The Circumnavigators - by Don Holm




       Chapter One

1. The Spray's dimensions were, in the words of its captain, 36 feet,
9 inches overall, 14 feet 2 inches wide, and 4 feet 2 inches deep in the hold.
Her net tonnage was 9, and her gross, 12.71 tons.
2. Robinson & Stephenson, 1897. An 1894 edition was published in
Boston by Roberts Brothers, who also acted as Slocum's literary agents during
his circumnavigation.

3. Slocum's eldest son, Victor, considered his father's dollar-and-a-half
chronometer merely one of his sly jokes. The captain, although he had no formal
education, was an expert navigator with long experience. In point of fact, a
chronometer is not absolutely necessary. Both latitude and longitude can be found
with sextant and dead reckoning, and the captain had all his instruments with him.

 After forty-three days from the island of Juan Fernandez to Nuku Hiva, the
Spray was found to be exactly on course. The high and beautiful island in the
Marquesas, said Victor, was used merely to check on her longitude.
 At this point, Slocum wrote: "I hope I am making it clear that I do not lay
claim to cleverness or to slavish calculations in my reckonings. I think I have
already stated that I kept my longitude, at least, mostly by intuition A rotator
log always towed astern, but so much has to be allowed for currents and for
drift, which the log never shows, that it is only an approximation."
 Slocum made lunar observations for his own satisfaction, finding errors in the
tables he carried.
 "The tables being corrected, I sailed on with self-reliance unshaken, and with
my tin clock fast asleep. I was en rapport with my surroundings, and was car-
ried on a vast stream where I felt the buoyancy of His hand who made all the
worlds. I realized the mathematical truth of their motions, so well known that
astronomers compile tables of their positions through the years and the days
and the minutes of the days, with such precision that one coming along over
the sea five years later, may by their aid, find the standard time of any given
meridian on earth."

4. "Looking out of the companionway," Slocum wrote, "to my
amazement I saw a tall man at the helm. His rig was that of a foreign sailor,
and the large red cap he wore was cockbilled over his left car, and all was set
off with shaggy black whiskers. 'Senor,' said he, doffing his hat, 'I have come to
do you no harm. I am one of Columbus's crew. I am the pilot of the Pinta
come to aid you. Lie quiet, Senor Captain, and I will guide your ship tonight.' "
 With this little bit of whimsy, Slocum started a tradition that still delights
voyagers today. The pilot of the Pinta has become the patron saint of all solo

5. Slocum cannot even bring himself to mention Virginia in his book.
He does tell how Captain Howard, when he learned of the pilot of the Pinta,
refused to return aboard the Spray.

6. Enormous waves, the culmination of several joined together on
the long fetches of the southern oceans, have been encountered by all voyagers
in those waters, including Vito Dumas, Dwight Long, Harry Pidgeon, Alain
Gerbault, William Albert Robinson, and the Smeetons. Another phenomenon
which Slocum alluded to, but which others failed to record, was mirages and
illusions, which at times made seagulls appear as giant birds one moment and
as tiny specks the next.

      ~ 432 ~

7. During this storm, in which he was blown down toward the Horn
by a northwest gale, Slocum kept his ship under control and running before the
tempest by towing large warps astern He was the first to report on this tech-
nique which is now standard practice among small-boat voyagers.

8. The Keeling-Cocos Islands were discovered in 1608 by Captain
William Keeling, in the service of the East India Company, and settled by
Captain John Clunies-Ross in 1814, who brought in Malay natives to colonize
them. Later a cable station and now an airways communication link, they are
under Australian protection although still held by the Clunies-Ross family. This
is a popular landfall on the long run across the Indian Ocean, and almost every
yacht calls in here for a rest before tackling the usually boisterous ocean to

9. Clark was still there when Harry Pidgeon arrived in the Islander
almost a quarter century later, and got the goat story firsthand

10. The document was later turned over to the Treasury Department
as a record of the voyage.

11. The Voyages of Joshua Slocum (New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers
University Press, 1958).

12. Ironically, the first copy of the Spray to attempt a circumnaviga-
tion, the Australian Pandora went missing in the same general area in 1911
after surviving a capsize and dismasting while rounding the Elorn. The Pandora
was the first to attempt the Cape Horn route, and was an almost exact copy of
the Spray.

13. Slocum was described by a reporter on the day he left Boston for
his circumnavigation as a man 5 feet 9 1/2 inches tall, weighing 146 pounds, and
"as spry as a kitten and nimble as a monkey."

   As a matter of further historical interest, during World War 11,
a Liberty ship, the Joshua Slocum was launched at a Portland shipyard, in
honor of the old gent who as a youth had designed and built Columbia River
gillnet boats, and who fished and hunted in this area for some months. After
the war, the Joshua Slocum was tied up for years in the Moth Ball Fleet at
Tongue Point, near Astoria, within sight of his old fishing grounds.

       Chapter Two

1. The Venturesome Voyages of Captain Voss by John Claus Voss,
Charles E. Lauriat Company, Boston, 1913. First published in Yokohama in 1913
a second edition appeared in London in 1926, followed by a "cheap edition" in
1930. A Mariners Library edition appeared in the 1960s, but the book is long
out of print and scarce, especially in the original printings.
  The most controversial, misquoted, misread, and misunderstood book on
small-craft voyaging ever published, it is also one of the most literate and fas-
cinating. It is so well-written that I am inclined to believe that Voss never
wrote it. The style suggests that it was at least rewritten from Voss's original
manuscript by a professional, and my guess would be none other than Weston
Martyr, who first met Voss at Cape Town and later came to know him well in
Yokohama (and who, in fact, wrote the introduction to the original). It is far
superior as a literary account of voyaging in the early 1900s than Luxton's
posthumous account, published in 1972, almost sixty years later.
  In spite of detractors (who seem not to have read Venturesome Voyages)
the techniques of heavy weather sailing in small vessels, related in detail by Voss,

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remain among the best and most authentic ever published, and were certainly
the first. They are as valid today as they were when Voss experimented with
them. Many of the popular voyaging books that came later relate versions of
Voss's techniques without credit, or at least unknowingly. Those who have
deprecated Voss's use of the sea anchor, for example, apparently never really
studied his technique, for their versions differ in important details from Voss.
  For more than half a century, Voss's book has been underrated and too often
casually dismissed. It deserves a fresh appraisal and evaluation, especially for its
sea lore.

2. Although later writers claim Voss's beginnings are shrouded in
mystery, the old gentleman himself once gave his birthday as August 6, 1858,
and related that he shipped on his first voyage to sea at Hamburg, Germany, in
1877, on a 300 ton bark bound for Guayaquil, Ecuador.

3. British Columbia Directory for 1895.

4. This was confirmed by none other than Weston Martyr, who met
Voss in Cape Town and later in Japan.

5. Luxton's book, edited and published after his death from his
private letters to his family, appears to be mostly casual memoirs of an old man
not intended for readers outside the family circle. The fact that he made no
effort to publish his account during his lifetime, although he owned and operated
a printing business, is strong evidence that he was afraid to do so. An oppor-
tunist, if nothing else, Luxton probably saw in Voss an opportunity to cash in on
the contemporary Slocum fever, but found in Voss a stronger and more mature

6. Luxton's version of how they raided the Indian burial grounds
does not follow Voss's. The latter wrote that they acquired the trinkets while on
the west coast of Vancouver Island waiting for the weather to improve which is
probably the actual case since not enough time had elapsed between acquiring
and outfitting the Tilikum and their departure to have done all the things Lux-
ton said they did.

7. There is neither an authentic record of these charges nor of reg-
istering the Tilikum as the Pelican.

8. Voss and Luxton differ in their accounts of the stay on the west
coast of the island. Also, Voss said he accompanied the Indian whaling expedi-
tion, and gave his own version of it.

9. Luxton and Voss are invariably a day or so apart in their accounts
of arrival and departure, indicating that either or both of them had dropped
or lost a day in his log. Most likely Voss was correct, since he was the navigator
and knew their actual position in respect to the International Dateline.

10. Voss makes no mention, of course, of the episode involving the
use of the gun, and in fact it is probably not true.

11. Voss dismisses the entire Samoan interlude as follows:
  "The Samoan Islands, the natives and their habits, have been so often de-
scribed that I omit that part, and proceed with my voyage." It is probable that
Luxton did try to make some trouble for Voss here, but the latter chose to ig-
nore it.

12. Luxton's account of the shipwreck and Voss's alleged attempt to
abandon him does not hold water, and in fact the time element precludes that it
ever happened.

13. The Venturesome Voyages of Captain voss, by John Claus Voss,
Charles E. Lauriat Company, Boston, 1913.

14. Voss devotes an entire chapter to this trial and the dramatic dem-

    ~ 435 ~

onstrations which he put on to convince the jury that the defendants were at
fault. This has an air of being highly overdramatized, almost like a Perry Mason
courtroom drama. But it is a fact that everywhere Voss went he was feted and
lionized as a hero and an outstanding seaman. In Australia, New Zealand, South
Africa, and England, he took every opportunity to have the Tilikum hauled
out and transported sometimes hundreds of miles overland to exhibit at his

15. In Dunedin, New Zealand, Voss had his name changed to McVoss
and the ladies of the town sponsored Tilikum in a floral parade, decorating it
with flowers from keel to tops of masts.
  During Voss's stay in New Zealand, he became friends with Harold Buck-
ridge, who had just returned from Captain Scott's South Pole expedition on the
relief ship Morning, and who joined the Tilikum as a crew member for a time
participating with Voss in the surf-running exhibitions at Sumno. During one
of Voss's lectures, Buckridge jumped up and related some episodes of his South
Pole expedition at great length, not knowing that also in the audience was
Lieutenant Ernest (later Sir Ernest) Shackleton, his superior, who later became
famous for his own South Pole adventures.
  Sailing to Nelson via French Pass, Voss comments at length on the local
legend of Peloris Jack, the only circumnavigator to make direct reference to this
unique mammal. He reports, however, that Peloris Jack failed to show up to
accompany him, although Voss waited on the west side of the strait for slack
water as all vessels had to do. Conor O'Brien later also commented on Peloris
  Peloris Jack was more than a legend. He was a Risso's dolphin (Grampus
griseus), a beakless species of the Tasman Sea. This dolphin met and accom-
panied ships that crossed the Cook Strait, between the North and South islands
for more than twenty years. In the spring of 1912, the dolphin disappeared and
was believed to have died of old age. The complete story can be found in Dol-
phins, the Myth and the Mammul by Antony Alpers (Cambridge, Mass.: The
Riverside Press, 1961 ) .

16. The Tilikwn's figurehead was kicked by a horse.

17. Voss had first visited Pernambuco in 1877 as a young seaman.
It was here that the British consul made him remove the Canadian flag which
he had used up to now, and replace it with the British ensign.

18. Voss claims to have been elected to membership, but the Society's
records do not list him as such.

19. The account of the Sea Queen's voyage, during which Voss cele-
brated his fifty-fourth birthday and was twice interrupted, is one of the best of
the small-boat adventures. The first departure was aborted about six hundred miles
at sea due to a bad leak; the second attempt was met with the worst typhoon
in memory, in which many ships foundered. The Sea Queen, although capsized
twice, made it safely back to Yokohama under jury rig probably the most severe
test ever given to Thomas Fleming Day's famous design.

20. After Voss's adventures with the Tilikum, he spent about five
years as master of sealing schooners in the North Pacific. The 1911 treaty
between the U.S., Russia, and Japan, which prohibited sealing put an end to
this, and his share in the compensation paid to sealers was slow in coming. Most
likely he returned to Victoria and the hotel business, during which time he went
through a divorce from his wife, and the family scattered.

21. He was, in fact, only sixty-four at the time of his death.

   ~ 435 ~

       Chapter Three

1. The Cruise of the Dream Ship by Ralph Stock (London: Wil-
liam Heinemann, 1921, 1922, 19Z3, 1927, and 1950). Ralph's sister, "Peter,"
also wrote a book of their cruise, The Log of a Woman Wanderer (London:
William Heinemann, 1923). Peter was an early women's libber, but a petite and
delightful one (and her real name was Mabel) .

