The solo sailor is now on day 467 at sea. His target is 1,000 days


I last wrote about Reid Stowe back in March. Stowe, if you recall, is attempting to stay at sea for 1,000 days in his 60 foot ferro schooner Anne. I was recounting how he had to drop his crew, the young Soanya Ahmed, off in Australia because she was suffering from bad seasickness, and carry on solo. Well she wasn’t. It was altogether another type of sickness and a few days ago she gave birth to their son, Darsen.

So solo Stowe is now on day 467 of his Mars Odyssey, so called because 1000 day is, he claims, the length of time it will take a man – or woman – to travel to Mars. Not both I trust as there will be no convenient Australia en route. He is travelling, very slowly, somewhere in the South Pacific. But I am beginning to wonder whether the solitude is beginning to get to him because like Bernard Moitessier many years before him (his book ‘The Long Way’ is, by the way, a must read) he is starting to wax lyrical, spiritual even. Here’s an extract from his latest log.

“I feel I need a certain purity to live here, even more than I needed to pass through the Sacred Sea. Here the N and S tradewinds meet and fade. The Equatorial current flow strong E and W. I should just exist silently and I’ll try, but I have needs ‘Will you share your fresh water with me?’ and I carry society with me. I hope the spirit of this sanctuary approves of such busyness. I heaved-to on a small double reefed foresail and we drift and roll WNW. It is a very unique situation to be here unpressed to proceed for a while. The wind is blowing briskly. Maybe I haven’t moved out of the SE trades. The sea looks different again. I look at it lovingly again.”