C“CAPE HORN LOOMS 21 DAYS AHEAD, and I wonder how I’ll make it around alive. For 180 days, since leaving Annapolis, Maryland, and heading north, I’ve been alone at sea. St. Brendan is 40 years old and only 27 feet long. Already she’s carried me up through the Northwest Passage, around Alaska, south through the Pacific, then down along South America. We’re in another 50-knot gale as I write, the fourth in two weeks, this one stronger than the last. Waves are breaking over the stern, filling the cockpit, spilling down into the cabin through the
He’s sailed 42,000 miles over the past
five years and become the first man
to circumnavigate the Americas solo.
Here’s how a tough start in life can
be met with reflection, resilience,
and, ultimately, redemption
companionway hatch, and I rush
with my empty corn tin to bail
out the narrow bilge, or water will
slosh around on the cabin sole.
Both bilge pumps have stopped
working. My goal, to sail around
the Americas, drives me forward.
There’s no turning back now.”
IN THE HOUSE