04/13/2013 08:04 EDT | Updated 06/13/2013 05:12 EDT

Olympic rower Adam Kreek returns home to B.C.

Olympic rower Adam Kreek arrived at the Vancouver airport Saturday morning, after what he calls a "harrowing life experience" in the Atlantic Ocean.

Last week, a rogue wave capsized his boat about 600 kilometres north of Puerto Rico.

Kreek, along with three other endurance rowers — Markus Pukonen of Tofino, B.C., and Jordan Hanssen and Pat Fleming of Seattle — were trying to become the first to row unassisted from Africa to North America.

They were 73 days into a 6,500-kilometre journey that was expected to take between 80 and 100 days.

On Saturday, Kreek said he was looking forward to reconnecting with his family in Victoria.

"It feels awesome to go home. I haven't seen my wife for over four months, same with my son," he said.

"For those of you with young kids, you know how quickly kids grow up. I spoke to him on Skype the other day he was singing me a song with his ukulele. It's incredible to see kids grow up."

Although Kreek is headed home, he says his crewmates are in a tugboat on the Atlantic, hoping to salvage more than $50,000 in scientific instruments and film footage.