U.S. based AIDS activist Victor Mooney will make his third attempt to row this boat from Africa’s Cape Verde islands to Brooklyn, New York, to raise money to fight AIDS. A boat lover who has dreamed for seven years of rowing across the Atlantic, Mooney wants to include Bermuda on his journey.
Rower Victor Mooney, a 45-year-old native of Queens who says he is counting on the currents to bring him to Bermuda, plans to start rowing on February 1, 2011, from Cape Verde off West Africa, all the way to the Brooklyn Bridge in New York City. He will embark on the journey on his 21 foot boat, Never Give Up. The 5,000 mile journey will trace much of the Middle Passage route once used by slave traders. Mooney is timing his journey to coincide with Black History Month in February.
By stopping in Bermuda on his way to New York, Mooney hopes “to bring Bermuda’s important role in Black history to life.” However, his main mission is to raise money and awareness for HIV prevention. He explains, “I know Bermuda’s been affected by this disease in the past, and Bermuda has been active in the global fight against HIV and Aids by partnering with groups overseas, so I want to show my appreciation for that. There has also been a lot of travelling back and forth between Bermuda and America during our history, and it’s a place that was affected by the slave trade too, so I just really hope I can stop off there along the way.”
Mooney also added, “It’s going to take me three or four months to make it across to the Caribbean. I’m going to come in by Antigua and then claw my way up north. From there it’s a direct path to Bermuda. This is just a rowboat, with no motor or sail, so my movement is going to be controlled by the ocean, but a stop off on the Island would be ideal.”
In May 2006 his first boat sank off the coast of Senegal, and in May 2009 he ran out of drinking water about 300 miles off Guinea-Bissau in West Africa.
To follow Victor Mooney’s progress, see www.goreechallenge.com
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