The main characters

Astrid (yours truly). I’m 52 when I decide to row across the Ocean. “When you get something in your head, and you really want it, don’t put it off, just do it.” I live in Deventer with my son Tomar, a couple of dogs, and a cat. For years I’ve been a business owner. I have a graphic design agency in the city centre. I’m passionate about ‘making beautiful things and making things beautiful’ and that’s why I chose this career path. My motto: you have to follow your heart.

"When I look at our before and after photos, I see four women and four stories. The book 'Knot Joking, across the ocean in a pink  rowing boat' tells my story".

Remke (56) is the oldest in the group. She lives in Deventer, just outside the city centre, in a cozy 1930’s house with Mark, her boyfriend. She works for the local city council as a project assistant, an interesting and diverse job. Even though she’s been on many challenging and adventurous journeys in her life, she never thought of rowing across the ocean. “I could see myself sailing, but rowing… That’s something else!”


"The best preparation is actually the trip itself".

Bela moved to The Netherlands for love. Originally English, she’s married to Vincent, and they have three great kids together: two sons and a daughter. This 51-year-old lives in Tonden, a small village near Zutphen, in a former school building. She freelances as a digital consultant. She’s creative, analytical, and loves challenges. It wasn’t a question of whether this adventure would cross her path; it was just a question of when

"We had so much bad luck and little control. You also have to learn to let go."

Désirée (51) lives with her husband Peter in a house on a dike in Welsum. They have a beautiful view over the IJssel River and they’ve created an idyllic place for themselves, with a couple of dogs, some sheep, and a garden with a western saloon. Dees owns a painting business, De Schildervrouw (The Paintress). She’s tough and sensitive at the same time and, just like the other three women, loves the outdoors. She likes to travel and has visited many, many places in the world.

"You can feel very well that you are really a guest on the ocean".