Three amazing stories about singe handed around the world sailors

KellysEye

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John Sanders, from Western Australia has bee made an honorary member of the Ocean Cruising club. He has been circumnavigating the word since 1970, normally single handed and has just completed his ninth circumnavigation around the world. Earlier voyages were double and triple circumnavigations. He has a string of unbroken records and firsts, including some delivery passages: he has crossed the Indian Ocean 15 times, the Atlantic 11 times and Pacific 12 times. Cleared the Cape of Good Hope 10 times, and Cape Horn 5 times, Panama canal 6 times and sailed beneath the Australian Continent 45 times.

Another recipient off OCC honorary member is Les Powles he is such a celebrity Lymington Yacht Haven have given him a free berth for many years, he is 90 years old. He started sailing in 1975 having built his own boat, Solitaire of Hamble, a Bruce Roberts 34. Les had put most of his money into the boat, this never daunted his indomitable spirit. Les set off almost immediately after launching his boat with little sailing exoperience to sail around the world single handed. He had a sextant but no accurate time piece, no radio and he was to rely on dead-reckoning navigation. This first voyage nearly ended in disaster when he hit a reef off the coat of Brazil when his destination was St Lucia. At the end of his second circumnavigation he sailed into Lymington unannounced, emaciated and barely alive with no food left. He was so long overdue he had been given up for lost three months ago. There followed a third circumnavigation.

The OC Jester medal went to Webb Chiles in recognition of his recent single handed passage from Opua, New Zealand to San Diago in lightweight Moore 24 foot boat named Gannet. His first circumnavigation was took place in the 70s aboard Egregious, an engineless 37 foot cutter and took 203 days. At the time he held the world record for the fastest circumnavigation, breaking Francis Chichester's record. His second circumnavigation was in an 18 foot open boat, a Drascome Lugger called Chidiock Tichborne. It was and maybe still a word record for open boat voyage ever. His fourth circumnavigation was a She 36, his fourth circumnavigation was in a New Zeland 37 sloop The Hawke of Tonela. Note: they have missed out his third circumnavigation.
 
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It's answering the telephone mid atlantic and conversations with friends that is the real challenge of single handed sailors. The tricks that the mind plays and managing the psychology of such loneliness shows true grit more than the actually seamanship and milage; although that too is awesome.
 

Rhyddid

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Not that it is really important, but Webb sailed is Moore 24 from San Diego to Hawaii then on to Opua Not the other way round. He also plans to return to GANNET and sail around Cape Horn which he holds the odd record for too.
Motivation? Because he can I guess....... ��
 

BurnitBlue

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Motivation? Climb a few hills in the Lake District or climb Mount Everest.

Most hobbies have their Mount Everest. Even stamp collectors have their Penny Black to die for.

For the yachtsman it is a circumnavigation. It defines where you are in the scheme of things.
 

William_H

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Yes, but what drives someone to do it?

Jon Sanders is the local boy made good. His boat used for tripple circumnavigation is now in the local maritime museum. (along with some of his remaining food stores and left over tin openers. He took many. Interesting that he has mentored several young sailors including Jess Dicks who would have broken the record for the youngest circumnavigation but for receiving some replacement bolts half way through.
Jon is not your ordinary person. No family but many friends and has been known to take crew occasionally. Seems to do a lot of delivery work.
I well remember when on his tripple non stop circumnavigation he returned to Fremantle harbour. Hundreds, maybe thousands of boats went out to greet him. Including myself. There was a good breeze blowing and he charged in at about 7 knots through the crowd of boats, around a buoy and off again only to return many months later. Probably the most dangerous part of the voyage.
Yes all these sailors are to be admired. But then I don't think we all have to compare oursleves to them or try to match them. That is their special thing. olewill
 

iowman

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In 2009/2010 an epic voyager was Paddy Macklin a painter and decorator from Southern UK. Paddy set out from Falmouth in his boat Tessa. Tessa is a 27ft classic yacht and Paddy intended to make a solo voyage round the globe non stop.

Paddy made one stop in New Zealand but had the adventure of a lifetime. Since his return to Falmouth Paddy has written and published a book "Captain Bungles Odyssey". I do admire this guy.
 

KellysEye

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One thing I forgot to mention is Les Powles is still living on his boat Solitaire Lymington Yacht Haven and the OCC article said if anybody is in Lymington or passing through Les would be happy to see you and you would get some great stories.
 

NOHOH

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And Webb Chiles, according to his own book......felt that he had found and sailed around the world his "perfect yacht".....so he scuttled it in the Gulf of Mexico... intending to commit suicide.........and then changed his mind....and was picked up by shear luck by some people on a powerboat. Is this another example of the psychosis induced through sleep deprivation and long term isolation of lone sailors.?

That said.... I found Webb Chiles books some of the most compelling reading on the subject of sailing that I have ever come across...and would recommend them wholeheartedly.
 
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