2. It is a detail, in fact, that stands in the way of most dreams of
this kind, but those who are really serious and determined will somehow find a
way Unfortunately, most chroniclers of escape via bluewater boats are aggravat-
ingly vague about the details of how they managed to finance their dreams. This
can be exceedingly frustrating to a working slob, stuck on a boring job and
keeping one jump ahead of the bankruptcy referee. A parallel to Ralph Stock,
however was Gerry Trobridge, the South African who carried his battered plans
for a John Hanna ketch through World War II with him, and finally made it
home to build his own in his backyard.

3. Then, as now, small-boat sailors mind the old ditty:
       June, too soon
       July, stand by
       August, if you must
       September, remember
       October, all over.

4. "Swizzling," of course, referred to swizzle sticks in highballs. Most
other travelers to the West Indies have made a point of mentioning the insolence
and arrogance of the local natives.

5.  Most voyagers spoke of the harrowing experience in the locks.
Robinson was the first to suggest a practical method of handling a small craft
in the turbulence, but not until Mariorie Petersen of Stornoway, did any of them
write a complete and graphic account of a typical Panama Canal yacht passage.
See Stornoway, East and West (New York: Van Nostrand, 1966). Local lock
tenders tell me, however, that there is no excuse for giving yachts the treatment
they get at Panama. They say the water intake can be controlled by the lock
tender to avoid the turbulence. Also see Boating magazine, March 1971, p. 62.

6. The Union Club.

7. Balboa is also known as the used-yacht graveyard of the Pacific,
where broken dreams of hundreds of erstwhile voyagers have ended for many
reasons, mostly financial. At this writing, Balboa is considered a happy hunting
ground for purchasers of "previously owned" dream boats.

8. Muhlhauser, a year later, described this treasure-hunting fever in

9. Muhlhauser got fresh water here in the same manner.

10. Stock did not mention the legendary host of Nuku Hiva, Bob
McKittrick a former sailor who jumped ship to become a trader and who, for
decades, served as a greeter of visiting yachts. Muhlhauser, however, did men-
tion McKittrick, but the trader had been there in the Marquesas for several
years already.

11. Stock did not mention two other famous ex-World War I refugees,
Charles Nordhoff and James Norman Hall, who were to produce Mutiny on the
Bounty, Hurricane, and many other South Seas classics.

   ~ 436 ~

       Chapter Four

1. The Cruise of the Amaryllis by G. H. P. Muhlhauser (Boston:
Small, Maynard & Company, 1925).

2. "She struck me as a sound, wellbuilt, and powerful little ship,
snugly rigged, and fit to go anywhere. Nevertheless, she is not my ideal cruiser,
as she has a counter 10 feet long, is yawl rigged, and steered with a tiller,
whereas my preference is for a very short counter, or canoe stern, ketch rig, and
wheel steering. Moreover, her draft of 10 feet was rather too much for knocking
around amongst coral reefs, though a very good feature from the point of view of
keeping the sea." It should be noted that this analysis was made after Muhl
hauser returned from his voyage around the world, with practical experience to
back it up.

3. Amaryllis was the shepherdess in Virgil's Ecologues; it is also any
of the genus Amaryllis of the bulbous African herbs with showy umbellate
flowers, a type of lily.

4. By coincidence, Plymouth was celebrating the three-hundredth
anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower, which accounted for the full-dress
uniform of the deputy assistant harbormaster.

5. Small Craft, published by the Bodley Head.

6. Not counting Ralph Stock's Dream Ship, which did not actually
complete a circumnavigation.

7. Muhlhauser meant North America, not the United States especially.

8. This was the piano that belonged to Peter Stock, and had been
aboard the Dream Ship when Ralph Stock unwittingly sold her on their visit
to this port.

9. Muhlhauser probably had an incurable cancer.

10. As Muhlhauser vas returning from his long voyage, another erst-
while circumnavigator named Conor O'Brien was leaving Dublin on Saoirse.
And it is interesting to note that the famous Claud Worth, considered the father
of British yachting, wrote the introduction to the accounts of both these in-
trepid bluewater yachtsmen.

       Chapter Five

   Sea Tracks of the Speejacks by Dale Collins (Garden City, N.Y.:
Doubleday, Page & Co., 1923).

2. "Speejacks" was the college nickname of Albert Y. Gowen. He was
educated at St. Paul's School and at Harvard. His primary business was cement,
in which he had made a wartime fortune, but he also had other substantial
business interests He was a well-liked man, not the least pompous or imperious
who enjoyed life and wanted to get the most out of it.

3. Most bluewater voyagers in smaller sailing yachts have found that
a half gallon a day per person adequately supplies crew needs.

4. Tin Can Island was a famous tourist attraction. Here, passing
ships delivered the mail by placing it in sealed cookie cans, which the natives
would swim out and retrieve. They got to keep the cookies, while the mail was
delivered to the addresses.

5. The circumnavigation of the Snark, while ill-conceived and exe-
cuted, would have become one of the most famous in history had not the

  ~ 437 ~ 

famous author and his wife become ill. On this voyage, the crew included a
young man named Martin Johnson, who later became the famous explorer
with his wife, Osa. Years later, young Dwight Long, in Idle Hour, met the John-
sons in the East Indies while on his circumnavigation.

6. William Albert Robinson on his circumnavigation put into Hol-
landia desperate for supplies and funds from home. He found the port almost
deserted. Most G.I's will remember it as a huge supply port and staging area in
World War II.

7. These were prophetic and surprisingly perceptive words. Later
events dramatized the changing social and economic order but not until a quar-
ter century and World War II had come and gone.

8. Gowen was a large stockholder in Standard Oil Company, which
simplified his fuel problems considerably.

9. A speed of 175 miles a day for a twin-screw motor boat of 98
feet length cannot be considered even average. Most well-founded sailing yachts
of much smaller waterline length can equal or surpass this.

       Chapter Six

1. Around the World Singlehanded by Harry Pidgeon (New York:
Appleton, 1932). Pidgeon, who took four years to write his book, obviously had
Slocum's Sailing Alone Around the World before him as a model during this
unfamiliar business. There are many similarities of organization and style, but
unfortunately Pidgeon did not have a talented Century Magazine editor to give
his work the professional touch as did Slocum.

2. Douglas fir often called Oregon pine, is the tree which forms the
backbone of the timber industry in the Pacific Northwest. At that time, huge
straight-grained timbers of almost any size were readily available, as were extra
long planks for full-length strakes. Circumnavigator William Crowe used such
one-piece planks in building his 39-foot Lang Syne in 1936

3. Before the famous and glamorous Klondike Gold Rush, the cen-
ter of interest in gold mining was at Circle City in Alaska. Gold was discovered
later on Klondike Creek in the Yukon Territory, and sparked the mad rush that
led to Dawson and other gold fields.

4. This plans book is still available from Rudder. Probably more
vessels have been built from Sea Bird plans than any other yacht ever designed.
Styled for easy homebuilding, it used the then-advanced hard-chine technique.
The original was sailed to Rome, Italy, by Day and two companions.

5. Pidgeon helps to solve the mystery of when McKittrick arrived
in the Marquesas. Although Stock does not mention the trader, Muhlhauser did.
Since McKittrick told Pidgeon about meeting the Amaryllis and the Dream Ship,
he must have arrived there before 1919.

6. Early voyagers, from Slocum on, all reported the warm welcome
received at Keeling-Cocos. In 1973, however, visiting yachtsmen discovered
that their welcome had long since been worn out by sea tramps who have
sponged on the Clunies-Ross family. Visitors are no longer welcome at Home
Island, altbough the cable station and air held personnel are still glad to see
them. , 

7. See Nowhere Is Too Far, edited by John Parkinson, Jr. (New
York: Cruising Club of America, 1960).

8. His bride, Margaret, had been an experienced sailor in her own
right before marrying Captain Pidgeon. Born at sea on her father's square-rigger,

   ~ 438 ~ 

she early learned the arts of the sailor and of handling small boats. The Islander
was the couple's home. In 1947, they sailed her to Hawaii from Los Angeles. In
November, they departed Honolulu for Torres Strait, encountering rough
weather during the 66-day passage to the New Hebrides, and a broken main
boom. To make the repair, they put into Hog Island where an unseasonable
hurricane caught them.
  Returning to California, they began work on a Sea Bird, the 25-foot version of
Islander. Harry was then seventy-nine. He died in 1955.

       Chapter Seven

1. Across Three Oceans by Conor O'Brien (London: Edward Arnold
& Co., 1926). Like many voyagers since, O'Brien was an enthusiastic moun-
taineer as well as yachtsman.

2. The three stormy capes of the old sailing ship route were Cape of
Good Hope, Cape Leeuwin (off the southwest tip of Australia), and Cape Horn.
The usual yacht route around the world is west about in the trades via the
Panama Canal, the South Pacific islands, Torres Strait, and either Cape Town
or Suez (before the canal was closed) .

3. O'Brien and his sister served under the super-patriot, Erskine
Childers, whose book, The Riddle of the Sands, is considered to be the best
yachting novel ever written, and one of the all-time classic spy stories. Childers,
a clerk in Parliament and a yachting enthusiast as well as idealistic intellectual
took the side of the Irish in the Civil War, mostly smuggling guns to the
rebels. He was ultimately executed by the I.R.A. which had turned against him
after using him.

4. O'Brien filled his water tanks with whatever was available, where-
ever he stopped, without bothering with chlorine, on the theory that if the water
had not yet killed the local inhabitants, it must be all right a very dangerous
practice, to say the least, and certainly not recommended today.

5. O'Brien was a half century ahead of Sir Francis Chichester in
seeking out and analyzing the old sailing-ship logs.

6. None other than L. Francis Herreshoff said of him: "I consider
O'Brien's books the most masterly analysis of seagoing conditions perhaps ever
written, and even if he and I do not see eye to eye in all matters pertaining to
rig and rigging well, no progress would be made if we all thought alike- but
under no circumstances would I contradict Conor O'Brien for he has had actual
experience." Quoted from the old master's instructions on how to build
Marco Polo, which ran in Rudder magazine, 1946.

7. When the cloud cover forms over Table Mountain, it is said that
the "table cloth is set," which signals the coming of a southeast gale.

8. New York Times, July 20, 1943.

        Chapter Eight

1. The Fight of the Firecrest by Alain Gerbault (New York: Apple
ton, 1926). First of Gerbault's three highly successful voyaging books, and one
of eight he wrote during his lifetime.

2. Stock, who had lived in France for a time following the publica
tion of his successful book, The Cruise of the Dream Ship, now had a replace-
ment. He and Gerbault were good friends.

   ~ 439 ~

3. Down through the years to World War II, the Korean War, and
the conflict in Southeast Asia, only the labels have been changed. The motives
and substance of each new generation are remarkably similar.

4. So he said, but he was an avid reader and well-known to him
were the voyages of Slocum, Voss, and others.

5. In this statement, Gerbault, I suspect, was merely rationalizing
for the benefit of the reading public.

6. According to Jean Merrien, the well-known French yachtsman and
maritime writer.

7. Those few included Slocum, Voss, Stock, Muhlhauser, and per-
haps many others whose adventures went unheralded.

8. The Fight of the Firecrest, by Alain Gerbault (New York: Appleton, 1926).

9. He has been credited with winning the Davis Cup of that year by
some starry-eyed writers. This is a team competition, however, and no French
team won it until 1927.

10. He was, in fact, the first winner of the coveted Blue Water Medal
of the CCA, for the year 1923, and without doubt it was his friendship with
William Nutting, founder of CCA, which influenced the board.
  The medal was designed by Arthur Sturgis Hildebrand, a freelance writer
and CCA member, who lost his life at sea the same year the first award was made.
  "Today, well-executed ocean crossings in small vessels are quite frequent, and
Gerbault would not even be considered for a Blue Water Medal." So com-
mented John Parkinson, Jr., the late CCA historian, in Nowhere Is Too Far.

