- June 12th, 2008
- in Yachting
Solo sailor marks one year at sea
Monday, 21st April marked the end of the first full year at sea, non-stop, for self-styled adventurer Reid Stowe. The sailor, who presents himself as the heir to Bernard Moitessier’s spiritual-nautical-mystical wandering mariner archetype, is embarked on an effort to spend 1,000 days at sea without resupplying and without touching land.
He began the voyage with a companion, Soanya Ahmad, who was forced to abandon ship near Australia after suffering debilitating bouts of seasickness. Stowe is determined to continue the voyage in his self-built ferro-epoxy 70-foot gaff-rigged schooner Anne.
Whilst he is experienced at sea—he and his former wife sailed a 190-day “Odyssey of the Sea Turtle” in which they traced the outline of a giant sea turtle in the South Atlantic, and he has voyaged to the Antarctic and elsewhere—Stowe certainly has set himself a serious task.
His intention when planning the 1,000-day adventure was to present it to NASA as a precursor of a Mars manned mission. Stowe had hoped for funding from NASA in return for which he would offer himself and his crew as subjects for research into the effects of prolonged solitude. NASA did not respond.
Continuing alone, Reid Stowe seems content and capable, although his boat is old and requires constant repair. In the first couple of weeks, the schooner hit a cargo ship at night, damaging the bowsprit and raising questions about the couple’s watch-keeping practices.
Wandering aimlessly around the South-West Pacific, Stowe is busy with repairing sails and dreaming of the soul’s journey. He has plenty of time to dream; with one year done, he has another year-and-a-half to go.
You can follow his journey at