LIFE BEGINS BEYOND YOUR COMFORT ZONE. LIVE, OR WONDER.” Before the holi- days in 2012, I wrote this on a friend’s bathroom wall, which
had been decorated with other lofty words
of wisdom. It seemed to epitomize what
voyaging aboard our little white fiberglass
ship has taught my wife Mary and me.
In February 2011, we made landfall in Grand
Canaria, Canary Islands, off the northwest coast
of Africa, and completed a world circumnavigation aboard our Nordhavn 46 powerboat, Egret.
We’d been outside the U.S. for more than seven
years, voyaging from our home in Florida, across
to Europe and the Med; down to the tip of South
America for a year; spent five extraordinary days
in Easter Island; then north up through numerous remote and later more well known islands
of the South Pacific; pausing in New Zealand for
14 months, and nine months in Australia; then
around the bottom of South Africa, returning
to the Canary Islands. Most of Egret’s time was
spent in the Southern Hemisphere, and she was
the first small powerboat ever to pass under all
five great capes, starting with Cape Horn. Years
ago, a statement like the one I wrote on that wall
and the voyage we’ve done would have seemed
inconceivable to us. But each adventure built
on itself, and by taking baby steps, we expanded
our knowledge and comfort zone, traveling these
miles in complete safety. Along the way, we’ve
had the time of our lives.
IS ThIS ALL There IS?
Mary and I began our boating career as complete
novices, reading about the adventures of the
cruising gods in various magazines and thriving
on every word. When we were young and beginning our careers — I was in the boat-parts business and Mary was a pediatric physical therapist
— we worked hard over the years to climb our
various professional mountains. By the time the
children were grown and our mountains climbed,
Egret in Biscayne National Park.
Inset: Scott and Mary Flanders, the first
people to navigate a powerboat around
the world via the great southern capes.