Gipsy Moth Circles the World
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
From time immemorial, few narrative genres have had the power to so stir the emotions or captivate the imagination as the true account of a lone adventurer's triumph over the titanic forces of nature. Among the handful of such tales to emerge in the twentieth century, one of the most enduring surely must be Sir Francis Chichester's account of his solitary, nine-month journey around the world in his 53-foot ketch Gipsy Moth IV. The story of how the sixty-five-year-old navigator singlehandedly circumnavigated the globe, the whole way battling hostile seas as well as his boat's numerous design flaws, is a tale of superhuman tenacity and endurance to be read and reread by sailors and armchair adventurers alike.
First published in 1967, just months after the completion of Chichester's historic journey, Gipsy Moth Circles the World was an instant international best-seller. It inspired the first solo around-the-world race and remains a timeless testament to the spirit of adventure.
Francis Chichester's 1967 singlehanded circumnavigation set a blazing record for speed. He completed the voyage with just one stop and 226 days at sea. It was an amazing performance; that he was sixty-five years old made it the more so. Chichester then sat down to write one of the great narratives of modern voyaging.
"A remarkable feat, a moving story of conquest by the unquenchable human spirit, a determined old man's gesture of defiance at the modern world. Such was the voyage; his book is a fine account of it with nothing left out."--Alan Villiers, Saturday Review
strain. It was so hot working that I had to take off my shirt under the deck suit. My leg continued to hurt and I could not sleep in the quarter berth because of the pain in my leg when I lay down. I tried the cabin bunk but had no luck there either, and finally slept a little sitting up on the settee. Next day I got down to some housekeeping, and wrote in my log: “12.50. I managed a wash up at last, chiefly of glasses used when drinking with John and Helen Anderson on Friday evening last. I
queer things had happened. To start with, there was that foul smell. I sniffed the bilges, but it did not come from there. I tried the batteries, but they fortunately had been clamped down securely in the bilge and were perfectly all right. At last I tracked it down to the vitamin pills, pink vitamin C. The bottle had shot across the boat from the cupboard above the galley sink, and had smashed to pieces on the doghouse above my head. The pills had spread all over the windows in the doghouse,
pumping. When at last I got to the bottom of the bilge I found an assortment of plates and crockery, and also I found plates beside the motor, and one right aft of the motor. I was much puzzled at the time to know how these plates had got into such extraordinary positions, but realised later what had happened. The motor had a wooden casing covering it in at its forward end in the cabin, and the top of this is a step which hinges upwards. This lid had flown open, so that the plates had shot
the wind veered 40 � before I got back to the cockpit, so now we are sailing beam-on to a north wind (roughly speaking). I seem to have been mucking about with sails all day, and got nowhere at all. Fog and drizzle. Visibility 500 yards. I feel like another drink now, but nothing brings on a shemozzle more surely than my enjoying a drink, and I have had a bellyful of dashing out into the wet for emergencies today. Oh, well, what drink shall I have?” The one big want I had then was a quiet night
trying to coax her to sail close to the wind, and after she had slid off to leeward once again I left her there, and just enjoyed the speed and quietness. To make up for these frustrations, I stood myself a notable lunch—I think it was the one I had enjoyed most on the passage. Here is the menu: A clove of garlic, with a hunk of Gruyère cheese and a glass of Whitbread; a tin of Australian peas, a tin of salmon, and three potatoes in their jackets with plenty of butter; a tin of pears. Hundreds