Standing on the shoulders of yesterday's giants
to raise up tomorrow's
Pacific Giants will be rowing across the ocean from California to Hawaii to bring lasting change in communities facing poverty. With a solo female crew, the goal is to raise $100 for each of the 2,500 miles rowed to support programs that raise up giants in their communities.
Come along for the adventure!
Giants of Today
“We are like dwarfs sitting on the
shoulders of giants. We see more, and
things that are more distant, than they did,
not because our sight is superior or
because we are taller than they,
but because they raise us up,
and by their great stature add to ours.”
– John of Salisbury (Metalogicon, 1159)
Standing at 5'6", Heather Taylor is not what you would call a giant.
Born in Stouffville, Ontario, Canada, Heather grew up loving the water. She first tried rowing as an alternative to risking another concussion after a high school rugby tackle gone wrong. In rowing, she discovered a sport that was worth getting up at 4am for. Having rowed on the rivers and lakes of Canada and Australia, she'll tackle the Pacific one stroke at a time.
Off the water, Heather studied geological engineering at Queen's University in Canada and then moved to New Zealand for postgraduate studies in natural disaster management. In 2012, she headed for Australia, her paternal homeland. Based in Perth, she works for the Western Australian state government in disaster management. When she is not working, she is studying physics and space science at the Royal Military College of Canada.
While science and sports have kept her mind and body engaged, her heart rests with the real giants—the unrecognized giants in our world who work hard to provide for their families and communities in the face of many injustices. Heather's childhood was spent playing hopscotch on the coloured tiles of the Emmanuel International (EI) office floor where her parents have worked for over 40 years to serve the rural poor in East Africa, Haiti, Brazil, and the Philippines. As an adult, she has spent time in Haiti and Malawi with EI and lived in Indonesia for several months when doing her postgraduate research on children's experiences of natural disasters.
Bringing together all these pieces of her life, she is on a mission to share the stories of the real giants as she sets off across the Pacific.
Check out the rest of the team here
To row 2,100 nautical miles (3,890 km) across the Pacific Ocean.
Starting from Monterey, California in April 2020, Heather will not see land for 60 to 90+ days until she arrives in Hilo, Hawaii.
Armed with 120 days of rations, a water maker, and three sets of oars, she’ll be on her own until she arrive in Hilo on the Big Island.
More people have been to space or climbed Mt. Everest than have crossed an ocean in a rowing boat. Unless someone else gets there first, she'll be the first Canadian to complete a mid-Pacific row, and the first Australian to solo it.
There are many reasons why someone would choose to row across an ocean: to seek a challenge, to escape the rat race, because they're crazy or just because they can!
The idea to row an ocean for me has been like a little seed that was planted and slowly took root. Despite the disappointment of not one but two successive teammates pulling out from joining me, the idea has dug itself in even deeper. I never thought I'd be doing this, and I certainly didn't think I'd be doing it on my own. Yet somehow, here is where I am.
While I love being out on the open water, embracing the thrill of new challenges, I know these motivators will only carry me through a few days on the untamed ocean. At the heart of it I know—and I will remember on Day 43
when the waves are 30 ft high and all I want to do is sleep—it's not about me.
I believe that I have been put on this earth for a reason: to love mercy, act justly, walk humbly with my God, and to love my neighbour as myself. My life might so easily have not been one of privilege—I could be living in Yemen right now, where my mom was born. I have met others who have not shared my privilege and as far as I can tell, we're not that different from one another. We can all do something about the injustices we see. Rowing an ocean is certainly not the only way to do it, but through it I hoping I can make a small drop in a very large ocean.
To really get an idea of what I mean and the type of work I'm backing, watch the video below. To find out more about the organisations I'm partnering with and why, click here.
Individual Sponsors who are coming along for the ride with their name on the boat!
Ron & Joanne Vincent
Ellie & Aaron Mitchell
Melissa, Dave, Norah & James
Sandy MacKenzie Insurance