Charleston woman who was part of a Morocco-to-Barbados rowing trip will be part of “The Big Blue” screening on Sunday

A couple of years ago,  Charleston resident and businesswoman Louise Graff set out to row across the Atlantic with a crew of 16, aboard an experimental rowboat. The aim was to set a world record.

Graff, who is 50, is by no means an athlete but was determined to accomplish this quite extraordinary feat.

In a nutshell, the yoyage met with catastrophic setbacks. The expedition ran out of food, met horrible weather, and had boat and crew issues. But alas, they did make it across the Atlantic – from Morocco to Barbados!

Through it all, Louise  - who spends much of her time working with cancer survivors in Charleston – was a kind of quiet hero, although would not admit to such.

At 7:15 p.m. Sunday,  Nov. 3, a documentary film about the expedition, called The Big Blue, and the book about it, Little Ship of Fools, will make their U.S. debuts at The Terrace Theater on Maybank Highway.

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Want a real adventure race? The ninth Barrier Island ECOthon IS the real thing.

For nearly a decade, the end of October meant more than just Halloween. It also has been the date for the Barrier Island ECOthon.

The ninth annual event will be 9 a.m. Sunday at the Isle of Palms Marina.

Now, talk about “adventure race,” the ECOthon is perhaps the most adventurous in the Lowcountry.

(Dana Beach, the executive director of the Coastal Conservation League, calls the ECOthon “the most beautiful race on the East Coast” and that it is do-able by anyone who is in decent shape.)

Participants launch kayaks from the Isle of Palms Marina and paddle three miles to Dewees Island. After landing on the beach, they run 2.2 miles to the other end, swim a quarter mile across Capers Island to Caper’s Island, run to the other end, where they turn around and repeat the course backward.

Once back at the marina, participants bike to the southern tip (or western tip, depending on your orientation) of Sullivan’s Island and return, for a total of about 18 miles.

A race that involved takes some money. Registration is $90 and a portion goes to support the efforts of Charleston Tibetan Society. Since its origination, the ECOthon has raised and donated $18,500 to the society and the Lance Armstrong Foundation.

The founder and director of the race, Brett Carlson, says he created the ECOthon after developing a deep appreciation of the Lowcountry after “running, riding, swimming and paddling between the barrier islands for about a quarter century.”

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