Transatlantic Rowing Crew Recovers Laptop Data After 10 Days In Capsized Boat

For most, a transatlantic journey would involve an airplane, checked bags and a few good books. But for Olympic gold medalist Adam Kreek and the Canadian Wildlife Federation (CWF) Africa to Americas Expedition crew, this was an opportunity to get up-close and personal with the ocean and its wildlife ecosystem – not to mention set a Guinness World Record for being the first to row from mainland Africa to the mainland U.S. So the crew set out on the 4,000-plus mile journey from Dakar, Senegal to Miami, Fla.

Part of Kreek and crew’s mission during the journey was to study the connection between humans and the ocean’s wildlife. But with a 29-foot rowboat, there was very little space for multiple pieces of equipment. The crew depended on a Toughbook CF-31 for “anything involving a computer,” from navigation to data storage and backup files. “The [Toughbook] CF-31 was, essentially, the brain of our mission,” Kreek said.

Close to the end of their journey, the crew entered the Bermuda Triangle and almost immediately encountered rough waters. Two massive waves hit the crew and overturned the boat, leaving them stranded in the water for more than 13 hours before being rescued. The boat and all of the belongings the crew was forced to leave behind – including the Toughbook CF-31 – remained capsized for 10 days.

When the crew went back into the ocean to salvage what they could from the wreckage, they were able to recover the Toughbook CF-31 and all the data stored on it. Although it had spent 10 days in open water, the IP65 certified Toughbook was not compromised. According to, the recovered data resulted in two PhD thesis reports, a full hour on Dateline NBC, and a TEDx Talk by Kreek recounting the experience.

Check out Adam’s testimonial of his transatlantic experience and how the Toughbook CF-31 stood up to the unpredictable waters of the Bermuda Triangle.

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