11. Cobos will be remembered as the gracious host who told his story
to every voyager who came that way during the 1920s and 1930s. He married
the beautiful Norwegian girl with whom Robinson gamboled over the mountains
on horseback in the moonlight during his idyllic stay with Svaap. For the most
authentic account of the Norwegians and the Cobos family, see To the South
Seas, by Gifford Pinchot (Philadelphia: John C. Winston Co., 1930) .

12. Actually, all those he mentioned had visited the Dangerous
Archipelago, as have numerous other yachtsmen since.

13. Friday the thirteenth was Gerbault's unlucky day, in spite of
his protestations that he was not superstitious. It was on a Friday the thirteenth,
that his sails were torn away during the first Atlantic crossing, when he suf-
fered severe damage. Again, it was Friday the thirteenth when he suffered
damage on the passage to Bermuda.

14. See Chapter 16 for another clue to the mystery of how Gerbault died.

       Chapter Nine

1. Deep Water and Shoal by William A. Robinson (London: Ru-
pert Hart-Davis, 1957). One of the many editions which includes the original
10,000 Leagues Over the Sea was published by Harcourt, Brace & Co., Inc., New
York;, 1932.

2. Robinson came in a poor third in his class and was out-sailed by
none other than Captain Harry Pidgeon in Islander. Svaap took twelve days;
Islander, seven days.

3. Robbie's experiences in the locks can be contrasted with Ger
bault's. By official order from Washington, on request of Paris, the locktender
gently raised Firecrest.

   ~ 440 ~

4. Karin was the daughter of a Norwegian family, the last remnants
of an ill-fated colony begun in 1926. She married the Paris-educated Manuel
Augusto Cobos, whose father had been in charge of a penal colony on San
Cristobal, where the prisoners provided free labor for a coffee plantation. When
the elder Cobos was murdered by the convicts, the Ecuadorean government gave
the island to Manuel and his sister as compensation. At the time Robinson visited
them in 1945, Karin had six children, and a brand-new eleven-day-old baby. The
family was down to living on bare essentials, their backs to the wall-all of which
depressed Robinson so much that he cut short his visit.

5. 10,000 Leagues Over the Sea, by William A. Robinson (New
York: Harcourt, Brace & Co., Inc., 193Z).

6. On New Year's Eve, while Svaap was making a landfall after
crossing the Pacific Robinson's contemporary, Alain Gerbault, was celebrating
the incoming of 1919 at a big party in the Cape Verdes, on the last leg of his
circumnavigation. Both adventurers were lucky enough to escape the Great De-
pression in the most idyllic way; and, of course, Robinson's star guided him into
making a fortune in a wartime shipyard, instead of adventuring in exotic places
as a member of the armed forces.

7. 10,000 Leagues Over the Sea.

8. Robinson's sense of timing seldom failed him. During his voyages,
he kept many a rendezvous, often arranged months in advance and subject to
many unpredictable factors such as weather, navigation errors, and man-made

9. 10,000 Leagues Over the Sea.

10. It was not until Robinson's third visit to the Galapagos, in 1945,
that he learned the details from an eyewitness of what happened to Svaap.
When he did learn, he was so incensed and outraged at the behavior of the
corrupt and greedy officials at Wreck Bay during the 1930s that he picked up
his informant and threw him off the ship.

11. To the Great Southern Sea (Tuckahoe, N.Y.: John de Graff, Inc.,
1966; first published by Harcourt, Brace & Co., Inc., 1956) .
  Varua, which means "spirit" or "soul" in Tahitian, is considered by many
aficionados to be the most beautiful and functionally perfect sailing yacht ever
built. Based on his years of experience sailing the oceans of the world, the lines
were worked up to Robinson's specifications by W. Starling Burgess, famous
designer of the America's cup defender, Ranger, and numerous other fine ships.
The model was tested and refined by tank tests at the Stevens Institute, and the
hull was constructed of the (then) advanced composite steel frame and wood-
planking technique. She was launched March 19, 1942, just after the U.S. was
plunged into war with Japan and Germany. During the war, Robbie and his
wife lived aboard and made plans for the future. One weekend in 1943 they
had as a guest aboard, the famed circumnavigator Conor O'Brien, whom Robbie
found to be exceptionally charming and entertaining.

  Varua's dimensions are: 66.2 feet overall, 60 feet on the waterline, 16.2 feet
in beam, with a draft of 6.6 feet, a net tonnage of 37, and a gross tonnage of
43. Her A.B.S. rating is *A I Y S.

  The rig was designed with the assistance of Robbie's friend, the late L. Francis
Herreshoff, whose Ticonderoga is in the same class and closely resembles Varua
It is a unique brigantine rig with a foremast and a mainmast, square courses
and fore and aft mainsails, staysails, and flying jibs. The total sail area is 2,700
square feet. Herreshofl originally designed his fine 44-foot Ocean Cruiser for
Robinson, but Robbie finally chose Varua.

  ~ 441 ~

  The auxiliary is a 47-horsepower Deutz, swinging a two-bladed feathering prop
off center and giving a speed of about 7 knots
  She carries 625 gallons of water and 800 gallons of diesel fuel.
  The counterclockwise trip made around the South Pacific in the 1950s, into
the Roaring Forties and up the west coast of South America, then back to
Tahiti, proved Varua to be a superb vessel in every respect, easily handled by two
men, and roomy enough for a large family to live aboard in comfort.
  Robinson's account of his encounter with the ultimate survival storm is a
classic of seamanship.

  Richard Maury, who also visited Tagus Cove aboard Cimba in July and Au-
gust, was probably the last person to see Svaap before Robinson's famous vessel
was confiscated and wrecked by Ecuadorian officials. Tagus Cove resembled a
Norwegian fjord, Maury wrote, with sheer rock cliffs on which were painted the
calling cards of many famous vessels the schooner Zaca, Yankee, Pilgrim, White
Shadow, and others, some of which were dated as early as 1833. Entering the old
crater and anchoring in ten fathoms, they found Svaap "rolling abandoned amid
the silences of Tagus Cove." Assembling their folding dinghy, Maury and his
companion rowed over and boarded the ketch.
  "Leaving Dombey in the cabin, I went on deck and eased myself into the steer-
ing well. What sights can be seen from the helm of a single craft guided by
resourceful hands!" Maury wrote in The Saga of Cimba (Harcourt, Brace and
Co., 1939).
  In the cabin, by the light of matches, they found signs of hurried leave-taking
emptied sail lockers and chart racks, remnants of clothing, rusted tins of food
scattered on the floorboards. During their stay in Tagus Cove, they borrowed
Svaap's cuyucka to replace their dinghy. Before they left, they overhauled the
ground tackle, pumped out the bilges, tied up the rigging, paid out more chain
scope, made sure the cabin was ventilated to prevent dry rot They then helped
themselves to some of the rusty cans of food and pumped over some of Svaap's
remaining fresh water for their use.
  "For a moment we stood upon the dry deck, feeling the air of faithfulness,
of loyalty pervading all good and hard-tried ships."

  They then departed for the Marquesas and the Pacific islands, where Cimba,
herself a jinxed ship, was lost.

11. Return to the Sea (New York: John de Graff, Inc., 1972).

12. Return to the Sea.

13. In a wartime edition of Ten Thousand Leagues Over the sea,
published by Harcourt, Brace thirteen years after the original edition, Robinson
told in the foreword what had happened to Etera. Now building landing ships,
he noted patriotically that some of these would be storming South Pacific
beaches he had visited in Svaap.

  One of Robinson's little-known adventures involved the purchase in Colombo
Ceylon, of the Annupoorunyamal, an Indian copy of a full-rigged New Eng-
land clipper in miniature, which he had first seen on his circumnavigation in
Svaap. Returning to India later, he found the vessel, bought her, outfitted her at
Colombo, and with an all-Indian crew, he and his first wife, Florence, sailed her
back to Gloucester. There, the Florence C. Robinson, as the Annapooranyamal
had been renamed, startled the natives when the Hindu crew flew kites from the
deck to celebrate the safe passage. The clipper was used as a rigging model for
the sailing ships Robinson's firm was then building, along with working fishing
boats. The unique qualities of the square rig, including that of being able to
sail backward while maneuvering in crowded waters, were noted by Robbie and
some of them were incorporated in Varua.

  ~ 442 ~

  In a personal letter from Mr. Robinson in March 1974, he said most of his
time has been spent on a research project on his island, Tairo, now a scientific
  "The three older girls have become practically international characters, what
with dance tours, modeling, etc. Formerly they were known and introduced as
the daughters of Robbie Robinson. Now I am introduced as the father of the
Robinson Sisters."

       Chapter Ten

1. Seven Seas on a Shoestring by Dwight Long (New York and
London: Harper and Brothers, Publishers, 1938, also published in England as
Sailing All Seas) .

2. Idle Hour's vital statistics were: 32 feet 6 inches overall, 29 feet 6
inches on the water line, 11 feet of beam, and drawing 5 feet 6 inches light and
6 feet loaded. She was rigged as a gaff-headed ketch, originally carrying 722
square feet of sail. When he remodeled her, Long equipped her for chartering,
a sideline that earned him money along the way.

  Built in 1921 in Tacoma, Washington, she cost $2,500 completely outfitted.
About $3,000 was spent by Long during the voyage for all expenses. Even then,
Long remarked, to make a circumnavigation for less than $6,000 was not easy
and much scrimping was necessary When he started out, he did not even
have a camera. It should be remembered however, that from childhood days
Long had been brought up and thoroughly grounded in the principles of good
business practices he knew how to earn and how to hang onto a buck. More-
over, young as he was, he never allowed himself to be intimidated or exploited
by land sharks or petty officialdom wherever he put in.
  "What I could not afford, I did not buy," he wrote. "I never would risk
having my floating home sold out from under me."

3. An inveterate seeker of the famous and the influential, Rotarian
Long bagged an impressive list of names for dropping later, including: ex-Presi-
dent Herbert Hoover, Will Rogers, Mack Sennett, Harry Pidgeon, Alain Gel-
bault, W. A. Robinson, Alan Villiers, the Fahnestocks, Charles Nordhoff and
James Norman Hall, Rear Admiral Yarnell, Zane Grey, Martin and Osa Johnson,
and numerous others.

4. 'Tis a pity that San Francisco folks so neglected Amundsen's ship
that Norway repossessed her and took her home to stay.

5. Captain Pidgeon took young Long under his wing and taught him
not only celestial navigation but some secrets of successful small-boat voyaging.

6. Grey, one of the world's foremost pioneer big-game anglers, in
addition to being a highly successful author of Western novels, made four ex-
peditions to Tahiti, usually on his own yacht. On one trip, he caught the world's
largest marlin, and the world's largest mako shark. He later purchased acreage
on Tahiti, which was still in the family as late as 1972. Dr. Loren Grey, his
youngest son, told me at that time that he and his sister planned to sell the
now immensely valuable waterfront property if a proper price could be obtained.

7. See Robinson's wartime edition of 10,000 Leagues Over the Sea
for what had happened to Etera in the post-Svaap years.

8. Penrhyn was a mecca for many voyagers, including Voss and Lux-
ton, who had most of their fun there. Flying Venus Reef, eight miles from
Penrhyn, has the unique distinction of being the resting place of the Derby Park,
a four-masted lumber carrier from Vancouver, and the Flying Cloud, a vessel

   ~ 443 ~

chartered to bring a replacement order of lumber to Melbourne. By coincidence,
they were both wrecked on the same reef. As far as is known, the lumber order
was not placed the third time.

9. Cimba, one of the most beautiful sailing yachts ever built, was
also one of the unluckiest. Maury, a great-grandson of the founder of the
Navy's Hydrographic Office, was also a gifted writer. The Saga of the Cimba,
the story of his ill-fated expedition, has been re-issued at this writing. Maury
later became a merchant ship captain.

10. Captain Tommy Drake remains a controversial character, and
probably the rapscallion some claim he was Dwight sheds some light here on
what happened to Drake during those long periods he disappeared, purporting
to be sailing alone on his home-built schooners. Because Long was from Seattle
scene of many of Drake's earlier tales, the old fraud probably took this oppor-
tunity to talk to someone from "home."

