Crazy sailors. Those who set out on a voyage without proper experience
People

Crazy sailors. Those who set out on a voyage without proper experience

It's never too late to study! Stories of travelers who went out on the open sea with salaga and returned as record-breakers...
Share

Chay Blythe is the first to go around the world against the wind.

Without any yachting experience, Chay Blyth decided to participate in the world's first Sunday Times Golden Globe Race. The 27-year-old man on a 30-foot Dytiscus III managed to reach and circumnavigate Cape Horn, where his first sailing experience ended.
The 10-11 point storm threw the two-kiloon fiberglass yacht into the wind (Blythe later admitted that he did not learn about broaching until after reading a book by Sir Francis Chichester) and repeatedly failed the autopilot. Three times the boat rolled so that the mast touched the water. Eventually, Blythe decided to leave the race.

He was, however, not at all inexperienced: in 1966, while serving in the Army, Blythe, together with his friend, paratrooper John Ridgway, crossed the North Atlantic on a 20-foot sloop English Rose III. Interestingly, Rigway also took part in the Sunday Times Golden Globe Race aboard the 30-foot GRP 30-foot English Rose IV.

Everything that happened to Blythe at the Golden Globe just gave him experience. A few years later, in 1971, Blythe was the first to successfully complete an unstoppable east-west round-the-world voyage (around the world against the prevailing wind directions) on board a 59-foot British Steel.

Later he competed in the Whitbread Round the World 1973 and 1981, winning the 1981 Two Handed Trans Atlantic with Rob James, setting a record for the route. At The Round Britain and Ireland Race 1982 he came second in the overall class and first in his class on a Brittany Ferries GB.
Blight is also known as the founder of The British Steel Challenge and the BT Global Challenge.
Together with his wife Maureen he wrote the book «Innocent Aboard» about Golden Globe events.

Naomi James is the first woman to sail around the world on her own.

To pass the time until her fiancé Rob James returned from the Atlantic Triangle Race, Naomi James decided to go around the world alone.

Before that, she had only been sailing for a couple of months helping Rob James with chartering aboard Chay Blythe British Steel in France.

Interestingly, Naomi, a New Zealander, used to be a hairdresser and only learned to swim at 23!

After finding a sponsor, she rented a Blythe Spirit of Cutty Sark (later renamed Express Crusader) and sailed solo around the world on September 9th 1977. And that's because she had never sailed a yacht on her own before.

Extremalka went down in history after 272 days. She was the first yachtswoman to circumnavigate the world through Cape Horn alone and in the shortest possible time, two days ahead of Francis Chichester.

After Naomi admitted that her skills were far from perfect but she still managed to keep her cool even when the mast almost touched the water.

She was awarded the Order of the British Empire in 1979 for her achievements. She also wrote a book about the crossing: «At One with the Sea: Alone Around the World».

Later, still not fully confident in her navigation skills, Naomi entered the OSTAR race on Kriter Lady, competing against her husband. She was the only woman to finish and set a new record for the women on the route, breaking the previous record for more than three days.

Naomi and her husband were the first to arrive at the 1982 Around Britain Race on a Colt Cars catamaran. After this race, the yachtswoman was no longer on the water due to an excruciating sea disease intensified by pregnancy.

Robert Manry - crossed the Atlantic on the shortest yacht...

The producing editor Robert Manry sailed the family's small yacht Tinkerbelle on the Great Lakes. He had no ocean experience, which didn't prevent him from going to transatlantic on the same 13.5-foot (albeit heavily modified) little boat he used in inland.

The crossing was nonstop, in June-August 1965. At that time, Tinkerbelle was the shortest yacht to cross the Atlantic. Remember that Manry was a newspaper editor by profession and had previously only sailed on rivers and lakes.

Back in the summer of 1964, aboard his friends' yacht, he started talking about transatlantic crossing plans.

