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Canadian rower crosses North Atlantic Ocean alone

Nov 13, 2013, 1:41 PM EDT

Mylene Paquette AP

Mylene Paquette navigated through whales, storms and capsizing, but she’s still afraid of the pool.

The Montreal native, 35, completed a solo 129-day journey across the North Atlantic on Tuesday, according to Canadian reports.

She said she’s the first North American to do so, a 3,000-mile feat all the more impressive given her fears.

“I’m scared in the pool and in a big bath,” she told reporters on a conference call after landing in the French port city of Lorient. “I don’t really understand what I’m scared of. Maybe it’s because I’ve been watching too much ‘Jaws’ when I was younger?”

A U.S. woman rowed solo across the Atlantic in 1999, from the Canary Islands to Guadeloupe.

Paquette said her journey from Halifax was tougher, though she called the American Tori Murden a hero.

“It’s like Everest,” she said, comparing a southern route to Mount Kilimanjaro.

Paquette began her journey on July 6 to raise awareness about environmental protection. She rowed a 24-foot boat named Hermel and had a meteorological expert guiding her along the way.

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