Two brothers are rowing across the Atlantic Ocean—in the buff. John and Kurt Schwartz began their 3,000-mile journey this week, telling Mashable that manning the oars nude cuts down on blisters, sores, and other problems that pesky clothing causes. "It's kind of a running joke in the rowing community that, if you're going to do this, you'd better be prepared to row naked, " says John.The duo set out from the Canary Islands on Wednesday in a 24-foot craft that Kurt, 29, explained looks less like a typical rowboat and "more like a rocket ship" with a cabin on each end—one for sleeping, one for supplies—sandwiching an open middle. Autopilot and foot pedals help with steering, per Old City Life, and the brothers plan to alternate rowing in two-hour shifts with someone always on the lookout for an imminent collision with a cargo ship.
"You're not going that fast and you're looking at nothing but blue ocean for 45 days or so," John, 33, tells Mashable by phone. The brothers, who rowed on their college crew teams, are among a dozen teams competing in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge, which bills itself as the "world's toughest row." The Schwartzes are hoping to raise $25,000 for thesamfund.org, a charity that helps young adults with cancer, in honor of a friend who died of melanoma. No word if the other teams have opted to row au naturel, though John insists nude rowing really is a thing. "It's not atypical. (A British women's team made a calendar doing it. ) But don't expect any photographic evidence. "Some things are best kept in the family," notes Mashable. (Read more naked stories.)