Those rare individuals who have circumnavigated the globe in a sailboat have plenty of tales to tell. They are usually extremely modest about their skills and experience under often dangerous but always thrilling circumstances. You can meet them anchoring out in some idyllic spot, wandering around a marina, searching for solutions to boat problems in a chandlery, enjoying happy hour at a waterside bar, and thanks to technology, by reading their blogs or sailing logs. The roll call of some of our favourites goes like this...
We met S/V Whiskers with Gerald, Diana and Beatrice in January 2009 in Marsh Harbor, Bahamas as we dingied ashore in the rain. It was Miss Daisie and Miss B who did the initial introductions, as most doggies do. For the next two years Whiskers and Bristol Rose would share many good times in the most amazing and exotic anchorages. In 2011 Whiskers and crew sailed into Durban, South Africa, completing their second circumnavigation! We are in awe!
Di and Gerald don't write a blog but they get mentioned in others including the blog of Bubbles.
Captain Alex is our favourite character out on the high seas - sure to become a living legend, if not one already! We met Alex in Puerto Rico having already heard of some of his interesting antics for which he would later have to pay. Owen and Elliot had some fun times with Alex and crew during our Pacific crossing. Good to see that Pacific crewmember Diego from the Galapagos came back aboard Bubbles. It's well worth checking the Bubbles photo gallery for images that very few people will ever have a chance to snap! Congratulations Capt. Alex and all the crew. With circumnavigation completed in September 2012, Bubbles has been sold but we know for sure this won't be last of the adventures of Capt. Alex.
In March 2009 we met Ed and Annette on the beach at Conception Island in the Bahamas when they were only a few hundred miles from completing their 6 year circumnavigation aboard Doodlebug. For those contemplating getting started, their How we started page is a charming read. They generously gave us some of their cruising manuals including one half of a guide. Some time later we found out who were the recipients of the other half of the guide, S/Y Whiskers!
On Jan 4th 2012, Danielle and Roger completed their circumnavigation aboard Chocobo. We met in the Caribbean and last saw Chocobo at Shelter Bay the day we began our transit of the Panama Canal.
One of our buddy yachts for the early stages of World ARC 2010-2011 was Eowyn. Captain Graham and crew, Mike and John, helped us out when we were in trouble and had to return to Panama.
Eowyn went on to complete her circumnavigation with the World ARC but not before helping out a few other boats along the way. Graham and crew received a special award, the Spirit of World ARC Award at the completion of World ARC 2010-2011 in St. Lucia.
We met the crews of Crazy Horse and Ocean Jasper, both Sundeers from Maryland, at the first informational breakfast we attended in Annapolis for World ARC 2010-11. They completed their circumnavigations with World ARC and are back in the Chesapeake Bay.
About 30 yachts left St. Lucia on January 8, 2012 to begin their circumnavigations with World ARC 2012-2013 and Eowyn was there to see them off. Captain Graham's log makes for some interesting reading, especially if you are thinking of cruising the world. http://blog.mailasail.com/eowyn.
During our months in Trinidad, we had a great time socializing between boat maintenance jobs. We met Pam and Jim, two Australians making their circumnavigation on Delicado. We crossed paths a few times and said farewell in Port Villa, Vanuatu as they headed for New Caledonia and then to Queensland to close the loop.
Once we crossed to the Pacific from the Caribbean, we met more Australian cruisers in one day than we had met in the previous year cruising the Bahamas and Caribbean. Another Aussie couple Pete and Penny, Innforapenny sailed into Moreton Bay in October 2010, completing their four year circumnavigation.
We're proud of our own achievements, making it half way around in the experience of a lifetime, from Baltimore USA to Brisbane Australia.
Some of the boats who entered World ARC 2010-2011 had dropped out along the way and have re-joined the ARC to complete their circumnavigations with the 2012-2013 crews. We caught up with them on their arrival in Australia at the end of July in Mackay. We last saw John of J'Sea in the Galapagos and Marie and Charles of Dreamcatcher in Musket Cove, Fiji.
It was an emotional reunion for us with Nick and Suzanne of the World ARC. Readers of this blog might remember it was Nick who was the mover and shaker, working between us, the Panamanians and the US Coast Guard to get us rescued before we drifted into Columbian waters. In a way seeing them and our fellow cruisers again closed a loop for us.
Congratulations to all our mates in World ARC 2010-2011 and the wider cruising community who've completed their circumnavigations! And to participants in the World ARC 2012-2013 who are expected to arrive in St. Lucia in April 2013 we wish calm seas and fair winds!