Wednesday, June 27, 2012

It's Joshua Slocum Day...

... where is your sailboat?

The Canadian Enclyclopedia online features a nicely turned account of how the Nova Scotian spent just over three years, 1895-8, sailing alone around the world.  Uphill, no less -- that is, he went against the prevailing winds in the southern oceans.  June 27 is the anniversary of the day he returned home (to Boston).

His memoir, Sailing Alone Around the World, remains in print but is also widely available online, as here.  Opening lines:
In the fair land of Nova Scotia, a maritime province, there is a ridge called North Mountain, overlooking the Bay of Fundy on one side and the fertile Annapolis valley on the other. On the northern slope of the range grows the hardy spruce-tree, well adapted for ship-timbers, of which many vessels of all classes have been built. The people of this coast, hardy, robust, and strong, are disposed to compete in the world's commerce, and it is nothing against the master mariner if the birthplace mentioned on his certificate be Nova Scotia. I was born in a cold spot, on coldest North Mountain, on a cold February 20.
In 1909 Captain Slocum set out from Boston on another solo voyage, and was never seen again.
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