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Sailing Alone Around the WorldSailing Alone Around the World

Sailing Alone Around the World (1900) is a sailing memoir by Joshua Slocum about his single-handed global circumnavigation aboard the sloop Spray. Slocum was the first person to sail around the world alone. The book was an immediate success and highly influential in inspiring later travelers.

Captain Slocum was a highly experienced navigator and ship owner. He rebuilt and refitted the derelict sloop Spray in a seaside pasture at Fairhaven, Massachusetts over thirteen months between early 1893 and 1894.

Between April 24, 1895 and June 27, 1898, Slocum, aboard the Spray, crossed the Atlantic twice (to Gibraltar and back to South America), negotiated the Strait of Magellan, and crossed the Pacific. He also visited Australia and South Africa before crossing the Atlantic (for the third time) to return to Massachusetts after a journey of 46,000 miles.

Highlights of the journey included perils of sailing blue water, such as fog, gales, danger of collision, loneliness, doldrums, navigation, fatigue, gear failure. Other perils of coastal navigation included pirates, attack by 'savages', embayment, shoals and coral reefs, stranding, and shipwreck.

Passing by Tierra del Fuego, he was warned that he might be attacked by the indigenous Yahgan Indians in the night, so he sprinkled tacks on the deck. He was awakened in the middle of the night by yelps of pain. He was proud of resourcefully defending himself.

He devised a system of lashing the wheel into what a later era might call a kind of mechanical autopilot. He took pride in the fact that the Spray sailed 2000 miles west across the Pacific without his once touching the helm.

from Wikipedia

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