Saturday, November 20, 2010

The catch 22 of travel

" then came july 15, a wonderful sunny day, and my sextant sights revealed we had passed the halfway mark(37W)
That evening I celebrated...but there was a tingle of sadness in this fact too, I didn't think I'd want it to go on forever, yet whether i did or not, it's end, no matter how happy or how longed for, would be accompanied by sharp twinges of pain, an undercurrent of profound regret. For then the voyage and all it meant to me in happiness would have moved from anticipation through realization into the past, where events, once lodged, existed only in the limbo of memory and could not (no matter how hard we tried) be relived."

-Robert Manry (June 2, 1918 – February 21, 1971) was a copy editor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer who in 1965 sailed from Falmouth, Massachusetts to Falmouth, Cornwall, England in a tiny 13.5 foot (4 m) sailboat  named Tinkerbelle. Beginning on June 1, 1965 and ending on August 17, the voyage lasted 78 days.
At the time, the Tinkerbelle was the smallest boat to make a non-stop trip across the Atlantic Ocean. Manry later wrote about the voyage and its preparation in his book Tinkerbelle.( I highly recommend that you read it)
To know more about Robert and Tinkerbell:

 I discovered Robert's story when I chanced upon Tinkerbell at the western reserve museum in Cleveland last year.
4 metres may sound like alot of room but when you take into account all the modifications he made to the boat for it to float steadfastly and all the supplies he had to take with him for 78 days on the north atlantic by himself, that left him enough space to crawl into a ball.
He fell out of the boat on several occasions and if I am not mistaken there were 6 days of the trip that he spent hallucinating and later had no recollection of.
Tinkerbell's virgin voyage on "open waters" was actually here in Canada as Robert sailed her up to Thunder bay from lake Eerie in the summer of 1964 with his son, 200 miles(321km) in one week.
I will be studying Robert's logbook more closely to discover what really motivated this amazing man to undertake such a daring endeavor with what appears to be such a frolicsome(laidback) mindset?

I will be writing about other amazing ppl and their travelling feats, feel free to make suggestions as to whom


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  2. Jesse Martin's book "Lionheart" is another interesting read about the youngest kid (17 at the time) to sail solo, virtually non-stop and unassisted around the world. He's also got a DVD on the voyage.. bit campy but still inspiring...