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.
“Adventure is in the heart of the dreamer”
Many people have a dream of building or buying a sailboat and crossing an ocean to distant lands (myself included). Many drop out before their dream is fulfilled often because the “dream” is much too much work or they fear being cut off from family.
Enough people succeed to show that the dream is possible and that keeps the hope alive for the rest of us. One man who dreamed of sailing oceans while he was still a prisoner behind the Iron Curtain was Miro Kantarsky who escaped in August 1968 and came to Toronto, Canada. There he built a steel boat himself and with friends sailed to the island of St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands.
He was there when the cruise liner the Angelino Lauro caught fire in March 1979 and was a total loss. (The ship was eventually sold for scrap to a Taiwanese ship breakers, and departed under tow in July. However, on 21 September, in the mid Pacific, her fire-affected warped hull plates began to take on water, and she began to slowly list. The ship remained afloat for three days, but sank just 20 days after her 40th birthday.)
Milo filmed his voyage south and has added original music and a laid-back and philosophical narration. It’s a delight home movie well-worth watching and inspiring for anyone with dreams
After making landfall in St. Thomas, and sampling its delights, Milo admits to becoming very angry:
“I got very angry, angry at a world of politics, for being locked up behind the Iron Curtain for over 20 years, angry that it took me so long to make it here and now seeing these boats from every corner of the world enjoying this freedom of the mind, body and soul.
“This is the reason I marvelled at everything around me like a little child being allowed to wander unsupervised in a toy store. I was in the place that represented all that was exciting in the books and films from my childhood – Captain James Cook, Magellan, Drake, Blackbeard of the Caribbean. They were all my heroes and I could feel their presence.
“Now I could say also that I dropped my anchor in the places they did. I also sailed the seas their ships sailed on. i smelled the same aroma of salty air that lingers around the islands for millennia.”
Congratulations and my thanks to Miro!