That same year, Manry and his 10-year-old son made the 200-mile test passage from Lake Erie to Thunder Bay in northwestern Ontario, Canada. This was enough for him to conclude that TInkerbelle was suitable for swimming from Falmouth in Massachusetts to Falmouth in British Cornwall.

An incredible journey from the USA to the UK has had a huge impact on Manry's life. Like the other two on our list, he wrote a book about his adventure, which he called Tinkerbelle. It later brought him recognition from legions of fans.

In 1967 Manry and his wife Virginia, two children and their pets set out on a year-long journey around the eastern states aboard Tartan 27 Curlew.

Ann Davison is the first woman to cross the Atlantic on her own...

Despite her poor navigation skills, Ann Davison was the first woman to cross the Atlantic Ocean alone.


She set sail from Plymouth on a 23-foot wooden sloop Felicity Ann on 3rd December 1952.

She had only little experience of sailing. You have to understand that the GPS wasn't there yet. It doesn't fit in her head, but Davison couldn't use the sextant - she learned it on the way.

Her journey did not go without tests: she almost drowned in the English Channel because of clogged drainage pumps. Later, the girl admitted that she hadn't thought about cleaning them before. She was towed to France for further repairs.

It survived severe calm conditions at the equator. The transition was slow and exhausting; as a result she came to the Caribbean on the verge of exhaustion and then went to New York.

The Anne Davison epic was successfully completed in June 1953. She wrote her name into history.

Interestingly, the «little seafaring»experience we mentioned earlier was a tragic attempt to escape the IRS that Ann and her husband Frank made in 1948 on a 70-foot keche. They set sail for Cuba, but due to lack of experience and bad weather the yacht crashed off the coast of Dorset in a 7 point storm. Frank died and Anne herself barely survived the storm. She was carried to the foot of the cliff after hours of drifting on a life raft.

Traditionally, Davison has written two books about her adventures: My Ship is so small about her record of crossing the Atlantic and Last Voyage about the tragic events aboard Reliance.

Miles and Beryl Smitton are adventurers whose love of sailing has won over the love of money.

Lack of knowledge about sailing and yachts in general did not stop the English spouses Miles and Beryl Smeeton. The adventurers found a 46-foot Tzu Hang ketch with a punctured hull in Dover Bay, invested in its repair and intended to sell the boat upon arrival in British Columbia.

For them, the yacht was a way around the special currency export rules set by the British government after World War II.

Fortune came with a risk check. A pair of experienced yachtsmen, Peter and Ann Pie, taught the basics of sailing the Smithsons. They trained at the mouth of the Thames and in the North Sea, and later visited Holland.

Miles wrote in his book «The Sea was our village»that the textbook for them was» Eric Hiskok's «Cruising Under Sail. Hiskoka Miles himself called «Mao Zedong», a Chinese politician.

In 1951, the Smithsons and daughter Clio sailed from Fowey, south of Cornwall, England. As if currency smuggling wasn't enough to spice things up, Beryl Smitton hid two diamante rings aboard.

They reached the Strait of Juan de Fuca in June 1952. But ironically, the family decided not to sell Tzu Hang.

Instead, they continued walking on a ketch designed by HS Rouse. Twice Tzu Hang's masts broke, both when they tried to get around Cape Horn. In 1968 they successfully circumnavigated Cape Horn on a refurbished yacht and only then, in 1969, sold Tzu Hang.

Modern adventurers

No less interesting stories have occurred in recent times with Russian adventurers. Earlier we wrote about Alexey Nyugodov, who is aspiring to science, and about the adventure of two marketers who decided to get from Moscow to Madagascar by inflatable boat.

Under sail to science.

Alexey's plan was to get to Vladivostok, find a yacht, go out to the sea and in 150 days stumble upon the U.S. coast guard and apply for political asylum. Everything was conceived in order to study mathematics at Harvard or MIT.

So, the idea began to materialize. Somehow he got to Vladivostok, slept where he had to, and later started tutoring to somehow live and earn money for the boat and equipment.

