Expedition 2! World Record solo row across the Pacific for ocean plastic solutions

September 11, 2020

Tez Gives Thanks



Day 70 | September 10 | mile 2601
21° 28.3 minutes north
156° 11.5 minutes west

Crew mates, Land HO! After ten weeks at sea, seeing nothing but water above and water below, I finally see terra firma!

I am beyond words. The United World Challenge and this journey have changed my life forever. But this isn’t just my moment. I was alone in my boat, but none of this could have happened without you.

This post is dedicated to you, my amazing community of crew mates and friends who made this whole thing possible.

I’m sure I missed many amazing people below. Please accept my apologies if so. And try as I might, I can’t find words to properly give thanks. Rest assured, I have an ocean of appreciation for each of you.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

To my parents Deirdre Mullin and Rick Steinberg, who encouraged me to explore the world, believe in myself, and help others. Thank you for all you taught me.
To my older siblings Henry and Emily for being such inspiring individuals. Simply by being you, you taught me to find myself and aim for the sky.
Emily, thank you for scribing my talks in New York and Colorado, giving Moderation her font, supporting me on a million logistics from email and bills to navigating Hawaii’s lockdown, advising me on mindfulness, and so, so much more. Thanks also for helping me rediscover the wonder of bubbles at flipside. The ocean’s bubbles are great, but your laser bubbles are still the best. Can we make 2021 the year we run a marathon together?
Henry, thank you for teaching me how to hang tough as a kid – it’s how I can go places few would try! Thanks for bringing me to the playa in 2012; the burn changed my life, brought us closer together, and inspired me to live from the heart, a lesson I kept coming back to while building the Challenge. Thank you for all your support at the launch, coordinating Hawaii madness, looking after Moderation’s trailer, my car and stuff in Cali, loaning me the cash to keep the boat build underway, making multiple generous donations, helping me keep my head on straight in the lowest point of the row, and so much more. Now, go get your big wall! Count me as crew. ¡Vamos!
Tania and Meredith, thank you for being such awesome partners to my sibs. Tania, thank you for all your help at the launch, crowdfunding platform research, constant encouragement, letting me grumpily live in your home for 3+ weeks while I got ready to row, hosting the scholarship dinner party, prepping support letters, and so much more. Next time I’ll eagerly accept your offer for dehydrated meals. (Whoops…) Meredith, thanks for letting me inundate your email with 10,000 Amazon shipments ? and for supporting Em behind the scenes as she hustled hard help me. I see you.

⭐️HUGE thank you to the hundreds of crew mates who donated to the crowdfund to bring the Challenge to life and donated to the scholarship fund for UWC. Launching the crowdfund was my scariest moment of this project. Crew mates, you caught me when I leapt and I am forever grateful. You are generously supporting my dream to send new students to UWC, and your gifts will change people’s lives! Thank so, so much for your generosity.

⭐️To my amazing teammates who shared my story while I rowed, THANK YOU. Without you, I’d just have been a cork in the ocean. If we succeeded in inspiring others, credit goes to you for getting the story out:
Jen Mackie, you single-handedly did the job of a full team on social, scholarship fundraising, admin and more. You’ve been a selfless teammate on the Challenge for years and helped enormously in a million ways. No matter how much I threw at you, you kept catching. And to top it all off, you’re a bestie for life. I can’t thank you enough.
Deloitte’s Geospatial Analytics team, thank you for building the interactive Story Map! Jerry Johnston, thank you for being on board from our very first chat and dedicating so much time to this cause. I sincerely appreciate it. Arndt Gossel, Alice Lin, Rob Renner, and Andrew Johnston, I am so grateful for your help. Thank you all.
Will Greenwood, thank you for managing the website and digi admin since 2018. Kudos for the website belong to Will and the designer Julius – you’ve done such a great job.
Jess Garwood, you brought science to students worldwide in the Ocean Classroom Campaign. And your unwavering enthusiasm to do it always made me smile. Thank you! I can’t wait to see the lessons.
Zachary Smith, thank you for producing the United World Challenge podcast, spending hours interviewing me and other guests and creating a show to inspire others for years to come.
John Dupre, thank you for all your video support and being so down to help from the word Go!
Plinio Guzman, thank you for media help, grant writing workathon, and more.

