Solo-Sailor Completes Figure-8 Voyage Round Antarctica, North and South America

A few weeks back I posted the story of Randall Reeves, a solo-sailor who had set out on a unique adventure that would see him sail around North and South America, as well as Antarctica. At the time, Reeves had just completed his navigation of the Northwest Passage and he was sailing south along the coast of Alaska in the middle of a wild storm. Now, a little more than three weeks later, he has returned home, bringing a close to this unique and inspiring adventure.

When he conceived of his idea to sail around three continents, Reeves dubbed the project the Figure-8 Voyage in reference to the fact that his course would take him first south along the west coasts of North and South America in the Pacific, then across he Drake Passage to the east to circumnavigate Antarctica through the Southern Ocean. Once he rounded the frozen continent, he’d cross the Drake again and this time turn up the east coast of the two American continents sailing through the Atlantic. Finally, once he sailed far enough north, he’d cross the Northwest passage from the Atlantic back to the Pacific, then turn south to return to his starting point in Oakland, California.

A few days back, on October 19, Reeves wrapped up his long journey at last. When he was done, he had been at sea for more than a year. 381 days in fact. He had also traveled more than 40,000 miles (64,373 km) to complete a journey that to my knowledge has never been done before. That voyage was made aboard a 45-foot aluminum ship named Moli that has its own history of grand adventures. Previous owners had sailed her under different names, circumnavigating the globe in the process. She had even been a part of a historic expedition to circumnavigate the Southern Ocean, solo and non-stop back in 2002. Now, she’s added a few thousand more miles to her total and helped write yet another chapter in sailing history.

Now that he’s back home, Randall has had a chance to start thinking about his trip in a broader sense, rather than just the day-to-day existence he had aboard the ship. A few days back, he gave an interview to the Adventure Journal, during which he discussed the long voyage. In it he talks about his earliest sailing adventures as a kid, some of the challenges he faced on his Figure-8 Voyage, and why no one has ever tried this daring feat of sailing before.

It’s quite a good and insightful interview for sure. A big congratulations to Randall for this amazing  and inspiring adventure.