Captain Joshua Slocum was the first to sail solo around the world

Joshua Slocum knew exactly what we wanted out of life when he was 12 years old. This was the first time he had escaped to the crew on a ship as a cabin boy and galley hand. Hoping, that first time at sea, he brought him back to his home in Nova Scotia, on the Bay of Fundy. But life on Earth did not last long. At the age of 16, he again fled to the ocean. This time, it was for good.

Slocum was born in 1844 to a loving mother and a father whose cruelties may be on the verge of cruelty. Slocum shared a modest life with his ten siblings, and dreamed of leaving home for a life on the water. He came from a long line of sailors, but somehow his father and mother preferred the land. Slocum didn’t feel quite right.

Nearly 38 years after he escaped for the second time, Slocum has gained international fame as the first person to circumnavigate the world solo. In between, he lived one hell of a life, complete with pirates, strange ports of call, and sailing in blue waters.

The Slocum’s boat, the “spray” helicopter, was transported across the Erie Canal to the Pan American Exposition in Buffalo in 1901.

In 1860, he was 16 years old enough to be appointed as a full-time sailor on a merchant ship. In two short years, he sailed to Ireland, England, China, Jakarta, the Molucca Islands, Manila, Hong Kong and Singapore. He rolled Cape Horn twice in that short and eventful era and eventually landed in San Francisco. Having received robust and frequent service on the British-San Francisco shipping route at the age of 18, he passed his second mate’s test, a crucial step for assuming more leadership and responsibility aboard the ship. Shortly thereafter, he was promoted to his number one road buddy.

Very little has been written about this time in Slocum’s life, so it is tempting to suppose that he was living the dream of a young sailor for a girl in every port. may have been. But his rapid rise through the ranks also indicates that he was driven and focused on learning seafaring and boating. At the age of 21, he got the chance to be a captain, as a captain, on a local freight flight in San Francisco-Seattle. Before long, he was leading the way between San Francisco and Australia.

It takes a special kind of person to live with a man (or woman) who prefers water on land. When you spend your life at sea, time is limited to develop marriage bonds. For many considerations, Joshua Slocum was not a lucky man. He has endured challenges and survived danger through skill and determination. But when it came to meeting the love of his life, Virginia Walker, luck was on his side.

Walker and Slocum met in Australia, which was a bit strange considering they were both Americans. The stars lined up with Slocum, because in Walker he found a woman with a similar taste for adventure and a willingness to live life on a boat. They had been dating for a little over a month when Slocum suggested. They married in January 1871.

Together, the couple has sailed around the world for 13 years – his reputation as a skilled and reliable captain is growing every year. His main route remained across the Pacific from San Francisco-Australia, through Alaska on an eastward-bound flight. They had seven children (only five surviving) born abroad. As a family, they visited Japan, China, the Spice Islands, and other exotic ports of call in the South Pacific. They even suffered a shipwreck in Alaska, where Slocum is credited with saving the lives of everyone on board, along with most of the cargo.

In the late 19th century, as today, captains were appointed to manage the ships of wealthy owners. Slocum was awarded the best ships and learned to sail on almost every type of ship – sailboats, galleys, galleys, sailing ships, shears, and even a steam-powered torpedo boat. Except for the Alaskan Experience, Slocum passed all of his travels with little to no accident. until the Aquidnic.

Sailing and myths go back in time. Who knows what line was crossed for the terrible luck of AquidnicBut that ship, which he owned, brought nothing but misery to Slocum. Three-year period (1884-1887) in the leadership Aquidnic Virginia started dying in Argentina. Slocum (then 42) married his 24-year-old cousin and things went downhill from there.

His new wife hated life on the ship and made up her mind when a hurricane hit them on their first voyage. To add to the misfortune, the crew contracted cholera and the ship was quarantined for six months. The pirates attacked and Slocum killed one. In a small bright spot, he was acquitted of the murder, but then the ship caught smallpox and three crew members died. Disinfecting the bowl was very expensive. In what may be the only proper end of a life AquidnicFinally, the ship wrecked off the coast of Brazil.

The second wife stayed there long enough to return to the United States, sailing aboard a junk-like ship that Slocum built in Brazil. Of that journey, Slocum wrote the book, Liberdade trip. His wife called him the end of life on the sea, but the couple remained married. She eventually settled on Martha’s Vineyard and would go on to pursue his life’s goal and most famous feats.

There is no way to know if the boat inspired the idea or if the idea inspired the boat. Either way, Slocum purchased a 39-foot, 9-inch sand-rigged glider, named after him. spray, and set out to rebuild it to sail around the globe. He sailed alone, from Boston, on April 24, 1895. As he wrote in his famous book, Sail alone around the world“I felt that there was no turning back, that I was involved in an adventure whose meaning I fully understood.”

He was 51 years old at this point and all indications are that he understood the nature of his adventure. Although there isn’t enough way to prepare for being on your own the 46,000-mile long four-year journey. Nothing unexpected came about during his journey, and he continued to solidify his now legendary marine skill. The resonant tales that came from this adventure were not about a nearby conflict or disaster, but about his positional navigational skills and his use of counting the dead after many years of technology to guide otherwise. Slocum was, by all accounts, a wonderful sailor.

In fulfilling his greatest dream, Slocum put an exclamation point on a life built on skill and fortitude. His achievements were not immediately recognized, but his book caught on a few years later, and he made a comfortable living from book sales and speaking engagements. He became a celebrity of sorts.

Unfortunately, with the money from his book dwindling, he spent his remaining years chasing something he never really seemed to define. His mental abilities waned, and some claimed he went a little crazy. In 1909, on a routine trip south to winter in the Caribbean, he and spray lost at sea. Few would believe that this was the fate of such an expert sailor, until many years later a marine expert decided that it was close to a miracle. spray He hasn’t flipped in a long time. Apparently, the sailing ship had a completely graceful design. It turns out that Slocum never learned to swim.

Top photo: The new Bedford Whaling Museum

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