⭐️MASSIVE thank you to my rock star logistics and medical support team:
Sonya Baumstein, where do I even begin? The woman, the myth, the legend. Your advice, expertise, and patience have been invaluable since we first spoke in early 2018. Thank you for supporting me on this row as duty officer, weather router, logistics queen, psychologist and more. I know I can always count on you, and that’s a rare thing in this world. You‘re f’in awesome. Thank you.
SpinDrift Rowing Company, thank you for building Moderation. She’s a beautiful, strong, and fast boat and I couldn’t be more stoked. Pretty sure our story is just getting started.
Ethan Forsgren, thank you for your 24 hour medical support, Leuko tape (life saver!), and professional Googling. And of course, your support and friendship over all these years.
Jon Lurie, thank you for guiding me to connect with water in Minnesota in 2008. Thank you for your friendship since, duty officer support/Googling at sea, and having my back at all times.

⭐️Thank you to my amazing Partners:
Ocean Bottle: Thank you for helping me fuel the Challenge AND raise scholarships with your do-good bottles. In July, our collaboration had already funded close to 250,000 plastic containers being collected from ocean-bound rivers before going out to sea. That’s real impact, thanks to you.
Dimitri Deheyn, Scripps Institute of Oceanography: thank you for partnering with the Challenge to gather new data on plastic in the Pacific. I can’t wait to see the results.
UWC-USA: Thank you for serving as the Challenge’s fiscal sponsor and partnering to send young students of color from the US to UWC.
UWC International Office: thank you for your early belief in this mission.

⭐️Thank you to my sponsors. Your products, funding and support were invaluable. I couldn’t have done this without you:
Founders First: Thank you Aaron and team for your training and support. I appreciate you so, so much.
Pure Power: Thank you Don and Sean for the world-class CBD and supplements. You kept me going strong the whole way to Hawaii.
SunPower: Thank you Mike, Ryan, Rene and team for powering Moderation and the mission. I never, ever worried about my power at sea. This peace of mind was priceless.
Ombraz: Best sunglasses ever, hands down. Couldn’t have been better. Thank you Nikolai and Jensen.
Stream2Sea: Thank you for sponsoring the Challenge with your skin care products, proven safe for fish and coral.
Voice for Nature Foundation: Thank David and trustees for supporting the media and Ocean Classroom Campaign with your gift.

⭐️ Thank you to my supporting sponsors. Your products and services made my life at sea so much better. I hope to thank you all in person soon. Until then please know you made a HUGE difference in this mission. I deeply appreciate your generosity:
Eclipse Glove – Thank you Peter!
Backpacker’s Pantry – Thank you Drew!
Honey Bunchies – Thank you Kendra!
Four Points Bars – Thank you Patrick!
Kate’s Real Food – Thank you team!
Fit365 – Thank you Kyle!
Skratch Labs – Thank you Ian and Mark!
Lumena – thank you Kaleb!
Crew Chief Systems – thank you Aaron!
Lens and Frame Co – thank you Darren!
Talking Trees – thank you Craig and Karl!
Chilton Media Group – thank you Will!
Exponential – thank you Kevin!
Revel Gear – thank you Brian!
Audible UK – thank you Thomas!
Breakwater Cove Marina – thank you Diane!
Seattle Friendly Foam – thank you team!
Corinthian Yacht Club – thank you Chris!
Northstar Moving Company – thank you Hardeep and Jason!
Move for Hunger – thank you Adam!

⭐️Thank you to my friends and volunteers who generously gave their time and skills in every way they could:
Philippe Setton, for being SO generous and training me weekly for a full year. What a gift. I couldn’t have done it without you. Remember where we began?! You built me up. Thank you!!
Danny Frank and Nikhil Mangaokar for giving me enough air cover to literally row an ocean.
Karen Kish aka KarenKishFitClub, for teaching me so much about fitness and getting me in the best shape of my life.
Jessica Tevik, for your design, artistry, photography, event support and so much more.
Shanda Keys, Bobby and team for support at CAC Union Station
Janin Stenzel for voice and performance coaching.
Pray Parekh and Phina Sofania for life-saving help at launch, doing a million errands for me without any hesitation, and your unwavering belief.
Jay Golden and Retellable for storytelling wisdom.
Mike Watson for logistics research.
Brandon Klein and The Difference for lending me The General Store.
Sue Shea for scribing Inspire MSP.
Steve Boehlke for facilitating the Minne mutiny
Taylor Howard for helping build the social plans
Ayana Fabris for hosting scholarship fundraiser
Vincent Mougin for social support
Kellie Nardin and the Copake Green for rallying generous help
JP O’Brian, Seth Levine, Bart Foster and Mike for co-hosting Inspiration as Fuel
Kevin Herman for game-changing mindset coaching and Exponential brilliance
Julian Castro for donating your stunning art to raise funds
Brandon Love for creating Moderation’s HORN!
Franki Z, @artoftheanimal for designing Moddy’s eyes and nose
Cindy for life-saving help at 5am moving Moderation around the SF Bay
Tanguy for being my saving angel just when I needed one and helping me launch Moderation in Sausalito
✨The dozens of you who wrote me personal letters to read at sea, your words made me laugh, cry, and feel loved. Thank you.

