A Calgary man is about to set out on an inspiring adventure across the Atlantic Ocean to raise money for a foundation he holds close to his heart. 

Laval St. Germain is just days away from attempting to row his custom-built boat from Halifax all the way to Brest, France.

“It's a long haul,” said St. Germain. “It'll take me all summer, about 90 to 100 days to get there, so I'm going to pack enough provisions for 120 days.”

The father of two says he’s always been an adventure seeker, but this time it has more meaning.

“I have a close friend who’s 41 years old. (He was) just diagnosed for no apparent reason,” he said. “Young guy with young kids – it really hit home."

St. Germain is also inspired by another more personal reason. Two years ago, he lost his son in a boating accident.

“It’s sort of a defining tragedy, and it keeps me focused on how short life is,” he said. “It’s overarching in my life.”

St. Germain won't be the first person to row from Halifax to the mainland of Europe on his own. Three years ago, Mylene Paquette from Montreal completed the journey in about four months, despite running into difficulty when her craft overturned during a storm.

“It's an endurance sport. Lots of prep, lots of miles,” said Colm Gribbon, head coach at the Halifax Rowing Club. “My advice is take your time, it's not a race, really try and be efficient, take clean efficient strokes.”

St. Germain says he’s well-versed in patience after climbing Mount Everest back in 2010.  

“At first blush, it does appear crazy, but I think it's sort of the ultimate testimonial to people trying to step outside their comfort zone and push themselves,” he said.

St. Germain says he’s raised about $20,000 towards his goal of $200,000 for the Alberta Cancer Foundation.

With files from CTV Atlantic’s Caitlin Andrea.