Monday, February 27, 2017

AROUND THE WORLD

I have my friend and former colleague Robert van Klootwyk aka Bob Christie to thank for alerting me to the amazing saga of one Webb Chiles, who has spent large periods of his life sailing small boats around the world alone.

He is at it again, at the age of 75.




When I discovered him in Durban, South Africa, waiting for the winds to rise, I began to follow his journey.

He has a device called a Yellowbrick on his boat which allows anyone with access to a computer to track his progress every six hours.



After sailing from Opua, New Zealand to Durban in 2016, he laid up for awhile before heading for the open sea once more on February 10th.

After successfully rounding the southern tip of Africa he followed the coastline north for awhile before turning into the South Atlantic enroute to St. Helena Island, where Napoleon spent his final days.

I love adventurous stories and Chiles' tales of his travels fit the bill.

He has had six wives, loves a drink of Scotch and the open sea in a small boat.

If, like me, you're interested in following along, you can find his tracking map here and a blog which is updated infrequently here.

He should arrive in St. Helena, weather permitting, in another 5 to 7 days.

Keep in mind, he is 75 years old.

But as he described himself on New Year's Day, "a strong and tough old man."



21 comments:

  1. This was great! Will pass on to Mr. Adventure (our son). Just love to read stories about anyone over 60 doing athletic pursuits.

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  2. I don't understand such people, but more power to him. Somehow I was not surprised to learn he has had six wives. My first thought was "That's all?" :)

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    1. Well, I'm not sure how many girlfriends were sandwiched in there!

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  3. Webb is a piece of work...read the story of his attempted suicide...wow.

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    1. Yup, read it. He is definitely an original.

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  4. Sail around the world alone? That is the next-to-last thing I would ever do. The last thing I would ever do is jump out of a plane. I could, however, be persuaded to drink Scotch.

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  5. I love those kinds of heroes. 6 wives is pretty heroic too! No wonder he's happier sailing solo in the wide open sea. I will look up more info about him.

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  6. Shades of Joshua Slocum....and that's a fine boat, a Moore 24. I've only seen one other.
    More power to him.

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    1. I've sailed since 1970, first boat was one of those fiberglass 70 era Catalina, later upgraded to a Nonsuch. My dream always was someday have a Swan 47, cast off from San Francisco, head south and do the 'milk run', ending up in Bora Bora two years later, living out my life in ragged shorts and drinking red label each day.

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    2. I knew a few like that when we lived in Mexico.

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  7. My brother lived and cruised on a 40 footer for 10 years he and his wife had some exciting times, but nothing like this...he should have a bigger boat.

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  8. An old man who loves the sea? Must have been a difficult husband …

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  9. What an amazing character! St. Helena is one of the most remote islands in the world. It boggles my mind to think of him out there all alone.

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  10. I was looking at your comment on my travel site and it got me to thinking about the Hotel Russell. When I was there I stayed at the Imperial Hotel just about one block from the old Hotel Russell. I walked past it every time I went to the tube station and it was undergoing extensive renovations. In fact the whole place was boarded up with scaffolding around all sides and lots and lots of construction activity going on. I just checked Google and it looks like the place is due to reopen this coming summer under a new name of The Principal and will probably be way out of my price range but, next time I'm in London, I'll make a point of going inside to check out their restoration job. I really loved staying in that part of town and I'd stay at the Imperial again. It was a little frayed around the edges but, it was comfortable, clean and friendly and most important affordable.

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    1. When we were there (for only one night, mind you) we enjoyed high tea in the afternoon. I believe one can go for that whether one is staying at the hotel or not. At least that was the custom back when it was the Russell.

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  11. Still is. You can have tea, or eat in the restaurants of any hotel in London even if you're not staying at those hotels. The most famous one for high tea (and highest prices!)is the Savoy. But you can have perfectly good teas (with all trimmings) in much smaller, out of the way places.

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