Monday 18 December 2017

School atlas world sailor returns

A man who sailed around the world - using his school atlas to cross the Atlantic - has returned to the UK
A man who sailed around the world - using his school atlas to cross the Atlantic - has returned to the UK

An amateur sailor who circumnavigated the globe - using just his old school atlas to cross the Atlantic - has arrived back in Cornwall.

Paddy Macklin set off from his home town of Falmouth on December 17 2009, intending to make a non-stop trip around the world in his 27ft yacht Tessa at the age of 52.

Damage to the ship caused by storms and barnacles meant he to had to make an unscheduled stop in New Zealand, but he has arrived back in the UK after sailing across the Atlantic from Cape Horn at the bottom of South America using the 1950s atlas.

"After about Cape Horn I had nothing. So it was a choice of my diary, which had a small picture of South America, or my 1950s school atlas," he told the BBC. "Luckily there was nothing to hit."

During the course of what may be the slowest ever solo circumnavigation of the globe, Mr Macklin ran into difficulty several times. He braved severe storms in the Bay of Biscay as he began his journey towards the Cape of Good Hope.

After he failed to call home on his satellite phone a massive search was started off the north coast of Spain, only for him to be found safe and well and refusing to use the telephone in case it got wet.

But worse was to come in July last year, when Tessa was capsized off the coast of Tasmania and he nearly starved before being found. He spent a time staying with friends in Timaru, New Zealand, while he recuperated and repaired his ship, ruining his non-stop dreams, before setting off again.

After passing Cape Horn he scattered some of the ashes of his father - who served in the Atlantic in the Second World War - in the water.

Other injuries he suffered during the course of his voyage included cracked ribs and the loss of some teeth.

He arrived back in Falmouth on Thursday afternoon and was greeted by his sister, Miranda Kelly, who said it was "fantastic" to have him home in one piece.

Press Association

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