Bernard Moitessier-Mariner, 1969 (age 44)
For five days in a row I have done my yoga exercises completely naked in the cockpit, before the meridian sight. I feel the sun entering into me, giving me its power. When there is no sun, or toward the end of the afternoon, I keep a sweater and wool trousers on, and the power comes from the air I breathe.
Physical and mental balance after five months at sea still comes as a surprise, when I look at the long, long curve on the little globe. Certainly I knew it was possible when I left. Anything is possible…it’s a matter of attitude and instinctive adaptation. But I never thought it possible to attain such fullness of body and mind after five months in a closed system.
I am really fed up with false gods, always lying in wait, spider-like, eating our lives, sucking our marrow. I charge the modern world-that’s the Monster. It is destroying our earth, and trampling the soul of men.
Of course, I will continue toward the Pacific. I can’t remember who said, ‘There are two terrible things for a man: not to have fulfilled his dream, and to have fulfilled it.’
Maybe I will be able to go beyond my dreams, to get inside of it, where the true thing is, the only really precious fur, the one that keeps you warm forever, find it or perhaps never return.
(The Long Way, 1971 Sheridan House Inc.)
Sir Francis Chichester-Mariner, 1966, (age 65)
At 20.56 I passed the breakwater, and Colonel Jack Odling Smee, the Rear-Commodore of the Royal western Yacht Club, fired a finishing gun from his yacht anchored off the breakwater, a sign for a beacon to be lit on Drake’s Island.
Gipsy Moth had completed her passage home of 15.517 miles in 119 days, an average speed of 130 miles per day. The whole voyage of 29,630 miles had taken just nine months and 1 day from Plymouth to Plymouth of which sailing time was 226 days. Perhaps I might add that, with eight log books filled up, I had also written more than 200,000 words.
Gipsy Moth Circles the World, Francis Chichester, (1967), Hodder and Stoughton Ltd