Mooney's boat, a capsule-like affair, is designed to offer protection even in high seas. Like all of his attempts, he said, this one is being done in honor of a brother who died of AIDS in 1983.
The New Yorker is one of several people to attempt an east-to-west crossing of the Atlantic this winter. Successful crossings happen annually, according to statistics kept by The Ocean Rowing Society. Failure and high-seas rescues are also common.
"A series of failures, a lot of times, leads you to a victory," Jenifer Clark said. She cited the travails of Nyad, whose attempts to reach Florida from Cuba began in 1978, and were foiled repeatedly due to jellyfish stings, asthma and bad weather.