As epic sailing adventures go, the one that American Randall Reeves is closing in on finishing is amongst the most challenging in recent memory. The Oakland, California resident is nearing the finish line on what he calls the Figure-8 Voyage, which has seen him not just circumnavigate Antarctica, but North and South America too.
Reeves is closing in on spending an entire year on this project, which began last October 3. Over the course of that time, he has sailed for more than 37,250 miles (59,948 km), spending a total of 284 days at sea. Currently he is making his way off the coast of Alaska, where some serious storms are currently creating a few challenges for him. But, he seems to have things well under control as he head into the final stages of his journey.
The trip began in California last year with Reeves first sailing south through the Pacific off the coast of both North and South America. Once he reached the notorious Cape Horn however, he continued south, sailing solo around Antarctica, circumnavigating the planet in the process and returning once again to the dangerous Cape. From there, he turned north, sailing the Atlantic off the coast of South and North America once again. He held that route until he reached northern Canada, at which point he turned into the Northwest Passage just as summer was opening the ice floes there. Over the past few months, he has navigated those tricky and treacherous waters and has now cleared the passage altogether and is back in the Pacific south of Alaska. From there, he’ll return home to California, bringing an end to the voyage, while completing one impressive “figure eight” in the process.
Reeve’s soul companion on this trip is his 45-foot aluminum boat dubbed Moli. The sloop was originally built back in 1989 for German adventurer and photographer Clark Stede. He christened the boat as Asma and it became his private yacht for sailing around the Americas. Later, the ship was sold to a sailor named Tony Gooch, who renamed it Taonui. Gooch and the ship made history in 2002 when they became the first to complete a non-stop, solo-loop of the globe via the Southern Ocean from a starting point in North America. Reeves bought the vessel a few years back knowing its adventure heritage and has put her to good use on this voyage for sure.
It will likely take another couple of weeks for Reeves to return to California, but it is safe to say that the most dangerous and difficult stages of his journey are pretty much behind him. The storms the past few days have reminded Randall that he isn’t out of danger just yet, but as he proceeds down the Canadian coast and nears the U.S. once again, things should calm down considerably. Once he’s back home, he’ll have completed one of the most interesting and unique sailing adventures in history.
Thanks to my friends at Gear Junkie for sharing this story.