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Canadian Bert terHart completes solo nonstop circumnavigation

by Daria Blackwell 31 Jul 2020 17:01 UTC

The 5 Capes, s/v Seaburban Around Alone is in Victoria, British Columbia, conducting 1-hour Meet and Greets.

Bert has made his mark in history as the first North American to sail solo, non-stop, west to east, around the five great capes, using only celestial navigation, with no GPS. Prior to the recreation of the Golden Globe Race in 2018, only two people had achieved that goal -- one of whom was Sir Robin Knox Johnston in the original Golden Globe Race in 1968.

Bert was followed by thousands around the world. It has been a journey filled with emotional rollercoaster rides as he encountered gales and massive seas that were subdued only by nerve-wracking calms. In contrast with the early circumnavigators who remained in touch only via passing ships, Bert's wife, Nani, was in touch daily by satellite phone, issuing motivation to complete the task.

Bert, the recipient of an OCC Challenge Grant, persevered and returned home after 266 days at sea in his 46-foot sailboat s/v Seaburban. There was no COVID-19 when terHart set sail, and when he returned to B.C. he was free to roam as he'd been isolated at sea for longer than anyone on land.

Bert and Seaburban hosted three opportunities for folks to come by and ask questions: Inner Harbour for the general public, Canadian Forces Sailing Association for those who serve at CFB Esquimalt where inquisitive young sailors in class and summer camp came by with great questions, and finally at Royal Victoria Yacht Club for members.

Bert was able to reconnect with sailing legend and former OCC Vice Commodore Tony Gooch who was an invaluable source of information throughout Bert's voyage as well as Glen Wakefield who is a mentor to Bert and is about to embark on his own Westabout Circumnavigation. Ian Grant, OCC Regional Rear Commodore came by to offer his congratulations and deliver a commendation from OCC Commodore Simon Currin.

Well done, Bert, and welcome home.

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This article has been provided by the courtesy of Ocean Cruising Club.

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