Michelle in 2019, rowing across the Atlantic.

Breaking Boundaries: Michelle Lee’s Epic Solo Paddling Journey Across the Pacific

Michelle Lee, an Australian adventurer and endurance athlete, has just accomplished another remarkable feat.  On the morning of the 5th of April 2023 – Michelle became the first woman to row solo and unassisted across the Pacific. 

By profession, Michelle is a massage therapist but left that all behind a few years ago to chase her dreams of adventure. A dream that would see her departing from Mexico on the 8th August 2022, passing through five hurricanes, outrunning a couple of sharks to arrive in Cairns 237 later after paddling an impressive 14,000km! 

During her journey, Michelle was followed by two large sharks for weeks. This led to four baby sharks swimming beneath her 7.7m carbon fibre boat. Lee decided the sharks had felt satisfied to leave their “bubbas” in her care. Then, they multiplied by “50 or so babes”.

Michelle arriving in Cairns on April 5th, 2023.

This extraordinary achievement is just one in a long list of accomplishments for Michelle, who is Australia’s first woman to row any ocean solo.

Michelle’s love for adventure and pushing her limits began at a young age. She grew up in New South Wales, Australia, surrounded by the ocean and was always drawn to its vastness and mystery. Her passion for adventure and exploration led her to embark on solo expeditions that are both physically and mentally challenging.

In 2019, Michelle rowed across the Atlantic Ocean, covering a distance of 5,000km in just 68 days, resulting in her being awarded The Australian Geographic’s Adventurer of the year. This incredible feat also earned her a place in the record books as the first Australian woman to row any ocean solo. Michelle’s Pacific Journey is another significant milestone in her career as an adventurer.

Michelle’s Pacific Journey was no easy feat. It involved paddling across the vast expanse of the Pacific Ocean, enduring extreme weather conditions, and battling sleep deprivation. She navigated her way across the open ocean using only a compass and the stars, facing not only physical but also mental challenges.

Michelle arriving in Cairns after rowing across the Pacific

Michelle’s determination and resilience are qualities that have allowed her to overcome the difficulties of her expeditions. Her solo journeys have taught her to be self-reliant and have given her the strength and courage to face any obstacle.

Michelle’s Pacific Journey is a testament to the power of determination, resilience, and perseverance. Her accomplishments have broken down barriers for women in adventure sports and have opened up opportunities for others to follow in her footsteps. She has shown that women can accomplish anything they set their minds to, regardless of how challenging it may seem.

Her message is clear – with hard work, dedication, and self-belief, anything is possible.

What do you think of Michelle’s accomplishments, could you see yourself working towards something like this? Let us know below in the comments!

Michelle arriving in Cairns on April 5th, 2023.

"Don’t die wondering. Start thinking you can and you will." - Michelle Lee, Solo Ocean Rower