World Tour


Watching True Spirit on Netflix this week has once again made me question why I have not yet slipped the lines and set sail on an adventure of a lifetime. If a 16 year old can do it, I sure as hell should be able to do it at the age of 50!

Realistically though, at 16 we believe we are invincible. We do not yet have the financial ties (mortgage, credit card debts, etc) nor have we entered the perpetual cycle of eat, sleep, work, repeat. It is often said that we spend more time awake in the office than we do at our homes, on that ever spinning treadmill of life.

It takes a certain mindset to be able to stop and get off the conveyor belt of life, to reset and to go against all we are told we must do while we’re growing up.

The difference between myself and Jessica Watson (ok, there are many, but bare with me) is that Jessica wanted to set a world record for the fastest circumnavigation. I on the other hand wouldn’t care if it took me the rest of my life. I figured if I made if from the UK to Australia in 9 years, that would still be rushing it.

Going solo is a big ask though. Not only is there the technical side of sailing, but also the human factors, there is the loneliness and the solitude.

Barry Perrins (The Old Sea Dog) has been sailing around the world on his own for a while now and watching his videos, you can see how the endless solitude wears away at him from time to time punctuated by landfall and meeting new people and making new friends.

I don’t know if I am mentally equipped to handle the extended periods of time away from land, away from people, away from the Internet! Even when I am sailing alone, I can still reach out to family and friends with a quick Zoom call to catch up. The periods of extended solitude during the COVID lockdowns were hard.

For several years I had run my own business, which for the last few years had been struggling more and more to the point of failure. This was just before COVID, and so by the time we were all in lockdown, I was unemployed, disillusioned and downright miserable. I had been working alone for years already, covering several shifts, effectively working 24×7. My wife had left me when things started to get tough when the money dried up, and the stress magnified. It had been a difficult 2-3 years, and then we entered lockdown.

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