Exactly 10 years ago I sailed my ‘’little Guppy’’, a beautiful 40ft bright red ketch, through the bridge in St.Maarten, The bridge and St.Maarten yacht club were full of people cheering and congratulating me for my successful solo circumnavigation of the globe. To me this was such a strange feeling, even now when I think back about it it’s with mixed feelings. The last stretch I had been at sea for 41 days sailing straight from South Africa to the Caribbean. I had been on my own for so long, and I had made this trip pretty much solely to get to know myself, to get to know the world, to explore the unknown – and I think most of all to challenge myself and get away from a system that I did not fit in, a system that didn’t allow the learning space that I wanted and needed. That this behaviour consequently made me world-famous and turned out to be a world record (that is still standing today) didn’t really occur in my mind at all. And therefore the marking point of actually breaking that world record somehow didn’t do much to me. All I wanted was to hug my family, have a warm shower, some decent food, and then keep sailing 🙂
If anything, my trip around the world fuelled my addiction to sailing, to traveling, to learning as much as I could about anything and everything. There was no way I was going back to the system I didn’t fit in. I continued to my country of birth, New Zealand where I built a life for myself. I did various jobs, got my captain’s license, did yacht deliveries, wrote a book, backpacked and traveled many countries, and continued living on my trusted boat, the boat that had given me the freedom I had so badly longed for.
Now 10 years later from that day that officially ended the journey that had so much more impact on my life than I could have ever imagined, I am peacefully anchored in the Tobago Keys on a beautiful 72ft bright (red ketch again ;-), also named Guppy – in memory of my ‘’little 40ft Guppy’’
Today as captain, I look back at this day with 9 teenagers, my partner, son, and crew member we have onboard – I’m not sailing alone anymore, but being able to share what I have learned, seeing the teens learn and still learning and seeing new things myself every day is the best things I could have ever wished for 🙂