FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- A bearded and "bloody tired" British adventurer waded into the arms of his girl friend at a public beach south of here Saturday to end successfully a 180-day solo voyage across the Atlantic in a 22-foot rowboat.
"I haven't slept in days. I'm totally exhausted," John Fairfax said as he waded ashore at North Hollywood Beach at 1:45 p.m. EDT.
As his boat, the scarred, yellow "Britannia" nosed into shallow water, the wiry 31-year-old Fairfax jumped into the water to wade ashore, losing the cap he wore as he did so. At the same time, his girl friend, 29-year-old Sylvia Mariott, a London stenographer, waded into the water from the beach, clothed in a very mini blue skirt.
The couple met in chest deep water, embraced and went under in a long kiss. They emerged moments later grinning broadly and waded ashore, where Fairfax was welcomed by Hollywood Beach city lifeguard Howard Scarborough and about 300 curious sunbathers.
"I'm glad I made it. I knew I'd make it," Fairfax told Scarborough.
The British oarsman wore a heavy growth of beard, was deeply tanned and obviously weatherbeaten. He gulped down two long drinks of water and shook hands with fellow Britishers representing the London sponsors of his trip.
As the sun burst through a cloudy sky early Saturday, the wiry, 31-year-old Britisher who calls himself a "professional adventurer, "spotted the skyline of hotel row on Miami Beach and knew he was near the end of his voyage.
Following his landing, his 22-foot "Britannia" was taken in tow to Fort Lauderdale.
Fairfax began his transAtlanlic row Jan. 20 from the Canary Islands and said before departing "I figure I've got a 70 per cent chance of surviving."
He said he once slit open the belly of a 15-foot shark that attacked him while he was in the water scraping barnacles off the bottom of the Britannia.