11. Martin Johnson, as a lad younger than Long, had volunteered for
the position of cook on Jack London's Snark, and been accepted. This adven-
ture led him into a lifetime of adventures, later with his wife, Osa.

12. Robinson had seen this ship on his circumnavigation and could
not get her out of his mind, like the memory of an exotic woman. He returned
later, found her, bought her for 20,000 rupees ($9,000), and outfitted her for
a world cruise.

13. The Idle Hour that was operated out of Orcas Island for years by
my friend, the late Captain Chris Wilkins, was a different vessel.

14. Dwight Long told the author that it was his articles sometimes
as many as six a month in the old Seattle Star newspaper that paid most of
his expenses. They were also responsible for widespread publicity. The staff on the
Star had taken a liking to the young circumnavigator and had turned his rough
copy, which he mailed in periodically, into more professional prose. His later book
was mostly a condensation of these articles, he said.
  In 1974 he was living on the waterfront at Venice, California, where he
operated a string of gift shops, one of which is on the Queen Mary, now a
land-bound Long Beach tourist and convention center.
  During the war, as a Navy officer in the photographic section, he had charge
of putting together the well known war-time film, Fighting Lady, the story of
the U.S.S. Hornet, which was narrated by Robert Taylor. He also produced
another official film on fighting submarines, which was never released because
the war ended in the meantime.

  In 1974 he was also operating a lecture series called "Armchair Cruises," which
used his own films along with others, and traveled frequently overseas.
  As for the Idle Hour, she was sailed to Honolulu before the war by Dwight
and his brother, Philip. In 1944, Philip sold her on behalf of Dwight, and the
Idle Hour has been at the Honolulu yacht harbor ever since, having passed
through several ownerships.
  In 1974, Idle Hour, the aging old girl that began life in the early 1930s as a
Bering Sea trading vessel, and subsequently sailed around the world, survived
World War II, and the postwar world, finally sank one day off Oahu Island,
just too tired to go on anymore.
  Long had planned to buy back the boat and have her restored in the Seattle
Maritime Museum, but was too late. He recently acquired a new motor sailer
from England and has named her Idle Hour, to keep the name alive. He sails
her almost daily from his waterfront headquarters at Venice.
  Still the ebullient businessman, Long was planning a voyage with the Irving
Johnsons aboard Yankee through the European canals, to make a travel movie

  ~ 444 ~

and write an article for The Reader's Digest. He was scheduling for his lecture
series, his old friend, Alan Villiers.
  One of his saddest memories of his cruising days, he told me, was having to
help bury his old friend, Harry Pidgeon, in the 1950s. Until the day before the
old gentleman died, Pidgeon refused to leave the yacht on which he and his
wife, Margaret, lived. Long helped get him to the hospital and assisted Margaret
with the funeral details.

       Chapter Eleven

1. Yachting, September 1937. Also see National Geographic Magazine,
 July 1939. Vol. LXXVI, No. 1.

2. See In the Wake of the Spray by Kenneth E. Slack (New Bruns-
wick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 1966) for the true story of Slocum's model,
Mower's lines, and Howard I. Chapelle's explanation of Rudder's version.
  Strout's version of Spray was not an exact copy, being 37 feet overall, 14 feet
6 inches in beam, and 5 feet of draft. Also, Strout's version had an unbroken
deckhouse and a different cabin arrangement. Igradasil was constructed of pitch
pine and white oak, and had originally a four-cylinder Miller gasoline engine.
The Spray, of course, did not have an auxiliary engine. Of the many copies of
the Spray, John Hanna's version, Foam II, probably comes closest to being the
best. The plans for this and other Hanna dream boats are still available at this
writing from his widow, Dorothy, at 636 Wilkie Street, Dunedin, Florida 33528.

  The Basilisk was almost an exact copy, and was built at the same yard in
Maryland as at least one other, the so-called Oxford Spray of Captain R. D.
Culler. Basilisk was rigged as the original and owner Gilbert C. Klingel reported
her performance, even in the bad storm he encountered, to be comfortable and
seaworthy. She was wrecked through a miscalculation on Great Inagua in the
Bahamas, but the sails were salvaged and purchased by Roger Strout. See
Klingel's book Inugua, for the complete story.

4. Cipriano Andrade's famous analysis of the Spray's lines appeared
in Rudder Magazine, June 1909. In a letter to me, Howard I. Chapelle, now
curator, Division of Transportation, Smithsonian Institution, wrote: "Slocum's
letters are like those of a 4th grader rather backward at that. He was 60 per
cent fine seaman, 10 per cent liar, and 30 per cent showman, I would say. Had
a lot of guts. He was going nowhere in no hurry so I suppose he sailed as the
boat wanted to go. As I said, no lines were actually taken off Spray, so that poor
Andrade was victimized by the old fraud, Tom Day, with Charley Mower the
fall guy. Had Mower taken off the lines we would have had something to work on
now we have no reliable plans as a basis for analysis. But the whole story of
the wonderful abilities of Spray is now highly questionable."
  It might be added that as a young draftsman, Chapelle was an assistant of
Charles Mower, and heard the story firsthand of taking the lines off the model.

5. Strout later said that he bought Basilisks sails not only because
they were a bargain, but because he wanted to test out some of Slocum's state-
ments about how the Spray handled under various conditions.

6. This reason or "excuse" is vaguely familiar. One is reminded that
Conor O'Brien said he had not intended on sailing around the world; he just
wanted to go mountain climbing in the New Zealand Alps, and sailing there
in his own boat seemed the most convenient way. The New Zealand Tourist
Bureau assures me, however, that public transportation in the form of jet
airliners and cruise ships is now available.

  ~ 445 ~

7. See William A. Robinson's To the Great Southern Sea for his
explanation of the Penguin Village. On his second voyage with Svaap, Robinson
and his wife, Florence, and cousin Dan West, built a miniature "village" of
stone for the purpose of filming an "animal story" using live penguins. When
Robinson was stricken with a burst appendix Svaap and the project were aban-
doned. Later visitors have marveled at the "village," not knowing it was built
by human hands.

8. There have been dozens of variations of the events on Santa
Maria. Edith Strout said Mrs. Witmer, with her husband and two sons, settled
there, or on Charles Island, in 1931. They were preceded by Dr. Friedrich
Ritter and Frau Dore Koerwin, who had sought an idyllic tropical paradise. The
tranquillity of the island was shattered with the later appearance of the Baroness
Eloise de Wagner Wehrborn and two male consorts. After years of strife, the
Baroness and one of her consorts disappeared and have never been heard of
since. The other, Alfred Lorenz, died of thirst and hunger on an island to the
north. Dr. Ritter died and Frau Koerwin returned to Germany.

9. The incidence of whale encounters and attacks in this area of
the oceans is a hair-raising phenomenon. See Appendix for a discussion of this.

10. The well-known habit of Samoans of "harassing" visiting yachts
is explained by Edith in her National Geographic account. She pointed out that
for generations the Samoans had developed a tribal attitude of communal
ownership, and unlike other places where natives respect other's rights and
property, the Samoans thought nothing of swarming aboard a yacht without
asking permission, and staying indefinitely without invitation.

11. Modern circumnavigators have found the Clunies-Ross descend-
ants on Home Island somewhat less than hospitable The yacht traffic, even in
this remote Indian Ocean waystation, has become so heavy, and the visitors
perhaps so callused, that they are no longer welcome. Moreover, the governors
of this feudal patriarchy perhaps do not want the population becoming restless
with imported ideas about the outside world.

12. Durban or Port Natal is another place where voyagers have worn 
out their welcome. For decades, visitors found Durban to be one of the most
hospitable places on earth. That this is no longer true was indicated in a letter
to me from Dr. Hamish Campbell of Durban, who had given up greeting visit-
ing yachts for personal reasons.

13. St. Helena was not only the site of Napoleon's exile and death.
The British used it for years as a political prison. During the Boer War, several
thousand prisoners captured by the British were held there. Several Zulu chieftains,
including a Sultan of Zanzibar, were also among the inmates over the years.
This stopping place was first described by Captain Slocum, who had an enjoy-
able stay and was given a live goat by the American consul, R. A. Clark.

14. The Spray, Volume XV, 1971 publication of the Slocum Society.

15. In the Wake of the Spray, by Kenneth E. Slack (New Brunswick,
N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 1966), p. 211.

          Chapter Twelve

1. Hurricane's Wake by Ray F. Kauffman (New York: Macmillan, 1940) .

2. Another famous Iowa sailor was Captain Harry Pidgeon, who twice
sailed around the world alone on Islander.

3. Hurricane's Wake.

      ~ 446 ~

4. Hurricane's Wake.

5. The Cruising Manual by Gerry Mefferd (New York: Whittlesey
House, 1941).

6. Hector, like Robinson's Etera, was paid a small salary, in this case
$5 a month which was usually blown in one extended drunk at every port of
call. But, unlike Etera, he never had to be bailed out of jail.

7. Nowhere Is Too Far, ed., John Parkinson, Jr. (New York: The
Cruising Club of America, 1960).

8. On Robinson's second voyage on Svaup, he had a similar ex-
perience up the Sambu River in Darien, where it took weeks to salvage the
stranded yacht.

9. They had departed from the States with Hurricane still un-
finished in many respects. Work continued on the vessel all around the world.

10. Neither Kauffman nor Mefferd make mention of Svaap, which left
New York on June 11, 1933, with William A. Robinson, his wife, Florence, and
cousin, Daniel West, on an expedition to Central America and the Galapagos
Islands. Only months before Hurricane reached the Galapagos occurred the
famous race to save Robinson's life when his appendix burst, which made head-
lines all over the world. Also while Hurricane was there, Robinson's Svaap was
confiscated and wrecked by some petty officials.

11. Director's crew included Bruce and Sheridan Fahnestock, Dennis
Puleston, the English voyager (see Bibliography); Ned Dair, an artist; and a
Panamanian Negro prize fighter, Hey Hey, who was cook. The Fahnestocks'
equally irrepressible mother also joined them here.

12. Hurricane's Wake.

13. Aboard Yankee on her second circumnavigation were Irving and
Electa Johnson (see Bibliography), their two-year-old son, a paid cook, and
about twenty paying guests ranging in age from sixteen to twenty-five two of
whom were girls. "If I owned her," Ray commented, "I would sign on a crew
of ten-bob-a-month Pauans and fish trochu shells out of the Coral Sea, and I'd
never go ashore except twice a year in Sydney."

14. In this same area, the Hiscocks on Wanderer III and the Crowes
on Lang Syne also reported near-disastrous encounters with whales.

15. As it turned out, they never saw Director again the Fahnestocks
sold her in the Philippines but they did meet Bruce and Sheridan in New
York two years later and held a reunion. While in the East Indies they also
received word of the disappearance of aviatrix Amelia Earhart and her navi-
gator, on their Right over Japanese-controlled islands a mystery that has never
been solved.

16. They were the first voyagers to report on the character of James-
town, where they found a mixture of races that could be traced to Portuguese,
English, French, Dutch, Chinese, Indian, Malayan, and African St. Helena for
centuries being a waystation for ships before Suez Canal was built. They found
it one of the most promiscuous islands on earth, the streets filled with children
who did not know who their fathers were, and the town overrun with prostitutes,
the most persistent one being an African they called "Midnight Molly," whose
pleadings could be warded off only by physical violence.

17. Hurricane's Wake.

18. As a final note to the story of Hurricane, bluewater aficionados
will be glad to know that she is still sailing somewhere in the Caribbean. Ray
Kauffman told me, in March 1974, that he had sold the ketch after their return
from the world cruise just before World War II. From 1945 to 1950, Hurricane 

    ~ 447 ~

was used by the U.S. Navy for a recreation vessel at Quantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Wrecked once, she was later salvaged by the navy and sold. Since then she has
been owned by at least two different parties, and been restored to her original
condition. Kauffman said it was his understanding that the name had been
changed, but she was just as sound as the day she was launched at Sidoine Krebs's
bayou shipyard and the owners were just as proud of her as were Kauffman
and Mefferd.
  Kauffman, incidentally, is now retired and living in Williamsburg, Virginia,
where he keeps a 49-foot Alaskan diesel motor cruiser, and makes periodic trips
offshore and to southern waters.

