Sometimes I am asked what is so special about my circumnavigation that I am trying to attract attention to it. The short answer – my real goal is rowing around the world, circumnavigation is just a preparation for it. I want to go in a rowboat alone around the world without support, intersecting all meridians and the equator twice – in the Pacific and Indian Oceans.
A little bit of history
In 1896 two Norwegians, John Harboe and Frank Samuelsen, left New York City (USA) in an open rowboat and reached the Cornwall Peninsula, UK, in 55 days then headed to Gavre, France. That was the first man-powered trans-Atlantic voyage in the history of mankind.
A second attempt was undertaken in 1966 by two Englishmen, John Ridgway and Chay Blyth. They left Boston, USA in a fishing “dory” and reached Ireland in 92 days.
The first successful attempt at a solo trans-Atlantic crossing also on in a dory was undertaken in 1969 by an Englishman, Tom McCLean, from the shores of Newfoundland, Canada, to Ireland. He completed the route in 70 days. Also in 1969 another Englishman, John Fairfax, left in his 10-metre boat “Brittania-1” from Canaries Islands to Florida. Two years later he decided to be the first man to cross the Pacific Ocean in a rowing boat with the only difference being he took onboard the first woman willing to challenge the ocean – Sylvia Cook. The result was a new world record. After this infrequent beginning to circumnavigation rowing there were many attempts to cross the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans. Many succeeded while some failed with tragic results. Today all three oceans are conquered. Some lucky ones have consecutively crossed two oceans but no-one has crossed all three. “Why?” you might ask. We couldn’t have found a more complete and thorough answer than that of the legendary Sir Robin Knox-Johnston: “In this world there are so little interesting occupations and so many people that it’s not wrong to have the right to announce to everyone that you are the first man to have achieved something.” Sergei Morozov aims to not only cross all three oceans solo but also make a circumnavigation of the globe. This has only been attempted twice in history, the first by two Russians, Evgeny Smurgis and his son, Alexander in 1992 from Murmansk, Russia. They crossed the Arctic Ocean which took them a couple of years to reach London from where Evgeny headed to the Canary Islands solo. Tragedy occurred in the Bay of Biscay where all communication with Evgeny was lost. Later his boat was found near the French shore and later on his body was recovered. The second attempt was by Mick Bird who completed more than half of his route but was forced to end it having decided that his little daughters needed him more than the record, which doesn’t make what he has already done any less significant.
A boat required for such undertaking is quite different from a regular rowboat.
Here are a few pictures to give you an idea.
Unable to find, alas, the funds or sponsors for the rowing around the world, I decided to set sail on a circumnavigation following this project’s rowing route on my boat “Hikari”. Start of circumnavigation is just a matter of days.