS thanks to Service Argos for prompt efficient service I know Richard's
family appreciated your efforts.

Kenneth F. Crutchlow
Executive Director
Ocean Rowing Society


London 25th October 2000

Today at 07.30 GMT I received a Satellite phone call from Richard Jones.
Richard reported that he was feeling good about his progress so far, and
that he was still "settling in". Richard still feels better outside the cabin in the fresh air than when he goes into the cabin. Richard sounded confident and called mainly to say hi, he said he has everything he needs for the trip.
I had sent Richard a draft copy of our "Guidelines for ocean rowers" before he left Salt Lake City. When in Tenerife his son Scott was asked by his father to get one more shackle for the sea anchor. (Richard had left Los Gigantes by the time the shackle arrived at the leaving dock).
Scott was with us on the German yacht "Lucie" (thanks Elke and Helmut) that we on to take pictures of Richard, literally rowing into the sunset. Scott wanted to hand the shackle to his father, I informed Scott by so doing we (ORS) would have to then record his father as an "assisted row" Scott asked Richard what he wanted to do in this situation Richard answered "forget it I want to do the row unassisted".
Scott I think was surprised that by giving his father "just one shackle" it would mean that he would then be counted as "an assisted row". This was the first test for an ocean rower to follow our guidelines. Richard carried on without the shackle thereby accepting the guidelines.

Kenneth F. Crutchlow
Executive Director
Ocean Rowing Society


Los Gigantes, Tenerife. Tuesday, October 10, 2000

Start.jpg (46229 bytes)

Photo by Theodor Rezvoy

7.32 GMT. American Richard Jones, 57, rowed past the harbour wall of Los Gigantes marina, marking the start of his 4,000-mile row to Florida, USA. A small group of well-wishers gathered at the harbour, including Scott, his 23-year-old son, who watched his father row into the distance. He said: "It really is a most emotional moment to see my father rowing away."
  The start of this row makes ocean rowing history. For the first time there is a solo ocean rower on the Atlantic (Richard Jones); the Pacific (Jim Shekhdar); and Indian Ocean (Mick Bird) - all at once.
Richard intends to become the first American male to row solo across an ocean; the oldest person to row an ocean; the first grandparent to row any ocean; and the first American to row the Atlantic to his home country.

Start2.jpg (41283 bytes)

Photo by Theodor Rezvoy

  A TV crew shooting for ABC-TV (USA), "The Western Sun" (Tenerife) and ORS staff were filming Richard's departure from on board the 15metre yacht "Lucie", from Cologne, Germany,
courtesy of Helmut and Elke Muser.
first_sunset.jpg (47370 bytes)

Photo by Theodor Rezvoy

First sunset at sea.

2000 Ocean Rowing Society