Off for a year …..
David Besemer was a student at the Travel Channel Academy in Santa Barbara last year.
He produced one of the better videos, a profile of a small marina ferry and its captain.
I had no idea when he took the course that it was a dry run, so to speak, for an around the world cruise on his own boat with this wife and daughter.
They left last week.
They took rations, life jackets, epirb and a video camera and laptop.
It’s the digital age.
Now they are going to document their extraordinary trip with their own website. Complete with interactive maps and video updates. A true online at sea family adventure.
I am a great sailor and I have sailed all my life.
The notion of yachting itself is a relatively recent phenomenon. Sailing across the oceans (or indeed across a bay for ‘fun’) was completely unknown until the very late 19th Century. Even in the early 20th Century, yachting was for the very very rich or the very very brave.
The first ‘yachtsman’ was Joshua Slocum, who started life as a sea captain and in 1895 set off on the world’s first circumnavigation by a yachtsman in his boat Spray.
This is little more than 100 years ago.
How times have changed. Slocum’s life was always in danger. It was hard, perilous work, with absolutely no certainty of success.
Three years later, Slocum returned to Newport, Rhode Island and a year after that published his book Sailing Alone Around the World.
Slocum’s achievement was considered so extraordinary that in 1900 he was invited to the Pan-American exhibition to speak alongside Mark Twain. He became an American hero, along the lines of Charles Lindberg.
Today, technology has made circumnavigation as whole lot safer and more reliable. It can still be pretty scary to be 1,000 miles offshore in bad weather, but at least you will know where you are, and you can be in constant contact with the rest of the world.
But now, we don’t have to wait years for the book to be written and published. We can follow the adventure in real time. And in video.