Imagine rowing 3000 miles in a boat, over 50 days, alone.

Setting off this week, Big Changer and father-of-two Stephen Shanly, will be doing just that. Starting in Gran Canaria and ending in Barbados, he will undergo long, gruelling days, under challenging conditions; but most challenging of all, he will be alone throughout. 

While past experiences have inspired the challenge, Stephen wants to use his Atlantic expedition as an opportunity to raise awareness around ocean conservation and the importance of striving in life.


“There are many reasons that I'm doing this. I have high expectations for myself, but my life achievements feel unfulfilled. I've gone on too many dates, and not found love. I started watching the news which made me want to get away from the ‘world’.

“I love to get out of my comfort zone by diving into something I know nothing about, and learning new skills. And I want to show my two amazing children that’s it’s great to explore this wonderful world, and appreciate and maintain its beauty for many years to come.

“So rowing solo, in a six metre boat for 3,000 miles across the Atlantic is a short sharp way for me to simplify perspective, and learn.”

Stephen has spent months preparing and training for this expedition and has set up a fundraising page where people can donate to support his efforts. All money raised will go to Ocean Unite to support their invaluable work in ocean conservation, and Big Change, to continue their work helping young people to thrive in life, not just in exams. Find out more about both charities and why Stephen has chosen them. 


From everyone at Virgin Unite, we wish you a safe and successful journey and look forward to hearing all about it. Good luck!