       Chapter Thirteen

1. The Voyage of the Cap Pilar by Adrian Seligman (New York:
E P. Dutton & Co., 1947). The book first appeared in 1939 in London under
a British imprint.

2. The Seligman family has a large number of American relatives,
including a family of New York bankers.

3. Bequests, expected or unexpected, were responsible for a surprising
number of circumnavigations, or at least long voyages. Another well-known
inheritance was that of the fun-loving Fahnestocks, who used the money to buy
Director and start a world cruise.

4. The Cap Pilar measured 118 feet between perpendiculars, 27 feet
beam, 13 feet deep in the hold, with a gross tonnage of 295. The main truck
was 103 feet above the deck The foreyard was 50 feet across. Hardly the type
of vessel for a crew of amateurs on a world cruise, but at least it made possible
the signing on of a larger paying crew. A better choice would have been a
North Sea pilot schooner, such as Warwick Tompkins and the Irving Johnsons
chose, although the cost would have been considerably more.

5. Trader Bob McKittrick was probably the most familiar and yet
mysterious character encountered by voyagers in the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s.
He was mentioned as early as Voss and Muhlhauser. Most of the information
on him is derived from tales he told visiting yachtsmen. Apparently, he was an
old Liverpool shellback, who spent his early years at sea, and was put ashore ill
on Tahiti about 1912 or 1913. Subsequently, he turned up as a beachcomber
and trader at Nuku Hiva. His establishment still exists at this writing, run by
his son, also a local character.

6. Voyage of the Cap Pilar.

7. This area of the world appears to be the Appendicitis Belt. It was
here that Robinson went through his dramatic rescue after a burst appendix,
and where the Irving Johnson crew suffered two similar emergencies. After
passing through this area on the way to Honolulu on the last voyage of the
Tzu Hang, Beryl Smeeton also was stricken with a similar emergency, for-
tunately after they had reached port. There have been numerous other similar

8. As reported by practically every visitor to Wreck Bay, beginning
with William A. Robinson who had a crush on her, Karin Cobos had married
the son of the governor of the penal colony, who had been murdered by inmates.
At the time of the Cap Pilar visit, she now had four children. On Robinson's last
visit in the 1950s, the brood had grown to ten. She was the last of a party of
three hundred Norwegians who had founded a colony in 1926.

  ~ 448 ~

       Chapter Fourteen

1. Yankee's Wander-World by Irving and Electa Johnson (New
York. W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., 1949)

2. Shamrock V's Wild Voyuge Home by Irving Johnson (Springfield,
Mass.: Milton Bradley Co., 1933).

3. For other episodes of appendectomies in this part of the world,
see the voyages of William Robinson and the Cap Pilar.

4. See other accounts, including Robinson, the Cap Pilar, Kauffman
and Mefferd, the Strouts, and others. Practically every voyager who visited the
Galapagos mentioned Senora Cobos and her life story.

5. Of all the accounts of the eccentric colonists in the Galapagos,
that of Electa's in Westward Bound in the Schooner Yankee is the most sym-
pathetic and accurate.

6. One of the Johnsons' sons was named after a Pitcairn leader,
Parkin Christian.

7. Mangareva, in the Gambiers, will be remembered as the scene
of the tragic and sinister story of the mad priest Pere Laval, who destroyed most
of the native population with his grandiose schemes of a feudal Popian empire.

8. Aboard the Patria when it was wrecked was none other than James
Norman Hall, co-author of Mutiny on the Bounty.

9. Among the many shipboard romances that flowered on Yankee
voyages was that of Steve Johnson and Mary Booth, who were married sub-

       Chapter Fifteen

1. Alone Through the Roaring Forties by Vito Dumas; first published
in English by Adlard Coles, Ltd., 1960, in association with George G. Harrap &
Co., Ltd., London; and John de Graff, Inc., New York. Translation by Captain
Raymond Townes.

2. Most voyagers chose either the strait or sneaked through the
passages behind Horn Island; see Grifffith, Bernicot, Slocum, Bardiaux, Tilman,
Lewis, and others.

3. Campos also designed and built Gaucho for Ernesto Uriburo,
which made one of the first yacht voyages after World War II.

4. Alone Through the Roaring Forties.

5. Solo Rumbo a la Cruz del Sur. Long out of print and rare; pub-
lisher unknown.

6. Dumas was not the first voyager to be enchanted by South Africa
and almost overcome with temptation to end his voyage there. See Slocum,
Pidgeon, Gerbault, Moitessier, and others.

7. This psychic phenomenon is apparently very common among
long-distant solo sailors. Slocum had his pilot of the Pinta, Alec Rose had his
talking doll; many have reported hearing voices, some of which they attempted
to answer. The tragic Donald Crowhurst episode was a classic and clinical case
of a man's mind decaying over a long period alone at sea.

8. Alone Through the Roaring Forties.

9. Conor O'Brien, on his voyage, expressed almost the identical sen-
timent, which borders on the unsporting. These two lonely rocks, however, in

   ~ 449 ~

the 1960s and 1970s, have become the mecca for ham radio operators on "DX

10. In this same general area, Bill King, on Galway Blazer II, was
rammed and stove in by a whale. He was barely able to limp back to Perth.

11. Moitessier and Bardiaux had other ideas about this region. In their
view, the shallow depths here created vicious seas, which they considered much
worse than those on the open oceans.

12. Alone Through the Roaring Forties.

13. Reported by Richard McCloskey, founding father and first secre-
tary of the Slocum Society in The Spray, Vol. XV, 1971.

       Chapter Sixteen

1. Heaven, Hell and Salt Water by Bill and Phyllis Crowe (London:
Rupert Hart-Davis, 1957) .

2. One of the entries was the Arcturus, the black-hulled yacht of
General George Patton, the controversial leader of the Third Army in World
War II.

3. How times have changed. In 1973, when I tried to cash a small
check in Honolulu, I was regarded as a member of an international smuggling
ring. I had to produce three credit cards, leave my thumb print, and pose for a
mug shot before my request would be considered.

4. The Crowes used this system for the entire voyage around the
world. Tests in the Stevens Institute tank, however, have more recently shown
that there is less drag when the prop is not rotating.

5. With his disarming manner Bill Crowe, who spoke Spanish fairly
fluently, had little trouble talking himseif out of such situations. The Miles
Smeetons, about a decade later, also visited the island illegally and barely escaped
a boat sent out to intercept them.

6. The Belgian couple was probably the L. G. Van de Wieles of
Omoo fame.

7. Hospitality in French Oceania has become a thing of the past,
current voyagers report.

8. The Crowes were among the first bluewater voyagers to use the
cheap and efficient propane for cooking. Their two tanks lasted them all the
way around the world. Properly installed and used, butane has proved to be
safe, clean, and entirely practical aboard yachts.

9. This little-known pearl of information seems to authenticate
Gerbault's internment as a war prisoner, and his death from a tropical disease.
Unfortunately, Crowe does not give the name of the doctor.

       Chapter Seventeen

1. From a letter by Edward Poett of the cutter Kefaya.

2. By coincidence, Stornoway's home port in New York was also for
some years the moorage of Harry Pidgeon's Islander.

3. See "Transit Through the Funnel of the World" by Marjorie
Petersen in the March 1971 issue of Boating for the best account of a yacht
passage through the Panama Canal. On Al's first transit, Stornoway was nearly
wrecked in the turbulent locks.

    ~ 450 ~

4. Petersen's adventures on the Red Sea and encounters with Arabs
match those of William Robinson, who was captured by pirates, and of Dr.
Robert Griffith, whose first Awahnee also went aground on a reef in the same

5. There have been many garbled version of Al's good deeds, but this
one is the most authentic, originating with the Petersens.

6. See Stornoway, East and West by Marjorie Petersen (New York:
Van Nostrand, 1966).

7. "Lewis" was the second dinghy smashed in by a curling wave
coming over the cabin. This also happened to them on the rough passage of the
coast of Venezuela en route to the Pacific.

8. From a letter to Eleanor Borden, in The Spray, Vol. XIV, 1970.

9. From a letter to the author dated April 29, 1973. The new book
referred to was then being published by Van Nostrand, now Litton Educational
  In a later letter, from Stornoway at Zea Marina, Piraeus, Greece, Marjorie
reported a stormy passage after crossing the Atlantic, via Haiti, Bermuda, Fayal,
San Miguel, and on to Algeciras. In the Mediterranean, they suffered a knock-
down one night in the Strait of Sicily in a sirocco.
  "We will be here for awhile, waiting for winter to subside. Not too bad 39
degrees the lowest so far but frightening southerly gales that have us right on
a lee shore. And Piraeus is not the greatest mud-colored high-rises taking the
place of balconied shuttered gracious old houses; this senseless twirling of worry
beads, the dirty-windowed coffee houses looking like the lobbies of old men's
homes. We need to go sailing!"

       Chapter Eighteen

1. From a BBC newscast, quoted in Around the World in Wanderer III
 by Eric C. Hiscock (New York and London: Oxford University Press, 1956).

2. The America was designed by George Steers after the fast pilot
schooners of the time for a syndicate headed by John Cox Stevens, founder of
the New York Yacht Club. The America was finished in June 1851 and sailed
across the Atlantic for the race around Wight She easily defeated the fourteen
other vessels in the Royal Yacht Squadron Race. In 1857, the owners deeded the
Cup to the New York Yacht Club with the condition that it be forever placed
in international competition, open to any foreign yacht club with a vessel of
thirty to three hundred tons. Over the years, English, Scottish, Canadian, Irish
and Australian yachts have tried to win it, but as of this writing, the Auld Mug
remains at the NYYC.

3. The Hiscocks, who thought Wanderer II too small, were taken
aback when the new owner, "Tahiti Bill" Howell, and another Australian, Frank
McNulty, sailed her from the United Kingdom to the Society Islands in good
time with no difficulty; and when Bill later sailed her alone to Hawaii and then
to Seattle, where he sold her. The Hiscocks met up with Wanderer II later in
Hawaii, where they found her in good condition, but mounting a large outboard
motor on the transom.

4. See Bibliography for a list of Hiscock books.

5. Erstwhile voyagers who dream of financing their ships with free-
lance writing should take note that the Hiscocks were the only couple in yachting
history to do so successfully. They succeeded, not only because of proper timing
at the proper point in history, but because they were industrious, level headed,

    ~ 451 ~

thrifty, and simple-living to an extreme seldom found in dreamers. They were
also good business people, and started with a sound financial footing. It also helped
to be able and articulate writers, and competent photographers. Even if one
could sell regularly to the yachting publications and Sunday supplements in
the face of the competition, the rates paid are so low that no one could finance a
voyage outside the harbor from this source alone, especially at today's costs. The
most successful sea wanderers have some sort of profession or trade that is in
demand wherever they go, such as that of machinist, welder, doctor, dentist,
cabinetmaker, rigger, with which temporary employment can be obtained. Today,
the ports of the world frown darkly on penniless wanderers.
  Incidentally, the Hiscocks purchased Wanderer III for only 3,300 in 1950.
Their annual expenses on the first circumnavigation amounted to about 700
a year.

6. Without doubt, the Hiscocks obtained Wanderer IV at consid-
erable discount in return for the subsequent worldwide publicity and implied
endorsement, which is one of the fringe benefits of becoming rich and famous.

       Chapter Nineteen

1. Paraphrased from Nevil Shute's introduction to Miles Smeeton's
Once is Enough (New York: John de Graff, Inc., 1960).
  The Smeetons, incidentally, were the prototypes for John and Jo Demmott in
Nevil Shute's Trustee From the Toolroom. Unlike the Dermotts who tried to
get out of England with their funds converted to diamonds embedded in the
concrete ballast of their yacht, the Shearwater, the Smeetons planned to use
their impounded savings to buy a yacht, sail it to British Columbia, and sell
it there. See Smeeton's last book, The Sea Was Our Village (Sidney, B.C.
Gray's Publishing Ltd.).