Alexey managed to collect 200 thousand through the Internet. In the same place, online, he found his boat: a two-sail composite dinghy, worth 100 thousand rubles, assembled at the Vladivostok shipyard on the American project of Dudley Dix.

The first out to sea failed, and he had to go back and repair the boat. Due to lack of experience, the second attempt also failed.

«I ran the boat on the "if something goes wrong, you have to pull something" principle. I didn't even try to remember what I glimpsed in the books. I just saw on the Internet that the way I walked was called a Gulfwind»," Alexei explained.

On the third attempt, he came out of the bay, when the wind seemed to be a verse. But by lunchtime, the storm had begun. After all the misfortunes, Alexei, not having a map of these places (it dissolved with sea water), reached the Strait of Stark. Before going out to the open sea, he was going to pester one of the uninhabited islands, put everything in order and build a breakwater on his nose. The attempt to pester the island of Shkot ended in failure: the boat had nothing to tie it to and began to be pulled down on boulders. That's when Alexey decided to sleep on the water. He removed the sails and dropped the floating anchor.

Alexey spent three days in the sea without going ashore: he waited for the wind to go to the islands again and find a place to moor. All this time it did not stop raining, which affected the traveler.

In the end, he managed to hit a small bay on Kozlov Island. He tied the boat to the rocks at five different points, literally stretching it over water.

And then the typhoon «Chang-Hom»rolled to these places.

«Once again, I was working as a bailer when the boat fell on top of me. Quiet. It fell. The water car. Five ropes with a thick thumb ripped in the middle like threads, the boat from one side was no longer tied».

The Shuttlebot took off into the sea. Later it was discovered near Sand Bay, near the border with China.

The fact that Alexei had not given up on the idea speaks only of his love of sailing and thirst for travel.

Now, having made conclusions, he makes new plans - to «find sponsors and to go legally and officially at latitude 40 across the ocean next year, carefully prepared, with a good boat and a budget of tens of thousands of dollars».

From Moscow to Madagascar by inflatable boat.

Two marketers from Moscow Alexander Panov and Artem Kirakozov went to Madagascar on a 6-meter rubber inflatable boat «Ognegon» with an outboard Yamaha engine for 60 horsepower.


Their adventurous journey began on April 9th with a pier near Moscow City. From the Moscow River, they travelled on a forklift to Oka and then to Don. Then a lot of trouble awaited the guys. They ripped the cylinder on the pontoon, after repairing began to lower the other side, then the engine stopped starting. As it turned out, all the electronics were out of order. The engine was able to start, but they had no electricity - which means no lights, no walkie-talkies, no chargers.

On April 18th the travelers passed the Kerch Strait and entered the Black Sea.

Before Yalta walked at night like a ghost ship without lights and radio exchange, violating border regulations. Customs clearance guys planned to pass in Sevastopol, but was not destined.

There was a calm on the sea, and it was clear that it had to be crossed now. On April 20 they crossed the Black Sea and found themselves in Turkey. On April 20 we crossed the Black Sea and found ourselves in Turkey. 300 km passed through the Black Sea, having overcome this distance in 11 hours.

As a result, Alexander Panov and Artem Kirakozov were able to cross even Marmara, Aegean and Mediterranean Sea, while the Mediterranean they crossed directly on a holey boat. They were able to walk 5,000 km and get to Cairo, where they were arrested by the local authorities due to lack of entry stamps and after eight days in pre-trial detention at Cairo International Airport were deported to Moscow. On 17 May, they returned to their home country.

A total of ten of the thirty days on the route were spent repairing the vessel. In addition to technical problems, the boat was slower than expected: instead of the planned 60 km/h, it ran at a maximum of 30 km/h.

On their return to Moscow, the extremists who had organized the «Ministry of Stupid Travel»decided to travel to Madagascar through Somalia on jet skis and make a film about their adventures.

Share
Found an error in the text?

Select the desired fragment
and press ctrl+enter,
or click here.

Please let us know about the error.