Solo sailor Paris braves stormy seas
Sailor Stanley Paris has been braving the waters that ended his last attempt to circle the globe in fewer than 150 days.
Dr Paris, 77 — the father of local sailor Alan Paris, who became the first Bermudian to sail the world solo in 2003 — was in the South Atlantic Ocean, about 870 miles southeast of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, at the weekend.
He set sail from St Augustine, Florida, on November 9, passed Bermuda on November 15 and crossed the Equator on December 4.
Blogging from his vessel, which can be tracked online, Dr Paris said on December 6: “Now we enter an area off the coast of Brazil where we will start to lose the easterly trade winds and have many variables along with squalls in the early morning and at dusk. It’s in these waters that most of my damage occurred last time. So I shall be sailing more conservatively for the next ten days.”
He was surprised by a squall minutes after taking a picture of the clear skies.
“It comes on suddenly and the first sign is the change in wind pitch issuing from the wind generators for some of my electrical power,” Dr Paris said.
He leapt to action as the boat began to heel from 20 degrees to 30 degrees, and managed to ease out the mainsail to stabilise and slow his boat.
“Had I not acted so quickly, waiting another five seconds the boat would have been over at some 40 degrees, making it almost impossible to get to the winch and there would be a further delay as I would have judged it prudent to get my safety harness on,” he said. “I do not leave the cockpit without the harness being on — that’s a rule and a promise.”
Dr Paris had to call off his first attempt in January after suffering several technical problems with his vessel and injuring his arm and ribs in a fall on New Year’s Day.
On this voyage he has encountered problems with his hydro generators, after they repeatedly became clogged with seaweed, and one of his wind instruments had failed by November 26. One of his three autopilots has also stopped working.
The retired physiotherapist is aiming to become the oldest person to circle the globe non-stop, non-assisted and “totally green”. His 64ft boat Kiwi Spirit runs on solar panels and hydro generators.
Dr Paris is challenging a record set in 1986 by US sailor Dodge Morgan, who left St George’s in November 1985 and returned to Bermuda 150 days, one hour and six minutes later. His journey can be followed at www.stanleyparis.com
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