2. John Guzzwell was also in Victoria at the time, building his tiny
Giles-designed Trekka.

3. Tzu Hang was designed by H. S. Rouse and built by Hop Kee at
Hong Kong in 1939. She was 46.2 feet overall, 36 feet on the waterline, with a
beam of 11.7 feet and a draft of 7 feet. A double-ender, she was originally fitted
with a Gray gasoline engine.

4. In 1951, William A. Robinson, with a crew of Tahitians, sailed
his 70-foot brigantine Varua over the same route and survived the ultimate storm.

5. Tzu Hang's first capsize and dismasting was in the same general
area where Robinson encountered the ultimate storm in 1951 Robinson later
reported that he believed this was an uncharted shoal area.

6. Like many a sailing man, the Smeetons were hung-up on engines.
Not liking them, they gave them little attention except in an emergency, when,
because of neglect, they usually didn't function. Nevil Shute chided them mildly
for this. At the first opportunity, the Smeetons replaced the old engine with a
modern lightweight marine diesel.

7. The West in My Eyes. See Bibliography.

8. The Smeetons were miffed over this legal entanglement which
spoiled their stay in Alaska, but had no one but themselves to blame for it. It is
surprising that old travelers and experienced hands at dealing with customs would
fall into this trap They did not enter Alaska properly, but even so they would
have gotten away with it had it not been for the over-officious part-time agent in
Cold Bay. Moreover, the fact that a port of entry is maintained at Sand Point
in the lonely Shumagins for the express purpose of serving Canadian fishing

  ~ 452 ~

vessels suggests that there is a continuing customs problem here with Canadians
(and the Smeetons flew the Canadian flag). It is a standard joke in the Aleu-
tians and Westward Alaska that the Canadians think they own Alaska. Most
Alaskans overlook it, but to some it is a continuing galling irritation.

9. The Smeetons were awarded the Blue Water Medal for 1973 by
the Cruising Club of America.

10. During the preparation of this book, I saw the Tzu Hang from
the deck of an Anacortes-Sydney ferryboat, tied to a mooring in the San Juans,
looking peaceful and content to stay home. Later I made a special trip back by
private boat but could not find her.

11. Trying to locate the Smeetons, I was told by their present pub-
lisher, Tim Campbell of Gray's Publishing, Ltd., in Sidney, B.C., that I could
track them down in Alberta. "They are presently raising two moose on their
own game farm near Cochrane, Alberta (about forty miles west of Calgary).
They sold their boat to Bob Nance, but come back to the coast now and then
to check up on her."
  When I found the Smeetons in Cochrane, Alberta, Miles Smeeton confirmed
that, indeed, they were really raising moose, and that they were working on their
next book, Moose Magic. Clio and her husband were also living in Canada. At the
time I contacted the Smeetons, they had just entertained Annie Wiele, who was
on a visit to Canada.

       Chapter Twenty

1. Suggested by Kipling's children's story of the white seal. See also
Conversation with a World Voyager by Gerry Trobridge (New York: Seven Seas
Press, 1971).

2. Plans for Tahiti and many other Hanna designs are still available
from his widow, Dorothy, at Dunedin, Florida.

3. Conversation with a World Voyager (see Note I ) .

4. Tahiti's vitals are: length overall 30 feet; load waterline, 26 feet;
beam, 10 feet; draft, 4 feet; displacement, 18,100 pounds. Carol's are - 36 feet
8 inches, 32 feet 10 inches, 12 feet, 4 feet, and 29,300 pounds, respectively.

5. White Seal had a steel trough of 3/4 inch plate for a keel. Bottom
plating was a 3/16 inch steel plate. Topsides and cabin were 1/8 inch. Frames were
4 inches by 1/2 inch steel, with six longitudinals of 1 1/2 by 1/4 inch steel let into
the frames. The chine and sheer strake were bolstered with 1 1/2 inch pipe.

6. While in the Great Lakes area, the president of the Le Roi com-
pany heard about White Seal, came down to see the engine, and later had it
torn down and rebuilt at no charge.

7. For one thing, the old belief held by the Boers that the world was
flat, not round, still persists in some quarters See Slocum for an amusing ac-
count of this.

8. Since the closing of the Suez Canal, the heavy tanker and steam-
ship traffic makes the offshore passage hazardous. See Robin Graham for his
experiences in Dove, trying to get around close to shore.

9. Although they had hurried to get to Brisbane in time, they
needn't have, Gerry said later. The baby didn't come for a full three weeks. They
were to learn later that their daughter was never on time for anything, said Gerry.

1O. In a recent letter, Hamish Campbell, now a physician who took
over his father's practice, said he had to confine his sailing to inland waters on a
day sailer.

    ~ 453 ~

       Chapter Twenty-one

1. From Awahnee Newsletter #14, in The Spray, Volume XVI, 1972.

2. Soon after the Griffiths' voyage, Dr. David Lewis, another well-
known circumnavigator, departed on an attempt to circle the globe at 60 S
nonstop and solo, on the small Icebird.

3. See also Sea Spray magazine published at Wellington, for June,
July, and August 1971.

4. The nearest charted land was the Nimrod Island group, three
hundred miles to the north. The U.S. Hydrographic Office reported the islands
were discovered in 1828 and not sighted again. In 195t, they were removed from
all charts as nonexistent. The Griffiths applied to have them named the Awahnee

5. Named for the legendary Nathaniel Palmer, who, in his teens,
skippered a whaling supply vessel and purportedly was the first to discover or
actually sight the Antarctic continent.

6. See also National Geographic magazine, November 1971, Vol.
140, No. 5, pp. 635.

7. Man-overboard is one of the most harrowing things that can happen
 to voyagers, and it happens all too frequently. Another notable incident was
when Beryl Smeeton was thrown into the sea as Tzu Hang pitchpoled near Cape

8. In a letter from Bob Griffith, early in 1974, from Hawaii, he indi-
cated Awahnee was still alive and well after 13 years of world voyaging, making
frequent passages to and from the mainland.

       Chapter Twenty-two

1. Kurun Around the World by Jacques-Yves Le Toumelin (New
York: E. P. Dutton & Company, Inc., 1955). First published in France as Kurun
Autour du Monde.

2. Later it was claimed that they had joined the Maquis (French
underground group during WW II).

3. This is possibly the original root of the present word America.

4. Kurun's dimensions were: length overall, 33 feet, waterline, 27
feet 10 inches; beam, 11 feet 10 inches; draft, 5 feet 4 inches; displacement, 8.5
tons. She was of the Norwegian double-ender design.

5. Also aboard were the Belgian couple, the Van de Wieles, who later
became famous for their voyage in Omoo.

6. Lee was the prototype for Jack Donelly in Nevil Shute's Trustee
From the Toolroom.

7. Peter Pye, the somewhat haughty Englishman who called here
later on his well-publicized voyage, also wanted to meet Robinson and was
snubbed to his dismay.

8. Such a sail is similar to the "Swedish mainsail," a heavy weather
sail designed to be used unreefed.

9.     See Slocum's account of this delightful interlude.

     ~ 454 ~

       Chapter Twenty-three

1. Bernard Moitessier, on the occasion of the meeting of the four
French sailors in Durban.

2. Quoted from an interview with Tom Hutch of the Washington Post.

3. From The National Fisherman, Vol. 52, No. 9.

4. See the story of John Hanna in the Designs of John Hanna (New
York: Seven Seas Press, 1971 ) .

5. See Sailing to the Reefs by Bernard Moitessier for the fascinating
and salty and sometimes acrimonious bull sessions held by these four legendary
French seamen. Also in Durban at the time were Henry Wakelam on Wanda
and Raymond Cruikshank on Vagabond, among other sea wanderers.

6. Aficionados of John Hanna and Tahiti should note also that Tom
Steele in Adios, a 32-foot version of Tahiti, was capsized and dismasted off Cape
Horn in almost the same spot. Although Steele also made two circumnavigations
in his Tahiti ketch, he would be the first to point out that there is no such thing
as a "non-capsizable" boat.

7. The Spray, Vol. XVI, 1972.

8. From The National Fisherman, Jan. 1972, Vol. 52, No. 9. In the
fall of 1972, the John Swain boat shop in Cambridge, Maryland was selected to
repair and refasten Atom's hull. Swain removed a defective plank from the yacht's
garboard strake, which now hangs proudly in his office to "remind him of his
friendship with M. Gau." Swain, at the time only 28, was already well-known
for his boat designs.
  A final note on the aging circumnavigator and his aging Atom After his boat
was repaired and re-outfitted, Jean Gau sailed again across the Atlantic. When he
had not been heard from for five months, the French government launched an
extensive search, unsuccessfully. Months later, in 1973, Gau turned up in France
-alone, penniless, and without Atom. His beloved ketch had been blown up on
the beach of North Africa and this time had been wrecked beyond salvage.

       Chapter Twenty-four

1. Advice given to Marcel Bardiaux on navigating the Patagonian
channels. From 4 Winds of Adventure by Marcel Bardiaux (London: Adlard
Coles, Ltd., 1961 ) . Originally published by Flammarion, 1958.

2. Henri Dervin also designed Le Toumelin's Kurun. The completed
vessel was 30 feet 8 inches overall, with a beam of 8 feet 10 inches, a draft of
5 feet 9 inches, a displacement of 4 tons. The Marconi rig normally set 435 square
feet of canvas. A spanker was fitted at Buenos Aires, much in the same manner
that Slocum added a jigger before attempting the Horn.

3. Such bureaucratic red tape has finally reached the United States.
Current proposals will give the Coast Guard unlimited power to prevent a yacht
from leaving port if, in the opinion of an officer, the vessel is "unsound."

4. This book was even then out of print. Not even Bemicot had a
copy of it. The inscription Bemicot wrote on the flyleaf was: "To M. Bardiaux
in expression of my fellow-feeling with most sincere good wishes for the success

   ~ 455 ~

which he deserves. I have no doubt he will make one of our best sailors. La
Rochelle, 26.6.50, L. Bernicot."

5. Such bureaucratic logic can be found in the military of every
country in the world.

6. A Brazilian buddy in my navy outfit during World War II never
went anywhere without his bag of pills, which included a hypodermic needle
for frequent self-inflicted shots.

7.  Among others who explored the Patagonian channels in the same
period were the Griffiths on Awahnee, Dr. David Lewis, Edward Allcard, and
Major Tilman.

       Chapter Twenty-five

1. From Bernard Moitessier's logbook, on his decision to drop out
of the Golden Globe race, quoted by Nicholas Tomalin and Ron Hall in The
Strange Last Voyage of Donald Crowhurst. See Bibliography.

2. By a quirk of fate, another colonial, Donald Crowhurst, was in the
same area at the same time, trying to win the Golden Globe Race fraudulently.

3. In a letter to his publishers, Flammarion, Paris, explaining why he
was dropping out of the race.

4. The Spray, Vol. XIII, No. 1, Spring, 1969.

5. At the same time, Crowhurst, another colonial, was growing up in
nearby India

6. See Sailing to the Reefs (London: Hollis & Carta, 1971), by
Moitessier for the further details of these bull sessions on the Korrigan. Among
other subjects, that of sea anchors came in for a most stimulating analysis by
these experts.

7.  Flammarion, Paris, 1960.

8.  Joshua's specifications were: 39 feet 6 inches, loa; 33 feet 9
inches, lwl, 12 feet beam, 5 feet 3 inches draft; ballast 6,615 pounds- displace-
ment 13 tons; sail area 1,100 square feet.

9. Alone Through the Roaring Forties by Vito Dumas. See Bibliography

10. In spite of Moitessier's bold experiment, the Dumas school of
thought on running before the seas of the Southern Ocean is considered fool-
hardy by many deepwater sailors, including Robinson, Hiscock, and the Smeetons.
It definitely is not for amateurs without adequate life insurance.

11. See The Strange Last Voyage of Donald Crowhurst.

       Chapter Twenty-six

1. J. R. L. Anderson in the epilogue to Sir Francis Chichester's The
Lonely Sea and the Sky (New York: Coward-McCann, 1964)

2. The Strange Last Voyage of Donald Crowhurst by Nicholas
Tomalin and Ron Hall (New York: Stein and Day Publishers 1970).

