The weather deals solo sailor Donna Lange and her little 28-footer another blow as she heads for home


For Donna Lange, the American sailor who is on the last portion of her solo circumnavigation, the weather has delivered another blow and is forcing a final stop in Bermuda. A storm earlier this week with winds of up 55 knots saw Lange set – and then lose – her sea anchor.

She reported: ‘I was barepoled and working with the steering vane, struggling to steer a course with each stronger gust that came. I was soaked for hours. It was around 0600 that we took more than a hit. A huge wave broke completely over the port stern quarter, turned us fully on our side. I was literally holding my breath fully underwater, holding onto the dodger frame with all my life. It was only a few seconds and Inspired Insanity righted herself. Another wave crashed into the stern. It was time to stop and get secured, so I turned to the sea anchor and got her rigged to go.’

Having survived yet another pasting, Donna Lange is going to stop in Bermuda before continuing to Rhode Island, where she set off in 2000. This has been an amazing journey, full of risk and bravery.

Lange, a 48-year-old grandmother and a former nurse who changed tack after a very serious car accident to become a singer-songwriter has crossed the Southern Ocean in the last two seasons in her 28ft double-ender, Inspired Insanity. She was so short of funds and equipment that when she arrived in New Zealand, clad in her yellow plastic pop-button oilskins, the Kiwis rallied to her, helping Lange to refit the boat and raise money for safety and other equipment. She set off from New Zealand late last year year and made one stop in Ushuaia to fix engine and alternator problems.

Amid a lot of solo circumnavigations these days, many of them professional, this is something different, and there’s a touch of the Moitessier in Lange’s bohemian and spiritual logs. See for yourself on her website