⭐️And to a few of my early believers, sponsors, and friends who shaped me and this mission though their generosity and guidance:
Christophe Beck, thank you for always believing in me. Your mentorship while I was a Shaper taught me so much about leadership. I couldn’t have created the Challenge without those prior experiences with you or your generous support today. Thank you so much.
Mike Evangelides and Dave Rizzo, thank you for championing the Challenge and working every angle to find support.
Mik Fogh, thank you for sponsoring the equipment to document the adventure in 4k. I can’t wait to see the film.
Will Chilton and Chilton Media Group, thank you for producing the first Challenge video and for putting the project on the map.
Michael Matucci, thank you for showing me the value of inspiration. Your guidance was a game-changer.
Greg Nance, thank you for being my accounta-buddy and cheerleader from the first day we met and for inspiring me with your overflowing ambition and drive.
Emil Mellgren, last but far from least, thank you for inviting me to join you in that triathlon in 2008. I’d have never made it here, if not for you.

To all of you and and the many more I couldn’t name, thank you. You are all the United World Challenge, and together, we are all the crew.

Humbly yours,

✨Scholarship and Crowdfund donors✨A vA
Aaron Houghton
Adam Doiron
Adrian Francis
Aengus Stanley
Alan Rene Morales Blanco
Aleksander Azarnov
Alex Azarnov
Alfred Hsi
Alice Madden
Amanda Anderson
Amy Winsor
Andrea Vella
Andrew Daugles
Andrew Garber
Andrew Mahlstedt
Andrew Meeker
Andrew Steinberg
Ani Hentkowski
Anika Wistar-Jones
Anna Graziano
Anna Min
Annemijn Van Marle
Antonina Storniolo
Asad Panjwani
Ava Gilotti
Ayana Fabris
Ayman Arandi
Ayo Camara
Barbara Levy
Bart Foster
Bernard McCann
Bernardo Silva
Beth Thiebault
Bev Sproats
Bill Fera
Bill Haedrich
Blanche Berkowitz
Bo Hucks
Bogo & Ola Giertler
Bogumil Giertler
Bradd Craver
Brain Lozess
Brain Rosenberg
Brandon Klein
Brian Bell
Bruce Westbrook
Bryn Drew
Caitlin Miller
Can Tiryakioglu
Carlos Trejo
Casper ter Kuile
Celeste Tretto
Celia Marshall
Charlie Kuhn
Chenxin Jiang
Chiara Casula
Choy Leow
Chris Callura
Chris Schmidt
Christina Tellez
Christine Ortiz
Christophe Beck
Christopher DeBeer
Christopher Geary
Christopher Price
Claire Logan
Claire Steinberg
Clare Brass
Colin and Jill Habgood and Longson
Collen Dowd
Connie Kranz-Haag
Corina Hamilton
Cynthia Choi
Dan Morandi
Daniel Prior
Danielle Lesko
Danny Frank
Dave Gillespie
Dave Rizz
Dave Stewart
David egilman
Deirdre Mullin
Derek D’Andrea
Derick Thompson
Diego Cominazzini
Dimitri Da Gama Rose
Divesh Chandiramani
Dmitry Shuster
Dominique Carrie
Dominique Van de Sompel
Don McLaughlin
Don Miller
Dustin Johnson
Dustin Lipson
Ed Alexander
Eduardo Placer
Elisa Cundiff
Elizabeth Burlon
Elliot Leung
Emil Mellgren
Emilia and Paul Denu
Emiliano Urbina
Emily Harrison
Emily Jane Steinberg
Eren Tiryakioglu
Eric Gottenborg
Erica Sivertson
Erik Johnson
Erin Holmes
Erudita Hoti
Estela Shabani
Ethan Forsgren
Ethan Neal
Eva & Andrius Anelauskas
Eva Beal
Farida Montanus
Fernando Quijano
Flora Hu
Francesco Minnocci
Francisco Walsh