3. In his book, Robin Knox-Johnston remarks, 'If I was not to be
first, then it must be a Briton." Another stunter, John Fairfax, who rowed
across both the Atlantic and the Pacific in an Uffa Fox designed rowboat, re-
marked at the completion of the voyage that he would donate his boat to any-
one, as long as it was a Briton. That nationalistic pride motivated most of the
entrants is pretty obvious.

   ~ 456 ~

4. Later, one of the Golden Globe entrants, Chay Blyth, conceived
the idea for a "wrong way" nonstop circumnavigation, west-about against pre-
vailing winds of the southern latitudes.

5. See Two Against the Western Ocean by Patrick Elam and Colin Mudie.

       Chapter Twenty-seven

1. On passing Cape Horn, from My Lively Lady by Sir Alec Rose.
See Bibliography.

2. In this turn of the card lay the seed that led to the interest in a
round-the-world race and the Sunday Times Golden Globe competition.

3. Lively Lady's vital statistics were: 36 feet loa; 31 feet lwl; 9.2
feet beam, 6.6 feet draft; displacement 13.75 tons. The boat was designed by the
first owner, S. J. P. Cambridge, O.B.E., and F. Shepherd, and built by the owner
in Calcutta in 1948. It was originally a cutter rig, changed to a yawl by Rose, al-
though mizzen was only used normally for a staysail. The engine was a Morris
paraffin (kerosene) model originally. See the Appendix of Rose's book for a dis-
cussion of Cape Horn, and a comparison of the vessels of Slocum, Gerbault,
Rose, and Pidgeon.

4. The personal interest and paternal attitude of the Royal Navy
toward its yachting nationals never fails to astound and awe American yachts-
men who are too frequently regarded as damn fools at best, if not completely
ignored, by the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard. Certainly the Navy Department
would not be likely to station a ship off the Horn to watch out for lonely
American yachts, as England did for Chichester and Rose. Unofficially, to be
fair, however, Navy and Coast Guard personnel are individually hospitable and
helpful when the occasion arises.

       Chapter Twenty-eight

1. A radio signal used by Chichester on his record-breaking cir-
cumnavigation during which he maintained constant communications with
shore stations.

2. Reported by Michael Hayes, Reuters staff writer.

3. Sayle's story appeared in the Sunday Times, March 21, 1967, to
scoop the world press.

4. Chichester had a defect of vision from childhood days, but this
was corrected by glasses. It was not a progressive disease and it never interfered
with his flying or sailing.

5. Pilots affectionately refer to the old Gipsy Moth as a ship that
"takes off at 40, flies at 40, and lands at 40." It is the British equivalent of the
Piper Cub.

6. Gipsy Moth II was the derelict Florence Edith, rebuilt by Chi-
chester. Gipsy Moth III, designed by Robert Clark, was built at Arklow, Eire, by
Jack Tyrrell. It was 39.6 feet overall; 29 feet on the waterline, 10 foot beam, and
had a draft of 6.4 feet. Gipsy Moth IV, designed by Illingworth & Primrose
was built of laminated wood by Camper & Nicholsons, Gosport, Hants in 1966.
Length overall was 53 feet; lwl, 38.5 feet; beam, 10.5 feet; draft, 7.7 feet, dis-
placement, 11.5 tons. She was equipped with a Perkins 4-107 diesel engine.

   ~ 457 ~

  Gipsy Moth V, designed by Robert Clark, was 60 feet in overall length, a
staysail ketch (without mainsail), long, lean, and steady for ocean racing

7. Cardinal Vertue was later sailed around the world via Cape Horn
singlehandedly by the Australian, Bill Nance, brother of Bob, who accompanied
the Smeetons on their third and successful attempt at the Horn.

8. The title comes from John Masefield's Sea Fever, the passage be-
ing, "I must go down to the sea again, the lonely sea and the sky."

       Chapter Twenty-nine

1. Trimaran Solo by Nigel Tetley (Lymington: Nautical Publishing
Company, 1970).

2. Actually, Crowhurst was loafing along aimlessly at about sixty
miles per day in the Atlantic, which he never left, sending false position reports.

3. In this area, on a second attempt to sail around the world, Bill
King was attacked by a whale or killer whale, his vessel stove in, and he was
barely able to limp into port.

4. Tetley did not learn until weeks later that Moitessier had dropped
out of the race after passing the Falklands.

5. Although Tetley was technically the first to circumnavigate solo in
a trimaran having crossed his outbound track before he sank the first success-
ful circumnavigation in a tri probably was made by Mike Kane of California, on
Carousin II. ( See The Spray, Fall, 1968, for details.)
  In a letter to me dated February 15, 1974, Commander Errol Bruce well-
known deep-water sailor, author, and director of Nautical Publishing Co. Ltd.,
  "Sadly enough Nigel Tetley died a year or so after his circumnavigation....
Bill King is now in good health, but he certainly looked very frail on completion
of his circumnavigation. [See Chapter 31.] Of course Alee Rose arrived back
in the best of good health and settled down with us here in Lymington to write
his book very soon after his arrival in England."

       Chapter Thirty

1. A World of My Own by Robin Knox-Johnston (New York: William Morrow & Co., 1970).

2. Suhaili's vital statistics were: 32 feet 5 inches loa, 28 feet lwl, 
11 feet 1 inch beam, 5 feet 6 inches draft. The plain sail area was 666 square feet,
Thames measurement, 14 tons; gross tonnage, 9.72, net 6.29. The keel was cast
iron of 2 1/4 tons.

3. The spectacular voyages of Francis Chichester and Alee Rose,
both of whom were of retirement age, had so captured the public's imagination,
that it obscured Robin's greater achievement.

4. See The Strange Last Voyage of Donald Crowhurst, cited else-
where. See Bibliography.

5. Ironically, Robin almost missed crossing the finish line, which had
been changed by the Sunday Times committee after he had departed.

6. A World of My Own.

    ~ 458 ~

       Chapter Thirty-one

1. The Impossible Voyage by Chay Blyth (New York: G. P. Put-
nam's Sons, 1972 ) .

2. The only way one can sail nonstop around the world is via the
sailing ship passages south of the capes.

3. The Endurance was on ice patrol at least officially. It is note-
worthy that the British navy takes such an interest in its yachtsmen. Chichester
Rose and Robin Knox-Johnston were also the object of navy interest in the
vicinity of the Horn. One reason may be that the United Kingdom would like
to draw attention to its role in those waters and to its presence in the disputed

4. British Steel's dimensions were: 59 feet loa; lwl, 43 feet 6 inches
beam 12 feet 10 inches; draft, 8 feet. The sails by Ratsey & Lapthorn included
a main of 408 square feet, a mizzen of 150 square feet, a main jib of 693 square
feet, plus a boomed foresail of 208 square feet. The hull was built of mild steel
plate to Lloyds Grade A specification. The deck was of half-inch marine ply-
wood, covered by two layers of fiberglass with epoxy resin.

5. Blyth later built a 77-foot ocean racer, Great Britain II, at Rams-
gate, and trained a crew of 13 paratroopers for the Whitbread round-the-world
race to start and finish at Portsmouth. This 34-ton new yacht was designed
by Alan Gurney, designer of Windward Passage, called the fastest racing yacht in
the world after winning several ocean races, including the 1971 TransPac.

6. Another rowing team was not so successful. The boat used by David
Johnston and John Hoare was found months later, overturned and barnacle-

7. Captain Ridgway was also entered in the Golden Globe, but
dropped out early.

8. Chay Blyth says he carried with him the rope doll, "Winston," a
lion, given him by Sir Alec Rose, for whom it brought good luck thus giving
Winston a second circumnavigation. Winston, however, was not mentioned by
Rose in his book. Instead, he mentions being given a leprechaun by Irish actor
Ray McAnally, a friend of his son David. It was claimed the leprechaun would
undo all the snarled ropes. "Algy" was a large stuffed white rabbit which David
and Baba loaned their father as a mascot, and was carried around the world.
Mrs. Rose wrote later that Algy and the leprechaun "did not get on" together,
so Alec decided not to take the latter.
  Early in 1974, Blyth and Great Britain II were on the last leg of Whitbread
round-the-world race, and leading the surviving fleet of contestants by several
hundred miles.

        Chapter Thirty-two

1. So You Want To Sail Around the World by Alan Eddy, published
without date by the Allied Boat Company, Inc., Catskill, New York, with cover
painting by marine artist lames Mitchell.

2. See Appendix for other encounters with whales, one of the most
serious hazards of ocean voyaging in small boats today.

3. Opogee was a Luders designed Seawind model, built of fiberglass
by Allied Boat Company of Catskill, New York, one of the pioneers in fiberglass

   ~ 459 ~

sailing yachts. Another Allied Luders was the 33-footer in which Robin Graham
finished his tedious circumnavigation.

4. From So You Want To Sail Around the World.
  In a letter to me, dated February 19, 1974 Albert F. Smith, Jr., sales manager
of Allied Boat Co., lnc., reported Opogee still being sailed by Eddy, and still in
excellent condition. He also noted that Robin Lee Graham (see Chapter 36)
finished his circumnavigation with an Allied Luders 33, one of the company's
stock fiberglass yachts.

       Chapter Thirty-three

1. Once Is Enough by Miles Smeeton (London: Rupert Hart-Davis,

2. W. A. Robinson in Varua encountered the ultimate storm in the
same general area a few years earlier.

3. See Two Against the Western Ocean by Patrick Elam and Colin
Mudie. Mudie, a young Giles associate, later became a well-known designer in his
own right.

4. Trekka was 20.8 feet loa; 18.5 feet lwl, 6.5 feet beam, 4.5 feet draft.
She was built of plywood bulkheads tied to bunks and internal parts, with a
laminated keel and steam bent timbers of oak. The skin planking was 9/16 red
cedar, edge-glued. The hull and plywood deck were covered with fiberglass, and
later in New Zealand the bottom also was sheathed with fiberglass. The fin keel
and skeg were of 3/8 inch steel plate. She was ketch rigged, with a total of 340
square feet of sail.
  "Trekka" comes from the Boer, "Voortrekkers," who trekked up into the
Transvaal and Natal in the 1860s.

5. Trekka Around the World by John Guzzwell. See Bibliography.
Guzzwell was awarded the Blue Water Medal of the Cruising Club of America
for his circumnavigation.

6. In March 1974, however, I found him aboard Treasure at Honolulu's 
yacht harbor.
  What's John doing now? In a letter to the author he wrote:
  "After building Treasure in England we voyaged to the South Pacific, to
Australia and New Zealand, staying some fours years in New Zealand where I
built a couple of yachts. We circumnavigated New Zealand in 1970, they came
to Hawaii where I built a 47-foot ketch for a local man and am now halfway
through building a sister ship of my Treasure for another man. In 1972 we took
Treasure to Alaskan waters, Kodiak, Prince William Sound and the Inside Pas-
sage, then returned to Hawaii. We plan to continue cruising after I've finished
building this present yacht. My sons are now 12 years old and although we'd like
to be cruising now, I also have to earn our living like the rest of the world 
however, we escape once in a while!"

       Chapter Thirty-four

1. From the epitaph on the gravestone memorial of Robert Louis
Stevenson, written by himself before his death on Samoa.

2. Robin was the youngest to circumnavigate, but Dove was not the
smallest. John Guzzwell in Trekka had already established this.

   ~ 460 ~

3. Many voyagers, particularly those who sail alone, now carry tape
recorders. If nothing else it provides the morale-booster of having something to
"talk to." Behaviorists have found in recorded tapes a gold mine of research into
how the human mind behaves under conditions of extreme tension and long
periods of loneliness.

4. See Dove by Robin Lee Graham with Derek L. T. Gill (New
York: Harper & Row, Publishers, 1972). Also the National Geographic magazine,
October 1968; April 1969; and October 1970. At this writing, Gregory Peck has
announced that he will produce a movie based upon Robin and Patti's life, in-
cluding the circumnavigation. A yacht like Dove sold for between $6,000 and
$10,000 at the time. Another $5,000 would be required to outfit and prepare for
ocean cruising.

