My plans to retrace Captain Cook's unfinished voyage have been postponed a year while I work on the next Marine Diesel Basics book and get my new boat SV Oceandrifter ready for sea.
We can all celebrate the achievement of Geoff Holt who recently became the first quadriplegic person to sail across the Atlantic when he completed the 3000-mile voyage from Lanzarote in the Canary Islands to Tortola in the British Virgin Islands. It was there 25 years ago that Geoff suffered the accident while diving that left him paralyzed from the chest down. He has limited use of his arms and hands.
In 2006 he became the first wheelchair user to gain a powerboat licence and in 2007 he became the first quadriplegic sailor to sail around Britain. Crossing the Atlantic, Geoff sailed his 60ft (18m) wheelchair-accessible catamaran “Impossible Dream” alone; however he required the help of a professional carer, Susana Scott, to move from his bunk to his chair, dress himself, wash and cook. He was also joined by cameraman Digby Fox who documented the challenge on video.
On his arrival in the Caribbean, Geoff told reporters, “It has been my dream to sail back across the Atlantic to Cane Garden Bay, and I have done it.”
That was his dream. And it is surely a great encouragement to all of us to work towards our own dreams – especially if we have full use of our hands, arms, legs, eyes and hearing!
Free download: BBC report about Geoff Holt