Somewhere far out on the Pacific Ocean, two sailors are rowing. Tim Welford and Dominic Mee came from England to Japan in April. When weather for their departure was auspicious, they set out from Choshi, Chiba Prefecture, in a rowboat named Crackers, their venture acclaimed as "the first unsupported double-handed row from West to East across the North Pacific." They aimed to reach San Francisco in 120 days. "We are going for a record, to be the fastest ever," they said. "We're taking the northern route across the Pacific. That's the tough one."

These two rugged young seamen are corporals in the British Royal Marines, both of them experienced in theaters around the world. Tim's arenas have been in Scandinavia, Europe and the Middle East. He has completed three tours of duty in Northern Ireland. Dom claims Iraq, and also a number of tours in Northern Ireland. Tim is a military ski instructor, parachutist and diver, and is trained in desert, arctic and jungle warfare. Dom is a yachtsman who has sailed in teams representing Great Britain and New Zealand. He has taken part in 10 world championship regattas.

As a Royal Marine, Tim was part of the first winter team to ski across Iceland in 47 days. He has mountaineered in the Alps, and in 1997 rowed the North Atlantic Ocean in 60 days. Dom has competed in the Sydney-to-Hobart race, and the Fastnet race. He secured third place this year in the Swan World championships. He is a parachutist and hang-gliding pilot. Both have shared in explorations of South America and Africa.