5. A better selection of a firearm would have been a .22 rifle or a
combination .22/.20 gauge double-barreled survival gun In most parts of the
world today, any kind of a handgun is regarded with suspicion, a completely ir-
rational and emotion-charged viewpoint, but a fact of life. The most recent
voyagers have reported any kind of a firearm is now treated with suspicion and
official red tape in most popular ports of call. They recommend none be carried
-which shows how much the world has become "civilized" since Captain Slo-
cum's day. Three-quarters of a century ago, every sailing yacht carried a sizable
arsenal of weapons, and no one ever questioned it. Significantly, there was less
violence at that time than there is now, when private firearms are illegal almost

6. The Fanning Island group includes Palmyra and Kingman which
are U.S. controlled, and Christmas and Washington, both Commonwealth ad-
ministered. They lie directly south of Hawaii and about halfway to Tahiti.

7. The Ohra, a 25-foot cutter with an Australian skipper and
Canadian mate, had left Darwin on a global voyage, but off Madagascar broke
the rudder in a storm. A Japanese freighter came alongside to help, but damaged
the boat. The two men had to abandon her. A day later the Ohra washed up
ashore near Durban. She was salvaged with the help of a bulldozer.

8. This is the same firm that built Opogee, the first fiberglass boat to
sail around the world.

9. By comparison, it took Captain Harry Pidgeon almost eighty days
to cover the same route.

10. One reason for Robin's unexpected welcome was that he entered
harbor as the fleet centered in the annual Ensenada Race was leaving. All the
boats saluted him riproariously as they passed. He was also met by Al Ratterree
with Patti and the family yacht at 6 A.M. with a basket of sweet rolls, melon, and
champagne, before the customs and immigration officials and the press reached
them. Robin remembered the babble of American voices seemed strange to his

       Chapter Thirty-five

1. From a letter by John H. Sowden, The Spray, Vol. Xlll, No. 1, Spring 1969.

2. See Chapter 36 on Leonid Teliga and Opty.

3. The Spray, Vol. XIII, Spring 1969. From Papeete, the three single-
handers, Sowden, Teliga, and Trauner, wrote a long letter to the Slocum Society
about this. Among other things, they asked that a list be compiled of all solo

    ~ 461 ~

circumnavigations a list that remains to be compiled, and probably would be

4. Complaints about foreign harbor fees and red tape are common
among American voyagers. Few of them realize that other aliens have similar
problems at times in U.S. ports.

5. No one suspected at this time that Teliga was already suffering
from terminal cancer.

6. For the story of Cetacean, see Chapter 38. As of this writing
partly due to the post-World War II "pioneers," Bali is again becoming a
yachtsmen's mecca, and a tropical, exotic Far East paradise, replacing such places
as Tahiti as a romantic waypoint.

7. In a recent letter, Dr. Campbell told me that voyagers no longer
will find Durban a haven of hospitality. The welcome mat is no longer out. Dr.
Campbell, himself a sailor and a long-time host, found his medical practice too
demanding, and any spare time was spent sailing a Solent on inland waters.

        Chapter Thirty-six

1. From a notice published by the Slocum Society for members
Autumn 1967.

2. From a story in a Polish periodical, translated by Michael Chelchowsky.

3. Opty was a neat and trim yawl with underwater lines similar to the
John Alden yachts, and a small but pleasing transom and overhang. She was 32
feet loa, and registered as a five-ton vessel. She was built by Teliga in his back-
yard and fitted out mainly by his own hands. Existing photos attest to the good
workmanship that went into the construction. No one will ever know the whole
story of the legal red tape and complications that had to be overcome to make his
dream come true in an Iron Curtain country.

4. For another voyage in this area, see the account of Bill and Phyllis
Crowe on Lang Syne.

5. From a letter dated April 4, 1971.

6. Teliga was one of the few voyagers to be so honored- not even
Captain Joshua Slocum achieved this. Commodore John Pfleiger of the Slocum
Society tried in vain to get the U.S. postal officials to issue a commemorative
stamp on the fiftieth anniversary of Slocum's circumnavigation. A 68-peso stamp
was issued by Argentina in 1968 to mark the twenty-fifth anniversary of Vito
Dumas's solo voyage during the early years of World War II. He was first to do
it in the Roaring Forties, his track having been followed later by Bill Nance
Chichester, Alec Rose, Nigel Tetley, Robin Knox-Johnston, Moitessier, the
Smeetons, the Griffiths, Dr. David Lewis, Marcel Bardiaux, and others.

        Chapter Thirty-seven

1. From a notice published by the Slocum Society in the club bulletin,
 Summer 1970.

2. The Condor-class sloop is 24 feet loa, 8 feet beam, and 5 feet
draft, with a sail area of 280 square feet.

3. For all the things that can and do go wrong with a new boat, even
with veteran circumnavigators, see Sou'West in Wanderer IV by Eric Hiscock
(London: Oxford University Press, 1973).

  ~ 462 ~

4. This once more illustrates how difficult it is to spot a small boat in
a running sea. Once, not long ago, I accompanied a search and rescue mission
for a 40-foot boat disabled in the Gulf of Alaska. Although we had constant radio
communications and had the vessel on the radar screen with perfectly clear
weather and only a moderate sea, the vessel was not spotted until we closed in to
only a few hundred yards.

       Chapter Thirty-eight

1. Trans-Pacific Trimaran by Arthur Piver (Mill Valley: Pi-Craft, 1963.)

2. In the mid-1930s, Eric de Bisschop sailed his Kaimiloa from Hawaii
to France by way of the Cape, and, in 1967, Dr. David Lewis and his family com-
pleted a circumnavigation in Rehu Moana.

3. Comparing Piver's time with those of early conventional voyagers
however, is revealing: Slocum's passage to the Azores and Gibraltar, for example
was much faster than Piver's in spite of the speed claimed for the trimaran.

4. In The Spray, Vol. XV, 1971, Michael Kane claims his Carousin
II was the first trimaran to sail around the world. He and an Australian designer
Jock Crother were at the time building a 57-foot trimaran for an attempt at a
nonstop circumnavigation averaging 200 miles a day. By early 1974, it had not yet

5. Rehu Moana means "ocean spray." Design by Colin Mudie, she
was built by Prout Brothers at Canvey Island, Essex, in 1963. The length overall
was 40 feet; Iwl, 35 feet; beam, 17 feet; draft, 3 feet and 5 feet with center-
board down; displacement, 8 tons; sail area 700 square feet, power, British
Seagull 4-horsepower outboard. The skin was 3/8-inch plywood on laminated
frames and knees A half ton of lead was used for ballast. Behind watertight
bulkheads were foam flotation compartments designed to float the vessel even
if both hulls were stove in.

6. Cardinal Vertue was purchased by Bill Nance, the Australian, who
circumnavigated singlehanded east-about via the three capes, from September
1963 to August 1968, ending in Florida.

7. One of the crew on the shakedown cruise was Axel Pedersen, who
later circumnavigated in Marco Polo.

8. Others in the same general area at the time included Bill Nance on
Cardinal Vertue, the Griffiths on Awahnee, and no doubt others.

9. Hoto Matur'a was reputed to be the first of the ancient voyagers
to visit Easter Island and to people it. Since the Lewises arrived on a twin-hulled
vessel, they were regarded by some superstitious natives as the second coming
of Hoto Matur'a.

10. For a clinical report of life aboard a catamaran, while circum-
navigating with a wife and two small daughters, see Daughters of the Wind by
David Lewis. His attempt at circumnavigating the Antarctic was carried by
National Geographic magazine, December 1973.

    ~ 463 ~

       Chapter Thirty-nine

1. Edward Allcard, The Spray, 1970, Vol. XIV.

2. Jean-Charles Taupin, The Spray, Autumn 1969, Vol. Xlll, No. 3.

3. Bill Nance is the brother of Bob, who accompanied the Smeetons
on the third and successful attempt at the Horn, and who purchased Tzu Hang
when the Smeetons retired to an Alberta ranch.

4. See The Spray, Spring 1969, Vol. Xlll, No. 1, for Murnan's dis-
cussion of his novel sea anchor.

5. For this passage, Dr. Holcomb received the CCA John Parkinson
Memorial Trophy Award.

6. Dr. Holcomb was also a well-known TransPac competitor.

7. Viking was 35 feet 6 inches loa, 30 feet lwl, 12 feet beam, and
6 feet 6 inches draft. Under new ownership, Viking was lost in the Galapagos
Islands on a subsequent voyage. In a recent letter from the modest couple, it
was learned they are operating a charter service on their new yacht in the Virgin
Islands, with home port at St. Thomas.

8. In a letter received at the last minute before publication, Louis Van
de Wiele wrote that he and Annie had purchased, and were living in, the Chateau
de Madaillan, a castle in Par Laugnac, France:
  "My wife has gone to Canada for a month [to visit the Smeetons].... She
must be fairly close to you right now.... We sold Omoo in Mombasa in
1955, after sailing her from Belgium via the Red Sea. We lived up country in
Kenya for five years. Back to Belgium in 1960, where I took up yacht designing
which is now my profession and livelihood. In 1968 we bought a 13th-14th
Century feudal castle, or what remains of it, in the southwest of France, where
we came to live permanently in 1970. I still design boats, but do little sailing, my
wife rather more, when she gets the chance."

9. The Spray, Autumn 1969, Vol. XIII, No. 3.

10. By coincidence, Shaw was later aboard the Dante Deo when she
was wrecked in the China Sea.

11. The Suez Canal has been closed since that war, forcing all yachts
to go around the Cape of Good Hope or transport overland.

12. The Spray, 1971, Vol. XV.

13. Hannes Lindeman had gained fame by crossing the Atlantic in a
folding canoe. Elsie was formerly the Liberia IV, her actual measurements being
29 feet 6 inches loa. She was built in Hamburg in 1958. Dr. Lindeman sailed
her from Germany to the Congo via the Bahamas.

14. Tahiti's original dimensions were: 30 feet loa; lwl, 26 feet; beam,
10 feet; draft, 4 feet. The ocean sailing rig totaled 422 square feet, the coastwise
rig, 470 square feet. Displacement was 18,100 pounds more than most modern
ocean-racing 40-footers Later builders increased the sail area to 500 square feet
for better performance. Tahiti's prototype was named Orca, and appeared in
1923. Carol, the 37-foot version, appeared in 1924.
  John G. Hanna was born on October 14, 1889, in Galveston, Texas. Deaf
since a scarlet fever attack at age seven, he was largely a self-taught engineer
and designer, writer, and inventor. During World War I, he was an aeronautical
engineer, designing propellers for Glenn Curtis. In a letter to Weston Farmer
in 1930, Hanna related that Wilbur Wright himself had told him that his
control patent was up to that time the only one that was not an infringement
of the original Wright patent.

   ~ 464 ~

  He married a schoolteacher from South Dakota named Dorothy Trask, whom
he met aboard ship on a voyage between Galveston and New York. They settled
permanently in Dunedin, Florida, in 1921, and had four children. He was a
long-time contributor to Rudder, Motor Boat and other yachting publications
and was widely known as the Sage of Dunedin because of his sharp and pithy

15. Adios was a 32-foot version of Tahiti and was the "plug" for the
fiberglass model now molded by a Carpenteria, Califomia, firm, I was told.

16. Technically, Mermod did not complete his circumnavigation because 
he did not cross his outbound track.

17. Readers will find all the raw and irrepressible clinical details
in Zantzinger's book, The Log of the Molly Brown (Richmond, Va.: Westover
Publishing Company, 1973 ).

18. Readers will also be delighted to know that Zantzinger came
through his financial and tax difficulties in reasonably good shape. In March
1974, he told me that he had finally gotten the Molly Brown back and was still
sailing her on weekends. He was then living in a Washington, D.C., suburb
with his parents, and working in a job that required traveling around the Eastern
  Although the Molly Brown, and Zantzinger himself, proved unsinkable, the
publishing firm that printed and marketed his book did not. In 1974, the firm
went out of business, and the book went out of print.

   ~ 465 ~

 - end Author's Notes -

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