Fred Rose
Freddie Kalaitzis
Friends of lan Stewart
Gareth Hermann
Gautam Sadarangani
Gaya Sarin
George Behringer
Gerbrand Hoogvliet
Gianmarco Spiga
Gideon Elkayam
Gina Megson
Gintare Eidimtaite
Graham Geiselman
Grant Reynolds
Greg McGrath
Greg Nance
Gregory McGrath
Hala Zahran
Harish Patel
Hayley Grundy
Heidi Bassett-LaPrairie
Heike Barker
Henry Steinberg
Holly Hitchcock
Hossein Alidaee
Hyatt at Olive 8
Ian Mackie
James Corbitt
Jamie Ronson
Janin Stenzel
Jasmine Nguyen
Jason Bach
Jason Hwang
Jay Hirsh
Jay Son Tan
Jayanti De
Jean-Paul Ginestier
Jeanruth Albano
Jed Smith
Jeffrey Themanis
Jennifer Mackie
Jennifer Rocks
jeremy Steinberg
Jerry Johnston
Jessica Bier
Jessica Nance
Jessica Pearce
Jessica Tevik
Jill Siegel-Stone
Joe Schubert
John Callahan
John Finegan
John Lynch
John Schoenleber
Jonathan Felix
Jonathan Harrison
Jonny Tamlyn
Jose Noguera
Julie Lipman
Justin Margolies
Justin Turkus
Kalindi Fonda
Kate Reiling
Kate Wichrowska
Kathryn Sullivan
Katie Agnew
Kayon Parekh
Kayton Parekh
Kazan McClain Partners’ Foundation
Kelly Herod
Kelly Price
Ken Abrams
Kenneth Snider
Kevin Hermann
Kevin Jackson
Khushnum Kharas
Kim C Quon
Kim Quon
Kim Urban
lan & Susan Mackie
lan Stewart
Larissa Walkiw
Laura Twomey
Laurel Halbany
Leonard Barham
Locke Berkebile
Loran Saggu
Louise Droessler
Lucien Vattel
Lucius Nicholson
Lukas-Karim Merhi
Lumena Lumena
Lyndsay Lazzarotto
Lynn Godman
Madeleine Beatty
Manel Mahroug
Manoj Vemula
Marc and Shari Stewart
Maria Carneiro
Mario Riello
Maritt Adelt
Mark & Brenda Carpenter
mark Kay
Marko Coetzee
Marta Andres-Terre
Marta Casassa
Martha Curioni
Martin Milev
Matt Schmidt
Matt Snook
Maura Lazzarotto
Maxime Weissend
Meghan O’Carroll
Melanie Weston
Mengyuan Hou
Michael Evangelides
Michael Ewart
Michael Johnson
Michael O’Brien
Michael Vardi
Michelle Hitchcock Wallace
Migle Armonaite
Mike Tonsing
Mitja Trejak
Mitja Tretjak
Mustafa Mahmoud
Nancy Pollock
Nathan Sloan
Ngan Jasmine Nguyen
Nicola Limodio
Nikhil Mangaokar
Niki Ganz
Niklas Peters
Niraj Mehta
Nishita Henry
Noemie Tilghman
Otto Nagengast
Paige Bayless
Patrick Daley
Patti Mullin
Paul Robson
Pete Ferderer
Peter Soderberg
Philip Griffiths
Prashanth Soundararajan
Prince Idichandy
Rachel Simon
Raj Rajagopal
Ralph Knickerbocker
Randall Huskamp
Ream Kidane
Rick Katz
Rob Scott
Robert Jentsch
Robert Renner
Rosie Claydon
Ruben Duarte
Sai Hampankatta
Sambit Behera
Sandeep Anantharaman
Sarah Dolan
Sarah Krasny
Sarah Schmidt
Sarah West
Savannah Carr-Wilson
Scott Parker
Sean Carpenter
Seraphina Sofania
Seth Levine
Shad Andraos
Shafee Jones-Wilson
Shamil Hargovan
Shamsher Virk
Shane Fagan
Shivanth Pande
Shruti Aggarwal
Sidhant Mehra
Sidharth Ramsinghanery
Sigrunn Sky
Sonate Gandonu
Sonia Singh
Sophors Khut
Spencer Jacobson
Stacie Speed
Stanisalva Johnson-Chyzhykov
Stephan Murphy-Logue
Stiliyana Stamenova
Susan Mackie
Tanya Schmitt
Terence Steinberg
Thomas Cooper
Thomas Skolik
Thu Dang
Tiiram & Carrie Sunderland
Tiiram Sunderland
Tracy Mcbride
Victoria Guerrero
Victoria Van Der warker
Vyas Anantharaman
Wade Pedrotti
Wes Meier
Will Sacks
Willem & Toby van der veer
Wing-Pin Kwan
Winnie Fuchs
Wojciech Musial
Yingxin Jiang
Zach McDade